x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Footnotes: Is Kate Middleton bringing nude hose back in vogue?

The Duchess of Cambridge is never seen without her sheer tights on.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, walks to her car after arriving with Prince William at Los Angeles International Airport on July 8.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, walks to her car after arriving with Prince William at Los Angeles International Airport on July 8.

When it comes to the Duchess of Cambridge's wardrobe, one story looks set to run (to the boys: that's a hosiery pun).

While few have criticised her fashion choices on the well-received royal tour of Canada and the US, Kate's penchant for shiny, sheer pantyhose is proving divisive.

The UK's Daily Mail remarks that: "While it is true that nude stockings can hide a multitude of sins, they have not been in vogue since the Eighties and the result is a somewhat ageing look."

On the upside, across the pond the Boston Globe reports that: "Her knees did not look dirty because she'd un-artfully applied a self-tanner. Pastiness was not an issue."

Pastiness is, however, an issue in the UK due to inclement weather, meaning ladies less frequently dare to go bare. Since the royal's engagement last November, sales of stockings sky-rocketed, not least in London.

The high-end department store Selfridges saw sales rise 40 per cent compared with last year, as women clamoured for the sheer, satin sheen of tights by Wolford and Falke.

As for Middleton, her hose-wearing could well be due to personal preference or the unpredictable climate. However, it was almost unbearably hot when she landed in Canada's capital, and although she conducted several wardrobe changes, none of them involved losing the hose. More likely it is a nod to conservatism.

Palace protocol decrees that Catherine wear pantyhose and closed-toe shoes as a matter of course and indeed look at any royal occasion down the years and the pins of all princesses have been suitably stockinged.

Even the queen herself is never seen au naturel, which may mean we, in fact, have Ma'am to thank for this trend's revival.