Recently, I’ve seen a lot of young women wearing flannel shirts and short lace-up boots. I love this casual look. Do you think that a woman of a certain age (me, in this case) would be able to carry this off? —Amy

Manolo says, it is true what the Manolo has long said, that the beautiful young peoples would look good in the Gareth Pugh burlap sacks and the Birkenstocks (which is indeed the recent trend). This is one of the key principles behind the fashion show: That even the worst article of clothing, designed by the most untalented hack, still looks good when worn by the supermodel strutting down the catwalk to the techno music.

But do not be deceived. Those 1980s retro-Madonna bib overalls, with the one shoulder strap artfully undone, which you saw being worn by the fetching gamin on the H Street NE are not for you, Respectable Lady of the Certain Age. For you, the instant you put on the stonewashed Big Smiths and unbuckled the strap, you would look like one of the minor characters in the touring version of Li’l Abner Goes to Washington, perhaps Aunty McMutton, or some such.

And this is why the Manolo cautions against adopting the trend of the short boots and flannel, as appealing as it may seem. It is better to go with the more sophisticated lace-up, one that will better withstand the vagaries of fashion. Here is the Prance from the Donald J. Pliner, the croc-patterned riding boot ($498,, which would look smashing on the beautiful mature woman of taste.