It’s been building for a few seasons.

Since the mid-’90s, women boldly braved the cold with bare legs, free from those saggy, easy-to-run pantyhose and inspired, some say, by the “Sex and the City” ladies.

But last season, major designers began moving back to covered legs.

And at the fashion shows for this fall and winter, there were lots of brightly hued or intricately textured tights, boots paired with floppy socks, tailored skirts worn with opaque tights, even lingerie looks with old-fashioned but sexy nylon stockings, says Edward Miccinati, co-owner of New York-based StockinGirl, an online boutique.

One of his current best-sellers is the swiss dot pantyhose, popular several years ago.

Thus the new style mantra: The covered leg is fresh.

The revived look is good news to some folk.

“I’m personally thrilled with the end of the bare leg,” said Susu Bear, founder of scoopcharlotte.com. “For the last few years, I saw mostly legs in the dead of winter. People were in heavy winter coats and bare legs; people even had them with knee boots. The bare leg is hard when your legs aren’t tan.”

The runway may have spearheaded the legwear revival, and the economy could be helping to empower it.

“If you’re not able to really update your fall wardrobe, using legwear is a good way to do it,” says Miccinati. “The price of entry is not as expensive as other accessories.”

McClatchy Newspapers

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