My first idea for a fashion article came to me last summer. Of course, I didn’t realize then that I would be writing a fashion column six months later.  At the time it popped into my head, as most thoughts do, and I simply tucked it away.  In January I began writing “Styling with Mel,” and since timing is everything, this single idea needed to wait its turn for the warm days of spring. The question: bare legs or stockings with skirts and dresses, when the weather is warmer? … which looks better?  The answer: always, bare legs! It’s the bare necessity. The alternative is not an option.  It doesn’t matter if the stockings are as close to skin color as you can possibly get. That time has come and gone. 

I wasn’t trying to focus on fashion last summer; I just knew that I was enduring a troublesome case of insomnia.  But as always with me – fashion thoughts grab hold from anywhere, and won’t let go.  As I spent several hours in the wee morning in front of the television with my cat, Willie, I realized two things: 1) he’ll never leave me in my moment of need (although he always manages to sleep!) and 2) Joan Rivers has more infomercials on late-night tv than any other person!  And I’m not even counting her appearances on QVC.  The woman is insanely busy! It was during one of these sleepless nights that I found Joan selling one of her products.  The Right to Bare Legs is a cream that you apply to your legs to cover all skin flaws, and to keep your legs looking young and smooth.  Apparently it’s easy to apply, stays on, and won’t rub or rinse off!  Because even Joan Rivers knows, one should always be bare-legged with skirts and dresses.  This one infomercial started me thinking … 

Bare is chic; stockings are passé.  (This is not to say that opaque tights aren’t fabulous when the weather is cooler, and black stockings aren’t the most alluring with a dressy look.)  But for this season, stockings aren’t needed.  In fact, they are a no-no with open-toed shoes! And this spring, sandals, platforms and wedges are big news. It’s very simple: keep it bare.  It’s necessary.

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Melissa Kaplan Guarino delights in sharing her love of fashion with you.  Fashion questions?  Feel free to write to Melissa at