Sheer genius. A look from Donna Karan's Fall 2009 collection. Photo: Scott Wintrow/Getty Images for IMG

Q: I plan to wear either a black or purple velvet dress for an early Christmas party, are sheer black stockings still in fashion with dark outfits?

A: Most definitely! In fact, hosiery has made quite the comeback. As I mentioned last week, sheer black stockings can bump an outfit up from eh to ooh-la-la sexy.

With all of the black ensembles that recently ruled the runways, it is of little surprise that sheer stockings are back in play. For fall, designers ranging from Donna Karan to Charlotte Ronson favored clean versions while others (ahem, Balenciaga) opted for a point d'esprit print. The good news is that you don't have to rollick around on a couch a la Jennifer Connelly (a la the ads for the latter) in order to look good.

In fact, we recently posted a story about how to look good in patterned tights, which offers all of the best styling tips and tricks. Take a look, and if you have more questions, let us know!