Unless you’re happy to wear trousers every single day for the winter months, hosiery is going to be an invaluable part of your cold-weather wardrobe. Thinking of buying a few pairs to see you through until springtime? This guide will help you select the best hosiery styles for every situation – work, weekends, and parties – so that you never find yourself without appropriate legwear.
Before we get onto the product recommendations, a few general suggestions for winter hosiery. For maximum warmth, you’ll want opaque hosiery which is usually 50 denier and higher. However, consider where you’ll be wearing it. If you’re heading into a well-heated office or bar, and only need to make it across the car park in the winter chill, semi-opaque can work just fine.
If you do opt for high-denier hosiery, remember that natural fibres can be more breathable. You want to be cosy, not sweating! And when it comes to the decorative styles, you may be surprised at just how warm fishnet and lace hosiery can be – they trap air against the skin, where it warms up. Though be sure to look for a net with small gaps to get this insulating effect.
In the office
What’s appropriate for your workplace will of course depend on your employer’s dress code or just the office norms. Maybe the rules are so relaxed that you can wear everything from the ‘weekend casual’ list further down no problem. But, maybe not.
If in doubt, stick to plainer styles and neutral colours such as black, grey and navy. You can’t go wrong with black opaques! However, classic patterns such as plaid and pinstripe can read as smart too in the right environment. Even fishnet can be office-appropriate if it’s a subtle, ‘micro’ net type.
If your dress code calls for skin tone hosiery, the highest and warmest denier you can expect to find this in is generally a 40, or more rarely, a 50. Above this, it loses its ‘natural’ look, hence most brands don’t bother to make high-denier hosiery in shades of nude.
Casual weekend wear
When Saturday rolls around, it’s time to swap the professional attire for something more exciting! Fashion should be fun, and this is an opportunity to get creative with vibrant colours, eye-catching patterns and, especially in winter, texture too.
Ribbed and cable-knit tights are a great, casual style for winter weekends, and ultra-cosy too. You can also play around with layering products, such as fishnet, lace, and sheer patterned styles over a solid background. The perfect way to wear your summer hosiery year-round!
Headed out for a fancy dinner or night on the town? Then it’s time to bring out the glitz and glamour. Not all opaque hosiery is of the practical, cosiness-over-elegance variety – there are also plenty of styles that will really wow! Think opaque lace, glitter seams, and general sparkle.
Statement legwear often looks best paired with a simple dress. In fact, instead of buying multiple expensive dresses for the winter season, why not save and get one chic LBD plus various tights to style it with? It’ll feel like a whole different outfit with every pair!
What’s your favourite winter hosiery look? Does it change significantly depending on where you’re headed?
by Estelle Puleston
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