Naturally, this depends very much on your workplace, and whether its dress code leans more towards casual or formal. However, assuming it’s not so relaxed that anything goes (in which case, you’re probably not here reading this article!), or if you just want to look as smart as possible for an important meeting or interview, below is some general office-hosiery advice.
First things first, check out what everyone else is wearing (ideally during your interview!). The culture of your organisation will be reflected in the work attire, and although hosiery is rarely compulsory or expected in an office environment, it still has a huge following amongst women who look for either classical elegance or trend led styles, such as polkadots or micro fishnets.
It’s generally agreed that the smartest hosiery option of all is sheer and skin tone. However, only industries with the most conservative dress codes would regard that as the only option. Like nude legwear, black hosiery is classic, professional-looking, and matches with basically anything. So sheers or opaques (depending on the season) in plain black would be just fine for most office environments.
If you’re unsure about venturing away from black and nude, start with other ‘professional’ colours such as navy and grey, and see how you feel. White however, though technically a neutral, doesn’t tend to look corporate in legwear form.
If you prefer tights, hold ups or stockings in bolder colours, then a great way to wear them is to match your shoe colour to your hosiery. This has the added benefit of elongating your legs!
If you’re dying to wear something with a little flair, then patterned black tights are a good compromise. From subtle polkadots to floral lace, the colour ensures they remain a fairly neutral option, especially if paired with a smart black skirt suit. That’s the key here – opt for colour or pattern, but not both together.
If a pattern isn't bold enough for you, then a statement pair of tights or hold ups can look stunning when worn with a more neutral outfit.
Tights are often considered the only option for work by some, but we have a huge number of ladies who prefer stockings for work. The reasons for this are many and varied, and range from their confidence giving abilities, their hygienic nature, and even the tummy trimming effects of a suspender belt. In order to avoid flashing a suspender top, we would recommend stockings that have a little movement in them (as opposed to the 100% nylon varieties). These will move with you as you sit and stand during the day. Your suspender belt should also be suitable for all day wear (think 6 or 8 straps on your belt).
If you’re not a fan of tights however, you do have options. One is suspender tights, also known as strip panties – these mimic the look of a suspender belt and stockings but are a single garment, so they’ll lie smoothly below your clothes. Hold-ups lie flat too, but you may want to invest in a tube of Staysput. You won’t want one to start falling down at an awkward time!
Seamed hosiery and large fishnets can sometimes be read as a little too ‘alluring’ for the workplace, although subtle, micro-fishnets have recently gained popularity in the offices of London (we sell more Gerbe of Paris Resille fine fishnet tights to ladies in the centre of London, than you can possibly imagine!). It isn't unheard of to see seamed stockings and tights at work, but they are quite rare.
If you either love your hosiery, or are expected to wear it for work, then a higher quality brand will be both comfortable and longer lasting. The classical look of luxury brands, such as Wolford or Gerbe of Paris, mean they have been a staple component of businesswomen's wardrobes for several generations. They shape your legs, have a comfortable fit, and complete your outfit.
Ultimately though, we would always recommend choosing hold ups, tights or stockings that you feel comfortable wearing - a pair that feel like they were made for you.
Start with our Sheer Tights Collection....
by Estelle Puleston
What hosiery types and styles do you wear to work, and what’s the industry?
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