Today, we’re talking about Kate Middleton’s tights (hosiery, pantyhose, hose… whatever you call it!)
Love it or hate it, thanks to Kate, tights are now a hot topic in fashion. Duchess Kate is known for her love of sheer hosiery – and she has brought them back into the forefront of fashion!
We’re going to try and answer an important question: which pair does Kate wear? We have a few theories…
John Lewis’ non-slip tights
A lot of Kate’s fans believe she wears John Lewis ‘Barely There ‘non-slip tights. Why? Because we’ve seen the gel cushion on this picture of Kate’s foot and they look identical to the John Lewis tights.
A look at the gel cushion on the John Lewis tights:
We also know that regularly shops at Peter Jones in London, which is the same store as John Lewis (just with a different name). Below, Kate carrying a shopping bag from the store:
SHOP JOHN LEWIS NON-SLIP TIGHTS:
The John Lewis tights (hose if you’re American!) cost £5 a pair. That’s around $6.40 USD.
MY REVIEW: I personally love these tights
Of course, the Palace has not confirmed that Kate Middleton wears John Lewis tights (hose), it’s just an educated guess. But I thought I’d try them out anyway…..(I bought them myself, I received no compensation for this review). See the image on the right, and I’m wearing Kate’s LK Bennett Sledge shoes in grey too!
I recommend them 100%. They offer the same kind of sheer sheen you see in photos of Kate. I think they’re great. I will say that they’re very delicate, I snagged them at the top when I first pulled them on. Luckily for me, they were still wearable (a bit of nail varnish did the trick!). It’s my own fault, though, I had just lost some weight and adventurously, I decided to size down. Next time, I will get them one size up and be much more careful (It’s well known in my family that I’m a bit of a klutz!)
My verdict on these tights: The tone of the tights, coupled with my Sledge shoes and pencil dress made me felt every inch the princess! People even commented on my Facebook photos saying my look was ‘very Kate’, especially because I have dark hair. I totally channelled my inner Kate! If you want to buy these, be REALLY careful putting them on and don’t be afraid to get a size up if you’re on the cusp of the sizing chart!
Or does Kate wear Wolford tights (hose)?
Some hypothesise that Kate may have worn Wolford‘s non-slip sheer tights, which retailed for around £13 back in 2011. The last time I looked, the brand no longer sell the same non-slip tights (pictured right). I have not seen the bottom of the Wolford non-slip tights so I cannot confirm the shape of the gel pad.
Wolford’s current Sheer 15 line does not include a non-slip gel pad, like the John Lewis tights above.
Did Kate buy the Wolford tights from Bicester Village?
Kate fans know that the Duchess and her family regularly shop at the Bicester Village outlet in Oxfordshire. Bicester village DOES have a Wolford outlet on site. We know for a fact that Kate visited Bicester in 2011. It is very possible she stocked up on non-slip tights.
Either way, I’m of the opinion that you can’t go wrong with Wolford. They’re clearly a premium line and I’ve heard many, many good things about them (see the comments section below!).
Their Sheer line does look ‘very Kate’. The Wolford Sheer tights/hose might be a good option for those who live in North America, where I believe this brand is readily available in a wide variety of colours.
Shop Wolford tights and hose:
Has Kate convinced you to turn to hosiery?
Have you tried either of the above brands of tights? Do you have another brand you love? Let me know in the comments section below.
I would TOTALLY buy some of the John Lewis hose, but international shipping is £15!! That’s more money than the 2 pairs I wanted to buy! Sigh.
Oh no! You should wait until there’s a ‘kate’ item you really want to buy in JL & then you’d be paying shipping anyway!??
Carly Wood says
As an update to this – John Lewis say their international delivery is now £10 / $12
coincidentally, wolford is featuring a section based on kate’s style … get the look of the duchess of cambridge.
wearing stocking wouldn’t be my everyday preference but i’ve worked at places that require them and they’re really not all that bad. i do prefer more opaque tights, though.
I was totally inspired to start wearing hose after years of thinking it’s for old people with ugly legs or little girls in ballet. I love the non-slip aspect of the JLs, but I’m a Wolford girl all the way. They’re pricey, but I get the irregular ones at the outlet, and so far, I haven’t exactly figured out what makes them irregular. I don’t think they’re frumpy at all… the lady at the Wolford store said they’re “make up for your legs!” 🙂
I’ve heard a lot of people recommend Wolford!
When I was younger I would have welcomed the no-hose lifestyle. However, as one ages and the legs are no longer picture perfect, a pair of sheer hose covers a multitude of flaws. Can’t say that I’ve ever enjoyed wearing hose but love that my legs look better in them. One can always tell when someoone is wearing hose because their legs almost always look better.
So true!!! I am naturally very pale and a little overweight. I love a slight tanned tight (so I don’t have to actually maintain a tan) and also I think they help to pull in all my bulgy bits haha
Carly I agree with you. I love slightly tanned hose as well. I always go for DIM nylons, made in France. Here in Canada, they are slightly pricey ($8-10), but always make your legs look more attractive, and set off a great pair of shoes. I wear DIM’s “Gazelle” tone.
Wolford is WAY overpriced and no better quality than any other brand. I love Pretty Polly “Bare” tights, the 8 denier style in “Nude”. When I wear them I get many compliments, even from my daughter who thinks tights are awful. They only cost £2.75, but I can’t find them in the US so I order them 10 at a time from the UK and pay absurd shipping, but WORTH EVERY DOLLAR (or pound). I am 5’1″ and not as thin as I used to be, but the size SM/SP is a great fit. Doesn’t bag at the knee or bind at the waist. You girls in the UK are lucky to have many great choices, the tights here are not nice at all. Also you have Kate Middelton and we have Kim Kartrashian.
Wendell Thornhill says
I cannot explain WHY I have always appreciated the sight of a woman wearing nylons, pantyhose or sheer tights, but fashionably-speaking, I respectfully say that they instantly make a woman’s legs look MORE shapely, more “refined” and toned, regardless of [the woman’s] shape, size or weight. The Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine wears hosiery exceptionally well and it is encouraging to see someone of her stature wear “tights” when attending distinguished events; Galas, Balls, Formals, etc; especially when the current trend (particularly in America) is to go to such occasions “bare-legged,” (no offense to bare-legged fashion, of course). I image that they [tights/pantyhose] must be uncomfortable to wear (even more so just to put on), but believe me when I say that for men like me who favor a woman’s legs more than the more popular part of the female anatomy (breasts), I enjoy the presentation of such leg-wear and I applaud every woman with the feminine and mature fashion sense to give attention to even the smallest aspects of her attire; particularly to wear a thin layer of clothing which inexplicably adds elegance, class and yes…sexiness to her overall appearance. To quote a once popular slogan…”Nothing Beats A Great Pair Of Legs.” I couldn’t agree more, except that I would add…”Even more so in formal hosiery.”
W R Kusrow says
An experienced opinion. Try PLATINO brand from Spain. I wear the Platino “NACAR”. in 15 den. They are by far the softest, smoothest and sheerest hosiery made. They are STW and say they have a reinforced toe but I don’t see it. They are not for everyday wear. A good price point at around $15.00. But for that special event or evening. You can’t go wrong. Very nice gloss to them. Your legs will just “POP”. You may have to order them online but just GOGGLE it. I have tried the top end hosiery. Wolford,Cecilia de Rafael,Fogal,Peirre Montoux etc. at $50.00 a pair. Wonderful hosiery but please, $50.00? Just try the Platino brand. You will be hooked and never go back. They also have produced what they call “Clean-cut” style. No waist band. But the mill that was producing them is gone. And who knows when they can find another. The Cecilia De Rrafael is also very wonderful. Also from Spain. The Spanish love great hosiery and know what they are doing. I will say one thing negative about the Platino. If you have rough feet, don’t wear them. They are very fine and will be destroyed. Trim your toe nails and smooth your feet and of course shave. If the Lady Kate ever reads this she will thank me. And if you all ever try them, You will also. The wearing of sheer hosiery has declined over the years. But know this my friends. I can walk into a room full of pretty bare legged ladies and all men’s eyes are on and stay on me. I’m not the prettiest one there but the most popular. Men love sheer hosiery on a lady. My old grandfather told me years ago. “If you want to catch the right fish, Use the right bait”. So my sisters please stop being lazy and wear more hosiery. Nothing makes a woman feel more like a woman than nylon! The returns are endless……
Love your post!
You guys should totally try Fiore if you’re into European style high fashion hosiery but at normal prices….they are available directly in the US at fioredirectusa.com
Nude hose a definitely making a resurgence here in the States. I work in a trendy town with lots of government jobs and technology and was suppressed to see the amount of younger women wearing nude tights this spring. I can understand why ladies ditch them in the summer, because it can be very hot and sticky here, but I think girls are looking at Kate, Katy Perry and others wearing hose and are reevaluating their beliefs that “pantyhose are just for granny”. Everything in fashion is cyclical and I think the trend will grow as long as brands like L’eggs and Hanes continue to innovate and step up their rebranding efforts. As a young guy, I immediately notice a girl in hosed legs over ones wearing nothing. I think we are programmed to appreciate when a woman makes the effort to dress feminine. Also, there are way too many women who have no business going bare legged. Just because Sarah Jessica Parker made it trendy in the early 2000s to go bare legged, doesn’t mean everyone should just follow suit.
Lisa Jeffries says
I’m definitely going to buy a pair in the barely there shade, plus a pair with the subtle bit of sparkle, as soon as I find an American distributor. I have heretofore found a site that will ship them internationally (I am a cousin across the pond in the ).
Kate also has very nice legs!
I have always loved Kates beautiful legs. I am going to try the barely there (7 denier). I’ll order enough to counter the shipping costs. I have never liked the bare leg look, never been confident enough- and like the coverage. Always thought the hose look is more sexy and professional.
Diane Cameron says
I want to purchase the John Lewis Non Slip panty hose.
Shawn Wilson says
My fiancé was inspired by the Royal etiquette of hosiery. She said it adds a touch of class to all of her outfits and I completely agree. It’s taking your fashion up a few notches for sure!!
I loved to wear JL`s tights, living in Germany it was necessary to order online. But now I found out they are out of stock. The website says “We’re unlikely to receive more stock of this item.” Oh No! Why?!! Are there any other suggestions for non-slip tights right now? I want to know where Kate is buying her pantyhose now 🙂
Interesting article and also interesting comments. I wish I could stick to Kate Middleton’s style every day but for now it is not possible due to some technicalities ;). I do it whenever possible and gotta say that I enjoy every second of it. Over the years I have explored wide variety of pantyhose/tights including Fiore, DIM, CdR, Pretty Poly, Hanes, Givenchy, Dior, Cervin etc until I found what I call the perfect nylons! Two brands come to the top of my list, Fogal and Wolford. Fogal Noblesse in nude were my favourite for a long time but they were quite pricey and despite the effort to preserve them for multiple wears, they tend to be very delicate. They had almost invisible reinforced toe and reciprocated heel, just like nylon stocking manufactured earlier used to have. After Fogal, I started more frequently looking into Wolford brand until the brand completely converted me into Wolford ‘girl’. Yes, I agree that their tights are very expensive but let me tell you something, some of their tights literally last forever! I wash them carefully, gently stretch them before letting them dry and later I wrap them onto their original cardboard and keep them in their original packaging. Despite being just 8 deniers, I can have their life span extended to months of wear. When I wear a dress or a skirt, I never go barefoot and during fall and winter I regularly wear tights under my pants. My favourites are Nude 8 and Naked 8 models as they come also in different nude shades. My favourite shades are sand, caramel and gobi but I would also wear fairly light and cosmetic shade (they are bit lighter coloured tights). They are perfect for any occasion and just as the Wolford advertises their tights, I found them to be make up for my legs.