Kate and Pippa Middleton may actually have magic powers. It is one thing that they have inspired women to find knock-offs of the gorgeous designer dresses they wear , but now they have managed to make itchy, hot tights seem cool. They have done the impossible. According to a poll done on WhatKateWore.com, 1,861 female voters said that Kate looks so good in hosiery that they are considering the look themselves.
Earlier this week the Daily Mail reported that “sheer tights have been flying off the shelves” since Kate’s engagement. However, the same publication also pointed out that pantyhose are not exactly considered the coolest things to put on your legs and they haven’t been since the 1980′s. And though our British friends may be on the pantyhose wagon most American women who wear them are forced to because of work dress code requirements, mostly in the finance and law industries.
Even if the firm doesn’t officially impose the pantyhose rule, many women just think it looks a lot better and more professional, especially in the summer. Alicia C. Lazaro, managing director of the Whitney Group, an investment banking firm in New York told More.com, “Pantyhose covers the imperfections caused by aging: sun spots, scars, uneven skin tone.” At the Chicago law firm Stowell & Friedman, Linda Friedman and Mary Stowell make themselves put on pantyhose whenever they have to be in the court room. “It’s hard enough practicing law in federal court, which is still very much a boys’ club,” Friedman says. “We don’t feel it’s right to take a chance when it might hurt our clients.” At California Bank & Trust, wearing hose is optional, but senior vice president Lorie Schulenberg does it even in super hot California weather. “You have to be taken seriously, and coming in wearing a cute little outfit without stockings doesn’t help your case,” she says.
But now, due to Kate and Pippa’s new status as fashion icons, women who trudge to work in 80 degree weather with their panty hose in tow may feel a little bit better today and may even start wearing them for non-work events. According to NYMag.com, an executive at Kayser-Roth Hosiery reports that bookings for nude hose are up 12% in the U.S. in May. While reporting on Kate’s trip to Canada, Beth Teitell of the Boston Globe, was suddenly struck by the thought “sheer pantyhose look quite elegant”.
There she was greeting adoring fans in Ottawa, looking lovely in a cream dress from Reiss, red shoes – and sheer hose. OK, I know she’s traveling with her hairdresser and spends more on a single clutch than I do on my entire handbag wardrobe, but I found myself thinking that maybe if I just wore stockings things would happen for me, too.
Her knees did not look dirty because she’d un-artfully applied a self-tanner. Prickly hairs were not showing. Pastiness was not an issue.
American women understandably rejoiced when the fashion gods freed us from stockings, but it turns out that the only thing worse than being forced to wear stockings in summer is not being allowed to wear stockings in summer.
It is true that in the winter I really don’t have to worry about people seeing my bruised (lately I can’t seem to turn corners) and sometimes slightly stubbly legs because they are covered by pants, black tights or nude stockings. But in the summer, my legs are left to the elements and though I appreciate being cooler when I am on my way to work, I am very aware of the imperfections on my legs that are now exposed to the world. Pantyhose act as a cloak of protection. My big question is, are big hats our next move?
Let’s take a look at some of Kate and Pippa best pantyhose looks.