This question was asked of me by a friend who’s going to a wedding in a few weeks – and is actually a question I hear quite often.

Pantyhose, that staple of the 70s and 80s – we rocked them in every color, texture and pattern, remember? –  went out of fashion in the late 90s when the bare-legged look became de rigueur. Pantyhose were relegated to the sock drawers of hookers and little old ladies with sensible shoes. And stylish women everywhere bore the blisters and corns that come from wearing shoes with bare feet. (And who among us hasn’t missed the benefit of control top pantyhose at one time or another?)

Well, pantyhose are back and they are as much of a fashion statement today as they were a few decades ago, thanks in part to Pippa Middleton who unabashedly wore pantyhose with a short skirt and flats. Granted, she took some heat for wearing hose, but it was more for the sheen of the hose than the hose themselves.

And there’s the rub … pantyhose are great but, if you’re going to wear nude, match them as closely to your skin tone as possible. Avoid pantyhose with a sheen and steer clear of anything labeled “suntan” as those do look dated. Sheer black hose never really went out of style and, if they work with your outfit, go for it. I still like the look of black opaque pantyhose but it’s a little bit edgy for a black tie affair.

Since my friend’s dress is a black, unembellished number, I suggested that she wear hose with a slight pattern to them. She’s got great legs and should draw attention to her assets. A sheer black leg would work with her dress too. And if she wants to be completely au courant, she could wear a pair of nude fishnet stockings.

This brings up the question of pantyhose with peep toe shoes or sandals. I actually love the look of a colored leg and a contrasting peep toe shoe. Think pink hose with black peep toe shoes. Cute, right? I admit the look is not for everyone but it’s great if you can rock it with confidence. For the more timid among us, opt for sheer, unshiny sandalfoot hose or sheer or opaque black sandalfoot hose.

Fashion is what the eye gets used to. As more and more people start to embrace the look of a stockinged leg, you’ll wonder how you ever made it out of the house barelegged. Don the hose and say bye bye to the corn pads and bandages.

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