Trendlet: Panty hose!

Much to the dismay of our mothers, grandmothers, great-aunts, and old-school divas everywhere, bare legs have trumped stockinged ones for quite a few years now.

But 2016 marks a leggy shift.

The trendlet

Look for panty hose to add the finishing touch to our tailored, midi-skirt looks this year. (And bodysuits, if we wear them.)

Where does it come from?

Knee-length nylons were introduced to women's wardrobes in the 1920s, when hemlines went from floor-length to just below the knee. This was fashion's way of ensuring that women maintained their proper lady status and didn't show an iota of leg.

In 1959, North Carolina textile manufacturer Allen Gant Sr. invented panty hose after his pregnant wife, Ethel, complained that the daily ritual of attaching stockings to her girdle was uncomfortable. (You don't say.)

From the 1960s through the '90s, panty hose were a nonnegotiable part of women's dressing, as were girdles and slips.

In the 1990s, Carrie Bradshaw casually flitted around New York in short skirts and bare legs. During the 2008 presidential elections, Michelle Obama made it official: Professional women didn't have to wear panty hose anymore.

Then Kate Middleton was lauded in 2011 for pairing her trademark nude L.K. Bennett pumps with flesh-tone hosiery for day jaunts. However, it wasn't until 2015 that the following influences - straight 1930s A-line inspirations (thank you, Jason Wu) and all things flesh-toned (underwear, shoes, lipstick) - made sheer tights cool again.

Who's wearing them?

Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, and Ariana Grande have all donned flesh-tone panty hose under bodysuits and mini-skirts.

Would Elizabeth wear them?

Of course, said the woman who recently wore a taupe T-shirt dress with hose. I just like having options - and that means going bare-legged when I darn well feel like it.

Should you wear them?

Only if and when you want to.

ewellington@phillynews.com
215-854-2704

@ewellingtonphl