Wearing Hosiery With
Our fashion reporter answers readers' questions
March 29, 2007; Page D10
Q: "I see women wearing pantyhose
with sandals or open-toe shoes, but I've always been told that this
is not fashionable. What's the right answer?"
A: Sandal season is upon us, but not
everyone is comfortable going barelegged, especially after they hit
middle age. What's more, the unspoken dress code in certain
traditional professions -- such as lawyers and bankers -- is for
women to wear hosiery all of the time.
With so many open-toe shoe styles popular today,
many are choosing to wear them with hosiery. The look of the moment:
pairing colored tights or fishnets with trendy, peep-toe pumps and
platform sandals. The trend became popular last fall.
"Strappy sandals aren't just summer or evening
shoes anymore, and wearing them with opaques or fishnets allows them
to be a year-round, daytime shoe," says Linda Fargo, women's
fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman.
For a lighter look, some women are turning to
ultra-sheer, sandalfoot pantyhose. There are also the newer
"toeless" hose, which allow women to show off their
pedicures while giving their legs a more finished look. While the
toeless styles seem to be the best of both worlds, the elastic loop
around the big toe that holds them in place isn't always
comfortable, some wearers complain. Still, they've become a staple
for retailers such as The Hosiery Shop.com, which says they
account for about 23% of its sales.
Many women buy them for special occasions such as
weddings, says Norma Richards, owner of The Hosiery Shop.com,
based in Columbus, Ohio.
Note: Never pair hosiery with thick, reinforced
toes with open-toe shoes. Hosiery maker Hanesbrands
Inc. says sales of reinforced hosiery have fallen sharply in recent