I am currently at my first internship and love it! However, I am having trouble figuring out what type of tights/hose to wear. My mom insists on nude or sheer black hose. My main questions are:
1. Is it ok to wear a skirt or dress of the office with bare legs?
2. Are nude hose acceptable?
3. Why is opaque better than sheer?
4. Are tights, hose, and stockings the same thing?
Thank you! Naive Intern
I’ve written a lot about legwear over the years, but it never hurts to cover it again. So here we go.
One. It depends on your office. In most offices, bare legs are fine in the warm weather months. But look to the senior staff for guidance, what are those women wearing on their legs? And if you’re confused, just ask someone. Most women will be happy to offer a little fashion advice.
As for the cold weather months, I sometimes go bare legged, but I prefer nude micro-fishnets. They give you just enough coverage, but they’re not stuffy. And as long as you’re not wearing them with a mini-skirt or open toe pumps, they’re appropriate. Just make sure to buy the smallest weave you can find, we’re not trying to catch Cod in the Bering Sea.
Two. Nude hose are a matter of personal preference. I hate them, but I will wear them to a job interview or a meeting with the Queen of England. If you like them, or you just feel more comfortable with a little Lycra on your thighs (name the movie), it’s perfectly fine to wear them.
However, if you do wear them, pick nylons that match your skintone in the sheerest material you can find. You don’t want to look like a figure skater or a Hooter’s server. Calvin Klein and Donna Karan both make ultra sheer nylons. And never wear them with open toe shoes. Not cool.
Three. When it comes to tights, I believe that opaque is ALWAYS better than sheer. Why? When the fabric stretches it becomes thinnest over the widest part of your legs. The resulting sheerness basically shines a spotlight on parts of the body that most women don’t want extra attention paid to them. Plus, I find sheer black or sheer navy nylons to be somewhat matronly.
Instead, I recommend tights with a high denier number for extra opacity because they can have a slimming effect. Also, black shoes and black tights are my winter equivalent of bare legs and nude pumps. They function as a neutral foundation for your overall look.
If you’re looking for really opaque tights, I like DKNY tights for every day. And Capitol Hill Barbie just turned me onto Topshop tights with 120 denier (be still, my beating heart). I can’t wait for them to get here.
Four. Hose are full length nylons, usually sheer. Tights are opaque, thicker nylons. Stockings are thigh high nylons usually worn with a garter belt (meow). But the terms are often used interchangeably, so it’s easy to get confused.
Bottom line, this is one area where the only way to know if you’re committing a faux pas is to look at the women above you on the ladder. Some older professionals (men and women) can be very hard on younger staff who don’t wear nylons. Others understand that as professional fashion has evolved, most younger women have moved away from nylons.
But if you’re going to skip the nylons, you have to take care of your legs–shaving and lotion are required, self-tanner is optional. And don’t just shave to the knee, either. Because when you sit down, the thigh hair you elected not to shave becomes visible.
Good luck with your internship. And just out of curiousity, how many of you ladies work in offices where legwear is required in spring and/or winter? I’d love to see an informal poll.