Fashion Question Answered: Should you wear pantyhose to a formal dinner?

Bare feet and a formal gown.

Credit: toes and shoes under dress image by Paul Retherford

Traditional Advice

According to Ladies Home Journal, pantyhose were once required for a formal event with little to no exception. The old tradition dictated that pantyhose at a formal event were mannerly and in “good taste”.

New Trends

Today, wearing hose is optional in most other scenarios in which they were typically required; there is a choice between nude colors; i.e. those that match your skin tone as nearly as possible; and those, which match the color of your shoes–not necessarily your dress. Further, women are also considered formally dressed in certain high-end pantsuits. However, despite new trends for fabulous nudes by such designers as Donna Karen or DKYNY, according to formal dress guidelines from Style Experts, Inc. “Black tie means glitter and glitz, evening/long dresses usually strappy or strapless with sheer hosiery and rich strappy, even Metallic sandals/pumps.”

Bottom Line

Since both sources cite pantyhose as a proper portion of a formal outfit, at the end of the day, experts agree and recommend that women wear some sort of leg covering or hosiery in a formal dinner-party or other formal setting–even if choosing a fabulous pantsuit.



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