Fashion Q & A:
Hosiery vs. Bare Legs

Q: Would you please advise about current hosiery trends? For a while, traditional pantyhose have been unfashionable. Is that still true? If not, how should I choose colors, e.g., are black hose preferred with a black dress or skirt? I've gotten around this problem in the winter by wearing tights and textured hose, but that's not a great solution during warmer months. Incidentally, I consider myself a relatively chic 60ish woman and though my legs are pretty good for my age, bare legs don't seem like the most attractive alternative with skirts that are slightly above knee-length.

A: This whole topic requires a big dose of common sense and a reality check about the current state of your legs — sounds like you score big on both points! While many younger women can easily carry off a non-hosiery look with skirts and dresses in the warmer months in both professional and personal settings, many of us on the flip side of 40 need to adjust our strategy.

Self-tanning lotions and the sun give some of us more options when it is really summer weather. Skirts and dresses that are a few inches or more below the knee also take the emphasis off whether or not you are sporting hosiery. Sheer, nude stockings are the best choice for warm weather when you need to cover up more — like the slightly above the knee length you reference here.

Even if you are wearing a black dress or skirt, black hosiery is too dark and heavy with lightweight fabrics during the spring, summer and early fall. Sling back pumps are our favorite shoe choice for clients who want/need to wear hosiery. They lighten your look and complement hosiery well, especially when they are made of patent leather or have a fabric finish. Open-toe pumps that abound this time of year can look old fashioned with hosiery if you are not super skilled at hiding toe-seams.

Hanes makes decent nude hosiery that is more affordable than some of the designer brands. The Hanes hosiery brand that we frequently recommend for many of our clients is called Silk Reflections, which has a silky, sheer finish. We like the color "Little Color," which is one of the most natural looking colors in hosiery. Give them a try!