Sales of flesh-toned tights have soared 500 per cent thanks to the Duchess of Cambridge.02:02:00
She has been credited with driving sales across the fashion industry thanks to her pitch-perfect style and global appeal. Thanks to the so-called Kate effect the nation is mad for the Duchess of Cambridge's ladylike style.
But the biggest coup for the Duchess has not been rising sales of the neatly fitted dresses she favours, or the flamboyant fascinators - it is the surge in popularity of nude tights.
The frumpy hosiery, once the preserve of grandmothers everywhere, has been given a major shot in the arm by Kate's patronage.
The Kate effect: The Duchess of Cambridge's fondess for nude hosiery has seen sales soar 500 per cent, George at Asda revealed today
Asda today revealed today that they have seen sales of their nude hosiery soar a staggering 500 per cent - and they say it's in a large part down to Kate.
'Our George customers love Kate Middleton,' a spokesman for George at Asda said today.
'George.com has been flooded with searches for skin-coloured tights which have become a wardrobe staple for the Duchess over the past year.'
They did concede that our recent inclement weather may have played some part in driving sales, saying that thanks to the rain and chill in the air, shoppers who would by now have been bare-legged are opting to wear the sheer stockings.
'Nude tights are perfect for this time of year for customers who aren’t quite ready to ditch the black winter tights, but want to bare their legs,' George's spokesman said.
In the nude: Hayden Panettiere wearing sheer tights last year, Pippa Middleton at a wedding last weekend, and a pre-pregnancy Carla Bruni-Sarkozy
'We have had a similar reaction to a number of George items that have been favoured by Kate including a 300 per cent sales uplift on our mac collection, as well as a 471 per cent uplift on our coloured denim after her appearance in a coral pair last month.
'We expect the Kate phenomenon to continue as she has now established herself as a British style icon and can’t wait to see what she will be wearing next.'
Last year Tightsplease reported seeing a 90 per cent increase in sales of nude tights year-on-year, while Selfridges reported a 40 per cent rise.
Of course Catherine is not the only famous name to favour sheer pantyhose. Her sister, Pippa Middleton, is also a dedicated fan of the look, as is French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.
Hayden Panettiere, Beyonce and Sarah Jessica Parker have also championed the nude tights revival.
BY HER MAJESTY'S ORDER: ROYAL PROTOCL BEHIND TREND FOR SHEER STOCKINGS
While it is true that nude stockings can hide a multitude of sins, they have not been in vogue since the Eighties and the result is a somewhat ageing look, at odds with her otherwise youthful style.
But would Catherine actually be wearing these tights if she weren't in the public eye? The fact that she is always wearing them, and closed-toe shoes for that matter, indicate that she is simply adhering to Royal protocol.
Royal protocol? Princess Beatrice, the Countess of Wessex and Princess Eugenie in sheer tights at Easter
Indeed, one will never see the Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall or the Countess of Wessex without sheer stockings and closed-toe shoes. Even fashion-conscious Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie comply.
And when Tom Hanks' wife Rita Wilson described the dress code for a recent white tie event at Buckingham Palace, the rules were the same.
She told Harper's Bazaar: 'The palace dress requirements say that women... must wear closed-toed shoes - and get this: stockings! Sheer disbelief - I don't even own a pair of sheer hose.'
Of course, like everything else the Duchess has worn since her engagement in November last year, sheer tights have been flying off the shelves.