The Sex and the City effect


Was it all about the shoes ?

With the release of Sex and the city 2 due on DVD and blueray i decided to have a quick look at the movie.  The series was brilliant, witty, touching and moving, the film failed to produce on any of these counts. A lacklustre plot, with some truly dreadful dialogue used to pad out the film, had insult added to injury by the misogynistic and anti-Muslim themes that run throughout the film. The characters failed to sparkle and one rather lost all sympathy for all concerned. The film also got me thinking how strange Carrie and the girls never or rarely wear tights or legwear throughout the series, New Yorks not really that warm either. Imagine how in demand tights would have been if say SJP had slipped on a pair of Henry Hollands letter or suspender tights. Well it got me digging around the internet and i found the following pictures from the first series with the girls donning tights and the article on sagging hosiery sales below from 2007 called the Sex and the city effect. It seems the girls in real life though aren't so allergic to lycra, pictures follow the article.
Was it so we just focused on all the lovely shoes HBO ?

Oringina xo

The Sex and the City effect

NEW YORK — It didn't matter if the weather outside was frightful: Most fashionable women headed to holiday parties bare-legged.

Among Allure magazine's December tips for hot holiday looks: "Lose the Hose."

For pantyhose makers, it seems the sales slide that started in the mid-1990s still has legs.

The hoseless trend has socked companies such as Hanesbrands — whose lines include Hanes, L'eggs and Just My Size. Sales from its hosiery segment have fallen each year since 1995. That unit's revenue for the fiscal year ended in July was down 14.3% from the year before to $290 million. The company warns investors in its latest annual report: "We expect the trend of declining hosiery sales to continue as a result of shifts in consumer preferences."

Among causes of sagging sales:

•Relaxed office dress. In the 1990s, dress codes loosened. For women, pants and a blouse often replaced suits with skirts. By 2000, Casual Fridays had morphed into more-casual all week at many offices.

•The Sex and the City effect. Carrie Bradshaw and her cronies showed that bare legs and sexy shoes made a potent combo. The HBO show lives on in TBS reruns as does its hoseless fab footwear fashion legacy: open-toed shoes and slinky, strappy sandals.

•Better looks for bare legs. Gone are tanning products that imparted a sickly orange glow. Cosmetics companies now offer a range of affordable, natural-looking spray tans and self-tanning creams. Meanwhile, fierce competition among nail salons — including a rise in South Korean and Vietnamese owner-operated shops — brought faster pedicure service at lower prices, says research group Mintel. That has helped keep shoes that show off the work popular.

•Pantyhose can be a pain in the butt and purse. Pantyhose can feel like a tourniquet, and once a pair gets a snag, it usually has to be tossed. Going without discomfort costing from a few dollars to more than $40 a pair was a trend many women were happy to embrace.

"I can't stand wearing pantyhose. I haven't worn them in years nor do I intend to in the future," says Janelle Baker, 32, of Overland Park, Kan. "I don't understand the logic of women wanting to wear something that is difficult to get on, generally uncomfortable and has a high risk of not being wearable at any moment (due) to a run."

Maintaining hope

Pantyhose makers aren't giving up. "The industry is not dead," says Sally Kay, president of the Hosiery Association, a trade group. "Certain areas are flourishing, and others aren't. Forward-thinking companies are diversifying their product offerings."

Given sales trends, getting space on retail floors for new styles will be hard, however, says NPD Group apparel analyst Marshal Cohen.

"What retailer has a good assortment of unique pantyhose?" he says. "They only carry basics, and they shove them to the back of the store on the third floor."

Cohen says the hosiery industry hasn't been aggressive enough in reaching out to consumers, such as through direct sales, for example.

Kay says, "We're trying to be more user-friendly. Our plan is to become more interactive and even create blogs" with advice on how to wear the new styles.

Among industry moves:

•Footloose fashion. Makers have been encouraged by acceptance of footless leggings, a return of a style fashionable in the 1980s.

In fall 2005, Kayser-Roth's Hue line had one style and two colors — black and espresso. By this fall, sales were strong enough to expand to eight styles in a range of colors that include bullfrog and eggplant, says spokeswoman Alison Hessert.

The company courted consumers in September at New York's Fashion Week, an event where designers show off their latest styles, by setting up street carts and handing out 4,000 footless tights along with bookmarks with advice on how best to wear them.

•Making offbeat office-appropriate. The industry is pumping out more unconventional legwear, such as fishnets and plush cashmere leggings, that aim to add panache to a workplace suit. Muted colors and styles, such as beige tones and smaller basket weaves make the look more subtle, says Kay, who says she has worn charcoal fishnets to board meetings.

"Fishnets were once only thought of for ladies of the night or showgirls," says Kay. "They didn't have a connotation that it was appropriate for the workplace."

•Comfy body shapers. Spanx — a 6-year-old newcomer to the body-shaping industry — has shown that shape-enhancing undergarments can be fashionable as well, leading celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Oprah Winfrey to rave about its offerings.

This spring, Kayser-Roth's No Nonsense brand will begin selling Great Shapes, a line of hip-yet-comfortable products that includes footless body shapers. This month, Hanes will launch Go Figure, a line of shapers also designed for comfort.

•Tradition that's good for you. To make classic, sheer pantyhose more appealing, Hanes' Silk Reflections launched a Leg Benefits line in July that is designed to improve circulation and is infused with vitamin E to soften skin.

The right direction

There are signs the new products are steps in the right direction.

Industry sales of tights —Allure gave opaque tights the fashion OK — are up 15% to $125 million for the year ending October over the previous year, says the NPD Group.

And the decline for sheer pantyhose seems to be bottoming: Sales for the year ending in October fell 1.9% to $644 million vs. a 13.8% year-over-year drop to $657 million the previous year.

Hosiery makers are trying to think of the future broadly and positively.

"Looking at all areas of legwear, as opposed to just hosiery, is a smart thing," says Kayser-Roth's Hessert. "You just try to work with what's working, and you'll try to focus on the positive. So, if footless tights are going well, we'll go out of our way to accommodate it."

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