It comes as no surprise that in our modern times every classic gets to be revised, every iconic piece injected with new attitude as if to match the ever evolving portrait of the woman in style. Not long ago, few fashionable women would wear pantyhose. In the 1990s, as office dress codes became more casual and the power suit became passé, many women abandoned hose entirely; a certain class of Manhattan socialite became known for venturing out even on freezing nights with bare legs.
But in a season when the fashion spotlight is on the leg, hosiery is finding a new generation of fans who don’t view stockings as a necessary evil mandated by office dress codes and social mores, but as a bona fide style choice with long-forgotten cosmetic powers.
Stars are also “doubling up” on stockings, much like some celebrities (most recently the singer Adele) have admitted to doing with Spanx, for the same slimming and toning effect. Beyoncé Knowles, for example, frequently wears two pairs of hose — say a nude stocking beneath fishnets — when performing.
The stockings of today bear little resemblance to those of the “Working Girl” era. Softer yarns, new knitting techniques (more open weaves and seamless finishes), and other innovations (like microencapsulated moisturizers) have made putting on and wearing hosiery a more pleasurable experience.