Fashionomics: Hosiery Is the New Lipstick

In times of economic strife, particular products prove increasingly popular despite a market plagued by widespread losses. Traditionally, the product in question has been lipstick. When the financial stability of the country is in question, women stock up on a slew of new lip shades (hence the coining of the term “Lipstick Index”). The phenomenon makes quite a bit of sense, considering lipstick is relatively inexpensive and can transform one’s image immediately. But, now, it seems there’s a new economic indicator on both Wall and Main streets: hosiery.

The Wall Street Journal reports, “Hosiery [unlike lipstick] has seen a rise in sales so far this year. U.S. sales of women’s hosiery rose 2.3% to reach $3.28 billion in the 12 months.” So, why this newfound interest in tights? Sally Kay, a spokesperson for the Hosiery Association (quite a dream job, that), told WSJ it’s a result of the “continuing popularity of opaque tights, which have been prevalent on high-fashion runways” from Chanel to Chloé.

Just like with lipstick, a pair of tights in an eye-catching lace, knit, or bold color palette can instantly update a fall outfit. This would likewise explain the ubiquity of leggings this season — a trend fashion blogs from Style.com to Refinery 29 are citing. Sounds like a fall trend of which fashion’s newest It girl would approve.

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