In the 1990s, I swore I swore off stockings as a result of my employer’s dress code that required women to wear stockings, pantyhose, tights, etc. if wearing a skirt. When it’s 90 degrees, 80% humidity, and you walk 4 blocks from the Metro, this conservative accessory became a torture device. And we didn’t have cool print stockings back then.
“Never” doesn’t last too long. Thanks to cooler style options and fabrics, stockings and tights once again appear in my wardrobe. My friends at MyStockings.co.uk (based in the United Kingdom) offer a selection that’s in line with my more modern tastes. So why not try them out for the holiday season?
I’m 5’4 in height, wear a U.S. size 6, and carry my weight between my waist and thighs. There are a number of eye-catching prints so it was hard to decide, but I chose two styles that would flatter my architecture in a size “medium.” Both arrived in a package requiring signature in less than a week.
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“Musical Dandelion” Stockings
The “Musical Dandelion” from Stop + Stare Designs from Ireland was my first print stocking pick (being the die-hard rocker that I am). The dandelion print runs up the right leg and is just too fun! The sheer-to-waist stocking (which has an ~2-inch reinforced band at the top) was comfortable yet supportive. The Lycra® fibers feel as soft as silk but are more elastic and durable. Reinforced toes are barely visible, so you can wear with sandals if you
choose. The fabric has a taupe sheen at some angles and a more tan sheen from others. These are a mid-waist cut, and I’m pretty long waisted, so I did a little extra pulling to get them above my bellybutton to prevent rolling. A short-waisted woman will have no problem. If you’re a US size 10 or above, go with a large size.
First, I paired them with a Giamba bluebell-print hippy dress; playful but chic. The Manolo Blahnik gold metallic heel elongated the leg and allowed the stocking print to stand out more th
an if I wore a black shoe. Nude shoes would also work, but metallic is “cooler” in my book.
Next, I tried them with a Jackie O’ish black dress with a pearl-embellished collar. This time I went with the Christian Louboutin black heel because there was no competing print. It’s now my new favorite dressy outfit because the print stocking adds an unexpected twist to a classic look. YES!
Choose a vertical print to elongate a short or wider leg (think vertical lines, non-geometric). For women with longer and/or leaner legs, go for larger or geometric prints (like argyles, or star prints).
Fishnets have always fascinated me. They can take an outfit from “Mom” to “Modern” because they’re so sexy. The back seem running up the leg also elongates the leg. The “Kabarette” stockings from Gabriella® come from Poland and feature a small fishnet made of Lycra® so they are durable and don’t lose their shape as the day wears on. These are high-waisted (yay for
women like me!), but don’t offer much support in the tummy, so consider wearing shape wear if that’s a concern. Fishnet can leave little impressions in thin/shiny fabrics, so consider wearing a slip to minimize the affect with form-fitting dresses/skirts.
This Karen Harman satin top and Tadashi Shoji skirt work well for a more formal party, but I’ve found they can look a bit matronly with plain sheer stockings. The fishnets give it needed visual texture and adds a little sass to it. For ladies who have great legs, I suggest hemming the skirt to 1-2″ above the knee for added effect.
All stockings and tights last longer when you hand wash them in a detergent made specifically for delicates. (Woolite is not for delicates.) Do not wring them and let them hang to dry. You’ll get more bang for your buck this way.
If you have any questions about creating your own signature style that speaks to who you are and where you’re going, contact me. You can also sign up for my newsletter using the form to the right of this post for FREE style tips.
Austin’s Signature Stylist