NEW YORK -- The fall market has legwear showrooms bustling this week. Expectations are up because of the continued strength of short skirts and the trend to layered legwear, manufacturers say.
Variations on the casual legwear theme abound, with a number of silhouette options and textures. Fibers from the warmest wools and angoras to high tech, shiny microfiber nylon and rayon are making news this market. Here, a roundup of the top trends.
THIGH-HIGHS: Black thigh-highs have been all over the European runways for fall, as evening and daytime looks. The market here is offering the silhouette in matte shades, patterned, lace and sheer styles in sleek and playful versions. Evan-Picone and Hanes Silk Reflections, for example, are showing them in simple opaque styles with wide-band tops, while Ralph Lauren Hosiery is showing thick sweater knit versions, with cuffs.
LEGWARMERS: They're one of the latest arrivals on the fall scene, in beefy sweater knits. Worn over tights and leggings, the look takes a cue from the knits seen in ready-to-wear for fall. Hot Sox is offering a thick striped multicolor style, while DKNY is showing black sweater styles with cuffs in vibrant colors.
OVER-THE-KNEE SOCKS: A hot new length, they are shorter than thigh-highs and shown paired with little A-line skirts and kilts. Calvin Klein Hosiery is showing them in a thin striped, collegiate-inspired version.
ANKLE SOCKS: A short, clean silhouette in solids and patterns worn with skirts and pants. Danskin Legwear is making a big statement with this silhouette in its socks assortment in texture and geometric patterns.
TROUSER SOCKS: A high-volume item that everyone has in the fall mix in a wide spectrum of ideas. Styles range from thin microfiber nylon with a powdery matte finish to luxurious chenille looks. La Leg, for example, is showing a large group of solid textured looks, and Trimfit is spotlighting lace. Leggale has borrowed looks from men's wear, and American Essentials is featuring crew versions, which run a bit shorter than the usual trouser sock.
TIGHTS: Vendors are breathing new life into opaque legwear with fresh color, pattern and texture. Hue does cables, and Calvin Klein features a boucle-type chenille. Giorgio Armani Calze goes for small geometric patterns.SHEER HOSIERY: Color adds new verve to the sheer hosiery mix, especially luster styles that give a reflective, high tech look to the leg. Hanes Silk Reflections is offering a luster shimmer look, and color has entered the palette at Anne Klein and Givenchy with rich jewel shades.
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