Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Can I still wear the beautiful hand-knit Fair Isle sweater my mom bought me on her trip to Scotland. Or is it hopelessly passe?
- Brenda P.
Dear Brenda: What's old is new again. Classic Fair Isle sweaters - named for a tiny island off the coast of Scotland - are back in a big way. These sweaters - often associated with the apres ski set - are known for their multicolored patterns, usually focused around the neck and shoulders. They became popular almost a century ago when the clotheshorse Prince of Wales (who became, briefly, King Edward VIII) wore one in 1921. Fast forward to 2010 when Glamour magazine issued a "Trend Alert: Fair Isle sweaters are everywhere." And they're everywhere again. Bazaar Magazine had a full-page spread on them this fall featuring sweaters starting at $415 (Isabel Marant) and escalating to a ridiculous $5,475 (Brunello Cucinelli). If those numbers make you laugh out loud, I saw a rack of Fair Isles at H&M for $39.99.
And another question about an oldie/goodie fashion favorite ...
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: You know those big cozy shearling-lined boots, Uggs? Are they still in style?
- Shannon M.
Dear Shannon: I'm not giving up my Uggs, and you shouldn't either. They're warm, comfy to walk in and easy to put on and take off. Are they flattering? Not really. Are they high style? Nope. Are they great in rain, slush and snow? Mine leak like crazy. But in many climates and dry situations they're perfect.
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I have a collection of Converse sneakers in lots of colors, mostly low tops. My question is, what color socks should I wear with them? In the summer I'd just go sockless, but now that cold weather is here I'm really at a loss. Are white socks OK, or should I start collecting socks in lots of colors too?
- Susan C.
Dear Susan: Colorful socks would look great with those Converse Chuck Taylor shoes. I'm thinking that those "Chucks" are crying out for what are called "turn cuff" socks, where the cuff turns down like the anklet socks you wore with Mary Janes when you were a little girl. I found some good choices in Crayola brights by Sierra Socks on amazon.com. (Think purple socks with red shoes; red socks with Kelly green shoes for the holidays.) But, the same style cuffed socks in white would work well too.