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Wearing Hosiery With Sandals

Our fashion reporter answers readers' questions
By TERI AGINS
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?"

--J.R., Maplewood, N.J.

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 years.

  Email askteri@wsj.com

 

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