It happens every year. Around the same time. Holiday party season arrives, and because I’m a stylist, the emails, texts and phone calls from family, friends and clients start pouring in. No matter how many times we discuss it, the great debate continues – to hose or not to hose. In the winter, that really is the question.

It’s interesting that when it comes to pantyhose (or nylons), stockings (thigh high) and tights, both men and women seem to have an opinion. They’re either for or against. Or they have conditions – certain types can be worn, but only under certain circumstances. When the thermometer drops and festive, holiday party outfits come out, those circumstances can become a bit more complicated.

Where will you be going? What kind of event is it? Where’s it being held? How formal is it? Who else will be in attendance? What’ll you be wearing? What kind of shoes? How will you be getting there? So many things to consider above and beyond just covering your legs.

Some people think that nude pantyhose and stockings are outdated and can age you. Black pantyhose fare a little better and black stockings can be seen as quite sexy. Especially when you throw in a garter belt. Patterned and opaque tights on the other hand are more current, not to mention extremely practical during the colder winter months. But throw in the whole holiday party thing and, well, you get the idea.

As it is, some women go bare legged throughout the whole winter. Pick up any fashion magazine to see the evidence. It’s even more common at indoor functions, especially during the holiday season. If you are planning on exposing those gams during the holiday season, here are a few things you may want to consider.


Make sure the hem of your skirt sits no higher than just above your knee. If you’re going to be wearing a mini skirt and are opposed to hose, consider wearing opaque tights – exposing most of your leg during the winter (holiday party or not), can be a bit much.

If you must expose most of your leg, cover up your arms with a longer sleeve or a wrap and make sure you’re not overdoing it with the cleavage. That way you’re only exposing one area at a time.

Another way to get away with baring your legs and not having it be too much is by wearing closed toe shoes instead of strappy sandals. Doing so keeps your look a little more winter friendly.

Choosing an outfit that’s made up of thicker fabrics versus thinner ones or darker colours versus lighter pastels will also keep you from looking too summery.


If you think about it, it really just comes down to appropriateness and balance, not to mention personal style, personal preference and comfort. If you don’t feel great in what you’re wearing, you won’t have as good a time. If you’re insecure or fussing with your clothing, you’ll be more worried about your outfit than who you can lure or who you need to avoid under the mistletoe. And nobody wants that. Always choose what’s right for you and your specific situation.

So ladies, tell me. This holiday season, will you be getting hose’d?