News & Runway

Can We Really Credit Kate Middleton for the Return of Sheer Hoisery?

Kate Middleton hosiery

Kate Middleton hosieryKate Middleton hosiery

Blame the need for “news” 24/7, but the Middleton sisters are now widely being credited with bringing back nude hosiery. I’ve always thought nude hosiery was a generational or lifestyle choice; my mother is always shocked when she sees women in dresses without hosiery whereas I’ve never taken offense to bare legs. Further, many women wear the garment to work to appear more professional. Personally, I’m not for or against hosiery, but I am, however, a fan of hosiery that makes your legs look fantastic and I’ll often opt for a pair of matte stockings from Falke and wear them under shorts (even in the dead of summer). When I wear hosiery in a nude color that’s slightly darker than my natural skin tone, not only does it look like I’m not wearing them, but my legs look flawless (seriously Falke will make your cellulite visually disappear without the constricting feel of Spanx!) Plus, it saves time and money because I don't need a spray tan.

Perhaps it’s true that Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and her sister, Pippa Middleton wearing sheer hosiery has shed new light on the garment and will inspire women to start wearing hose, but let’s not exaggerate. I highly doubt that Sarah Jessica Parker has been photographed recently in nude hosiery because of the Middleton sisters. Is it not possible that in a sign of modesty she wanted to cover her legs – like countless other women do every day and like many royals and politicians have done for centuries? In fact, back in 2008, First Lady Michelle Obama appeared on an episode of The View and remarked that she “stopped wearing pantyhose a long time ago,” and her lack of “proper leg etiquette” caused much debate.

It’s also important to note that fashion is a business and so, for example, season after season pants will get slimmer and slimmer until everyone and their mother owns slim, cigarette pants and suddenly you’ll notice that the trend reverses and it’s all about the wide leg pant…until everyone owns wide leg pants and the trend will once again reverse (or go up and become a high-waist, wide leg trend.) In the same vein, last season it was all about printed and vibrantly colored hosiery, so I deem it unlikely that this newfound focus on matte and shiny nude-tone sheer hosiery is coincidental. 

But then again, maybe I’m being too dubious and this news story “broken” by WWD (a trade publication) has nothing to do with economics.