Ask The Fashion Police: Are stockings with sandals a crime of fashion?

From our Formspring page:

Q. Is it acceptable to wear stockings with the seam line when wearing open toe shoes (or even peep toe for that matter) if you can’t find seamless stockings? Or should I risk letting my legs look pale and not so perfect?

A. We get this question fairly often, so let’s address it once and for all…

Although we call ourselves The Fashion Police, you might be surprised to know that in “real” life there are actually very few things that we’d consider an absolute “no”. Sheer stocking with sandals, however, is one of those things: particularly if the stockings in question are flesh-coloured, and the toe seam is highly visible.  Toe seams aren’t designed to be on show. Strappy sandals and peep toes aren’t designed to be worn with tights. It’s as simple as that, and before a dozen or so of our male readers all rush to tell us that if we only knew how turned on they are by the sight of sheer tights and strappy sandals, we’d wear them all the time yes, we DO know. You’ve told us before.  And we don’t care, because we still don’t like this look,  and we don’t dress to please men. Sorry.

To address the “pale and not so perfect” comment: well, we don’t actually think there’s anything so very wrong with pale skin, but if you do want to take the glare off a little before baring your pins to the world, there are plenty of products available to help you do that: Pretty Polly’s Love Legs range, for instance, contains various types of wash-off “leg makeup” which is good for adding a hint of colour without turning you orange.

Just to confuse matters further, we’d like to add that none of this applies to opaque tights and peep toes. We actually quite like that look. Why yes, we ARE pretty fickle, aren’t we?

As with all of our “advice”, however, we feel we have to add the disclaimer that these are simply personal opinions. We know there are lots of people out there who really like the look of sheer tights in sandals (And not all of them are men determined to tell us what to wear, either), so let’s hear from our readers.

What do you think of stockings and sandals? Fashion crime, or absolutely fine?


  • April 29, 2010


    oh wow, I was just going to ask the fashion police about this yesterday and now im totally confused about the above article!

    here goes! I put some tan on my legs last nite and now it dosent look great at all and im so useless at doing it anyway and it never looks good -ever!!!.
    I have a floral multi coloured dress and high patent shoes with a little peep toe so what do i do? i cant go out with my tan looking like it does so could I not wear tan or some light colured tights, minus the seam bit that are designed for my shoes – NOT SANDALS?! please dont say remove it as there is just no product to get my tan off before weekend, i really wish they would invent a good product that removes tan in a flash. as for opaques, can you still wear them in this weather and with such a dress or any type of dress?

    Now i dont know what to do?

    any advice would be really appreciated.. thanks

    p.s where can i get those pretty polly love legs range and sorry for the long post..
    Fashion Police addict!

    • April 29, 2010

      The Fashion Police

      Well, personally I’d either use some bronzing makeup (If you click on the link in the article it will take you to a site selling the Pretty Polly range, or if you’re not in the UK, just type it into Google and you’ll find other retailers. There are lots of other brands that do the same thing, though, so your local supermarket or chemist will probably have something similar) to even out the fake tan, or wear something else until it fades, but as I said, it’s purely a personal taste thing: most people these days seem to find sheer hose and open toes totally acceptable, so please don’t take this opinion as gospel – it really is just an opinion :) If you really want to wear tights, you might want to check out some of the “sandal toe” pairs which are designed to be worn with sandals and have either seamles or open toes.

      • April 29, 2010


        Thanks fashion police! i will look that up later as the site is “blocked” in work for some reason! might just wear something else until it fades away! :O)
        how about tights that have a slight shine in them? are they a no no also? :O)
        hope they dont block this site or i’d go mad!!! LOL

  • April 29, 2010


    Personally, I’m okay with sheer, flesh toned tights with really small peeptoes, the sort that only have just a tiny hole that shows only the tips of a toe or two. I get the kind with out a seam, or more often, just twist them around a bit so the seam doesn’t show. I do prefer them with bare legs, but sometimes extenuating circumstances prevail.

    But never, never, never, with sandals, open toes, or even a peeptoe that is bigger than say, 2cm across.

  • April 29, 2010


    Personally, I’m okay (not great, but okay) with sheer, flesh toned tights with really small peeptoes, the sort that only have just a tiny hole that shows only the tips of a toe or two. I get the kind with out a seam, or more often, just twist them around a bit so the seam doesn’t show. I do prefer them with bare legs, but sometimes extenuating circumstances (such as in the comment above me, or inclement weather, or the likelihood of blisters) prevail.

    But never, never, never, with sandals, open toes, or even a peeptoe that is bigger than say, 2cm across.

  • April 29, 2010


    I fail to see the problem. It’s just a seam for the love of god! Who do you think is even looking at your toes? It’s not as if it’ll be a giant secret that you’re wearing tights anyway.

  • April 29, 2010


    When people are dressed like this they’re either:
    a) from the 1980s
    b) are getting close to being 80

    • May 2, 2010


      in the ’60’s young girls/women used to weare and they looked cute, so why not again?

  • April 29, 2010


    My views on the matter are identical to those of The Fashion Police!
    .-= Natasha´s last blog ..Whole-Wheat Pizza Crust =-.

  • April 30, 2010


    I actually think black tights with strappy sandals look kinda cute…it’s a really Asian trend…*shot*

  • April 30, 2010


    The thought of wearing open toed (and sandals) with stockings makes me cringe. I say buy more closed toe shoes to wear with your stockings!

  • April 30, 2010


    15 years ago or so, stockings and sandals were the stuff that grannies would wear. Then came a phase when elements of the granny look got trendy.
    That’s the time from which this look has kept its cuteness and likewise, it has never left since then.
    I don’t mind this look but I prefer the appeal that naked feet have, weather permitting or sometimes even when not. Yet, extreme tans can ruin that, so please: no bronzing. Thanks.

  • April 30, 2010


    I think a seamed toe (tucked under a bit) with a small peeptoe is fine, (As others have said) but I don’t think they’d work with a sandal or proper open toed shoes.

    I’ve worn seamed toe tights with peeptoes before and you don’t even see the seam! Unless you’re on a level with the offending seam/toe mix it’s not going to be noticeable. So small bugs may notice (But won’t care! They’ll be all “WOAH…giant thing incomiiiiiiing” as they run away,) and unless you’re planning on flinging your legs akimbo, in which case people probably won’t even notice your toes, then I say go for it!! LOL!

  • April 30, 2010


    I’ve never understood why anyone would want to wear tights/nylons with strappy sandals. If it’s because it’s cold, then why wear sandals in the first place? In the middle of winter or early spring/late fall, the sandals just look ridiculous. And when it’s hot, the last thing I want is to swelter in nylons. In the case of wanting to look like your legs are tanned, it’s not like nylons are a magical fabric – everyone can tell you’re wearing nylons.

  • May 2, 2010


    I am a 29y.o. girl and like the look of nylon tights in open toe sandals very much, as well as the feel of the fabric itself around my toes. On top I realize that a lot of men find this very attractive.
    I know some women find this ‘not done’ but I like the feel of nylons, the look (even the seam that runs across my toes) and the fact that it attacts male eyes :-)

  • May 4, 2010


    I wouldn’t do it myself with sheer stockings, not even the seamless ones that are designed to be worn with sandals. To exaggerate a little bit I think it’s a very raw and graphic look (maybe the reason some men are turned on by that).

    But I see it all the time on skinny Tokyoite legs! I think the Japanese conservative woman finds it indecent to walk around with bare legs.
    So my point is that you could definitely wear that in Japan (they make their own fashion laws), but not elsewhere…


  • May 5, 2010


    I think I’m with Sandy’s 2nd paragraph, as far as the impact on others.

    Personally, I don’t like wearing shoes without some kind of hosiery (stockings or socks), unless they’re full-on sandals. More comfortable, less smell, keeps my feet from getting calloused & blistered.

    For dressy occasions, women of a certain age (ahem, including me) often don’t have the nice even skintone for the bare leg look if wearing a short dress. If it’s hot, there’s the risk the makeup would rub off on clothes (I know, not supposed to, but at 95+ degrees, I’m not going to risk it). There are nice, light weight matte finish nude hose on the market – including some with a foot but no toe – and I think after the first 10-20 seconds most people take to assess your overall look, no one really cares. So go with what you’re comfortable in. I would draw the line at wearing hose in a color a whole lot different from your normal skin tone or with that dark reinforced section on the toe/heel if it will show in peep toe or open heel, but a simple seam across the toe isn’t a big deal.

    I’d prefer a nice nude stocking with the shoes pictured rather than the black.

  • May 11, 2010


    I love tights in thong sandals.

  • June 22, 2013


    As a man I must say I am torn between the two, on the one side you’re quite right that men do find it sexy. However I personally find that the bare leg looks more elegant and finished than the fake-looking nylon clad leg. It doesn’t escape the fact that an expensive pair of stockings or tights do feel rather exquisite. This also doesn’t account for opaque tights which I think look can look quite nice with an open shoe.

    So perhaps keep the sheer hosiery for the bedroom, it hides nothing in public and instead just ruins an outfit.

  • June 24, 2013


    Striped or coloerd socks are lovely in strappy, chunky platforms. At the opposite, wearing nylon leggings/stockings with sandals is a crime.

  • July 7, 2014


    Being an old fashioned guy, I find the look of “full fashioned stockings” with a Cuban heel exquisitely shaping a woman’s legs and with the right pumps, a classy vintage look that remains unmatched. Hosiery as any other garment may be worn for the right and wrong occasion but look and comfort aside, again with the right dress, should never be underestimated in how it can empower confidence in any woman…making her feel sexy for her and not only to the gaze of men.

    In my opinion, a fully sheer stocking with a sandal matching tone can make otherwise bare legs look beautiful, however I do have to agree with any self-respecting ladies that reinforced toes and heel (rht) nylons with open footwear simply lacks any dignity in the fashion arena.