Do you dare to wear bare legs in winter?
None of us could have missed the growing celebrity trend of sporting bare legs in winter. Described by Vogue as “heroic elegance” we see toned, shimmery, tanned and very naked legs on the catwalk and our T.V screens. From deb to celeb, even Michelle Obama has ditched tights or panty hose.
Power to the pins
Many of us lose tights in the summer, especially in Europe when buildings are not as well air conned as in other places. Both buildings and tights can be hot and sticky. I do know that dress codes around panty hose tend to be stricter in the U.S. too.
It is all well and good for the cab-to curb IT girls, but how is this trend going to impact the girl in her cubicle and on the high street?
Male dominated conservative business cultures usually insist that women wear nude or black hose, or at a stretch opaque tights. But what we are seeing is a movement of women who brave the breezes and blizzards with bare legs, which is possibly no longer the horrendous faux pas it used to be. The New York Times suggests this boldness is a new power statement.
Slim, tanned and toned bare legs in winter apparently suggest the energy of youth, and cash for frequent sunny holidays and cabs. And this is one area where women of colour have an advantage over their lighter skinned sisters. Dark skin bare legs in winter, can indeed look better.
What this means is the leg scape has changed. Bare legs in winter no longer signal that you can’t afford pantyhose, but rather the reverse. You can afford not to wear them.
How is this bare legged look achieved?
- self tanning body cream – I use this all year round anyway. I just like it. There are also products on the market for darker skins.
- leg make up – yep that’s right. For those with perfect pins and some sort of tan already, leg make up can be a great cover up for veins, scars, and cellulite. It can also be messy to put on and come off on your clothes. Some do not smell so great. Use with caution and practise application, unless you are super famous and will spend time in hair and make-up before you leave for the office. Also available for darker skins.
- on-going breaks in the sun – I was not given a budget to test this option. If you are in the financial bracket and a sun-lover, make sure you use high factor protection. Moderate amounts of sun are good for us, but too much is ageing and damages the skin. Your legs might look fab for a while, but think long-term!
- sun beds – oh no please don’t.
The shortage of nylon stockings in World War 2, promoted the use of ” liquid legs.” My Nan told me that during World War 2, when stockings were a luxury, women painted seams on the back of their legs with gravy browning or an eyebrow pencil, if they had one. These too were in short supply. This practice worked well, until it rained.
The potential for grooming mishaps is huge. By that I mean massive. There is nothing worse than legs looking the colour of raw chicken, splattered with razor rash, scars, blemishes and blue veins (feather or varicose) in the freezing cold. Happily the U.K still has The Duchess of Cambridge as a role model, who we are told is obliged to wear sheer stockings by palace protocol. She is considered to be a great unintentional marteteer for the hosiery industry.
So if you are a red bus rather than red carpet, tube rather than taxi, and spend your winters in Balham or Brooklyn, not the Bahamas kind of girl, this fashion trend of bare legs in winter is not for you. No one wants to be remembered as the cold looking woman with the naked, goose-bumped, blotchy legs.
Real power statement
Does this mean you are relinquishing your power and authenticity to be who you are? Not in my book. Winters are cold. That’s why we cover our bodies. It means that common sense has prevailed and another nonsensical fashion trend of bare legs in winter has been resisted.
Now that is a power statement.