Kate Middleton -- the style ambassador for England -- has singlehandedly resurrected the 1980s nude-tights craze. Her penchant for politely sheer legwear has caused sales of the hosiery to skyrocket in Great Britain and around the world. It's even turning up on Hollywood red carpets.
The once dowdy look has been remade modern by Middleton and her sister Pippa Middleton. And thanks to them, the bare leg is starting to look a bit tawdry and cheap.
According to Cathleen Moxham, head designer of Hanes legwear at Hanesbrands Inc., Middleton’s powerful influence has been strongly felt in the industry. As a result, one of the brand’s bestsellers is the Silk Reflections collection with run-resistant technology.
No question that sheer nude stockings successfully hide unsightly spots, spider veins and other flaws. They are more effective than spray tans and less messy than leg color creams. Plus the newest nude tights are not as prone to snags, runs and ladders the way the old ones were. And they give a bit of flattering shimmer to the leg as well.
Sarah Jessica Parker, Beyonce and Hayden Panettiere have been spotted on red carpets wearing nude tights. And Hollywood's power stylists are thrilled with the return of sheer but covered leg.
Asked what brand she loves, Emily Blunt's stylist Jessica Paster said, "Wolford, of course! They look like you’re bare.” Amanda Seyfried's stylist Elizabeth Stewart also loves the look. "I think nude hosiery is a brilliant invention and I fully support its return! I have yet to use it on the red carpet, though.”
But with the 2013 Awards Season already in motion, you may see sheer stockings on her celebrity clients, including Jessica Chastain, star of Zero Dark Thirty.
Although long gowns are de riguer on big awards carpets, there are also endless campaign stops along the way which demand shorter skirts and lots of leg.