Home / Sheer Comeback: Kate Sparks a Revival for Nude Hosiery
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Nude hose hasn’t been in vogue since the 80s and in many circles has come to represent old-fashioned and somewhat dowdy dressing. So how to explain the recent run on nude-colored tights at stores and the prevalent talk about whether they’re coming back in style?

Kate Middleton, of course. That and the vintage-inspired lingerie looks that have been selling like gangbusters as of late.

Not a surprise considering how much the Duchess of Cambridge has been in the spotlight recently. Kate’s currently in the midst of her first royal tour Prince William, and everything from her hair (styled by James Pryce) to her jeggings (J Brand) to her belt (by Linda Camm) has been scrutinized.

While the debate rages on as to whether Kate is actually a style icon (too boring, conservative and predictable, say some) the truth is that what the Duchess wears does influence buyers. The fact that Kate has an uncanny knack for mixing the high with low — and the old with the new — means that many of her fans can pop into Reiss or Zara to pick up the same piece that Kate wore. And that makes the Duchess’ style all the more interesting and attainable — until it’s sold out, of course.

And the clothes Kate wears do sell out. In record time. For the royal couple’s official engagement photos, shot by Mario Testino, Kate pulled some clothes out of her closet. Namely a Whistles blouse and Reiss dress that were re-released by the manufacturers and promptly sold out (as of this writing the Whistles blouse was available again on the company’s UK website).

When Kate wore a beige Reiss bandage dress to meet the Obamas recently, a run on said garment caused the store’s website to crash. As for the Duchess’ go-to shoes from L.K. Bennett (both the Maddox wedge and Sledge2 nude platform pump)? They’re constantly being restocked and selling out in no time at all.

All of this makes it clear that when Kate favors a look there’s a good chance others will follow. While many point out that Kate’s conservative nude hose (and almost always closed-toed shoes) are just an adherence to royal protocol, there seems to be a lot of women embracing the Kate style, which leans towards the proper and the modest. UK retailer Peacocks recently reported a “surprise rise in popularity of nude hosiery, with sales up 50 per cent on the year (2011 compared to 2010).”

Just call it the Kate Middleton effect, although other celebs have given this trend some traction — namely, Beyonce, French first lady Carla Bruni and, of course, kid sis Pippa.

Some may still see the nude tights and dresses of a certain length as a bit dowdy, but others are praising the return to propriety and a certain type of femininity. There are certain advantages to nude hose and the smooth finish they can give legs, including the way they can mask small flaws and make pale pins look a little less so. The recent popularity of black, patterned and colorful tights could mean that nude hosiery will also be embraced by the younger set, but whether the Duchess of Cambridge’s influence extends that far remains to be seen.

If you’d like to sport the same brand of nude tights as Kate Middleton does, try John Lewis’ Barely There Non-Slip Tights (above), which the Duchess has been spotted wearing on the tour. According to JohnLewis.com the tights feature a “reinforced sandal toe and a non-slip pad to stop them from slipping in your shoes.” They also come in three colors — nude, tan and black.

Vintage lingerie has been super hot in recent years, which also may have contributed to the rise in popularity of nude stockings. Pin-up girls sure do know how to make nude tights look sexy. If you’d like to replicate this kind of look yourself look no further than the sexy stylings offered by Secrets in Lace, like the Dana Sheer Heel above. La Perla is another brand that offers nude hose that aren’t your grandmother’s stockings.

Of course there are many more brands that offer sheer tights as well, like Donna Karan and DKNY, Berkshire (try the Silky Control Top Extra Wear 4527), and SPANX’s In-Power Line Body Shaping Sheers 913, which have the benefit of built-in body contouring.

If you prefer stay-ups you can opt for Falke’s Selina 12, above. The uber-transparent tights look natural and also feature a sandal toe (ie: no to reinforcement in case you, unlike Kate, want to go with an open shoe).

Pretty Polly offers the aptly named Slightly Sunkissed 8 Denier Oiled Tights (available at Topshop) while Wolford’s Satin Touch 20s (below) have a glam sheen added to their transparency.

One thing’s certain: if you follow Kate’s example, there’s no end of brands out there ready and willing to meet your needs.

Posted in Lingerie Trends

2 Responses to “Sheer Comeback: Kate Sparks a Revival for Nude Hosiery”

  1. ef.pi says:

    Maybe it’s just me but I don’t find this trend particularly stylish…

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