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Gucci

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The Princess and the Pantyhose
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Kate Middleton brings back pantyhose. Bare legs are so 2010.

tn32.jpeg?ciAAgGPBZGD9yQI4
(Photo by Lionel Hahn - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lionel Hahn - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Kate Middletons latest contribution to fashion: pantyhose. After two straight weeks of pairing knockout designer dresses with '80s-style sheer stockings, the Duchess of Cambridge has proven that everything she touchesreally everythingturns to style gold.  

The last time Leggs were in fashion, Melanie Griffith was teasing her hair and rambling on about 'Trask'. But after a few months and a North American tour showing off shimmering gams, Kate's bringing back the look for a new generation. 

Egg-crate color is out, and clear, almost fairy-dusted iridescence is in. But the song remains the same: she's got Leggs and she knows how to use them.
 
Sheer pantyhose look quite elegant, writes the Boston Globes Beth Teitell, after scanning photos of Prince Williams wife in a carousel of dresses over the past two weeks. Teitell welcomes the redux as an antidote to shaving cuts and dry, unevenly fake-tanned knees. 

Already, the trend has caught on in the UK, with a significant spike in nude hosiery sales since Kate's made them part of her dressing routine, according to the Daily Mail.

But skeptics say Kate's hosed-up look has less to do with her own invention and more to do with protocol. It's an unwritten rule that royal ambassadors and guests attend events dressed to make the queen proud: closed-toed shoes, mid-length skirts and pantyhose. Lady Dis sheer stockings (DKNYs were her brand of choice) were such a staple of her regal look, they were incorporated into replica Franklin Mint dolls. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, a former cutting-edge catwalker, has been spotted at official events in the less-than-edgy hose. Even Kates sister Pippa Middleton, a by-proxy royal, has been
spotted in the sheer legwear.

On a recent royal visit, Tom Hanks wife, Rita Wilson complained that she was required to wear hosiery for an event at Buckingham Palace, sparking murmurs of a palace dress code. Women must wear closed-toed shoes and get this: stockings! Sheer disbelief I dont even own a pair of sheer hose, she told Harpers Bazaar.

According to the
official royal website, the palace no longer has a dress code, but those hoping to gain admittance to royal events in the UK or abroad,  even members of media covering an event, are expected to comply with the dress code on formal occasions out of respect for the guests of The Queen, or any other member of the Royal Family.

For guests of a royal wedding that means evening gowns. For female journalists at any type of palace-sponsored event that means trousers or a skirt suit. And if were talking skirt suits, a staple of the '80s business woman and the queen, were also implying sheer tights.

In the office, sheer stockings have become dividing
line between two generations. The younger, embracing bare legs and self-tanner, over the old guards corporate mandate of stockings. But in the business of being a royal, the queen still has an indisputable style influence, even over one of the worlds biggest trendsetters. Now it looks like that influence is spreading internationally.

But don't expect it to overtake the White House. First Lady Michelle Obama, though known on occasion to sport the legwear, is not a fan. "I stopped wearing pantyhose a long time ago, because it was painful and they'd always rip,"  Kate's fellow style icon announced on "The View" in 2008. "Put 'em on, rip 'em..it's inconvenient."



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Chanel

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Dear lord, no. I hate pantyhose. I feel like the idea of wrangling oneself into those things takes us back several years in the battle for workplace equality. I just equate them with outdated office politics. Now, tights and even sheer black hose? Totally different story.

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Hermes

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Skin-colored pantyhose just look weird to me now. I mean, half of your skin looks artificial (the half colored in nylons) and the other half looks real. It's a little jarring. It looks OK in this picture but IRL....eh.

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Gucci

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I unashamedly love panty hose. I think my legs look horrible without them. I hate seeing bruises (i bruise easy and i'm klutzy), hair follicles, pale legs, tanner streaks. Ugh terrible!

I don't think they look obvious, just Your Legs But Better

blond

Sheer nude panty hose are great. Whether they are in trend or not, I'll keep wearing them. Hooray for Kate!



-- Edited by Metric on Wednesday 13th of July 2011 11:06:49 PM

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Hermes

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Metric wrote:

I unashamedly love panty hose. I think my legs look horrible without them. I hate seeing bruises (i bruise easy and i'm klutzy), hair follicles, pale legs, tanner streaks. Ugh terrible!

I don't think they look obvious, just Your Legs But Better

blond

Sheer nude panty hose are great. Whether they are in trend or not, I'll keep wearing them. Hooray for Kate!



-- Edited by Metric on Wednesday 13th of July 2011 11:06:49 PM


Me too!!! I have fair, thin skin and every bruise and broken vein shows up, and because my skin is so thin, the lines behind my knees (crease, etc - not sure what to call it!) are dark.

Oh how I would love to have thicker skin that didn't show anything and all one color legs.  I'm envious of those who can get away with it.  If I dont wear hose, I have to wear a dress that extends mid-calf.  There's plenty of hose out there that's virtually undetectable (sometimes people are surprised to find out I'm wearing hose and have told me it doesn't look like I'm wearing any.)  As long as you don't get the shiny ones and wear the ones that are super sheer and the color of your legs, they're pretty much unnoticeable.



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Dooney & Bourke

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Okay, D, what brand do you wear that are undetectable? :) I will only put them on for interviews, but I still hate when it looks like I'm wearing them.

I was really surprised to learn that Kate was wearing pantyhose; I guess I just assumed her legs looked perfect because they are perfect. Also, I feel like she's usually so youthful and cool, it seems odd, but maybe it's only for official state visit type things? No way she was wearing pantyhose with that blue Zara dress and patent wedges, right?

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Hermes

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Valenciana - it all depends on your skin color and selecting the right color and finish (stay away from shiny.) My last purchase of hose was l'eggs nude sheer (not sure which version, didn't keep the packaging.) My legs are pale and they work for me. I don't know what could work for you.

I think metric's choice looks good too. From that picture, I would not know she had hose on. I don't know what brand/color she's using.

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Gucci

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I'm with the "hose is the devil's work" people. They feel like they are suffocating my legs (but love wearing tights in the winter to keep me warm.) I use gradual tanner moisturizer and while they don't make my legs look perfect, they make them look better. I also just started using Tend Skin for razor burn and ingrown hairs (it's only been a week so it's too early to tell if the product works yet. Here's hoping!)

I think it's interesting that the Queen has the power to make others wear hosiery when at official functions (ie Rita Wilson's comments.) Can you see Michelle Obama insisting that everyone wears hose when visiting the President? I kind of love that Kate is stylish enough and gracious enough able to make the look her own though.



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Dooney & Bourke

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Okay, the more I look at this picture, the more the look is growing on me. Must.buy.fancy.stockings! Kate-brainwashing is in full effect...

Metric - I can't tell you have any on either and I think you look great! :)

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Gucci

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Thanks girls. I buy them at like Canadian version of Target for 6 for $4.99 lol

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Chanel

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As long as she's wearing closed-toe shoes! I don't have anything against sheer stockings although for the life of me I can't remember the last time I wore them.

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Marc Jacobs

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Suasoria wrote:

As long as she's wearing closed-toe shoes! I don't have anything against sheer stockings although for the life of me I can't remember the last time I wore them.


I fear that--after educating many women to not wear hose with open-toe shoes--this latest development will lead to more instances of this problem! Ugh. My annoying ex-boss (old-school, wear-pantyhose-or-die, crazy lady) would wear hose with her sandals to work! Ugh.  

I appreciate how a nice pair of super, super sheer pantyhose looks, but I am swayed by discomfort they cause. I also think Kate wears them solely out of respect for the appearance rules set by the Queen.



-- Edited by pollyjean23 on Saturday 16th of July 2011 08:43:47 PM

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Hermes

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I don't mind the way they look on Kate (or on Metric for that matter!) and I'd be fine with wearing them on some occasions if I could find some that looked good on me. The idea of wearing hose in the summer in North Carolina though is just too much. No way, no how.

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Marc Jacobs

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Personally, I find them appalling. When I worked in fashion, we used to laugh at women who wore stockings on job interviews. To me, the look is very 1980s, working-girl. What next, scrunchies and slouchy socks?

Get some self tanner, apply Sally Hanson airbrush legs, Lush Silk Stockings or any other body makeup that can improve the look of your legs.  



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Hermes

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XtinaStyles wrote:

Personally, I find them appalling. When I worked in fashion, we used to laugh at women who wore stockings on job interviews. To me, the look is very 1980s, working-girl. What next, scrunchies and slouchy socks?

Get some self tanner, apply Sally Hanson airbrush legs, Lush Silk Stockings or any other body makeup that can improve the look of your legs.  


Why does the association have to be the 80's? Why can't it be a 1920's flapper or post-WWII?  Your disdain is too narrow-minded wink  My point is that hose has been worn more often than not in the past 100 years.  The anti-hose movement has really only been around for 10-15 years.

 

 



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Hermes

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count me in the hose-loving crowd. If they're worn correctly (right tone, not too shiny, not with open toes) I don't think they look 80's at all. They can actually be pretty undetectable.

Personally I like the Assets brand that they sell at Target. Whatever they call the lightest tone matches my skin perfectly. Some people have been really surprised when they found out I was wearing them.

(ps: Hi! :))

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Gucci

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I think it was the 80's/early 90's the last time I wore hose. Maybe that's why some people have that sort of mind set? Because back then you didn't even think of not wearing stockings? God, I went through maybe a pair a week when I first got out of college and had my first job. I certainly don't miss the expense of them.

I never realized how divided this issue was.  And as far as I can tell, it's not an age or regional thing either.  That's pretty interesting.



-- Edited by Boots on Monday 18th of July 2011 10:07:19 AM

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Chanel

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D wrote:
  The anti-hose movement has really only been around for 10-15 years.

I'm pretty sure there was an anti-hose movement in the late 60s-70s but it didn't get as much PR as the anti-bra movement!

And during WW2 there were shortages of silk/nylon so body makeup was used, including women painting/drawing seams on the backs of their legs!

But I agree with your point - it's a side effect of the 1990s casual Friday, business casual, pajamafication of America. I'm happy that in some industries/workplaces it's considered optional now, so that it's a matter of individual preference. I'm not happy that overall our standards for what constitutes 'dressed up' have fallen so low.



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Marc Jacobs

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Suasoria wrote:
D wrote:
  The anti-hose movement has really only been around for 10-15 years.

I'm pretty sure there was an anti-hose movement in the late 60s-70s but it didn't get as much PR as the anti-bra movement!

And during WW2 there were shortages of silk/nylon so body makeup was used, including women painting/drawing seams on the backs of their legs!

But I agree with your point - it's a side effect of the 1990s casual Friday, business casual, pajamafication of America. I'm happy that in some industries/workplaces it's considered optional now, so that it's a matter of individual preference. I'm not happy that overall our standards for what constitutes 'dressed up' have fallen so low.

I don't think a lack of hose signifies the 'pajamafication' of America.  Bad mom jeans and yoga pants do that.  There's nothing about stockings that seems 'formal' or put together to me.  It just says "I HATE MY LEGS!" or "I WORK AT A LAWFIRM OR BANK!."  I do however, LOVE opaque tights and patterned hose, if worn with the right outfit.

 

LAME

pantyhouse.jpg

 

CUTE!

4B7E1B69.jpg



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Chanel

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Hmm. What accounts for why pantyhose are no longer de rigeur in anything but the most conservative business/office environments, if it's not a matter of the culture's general move towards more casual attire? There's much more acceptance of people dressing for comfort and convenience than, say, when I was 20. (20 years ago!)

I don't think it's a bad or good thing. I admit it's somewhat of a buzzkill that no one dresses up for air travel or the theater anymore, and I remember when no one wore tracksuits in public unless they were jogging or playing b-ball in the park. Now people wear them to restaurants.

I think of pantyhose like slips, I guess. Now, you can hardly find a half slip anywhere, because they're just not considered a necessity for getting dressed like they once were.

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