Pantyhose update… The fashion ins and outs of hosiery trends
Is it true that no one wears pantyhose any more? My stepdaughter, who lives in Los Angeles, says she has not worn pantyhose in years. I think I would be cold not wearing pantyhose in the winter in Massachusetts. And, what about professional work and dressing up– do bare legs apply there too?(Wilmington, MA)
I see that you live outside of Boston– a major yet fairly conservative city—so, how is it that in almost a decade you have not noticed that sheer nude hose has been a fashion faux pas? It really is amazing to me that this late in the game; you’ve finally come to notice the bare leg fashion trend, particularly when it is on the way out.
Before we move forward to what styles of hose are hot now, let’s apply some common sense, which always supersedes fashion trends. First off, dressing appropriately for the weather is paramount—you don’t wear flip flops in a blizzard or wool socks in the summer, so you wouldn’t go without hose in cold temperatures. Sheer hose worn with open sandals is a perennial fashion no-no. Just look at how strange your toes look under the veil of “nude” mesh to get your answer. Exposing bare legs is just like exposing any other part of your body— if it’s not in good shape, keep it under wraps. A light faux tan on your legs and a bit of a jiggle preventing bodyshaping undergarment should take care of most figure flaws. Dressing appropriately for any occasion can usually be gleaned by observing what others in a similar environment wear or simply asking a knowledgeable person in that situation. If the trend doesn’t feel right for you, skip it.
Hosiery is only one part of the whole when it comes to style— your entire look from head-to-toe must flow in a complimentary way for total, in sync style. Over the past few years there was more of an engineered clean silhouette to fashion and pointy toe, delicate shoes looked best. With that came bare legs, since the addition of something as obvious as stockings would break the line.
What’s modern this fall are fuller skirts and more flowing garments that look balanced -with a chunkier shoe and a more dramatic leg. Hosiery is hot right now. And to make that statement even more obvious, designers have been sending models down the runway on wearing the boldest colored and patterned tights and socks. Yes, socks. Big chunky, droopy socks worn with even chunkier platform shoes are absolutely edgy. But let’s get real– wile stylishly startling on a Kate Moss type, most women would look like an escapee from the granola factory and about 20 pounds heavier if they tried the bulky sock look at home. Yet, the style image is so impactful that you immediately take notice to the new hosiery trend.
Dark opaque tights matched to your shoe or boot lengthen your legs and make wearing a mini skirt more stylish and less slutty than if worn with a bare leg. Sheer black hose looks positively elegant when worn with a knee-length pencil skirt. Blousy knits take on a modern air when layered over leggings. Country casual looks hip when you add a pair of crochet tights to your denim. And don’t forget the allure of black fishnets with a full, evening skirt. If you are afraid to get on the pantyhose trend right away, at least add a pair of simple black opaque tights to your fall wardrobe.
Start organizing your closet because you will want to make room for hosiery very soon.
–October 3, 2006
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