SINGER Dua Lipa flaunted her suspenders at the Brits this week. While some applauded her look, others were horrified. So should Dua, 25, have covered up?
Sun Sexpert Georgette Culley and Fashion Editor Clemmie Fieldsend go head to head on whether flashing your suspenders is fashion- forward or a faux-pas.
YES – says Georgette
SLIPPING into a pair of silky stockings, I instantly feel like a million dollars. Not only do my legs look longer and sexier, I feel empowered.
You may think I’m about to surprise my man in the bedroom but I’m actually getting ready for a night out with my pals.
This week, my love for wearing hosiery as outerwear was cemented by fashion icon Dua.
It told all women that silky undies don’t just belong in the bedroom — and Dua’s right. I’ve been flying the flag for them as “proper” clothing for years.
Hosiery is so versatile and comes in lots of colours and styles, so you can wear it with almost any outfit.
I’ve worn stockings in the daytime under a short dress and also on nights out. They look classy and stylish and can add edge to an outfit.
THE EPITOME OF GLAMOUR
I’ve had friends who disagree. “It looks a bit trashy,” one said, as I turned up to the park in fishnets under a white blouse-dress and biker boots.
I don’t get offended — each to their own — but I don’t think people should tell others how to dress. It’s my body, thank you very much.
In my top drawer, I have black, red, white, blue, PVC, polka dot, fishnet, sheer and matt-style stockings.
But my most-loved are the vintage hemmed ones favoured during World War Two.
In the austerity years of the Forties, when they were seen as the epitome of Hollywood glamour, there was a shortage of nylons and fashion -conscious women resourcefully resorted to painting them on instead.
Crafty girls used nude makeup as the base and black eyeliner for the seam to create the illusion of a sexy stocking, before hitting the town in a cocktail dress.
For much of the 20th century, stockings were a staple of a women’s wardrobe and it was normal for them to be on show.
Roll on 70-odd years and the daring look is popular once again. Madonna, Rihanna and Mariah Carey have all rocked it at star- studded events.
Of course, some people will always believe they only belong in the bedroom. But don’t forget, most women don’t dress for men, they dress for themselves.
What’s more, as half of us say they feel sexiest and most confident when wearing lingerie, why limit ourselves to a fancy bra and knickers?
NO – says Clemmie
FASHION royalty Christian Dior famously said: “Real elegance is everywhere, especially in the things that don’t show.” He couldn’t be more right.
The sex appeal in stockings lies in the mystery. When we wear them under skirts, it’s the tantalising glimpse of a suspender clip that sends men’s pulses racing.
Are they tights or stockings? It’s a guessing game and, as women, we held all the cards.
So why spoil the fun? What makes them sexy having it all on show? There’s no temptation.
Two images spring to mind when I think of hold-ups — the first being Sienna Miller walking out of the bathroom in 2004 film Layer Cake, in a black lingerie set with waist-shaping suspender belt and sheer stockings. She looked gorgeous.
The other is EastEnders character Kat Slater stumbling out of the The Queen Vic and collapsing, flashing her laddered stockings. God love her, but not so glamorous.
There’s a stigma attached to showing off your drawers in public, and for a reason — it doesn’t look good.
A TREND BEST LEFT IN THE PAST
I’ve made the faux pas myself. In 2012, Henry Holland released a range of hosiery that gave the illusion of suspenders but, in fact, were tights.
Everyone from Rihanna to Alexa Chung was wearing them. So being in my early twenties and following every trend, I bought into it (just £12 from Debenhams, so why not?).
Who was I kidding? I looked utterly ridiculous and I instantly regretted it.
Looking back, the A-listers who wore them looked daft, too.
When stockings were the height of fashion back in the Forties, silk and cotton styles were worn by the stars.
High-society women would only be seen in a pair of milky-white stockings, paired with a blouson, knee-length breeches and Cuban-heeled shoes.
But some trends are best left in the past. Wearing suspenders as outerwear should stay in the history books — not be in the present day.
Dua looked amazing on the red carpet in her Vivienne Westwood Couture dress but the stockings should have stayed in her knicker drawer.
Some things are best left to the imagination.
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