What Hose to Wear with a Black Cocktail Dress

A reader wrote in and asked me what hose to wear with a black cocktail dress, and I opened it up to my Facebook page. I love asking reader questions over there.  I have such a great community, and we always get some great input. If you ever have something you want me to put out there, feel free to email or message me and ask! Fashion questions are the most popular, but you can ask {almost} anything.

This question was so popular and got such a variety of responses that I decided to write a post about it. If you’ve ever wondered what hose to wear with a black cocktail dress, this post is for you!

What Hose to Wear with a Black Cocktail Dress

What Hose To Wear with a Cocktail Dress

Let’s face it. This IS a conundrum if you live in a cold climate.

When winter events demand semi-formal attire, most ladies opt for a cocktail dress. But WHAT do you wear on your legs?

Some say that flesh-colored pantyhose are OUT. Others say they’re perfectly acceptable.

We see a lot of tights and booties in the magazines, but are they really appropriate for a semi-formal event?

Then what about the myriad of colored and textured hose?

hosiery options

Bare legs are the easy route. At any other time of year, that works okay, but when the temps are below freezing and your legs haven’t seen sunshine in months? Notsomuch.

MANY opinions were expressed, but I think it’s pretty safe to say the most popular response was to go with sheer black hose, but nude hose and tights got some votes too. So did bare legs, for that matter.

One of my former blogging buddies and now a stylist at Nordstrom, Karen, emailed me privately to share her take on this issue. Here’s what she had to say.

Pantyhose/tights are NOT out. I only recommend a bare leg in the summer or fall — never winter. I’m a personal stylist at Nordstrom, and I steer women towards a semi sheer tight by DKNY. It is not as heavy as an opqaue tight or as sheer as pantyhose.

If your dress is quite formal, definitely go with sheer hose. I do not love all patterned hose/tights. I think they can really take away from the dress. If you want a nude look, Donna Karan does great nude, natural looking hose to match your skin tone.

I also like a nude fishnet by Oroblu which is a tight weave and gives a little texture. Even a few feet away it looks like your leg and not typical fish nets. I wear these during the fall after I’m sick of self tanner and in spring when my legs should not see the light of day!

So there you have it, advice from a bona fide stylist.

I like the idea of the nude fishnets, myself. They definitely lend a modern edge to the classic nude hose.

nude fishnet stockings

Another thing Karen said that made me giggle is, nude hose have come a long way since they came in plastic eggs.

So true. There are a lot of options out there today. Personally, I’m not opposed to a nice quality pair of nude hose in the right shade. If the cocktail dress isn’t black, a nude stocking may be the best bet.

Although sheer black hose can be great with a bold color such as red.

sheer black hose with semi formal dress

As you can see, there are a lot of choices. Proper hosiery depends largely on the dress and the event so take all those factors into account and then make the decision that YOU are the most comfortable with, because if you don’t feel confident, you won’t have a good time.

Do you need help building your wardrobe or shopping for a special event? I highly recommend trying out Trunk Club, a personal shopping service by Nordstrom.

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