Let your legs show your fashion style with new trends in hosiery, from elaborate lace-patterned stockings to colorful polka-dot leggings or even knee-high hosiery in eye-catching designs and funky striped capri leggings. The looks in legwear range from sultry and sexy to playful and fun, and they remain a budget-friendly way to elevate any outfit into a stylish and trendy look.
Lauren Parker, editor-in-chief of Accessories Magazine, shares the magazine's recent census report results that illustrate the popularity of hosiery. Marked as just over 9 percent of the accessories market demand in 2012, hosiey outsold sunglasses (6 percent), watches (5 percent) and a collection of other accessories.
Fashion designers sent their models down the runway for their fall and winter collections in attention-grabbing hosiery, and celebrities' choices of leggings or sultry stockings make news on the top fashion blogs. While the Duchess of Cambridge may have at one time shunned the stocking, that's one fashion tip that women haven't embraced. Hosiery is hot, and here's why:
--Hosiery can make your legs look longer. In sheer, opaque or patterned styles, stockings can elongate the legs. When worn with a shorter skirt, hosiery leads the eye directly to the shoes a woman wants to show off.
--Hosiery instantly transforms your fall and winter wardrobe. If you have a little black dress or other staples from last season, a pair of patterned stockings will change the entire look of the dress, making it look new. A few pairs of stockings can give you a budget-friendly revamping of your wardrobe.
--Hosiery looks terrific with boots. Since boots are a top style trend for fall and winter, stockings and leggings can elevate every style of boot from over-the-knee and riding boots to ankle-high booties.
--Hosiery is figure-flattering. Control-top hosiery will pull in that tummy paunch, and new innovations in hosiery's top bands prevent the dreaded 'roll down' of stocking top edges, leaving you smooth from your ribcage down.
Another reason hosiery is hot is the recent trend-setting movie "The Great Gatsby," which has influenced all manner of fashion and accessories. In the 1920s, ladies started wearing short dresses. Thigh-high stockings were the look of the day, especially with vertical back seams and lace embellishments. So, with all things "Gatsby" gaining popularity right now, the era's stocking craze has been repeated.
According to accessories company Coccolare Tights, the color palettes for fall are wide-ranging. They still include summer's penchant for brights and neons, including neon green, but they also include navy, gray, cobalt blue, muted blues, teal, violet and dark green. White, gold and silver will also make an appearance. "With white and gold clothing, we like a camel-colored fishnet -- cool and comfortable with a hint of color. Gray fishnets pair well with water tones, and cobalt blue fishnets update basic black, gray or white outfits, giving you a color-blocked look." Black is a perennial trend for stockings, leggings and lace knee-highs.
"For fall 2013, we see lace knee highs with skirts and ankle boots, as well as more monochromatic looks with shoes, tights, dress and bag all in the same muted jewel tone colors, brown and black. Opaque tights in plum, brown and black are staples for fall," says Coccolare.
Blogger The Hosiery Queen says spots will be huge this year, accessorizing cocktail dresses, daywear and accessories. "Dotted hosiery, whether subtle Swiss dots or bold striking circles, will be an easy and affordable way to embrace this spotted trend," says The Hosiery Queen. "Try out a pair of dotted hosiery under your favorite little black dress or add them to a classic black suit for a little edge." Dotted hosiery works well for day and evening wear, and smaller dots add a playful style to an office ensemble. Oversize and dramatic spots are in for evening looks.
Fashion blogger Alex Blake says footless tights are back. Choose classic fabrics such as cotton or luxe fabrics like silk and satin with gleaming gold accents to make an ensemble look high-end. Footless tights can be dressed up or down, and they look cute with either flats or high heels.
High-end hosiery company Wolford features sexy black stockings with art nouveau-inspired patterns. Trending for fall, animal prints like cheetah, in black or other colors, are readily available. Wolford also modernized fishnets with larger-hole openings that work with fall's punk-inspired fashions. Especially wearable in fall and winter are the back-seam stockings inspired by pin-up girls and stockings featuring tiny bows, also a fall style trend.
Striped leggings and socks, reminiscent of those featured in "The Wizard of Oz," are trending for fall in color matches like red and pink or blue and green in addition to black and white.
Hosiery is so popular that hosiery-of-the-month plans exist at such sites as Satyatwena.com. Packages, promoted as terrific winter holiday gift options, show just how hot hosiery is this season and how much women want a wide-ranging hosiery wardrobe.