A leg up
Predicting how long any fashion will last is always a risky business, but it's a pretty sure bet that the popularity of leggings will stretch through at least a few more seasons.
They're comfortable, versatile and affordable ($10 and up). They work with summer and winter outfits. And they look good on a variety of bodies.
But as flexible as leggings are, wearing them isn't completely free of pitfalls. Here are some tips for looking your best in leggings:
* Try them on before buying -- especially if you are contemplating prints, which look awful when over-stretched.
* If you have a great figure, team leggings with a cropped top or short dress. If you're bigger than a size 10, wear them under oversized blouses, sweaters or jackets that hit midthigh.
* Dark colors and diagonal stripes help minimize heavy legs. Floral designs are fine for larger legs if the prints are subtle.
* Mixing prints with patterns is tricky. The safest bet with printed leggings is a solid top.
* Flats are the perfect footwear with leggings. Something with a low vamp or open heel is more flattering than a clunky style.
* High heels can work, particularly for an evening look, but it may take some experimenting.
* For modesty's sake, consider wearing leggings instead of pantyhose under miniskirts.
Ralph Lauren, who showed some of the season's best plaids during his runway show, proved his commitment to the pattern is more than clothes-deep with a party to unveil his home collection.
In evidence was everything from plaid napkins and napkin rings to picture frames, plates, coffee mugs, wallpaper, even a chest of drawers, dresser and mirror. All very tastefully displayed, of course.
What makes all the plaid look so right now? Well, it doesn't hurt that virtually every other designer on Seventh Avenue -- with the exception of Isaac Mizrahi, who probably started the whole Highland fling two seasons ago -- has gone plaid mad.
Mr. Lauren's faithful staffers are quick to point out, however, that he has been working with a High Point, N.C., furniture maker for 2 1/2 years to develop the process that covers the mahogany furniture with the plaid pattern.
FTC A trend-setter with good timing, yet. What can't Saint Ralph do?
Maybelline now offers a line of cosmetics especially for black women. The line includes foundation, lipstick, concealer, powder blush and pressed powder and sells for between $3.35 and $5.50. The line should be in stores by next month. Call (800) 282-7423 for store locations.