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Is it wrong to ask my party guests to take off their shoes?

The question

I am having people over to my new apartment for New Year's Eve and I'm not sure what to do about shoes on/shoes off etiquette. Can you help?

The answer

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Truth: There is no tidy way to handle this scenario. You could provide kitschy slippers for your guests, but I guarantee that this will not go over well among those who put careful consideration into their outfits from top to toe.

You could gently suggest that people bring a pair of "indoor shoes" to switch into if the slush situation gives you anxiety. You could also put down some type of temporary floor covering, although you risk sending the message that you think of your guests like house pets.

Really, though, I'd suggest that, unless your rug once belonged to Grace Kelly or your floor is made of petrified rose petals, you ease up on the OCD and accept that you can mop up once they leave. You can certainly ask your friends to wipe their shoes (assuming they don't do this already), but leave it at that. You don't want to start 2013 on the wrong foot, do you?

Amy Verner is The Globe and Mail's Paris-based style reporter. Have a fashion question? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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