What do female lawyers have in common with Kate and Pippa Middleton? Sheer stockings.
The stretchy nylon nemesis, banished in the '90s to the corporate world, is making a comeback in the fashion universe thanks to the Duchess of Cambridge. Even the mini-Middleton, Pippa, has been spotted wearing sheer stockings. But while the Middleton sisters have become style sensations over the last year, will female lawyers enjoy a similar response by following their legwear lead?
While pantyhose are required among the women of the royal court, they are no longer necessary for female members of the bar.
Style rules for female lawyers have evolved over the last 40 years. The skirt suit gave way to the pantsuit in the '70s. By the '90s, work hemlines were rising, thanks to Ally McBeal's post-feminist influence (and thigh-grazing skirt suits). Over the last 10 years, female lawyers have traded suits at the office for separates.
Laura Wasser, divorce attorney to the stars and frequent subject for glossy fashion magazine editorials, recommends sticking to skirt suits, but ditching the pantyhose.
Wasser told Elle that she relaxed her courtroom attire as she gained credibility. Wasser, who wears regularly wears four-inch heels to court, said, "I don't try to be sexy, but I do want to look as good as I can. I wouldn't wear anything low cut or too short."
Attire for court, however, differs from job interviews. Despite the outdated nature of sheer stockings, law school career offices and bar associations both recommend that women wear pantyhose for interviews. Don't think of it as punishment for being a female lawyer; think of it as a chance to forge a bond with Kate and Pippa Middleton.
- What is Appropriate Dress for Court? (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life)
- Opening Statements: What to Wear to Court (The Wall Street Journal)
- The Best Law Firms for Women (FindLaw)
- Dressed to The Nine: The Verdict on Supreme Court Robes (FindLaw's Supreme Court blog)