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Your Stylist: The skinny on skinny cargo pants and nude nails that flatter

March 15, 2010 |  8:02 am
Resident Image stylist and market editor Melissa Magsaysay soothes your sartorial woes in the weekly "Your Stylist" blog column.

I like the military trend. How would you recommend wearing it without looking too literal? K.P., Los Angeles

1583_shark_skin_l It seems like you’ve accepted your marching orders for spring, so it’s a good thing there’s no shortage of military clothing and accessories sitting in stores.

Cargo pants are everywhere and work as light and neutral spring/summer pant options. But if you’re like me and think a cargo pocket is kind of gross, then rejoice in the fact that they’re now being done in a “sexy” skinny silhouette that tempers the super-slouchy and sometimes shapeless nature of the detail.

J Brand’s skinny cargos are being worn by Gwen Stefani and Rihanna (so you know this is officially a trend that will soon be flooding the sidewalks of Robertson Boulevard). The pants are super-fitted with flat cargo pockets that stick pretty close to the leg. These look cute with flip-flops and a tank top or a worn-in gray T-shirt. I personally feel that wearing these pants with high heels is the same thing as wearing heels with sweats, and that creeps me out just about as much as toe rings and platform flip-flops, but if you keep the top casual (layered tank and cashmere wrap or cardigan), then it could work. Choose wisely.

Hi – what is the deal with brown nails? Or are they beige? I’ve seen some people wearing a brownish-beige Demimoore2 nail color and sometimes I think it looks good and sometimes they look dead. What is a good color I can wear without looking like I’ve lost the circulation in my hands? Marcia, Los Angeles

Nudenails I fully understand your fear of having corpse hand. Although spring’s nude nail trend may have hints of taupe, it’s a lot easier to wear than straight-up gray, and it also flatters the hand by making fingers appear longer. So don’t be scared. Embrace the possibility of your fingers looking longer, more slender and totally un-corpse like.

A good example of hot nude nails is how Demi Moore did it at the Oscars. She wore a fleshy lacquer to carry out the color of her Atelier Versace gown. All the blush-nude tones made her look light and ethereal; accenting her nails with a nude color just a few shades darker than her dress was a wonderful Putty addition to the overall look.

Think of nude nails like wearing nude shoes with a black or dark dress. It’s like your legs never stop. Nude polish will flatter your fingers in the same way.

The least daunting shade I’ve found is Putty from Creative Nail Design. Two coats of the stuff is still pretty neutral, three will start to make more of a statement. If you want something warmer and darker, Mink Muffs from Essie has a hint of mocha brown in it.

As with any trendy polish color, they always look better on short, neat nails rather than scary talons.

-- Melissa Magsaysay

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Photos: J Brand "Houlihan" skinny cargo pants. Credit: J Brand. Essie Mink Muffs and Naked Truth nail polish. Credit: Essie. Demi Moore arrives at the 82nd Academy Awards. Credit: Roberto E. Rodriguez. Credit: Getty Images. Creative Nail Design Putty nail polish. Credit: CND