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Fall 2011 fashion: 6 hot hosiery trends

Jean-Claude Lussier Author: Elle Canada Credits: Jean-Claude Lussier

Trends

Fall 2011 fashion: 6 hot hosiery trends

Come fall, tights are always a must-have style basic. But this season in particular, A-list labels and a certain princess bride have heightened the hosiery hype. Whether you choose to sheath your gams in fetish-like over-the-knee styles or opt for preppy chic with quirky wool socks, either way, designers have you covered.

1. Polka dots
The fall runways were filled with playful polka-dot-prints, from Marc Jacobs to Stella McCartney to Diane von Furstenberg, so what better way to dip your toe into the trend than with spotted tights. If you don't want to go as outsized or boldly head to toe, then take a cue from Colette Dinnigan and try out Swiss dot tights. The petite pattern is a subtler take while still lending a large dose of fun.

2. Tan pantyhose
Thanks to Duchess Catherine and stylish sis Pippa Middleton, sales of sheer stockings have skyrocketed. Demand for nude hose has reportedly jumped 85% in the UK and is expected to increase on this side of the pond as well with red carpet regulars like Sarah Jessica Parker, Mischa Barton and Hayden Panettiere turning out in transparencies. In our opinion, few things look as anachronistic as nude stockings but, if you're partial to the royal favourite, we wholeheartedly embrace this season's black sheers as a chic compromise.

3. Wool socks
Carry this season's texture trend through to your accessories with ribbed tights or quirky cool wool socks. As seen at Vanessa Bruno, Christian Dior, and Missoni, cozy heritage-inspired knitted ankle socks (think Fair Isle and Intarsia prints) look super chic worn with a mini skirt and boots and are a perfect transitional foundation for fall.

4. Thigh highs
No longer the sole domain of sexy secretaries and highly paid escorts, designer Marc Jacobs gave thigh-high hose a luxe update for Louis Vuitton. If you're thinking of trying on a bit of kink, skip the rubber knickers à la Kate Moss, and instead pair them with a strict pencil skirt and Mary Jane pumps. These stockings are about sending a sophisticated in a subtly sexy way.

More hosiery trends worth trying on the next page...

6hosieryedit2.jpg5. Coloured tights
Skip basic black and show off your stems with hosiery in rich hues. Donna Karan got monochromatic in opaque camel tights the same shade as her clothes, while Vionnet's Rodolfo Paglialunga punctuated his scarlet ensembles with equally decadent ruby red tights. These vibrant canvases instantly amp up any outfit.

6. White tights
For certain designers, namely Alberta Ferretti and Bottega Veneta's Tomas Maier, black opaque hosiery was all but banished in favour of white. The light-coloured legs played up the neo-mod 60s vibe that designers mined this season and, contrasted with swingy shapes and cheerful blocks of Carnaby Street-inspired colour, added to the youthful vibe. The crisp new hosiery choice looked especially fresh and chic on the models' long, lean legs but if you're waiting to see how it's translated into reality, take reference from the red carpet. Fashion savants Kate Bosworth and Blake Lively have both been spotted in stark white tights, proving that it's definitely a trend worth trying.

Read more:
Top 10 colour trends for fall
Fashion trends: 10 great handbags for fall

The best fall suits for women

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Fall 2011 fashion: 6 hot hosiery trends