Style

Pantyhose coming back in style? Ariana Grande, Duchess Kate wear the trend

They say fashion trends are cyclical, and it just might be time for pantyhose to return to our wardrobes.

In recent months, style experts and news outlets alike have been proclaiming pantyhose as a style trend to watch for 2016, citing polished celebrities like Duchess Kate, who's often spotted with nude-nylon-covered legs.

Jason Merritt / Getty Images
A close-up look at the nude hose Ariana Grande wore to the Grammy Awards in January 2014.

Fashion experts told TODAY they, too, have noticed the old-turned-new trend.

Celebrity stylist Ali Levine pointed to New York Fashion Week last fall to explain how it all got started.

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"We started seeing the models wearing [hose] and I think people wondered, is this something that will circulate?" she said. "I think that's where everyone first saw it."

She also named the duchess as a trend-starter: "She started wearing them all the time, and everyone just loves her. I think a lot of people follow her style."

Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images
Duchess Kate has long been a fan of wearing nude pantyhose to cover up her legs.

Hose differ from tights in that they're thin and sheer — you can tell the difference because if you look closely, you'll still be able to see the wearer's legs through the hose. So why where them at all? The extra layer serves to disguise blemishes and varicose veins, and make legs appear smoother and, depending on what shade you choose, perhaps tanner.

Speaking of shades, there are lots. While your grandma probably only had a few colors to choose from, there are now dozens of options, so it's easier to match your skin tone.

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"They're no longer those crazy, constricting, old-school stockings," Levine said. "They have so many colors! It's almost like putting concealer on your legs because there are so many choices, it's like being in the makeup aisle."

Getty Images
Ariana Grande (left) and Selena Gomez (right) show off darker-hued hose.

But you don't have to be a duchess — or even a corporate employee, for that matter — to wear pantyhose.

Flashier stars like Miley Cyrus, Beyonce and Ariana Grande are also fans of flesh-toned hose, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer fashion columnist Elizabeth Wellington, who opined that pantyhose might be just the thing to provide the "finishing touch to our tailored, midi-skirt looks this year."

And Fortune, in another report about the trend, mentioned that while sales of pantyhose are slightly down, they're still a big market: There was $482 million in sales of sheer hosiery in the one-year period ending in May 2015, according to the NPD Group, which includes an increase in sales to millennials.

It's clear not everyone is ready for the return of hose. Stylist Laurie Brucker thinks many women still find the look too "antiquated."

Unless you're trying to make a fashion statement, "everyday women might feel it reminds them of the '80s and instead stick to fashion tights," she said.

Tell us what you think!

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