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kevin van paassen/the globe and mail

Mixing business with pleasure can be tricky, but it's worth a try to beat the winter blues. Several designers had the right idea when they flaunted a field of flower-print tights for the season, marking a refreshing change from traditionally woolly legwear. The chill may be inescapable, but follow these steps and you can at least put a bit of spring in your step.

1. Be a wallflower, taking a cue from models at Anna Sui's fall presentation and taming printed tights by pairing them with the rest of your outfit. Like colours will tone down eye-catching patterns.

2. Don't be afraid to dress up. A prim, slim, button-up shirt and structured bag will serve to make the look more grown-up. The empire-waist overall dress? Maybe leave that to your kid.

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3. Get the right stems. Black high-heeled pumps add polish, but make sure the colour is picked up elsewhere in the ensemble to ground the look. Do this and you'll look pretty as a posy.

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