Pantyhose – Yay? or Nay?

This post started as an SOS text from a client and then we realized if she’s having this question/issue, you might be too…  She’s also hysterical, so I needed to share the whole exchange.

Client: Ok you may die right now BUT is there any time that pantyhose are ok?? Is that blog-worthy? High holidays are coming up and I have a bar mitzvah to go to and all I can see are my veins on my old lady legs. (btw she’s 47 – NOT OLD) Would love a “do hose right” blog! And I especially struggle with the open toe shoe thing if tights or hose are involved. Do I sound like I’m 80???? And btw, I’ll deny I made this request!!!!
TWC:  LOL, I can’t stop laughing. But, if you’re struggling with this, other people are too. Totally valid… And, suggestions are the best – that way we’re writing about what you want to hear.
Client: Right??? It’s embarrassing but I don’t know what to do!!! Do I wear my veins proud???
TWC: Yes and No… Hose can be done right! Princess Kate has made pantyhose cool again. But you can’t wear hose if you’re wearing an open toe shoe. That’s a no-no. Seams and sandals don’t work. A sheer nude stocking is good for high holidays/bar mitzvahs, especially if paired with a classic pump. Opaque tights look better with a suede shoe, booty or boot.
Client: Ok thx!! I think for my event tomorrow I’ll need to go all varicose vein cuz the shoes are open-toe and too good to switch!
TWC: And the new kid on the block, that’s really the old kid, is a sheer black pantyhose. I’ve been seeing a lot of this on European Instagrammer’s and celebs. Paired with a boot it looks super sexy.
Client: Except somehow I won’t pull off the cool European vibe but instead the 85yo granny vibe;)
TWC: Or you can use Sally Hansen’s airbrush legs. It’s like a rub-on airbrush so you can go bare-legged but it smooths everything out.
Client: PERFECT! I’m going to CVS now to get it!!
TWC: And, I’m not saying you need this, at all, but I do have a good vein doctor. Happy to share if you’d like.
Client: Ok great. I’ll let u know when I’m ready. I think I first need to be brave enough for botox injections. Baby steps. But at least I’m really good at getting my hair colored! LOL!!

How much do you love her, right??

So, here you go, unnamed, fabulously funny and slightly veiny client and anyone else facing this issue.

How to do hose “right”

Here’s a basic low down on hose and how to wear them…

Sheer Nude

See how Princess Kate’s hose are really sheer? And different than the woman standing next to her? The Princess’s legs look like they’re airbrushed but still natural? THAT IS HOW TO DO IT RIGHT!

I read Kate favors the Wolford brand and I the Donna Karan –  those and other favorite sheer nude hose are linked below…just double click the photo.


Opaque Tights

Opaque tights are best when the thermometer dips below 40 degrees (Fahrenheit). The benefits are they keep you a bit warmer when it’s truly winter, and they totally hide any leg imperfections. The challenge is finding the right shoe or boot to work with them. Honestly, suede works best. The similar finish creates a visual legs for days effect. And, who doesn’t want that? Pro tip: stay away from leather and especially patent, it reads more Minnie Mouse when paired with tights.

Hue makes a solid pair of tights at 1/2 the price of other brands. And I’ve collected some lovely-looking suede pumps too… Again, just double-click the photo for a direct link.

Sheer Black (classic or edgy)

Kate does them classic, and Miranda (Kerr) edgy, so whatever your style M.O., you too, can pull off the sheer black hose look. These are the kind that will show when they get a run, so quality is important.

Some of my tried and true sheer black hose are linked below…

If you’re still firmly in camp NO HOSE but are seeking a little leg pick me up…

A tan totally helps the white, pasty, veiny leg thing. But, I know, too much sun is dangerous. And, btw, I’ve noticed that my legs do not tan anymore – anyone else have that problem after turning 40? Well, an easy and pretty mess-free solution is this tan towel combo pack

If you’re not a self-tan fan, try some Leg Makeup. Believe it or not, this stuff really works at camouflaging veins and stuff.  It’s kind of thick going on,  but it stays in place (even in the rain) and doesn’t rub off on clothes. Pro tip: Mix it with a bit of moisturizer to diffuse the thickness and rub it in well.

I love questions that turn into blog posts!  Like I always say, if one person is questioning it then many others are too. So, what’s your question? I’ll write about it. It’s FREE advice, and in this case…it was like going to the vein doctor without a co-pay.

Affiliate Links

Since the purpose of this blog is to take the stress out of getting dressed, we try to make it easy on you by sharing shoppable links (accessed by clicking the PINK words or the actual photo) with awesome readers like you. We want to let you know, some of those contain affiliate links for products. There is absolutely no additional cost to you if you take action (click, purchase, subscribe) with one of these links. As a result, we will earn some coffee money from your click.  But we promise to drink it while creating more ad-free, helpful content like this.


header image via other images via (1//2//3//4)

This post was updated 3/1/21




Cleveland-based personal stylist and fashion blogger.


  1. Love this post! Not just for holidays and special occasions, but for the working woman too. Thanks for letting me embrace my nearly 50 yr old veins as well. Confidently wrapping the sisters up!

  2. Disagree that you can’t wear hose with open toes. Ever hear of “sandelfoot” style? And if you position the seam properly, it does not show.

    • Hallie Abrams Reply

      Yes Marna. That’s true. They do make a sandal style – but honestly, I think it can look kind of inconsistent when there is an obvious stocking on the leg but not the toes.Then again, this season we are seeing the rise of socks and sandals being uber edgy. So, never say never…

    • Hallie Abrams Reply

      Yes, as long as they are sheer and you are wearing black shoes.

Write A Comment