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Socks and pumps may have worked for Madonna back in the fashion Stone Age, but thankfully the days of neon anklets and high heels are safely behind us. Nowadays, you can wear almost anything else with those pumps -- from colorful tights and sassy black hose to your softest, sexiest pair of bare legs.
No Socks Allowed!
If you're thinking socks because the pumps just aren't comfy, there are better ways to handle this style issue. You can hit the drugstore for some heel protectors, stick 'em in the backs of your shoes and go bare-legged without worrying about blisters. If you find yourself plastering your pumps with these babies though, it may be an issue of poor fit. No matter how high the heel, a pump should cradle your foot from heel to toe, without any major gaps between your arch and the shoe bed. If that's not the case, it's time to do a little retail therapy in the shoe department.
Thicker than hose but with a serious leg up on regular old socks, tights are a good option to wear with those pumps. Black is almost always a safe bet, but if you want to inject a little more personality into your look, go for some opaque tights in the season's hottest color and use a scarf, belt or bold jewelry to tie it together with the rest of your outfit. But unless you're dying to drop a couple of 10-lb. weights on each thigh, steer clear of white tights.
The Right Hose
Hose and pumps are BFFs for a reason -- they get the job done in style. Plain black will work with most outfits, but if you're daring you can take your hose deep into party-friendly territory with a pair of fishnets, or if your stems are on the smaller side, do the all-out sexy thing with nude hose that have a black seam running up the back. If your pumps are light-colored, you'll want to stick with a sheer hose that is as close to your natural skin tone as possible.
Not all hose are created equal, though. Give anything labeled "suntan" a wide berth, unless it's a costume party and you're going as a strip of bacon. And pass on those hazy, in-between shades of black that you'll find in the beauty aisle at the drugstore: Not only do they make your legs look like they've got the flu, they're also retro in the worst way.