Kate Middleton has been caught! bringing sheer, shiny stockings and pantyhose back from their 1980s grave. I personally like to pretend that the 80s never happened (at least, fashion wise) so I’m just going to say she’s bringing back the late 1960s pantyhose trend – since that’s when they were first worn!
While pantyhose were invented in 1959, they were not commonly available for purchase in stores until 1965 and didn’t even become popular until a couple years later. There’s been much internet debate about whether Kate Middleton, aka the Duchess of Cambridge, wears pantyhose or stockings. Of course, she could also be wearing hold ups or stockings and a garter belt but without the tell-tale stocking top lines showing through her dresses, or garter tabs slipping down, let’s assume she’s wearing pantyhose.
Kate Middleton Pantyhose: Which Brand?
After some research, I don’t think anyone knows what actual brand she prefers to wear. For her royal wedding, she wore Aristoc stockings underneath her dress. I’m pretty sure that’s been confirmed. Nonetheless, no one has the scoop on what brand she’s wearing now, although just by looking at Kate’s pictures of her outings in pantyhose, they look like Aristoc pantyhose to me. Although, since Kate’s got royal funds to spend on her tights, she’s more than likely wearing higher quality (read: more expensive) Woldford pantyhose.
According to the U.K.’s Daily Mail, current bestselling brands (by ladies no doubt looking to emulate Kate’s style) include Wolford Naked 8s and Satin Touch 20s, Falke Shelina tights and Pretty Polly Naturals.
Kate Middleton Pantyhose: What You Should Look For
What makes Kate Middleton’s pantyhose unique – unlike the low quality, for-emergencies-only nylons at the grocery store – are the denier and finish. Leg wear denier refers to the thickness of the yarn. It’s measured as a number, the lower the denier number the thinner, sheerer and more natural looking the stockings/pantyhose will look. It’s also perfect for summer. Many brands don’t make a denier lower than a 15 or 20. Secrets in Lace, Dita Von Teese’s favorite brand, are known for their 7 denier stockings. Cervin also make 7 denier RHT’s. By contrast, you’ll notice that opaque winter tights are normally 100-150 deniers, which are less sheer and more durable.
What’s also unique about Kate Middleton’s choice in summer legwear is the finish. She’s definitely wearing a slightly shiny finish in pantyhose. The slight sheen makes her legs look like they’ve just been lightly oiled. What you want to avoid are “Lurex” hosiery. Anything labeled with that term is not what you want. Those are the shiniest of the shiny when it comes to legwear.
Get the Right Shade for YOU
It doesn’t matter what brand natural style pantyhose you buy, if you don’t get the correct shade – for you – it won’t look as natural. Only some companies make a range of shades. Most brands will make pantyhose/tights in maybe 3 shades. If you’re not an “English rose” skin tone or a very tan skin tone, then I recommend finding a brand that makes natural sheer hosiery in a broad range of skin tones. (I know this seems like a real no-brainer, but I often see women wearing hosiery that don’t suit their skin tone!) Check out this Bare Leg Look Skin tone Guide.
I’ve listed quite a few sources to buy these styles from below, since they’re all having excellent sales!
Where to buy Pretty Polly’s Natural Range: My Tights
Still Hate Pantyhose?
Now I’m sure a lot of my readers despise pantyhose. Like I used to. I remember wearing them in my youth and they were always itchy and rolled down. When I hear the word pantyhose, I think of female lawyers and unfortunate school uniforms. I’ve since shopped around for quality pantyhose and let me tell you, they’ve really come a long way since the 80s. And the good ones don’t come encased in plastic eggs! I’m glad that I can now associate pantyhose with Kate Middleton and not Hooters girls. But, if you still hate the hose, then by all means! Get the stockings version of the above styles. They’re pretty much the same thing and you get to wear your beloved shapewear and/or a garter belt with them.