Resident Image stylist and market editor Melissa Magsaysay soothes your sartorial woes in the weekly Your Stylist blog column:
I saw your article titled "How to Toe the Line," and you mentioned a shoe repair guy for "Dancing With the Stars." I've been curious about the footwear of the ladies on that show for a long time. I would like to know where I could get shoes for recreational dancing similar to what is worn on that show. I know that shoes with straps are best and the right heel is also important. Could you send me that information if it is available to you? MH, Los Angeles
L.A. has some great dance attire stores stocked with shoes for every dance style from modern to ballroom. It sounds like you are looking for what in the dance world is called a “character shoe.” These shoes have a 1- to 2-inch heel, round toes and a strap that crosses over the top of the foot and buckles like a Mary Jane.
These shoes are a pretty basic style and are perfect if you’re just starting out with dance lessons. Since dancing in heels takes ankle strength and solid coordination, you may want to start with the 1-inch heel and make your way up to 2 or 2 1/2 inches (which besides being for a more advanced dancer, makes the leg look uber long, which is especially important with those skimpy dance duds). The Capezio dance store in Hollywood ( 1779 Vine St., Hollywood, CA 90028) has a wide array of dance shoes -- including character shoes.
You may want to pay them a visit to get the right size and fit. There are also a few high-heeled styles that have satin straps and suede sole, which are a little lighter in weight as well as fancier looking than a basic character shoe.
I believe the more snazzy styles you are looking for are at the Capezio store and are called Latina and Giselle. These are strappy and come in shimmery pink, gold and black satin. Good luck finding your perfect shoes and, most important, dancing in them!
After a couple of trips to the beach and one to Palm Springs this summer, I realize that I have trouble figuring out what to wear as a beach/bikini coverup without looking like I got too “ready.” What can I wear that will transition easily between the beach and the street? MK, Echo Park
I am big believer in clothing doing double duty. There’s no reason you need to have items that are specifically “beach coverups.” There are plenty of great basics that look really chic thrown over a bathing suit and topped off with a straw fedora and denim or cotton shorts.
I always love a slouchy button down (try your boyfriend’s or a men’s version) worn on top of a bathing suit and buttoned down a little lower than usual to keep the whole look airy and easy. You can wind a skinny belt around the shirt to define your shape and slip on some denim cut-offs to be street ready yet still beachy and comfortable.
Something slightly sheer is also cute. Look at how Kate Moss (pictured left) slipped a sheer black top over her bikini, showing that black clothing can actually be stylish and appropriate on the beach. Take a floaty, semi-sheer dress or tunic you may already have in your closet and wear it over a bikini. The print doesn’t have to be something tropical or scream “summer!” to make it a bathing suit cover (in fact, it really shouldn’t). Think simple, understated and something you probably already own to keep your summer look effortless and light.
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Photos: Top from left, Capezio dance shoes. / Capezio
Middle: Jennie Garth wearing Giselle-style dance shoes. / ABC
Middle-left: Kate Moss in a sheer coverup during a trip to the beach. / People
Bottom from left: Equipment sheer button-down shirt, $190; T Alexander Wang, $76; Joie floral dress, $149. / All at www.shopbop.com