As the biggest retail season of the year approaches, legwear
manufacturers are singing a familiar tune: “Tis the season to wear and
But, not as many manufacturers are
making holiday-specific legwear as in the past (those which sport
holiday themes, patterns and designs that are specific only to the
holiday season), choosing instead to update specific styles and market
them for the season and for gift-giving.“
Holiday socks are fun, but very niche,” explains Denise Yow of Moretz
Inc. “For Moretz, we are more successful with making special styles and
color updates to existing planograms specific to the Christmas Holiday.
This helps to give merchants a longer selling period and reduce
In its HUE line, Kayser-Roth
Corporation rolls out holiday socks, slipper socks and HUES (slippers)
featuring everything from snowflakes, santas and metallic gingerbread
men to tuckered out kitties hanging on giant ornament balls. HUE’s
holiday gift categories are not confined, however, to holiday themes,
they also include a variety of slipper socks, slippers, socks and sheers
that could be worn year-round as well as glittery show-stopping styles
for ringing in the New Year.
Socks and sheers fall into two marketing arenas for the holidays: gifts
and holiday wear. Most legwear makers target both with their holiday
products. Socks and sheers make for good gift-giving because they are
affordable and functional.
And, they can be used for
accessorizing holiday outfits ranging from the most-casual to the
Fine Line Hosiery makes sheers for
the holidays with decorative backseams. Backseams doted with red hearts
in either black or white sheers are big for the season as well the
manufacturer’s fl oral vine pattern.
The Randalman, N.C. company also
features sheers for the holiday with a stripe which come in black, white
and red, according to Lisa Elliot, vice president and plant manager. For
holiday dressing, Wells Hosiery is decorating sheers with rhinestones:
rhinestones decorate the backseams and are sprinkled on black sheers.
Metallics and shine applications which have been rolled out for fall
also should be good sellers for holiday wear.“ Sheers sparkle with lots
of shine while they provide glamour to holiday attire,” says Kim Smith
of Acme-McCrary Corporation.
For a night on the town, HUE has
rhinestone backseams, tuxedo stripe sheers in black or nude, Lurex rib
sheers, shimmer sheers in black, gold or silver, lace trim tulle thigh
highs and stockings with built-in garters.
With skirts being the hot fashion
item for fall, legwear is stepping onto center stage in the fall fashion
scene. And, legwear designers are anticipating a good season for tights
and sheers as well as socks.
“Legwear once again had a starring
role on the fall runways of top designers ranging from Anna Sui to Marc
Jacobs to Dolce Gabbana,” says Allison Hessert Kayser-Roth Corporation,
makers of HUE legwear.
“Making an appearance at the shows
were traffi c-stopping graphic prints, romantic openwork, textured
legwear, solid opaques, school girl knee-highs and ladylike sheers“ .
Even Chanel showed funky legwarmers
in a variety of fabrications from ribbed knits to sheers on almost all
the looks.” Legwear in general is getting much more press in fashion
magazines and catalogs this season.
Predicted to hit the fall fashion
scene running this year will be knee-high socks. Traditionally a fall
basic with a limited following, knee-highs are expected to take a giant
step into the fashion arena to be one of the hottest fashion trends of
“Knee socks are all the rage,” says
Hessert. HUE has rolled out an array of knee-highs bias plaids, classic
argyles in both traditional and funky colors, contrast herringbone,
heavy tweeded styles, stripes and femme angora openwork. Detailing
includes colorful flecks, fur pom poms and embroidered edging.
Although fashion forecasters expect
the sales of knee-highs to boom with consumers pairing them with skirts
as well as pants, some manufacturers are taking a wait-and-see approach.
“Knee-highs are very much being
talked about as being in great demand, but it is too early to know if
the consumer will actually respond,” says Denise Yow of Moretz Inc. In
socks, surface appeal will be important with visible textures taking
precedence over patterns, says Yow. Moretz has introduced sock styles
with a lot of marling and tweed textures. The manufacturer is using
luxury blends with wools, angora and cashmere.
Romantic influences will continue to be big in ladies’ apparel giving
another boost to the sale of tights and trousers.
“Tights are perfect with the romantic influences we are gong to see
this fall,” says Kim Smith of Acme-McCrary Cortion. “They will be
available in both net/crochet constructions and opaque textures. The
continuation of beadwork, embroidery and crochet in apparel and
accessories compliments the looks that we’ll see in legwear.
”Floral prints will continue to be
big sellers and plaids, mixed plaids, herringbones and argyles will be
important patterns in tights and trousers, according to Well’s Hosiery’s
Linda Measmer. Wells Hosiery makes trousers and tights in microfibers.
“We can expect to see an increased demand for items such as opaques
(darks and ribbed) and cable knit tights, menswear patterns and footless
tights,” says Hessert.
Hue’s collection of fashion tights
includes bold plaid opaques, textured tights in leopard, houndstooth and
herringbone, antique openwork, crochet and nets and colorful, crazy
tights inspired by Pucci’s graphic designs. They also have sweater
tights and legwarmers.
Browns will dominate the color
palette along with rich burgundies, warm greens and golds and rust
tones. There will be some interesting palettes of blue including
turquoise and teals.
“Another important palette this fall
is the inky blues,” says Smith of Acme-McCrary. “They transform into
refined casual with a laid-back attitude They are jean-friendly and
provide a break for the khaki family. Shades of inky blues includes Rio,
Wonder Blue and Midnight.” Shine will shine through in fall hosiery,
especially gold and bronze.
“Metallics have become the new
neutrals,” says Hessert. Fine Line Hosiery is making several styles of
plated tights in diamond, floral, heather patterns and ribs. “Consumers
will also pay close attention to the hand of this fall’s yarn palette,’
adds Smith. “Our yarns will be fine yet dense as they provide unique
hand and fit proper-ties. This is being executed inmodal, microfiber
nylon and fine grades of wool blends.”