To wear hosiery or not to wear hosiery

Q. I am not too old, 49, but now I hear from my daughter, 26, that wearing pantyhose are out of style, and she never wears them, not even in the dead of winter, because only old grandmas wear them. Is this true? This past winter I decided to just wear pants to the office and not look silly wearing a skirt with no panty hose, in the below zero New England weather, however, I would like the option of wearing a suit with a skirt in the winter. What is your advice on panty hose or no panty hose? Thanks.

A. In the fashion world, hosiery tends to come in and out of style. However, whether to go bare-legged or not is more than just about what’s “in”. If you feel more comfortable in hosiery when the weather is cool, then by all means go for it. Regardless of trends, you can always opt for ultra sheer nude hosiery that matches your skin tone or opaque tights.

That being said, hosiery is very much in style for fall – aren’t you lucky! The Fall 2009 runways showed everything from sheer hosiery to funky patterns, prints and embellishments from virtually every designer. Here’s some proof of hosiery’s fabulousness for your daughter:

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left to right: Collette Dinnigan, Elie Saab, Limi Feu, Chanel, Valentino, Stella McCartney – photos courtesy of

  • HLCS

    I think her daughter may be referring specifically to sheer nude hosiery, which I often hear banter about whether or not this is appropriate. Older women think ‘naked’ legs in the office is very wrong and young women usually refuse to wear traditional pantyhose. I personally agree with the daughter- maybe because I am 25! I did not see anything nude AND sheer on the runways nor would I wear it myself. I do, however, wear any and every shade of opaque and sheer colored/patterned pantyhose. For instance, I would not wear nude sheer hosiery just for the sake of covering my legs like many older women (especially in the summer). I wear tights to add some color or interest to my outfit.

  • Christopher Hopkins

    It is a complete disservice to women to tell them “don’t wear nude hosiery” leaving them to feel insecure baring legs the be frozen in the winter. Just avoid, perhaps, thicker denier that LOOK like 80’s legs.

    Still, if wanting to remain fashionable AND warm, there are hosiery options aside from nude. If black doesn’t work,try gray, brown, coffee, taupe’s etc. There is often a “non nude” neutral alternative that will look more chic than bare.

    (Especially when it’s cold outside).

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