Reporter’s Notebook

The sheer nerve of Princess Kate

(Robert F. Bukaty/AP)
By Beth Teitell
Globe Staff / July 7, 2011

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I was getting my daily Kate Middleton fix, clicking through a photo gallery of her trip to Canada, when I had the most unfashionista of thoughts: Sheer pantyhose look quite elegant.

There she was getting off a Royal Canadian Air Force plane in Canada, looking polished in a navy lace overlay dress, a coordinating clutch - and sheer hose. And there she was greeting adoring fans in Ottawa, looking lovely in a cream dress from Reiss, red shoes - and sheer hose. OK, I know she’s traveling with her hairdresser and spends more on a single clutch than I do on my entire handbag wardrobe, but I found myself thinking that maybe if I just wore stockings things would happen for me, too.

Her knees did not look dirty because she’d un-artfully applied a self-tanner. Prickly hairs were not showing. Pastiness was not an issue.

American women understandably rejoiced when the fashion gods freed us from stockings, but it turns out that the only thing worse than being forced to wear stockings in summer is not being allowed to wear stockings in summer.

I thought back to all the times I’d craved the cover nude stockings provide. But when I made the mistake of openly contemplating a pair for a business trip to New York, here’s what a friend/fashion dictator snapped: “Are you going to wear a fanny pack, too?’’

As the hose-obsessed know, the Duchess of Cambridge’s stockings - which seem to be dictated by royal protocol - have England’s knickers in a twist.

“The 29-year-old has not set a wrong foot when it comes to designer frocks,’’ the UK’s Daily Mail wrote on Tuesday, “but in almost every single picture, there is the same telltale satin sheen of sheer hosiery. While it is true that nude stockings can hide a multitude of sins, they have not been in vogue since the Eighties and the result is a somewhat ageing look, at odds with her otherwise youthful style.’’

Since the royal engagement, nude stockings are reportedly flying off the shelves in England. Would it be premature to stop shaving my legs?

Beth Teitell can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @BethTeitell.