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Do people match their shoes to their purse any more?

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The question

My son is getting married and the dress I'll be wearing, which is cocktail-length, features two layers of material: a medium-blue charmeuse topped with a mirage of blue, purple and green chiffon. My satin purse is blue. Do the shoes have to match the purse?

The answer

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No, shoes don't have to match purses any more. And I think that a blue dress, a blue bag and blue shoes might be overdoing it a bit – you might be mistaken for a swimming pool. I think an ivory shoe would make a nice match, but Toronto fashion designer Sara Duke cautions, "I would double check with the bride about ivory shoes (brides may be wearing white or ivory, too); you might try something unexpected: mint, silver, lavender, light grey." Here's a thing about wearing light-coloured shoes, though: Don't wear dark hose with them. The shoe should always be lighter than the stocking. I don't know why this is, but pale shoes and black nylons always make the nylons look cheap. As this is a summer wedding, however, you're in luck: You don't have to worry about hose, as it's perfectly acceptable to wear bare legs to a wedding, even in a church.

Russell Smith is a novelist. His recent memoir, Blindsided , is available as a Kobo e-book. Have a fashion question? E-mail style@globeandmail.com .

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