20 Times Kate Middleton Was Perfectly Posh in a Pair of Tights

Martha Sorren | Feb 21, 2020 Celebrities
20 Times Kate Middleton Was Perfectly Posh in a Pair of Tights
Image: Splash News

Kate Middleton
Splash News

Kate Middleton's sense of style is impeccable. And, sure, the Duchess of Cambridge probably has a royal stylist to help her pick things out and make decisions (especially for big events), but we can just feel that a lot of what goes into a Kate outfit are her own style choices. One thing that Kate Middleton loves to wear? Tights. She's a big fan of black tights specifically, but when she's not wearing those, she's probably wearing nude pantyhose.

That may seem old-fashioned to many of us, but it's actually popular in Europe -- and for royals especially -- to help keep their looks seamless even in the summer. Glamour reported that lingerie expert Jenny Altman said, "Many American women shy away from nude hosiery, but in European countries women wear it all year round for a flawless finish. I think it makes you a lot less self conscious in short skirts. It’s like makeup for your legs!"

It certainly gives Kate a streamlined look, especially when she knows she's going to be constantly photographed. And when she's not wearing nude in the warmer months, she usually opts for a thick black pair of tights in the winter so she can keep wearing dresses year-round, even as the weather gets cold.

Every once in a while, Kate does switch things up, though. She's been seen wearing navy tights, brown tights, and even patterned tights. And, she often reaches for a pair with built-in sticky pads that help grip her favorite heels. Harper's Bazaar reported that one of Kate's go-to brands of pantyhose are from department store John Lewis. They cost $7, come in three colors, and have stickers inside to cling to shoes -- since wearing regular pantyhose and pumps can sometimes be a slippery situation.

To see all the times Kate rocked a pair of tights, keep reading.

  • Graduation Day


    Kate dressed up for her 2005 college graduation from St. Andrews University. In addition to her sheer black stockings, she opted for a black miniskirt, white button down, and black heels. She also paired the all-black look with a brown bag, which is usually a fashion don't. But it was 2005, and she's still kind of rocking it, so we'll let it pass.

  • Throwback Kate

    Kate Middleton in argyle tights
    Splash News

    These days, Kate usually avoids patterned tights, instead opting for nude or black. But back before she was a princess, she wore whatever she wanted. These argyle-printed tights are such a fun pop of pattern next to her black coat and camel colored heels. She should really break out the cool stockings more, it makes for a fun contrast to a more demure look. 

  • Tights With Socks

    Kate Middleton roller skating
    Splash News

    For a roller disco night, Kate paired sheer nude tights with neon yellow shorts and neon pink socks. She was only about eight when the '80s ended, but something tells us that she would have fit right in even as an '80s teen. She has the style down pat. And it was a good move for her to go with nude tights so as not to distract from the rest of her look.

  • 2011 Style


    The hemline on this dress is a lot shorter than today's Kate Middleton would wear. But even back in 2011, Kate was fond of pairing a tight with a dress for a night out. This photo was snapped just a few months after she married Prince William and was still figuring out her royal style. These black stockings are more sheer, but they're very consistent with her current style. She loves a black tight. 

  • Matching with Camilla


    Both Kate and her mother-in-law Camilla Parker Bowles dressed similarly for this 2011 event. They have a similar white color scheme for their dresses (although the Duchess of Cornwall did add some pops of light pink), and they both wore nude pantyhose and nude heels. This was early on in Kate's time as duchess, so maybe she was taking fashion cues from those who had been doing it a lot longer.

  • Colorblocking 


    Kate's black turtleneck, black opaque tights, and black heels make her burgundy suit stand out that much more. In this outfit, Kate's using her tights to create a seamless backdrop against which her more interesting pieces can pop. Sometimes she lets the tights be the star of the look, and sometimes she lets them be a supporting act. That's how well she knows how to rock them.

  • Matching Shoes

    Kate Middleton and prince William
    Splash News

    Like she did with her all-black look, Kate created a seamless line by pairing nude pantyhose with nude shoes. As a result, her legs and feet kind of blend away and people are left to focus on her pretty robin's egg blue coatdress and hat. If she were wearing black tights, her legs would be too similar to Prince William's next to her, so changing things up and going for a tan tight was a good idea.

  • Pop of Color

    Kate Middleton
    Splash News

    Color is not always Kate's thing, so this bright purple dress came a little out of left field. But she kept things classy and more muted on the accessories front to not overpower the eye. That's why she opted for a plain black purse, black tights, and black heels to offset the more powerful pop of purple in the gown. We know she has a stylist who is probably helping her make some of these decisions, but Kate also seems to just know when and how to work a tight.

  • Opting for Sheer


    A lot of times, Kate goes for a more opaque black tight, perhaps to keep her legs extra warm in the winter. But for the 2018 Christmas mass celebration, she went with sheer brown tights. Perhaps because her red coat is so long, she didn't want to make her legs look shorter with a thick wall of color in black tights. With the stockings barely there, we're left to focus on her gorgeous red ensemble with matching velvet gloves, hat, and shoes.

  • All Navy Everything


    Duchess Kate does love to match items of her wardrobe. She even matches her daughter Charlotte sometimes. But this is just so much matching. Kate went with a navy pair of tights for this look, shaking herself out of her usual black stockings rut. But she paired the navy tights with a navy coat dress, navy shoes, navy gloves, a navy purse, and a navy hat. And then Prince William stood next to her in a navy suit. It's a whole lotta blue, but it honestly kind of works.

  • Even While Pregnant


    Even just a couple of months away from her due date for Prince Louis, Kate was out and about at functions dressed in her very best. Looks like she found a maternity tight that she liked, because she paired sheer black stockings with this blue coat dress and black heels. We love that she's tenderly resting one hand on her baby bump, almost just checking in with little Louis.

  • Tan Tights


    We're not sure if Kate got some sort of memo here, but it was really smart that she wore nude stockings to this event. If she'd have gone with her usual black tights, she would have matched this woman next to her, which would have made her blend too much into photos. Instead, Kate stands out in her checkered dress and black heels with her tan tights.

  • Caught in a Jam


    At this St. Patrick's Day event in 2013, Kate accidentally got her heel caught in a grate. As she reached down to free herself, we all got a good look at her slightly sheer black tights. They sure come in handy for moments like this when she unexpectedly has to bend over in a dress. And even when caught in a jam, she's rocking those tights.

  • Tights & Boots


    Instead of her usual black or nude pumps, Kate opted for a black boot during this 2015 trip to Scotland. It was October at the time, and she really went out of her way to bundle up. She's got a turtleneck on, gloves, thick black tights, and knee-high boots. Tights are a great way to take boots from fall into winter, because they guard the part of the leg that would otherwise be exposed to the elements. Plus, they just help a look really come together.

  • A Pop of Pattern


    Kate didn't totally leave behind her patterned tights days when she became a duchess. In 2013, she wore these brown tights with a polka dot pattern along with tall brown boots and a camel colored coat. The pattern on the tights is hardly noticeable unless her knee was bent, but it was still a fun change up from her usual style. Still, it's been a few years since we've seen the duchess wear a pattern on her legs. Bring it back, Kate!

  • Mixing Navy & Black


    Some of the style elite would have us think that no one should mix navy and black in one outfit, but Kate is doing it here. She paired two black accessories -- a purse and boots -- with the rest of her navy look -- a navy plaid coat dress and navy tights -- and totally pulled the whole thing off. Because she does wear so many pairs of black tights, it's always fun to see Kate mix things up and go with a navy pair every once in a while.

  • The Duchess Slant


    The so-called "duchess slant" is the special way that members of the royal family sit when they know they will be photographed in a dress. Knees together and ankles to the side makes sure there are no unseemly photos get taken, and it's considered more polite than crossing one's legs. Kate's an old pro at the duchess slant, and this particular one gives us a great look at her tan tights that she paired with a purple dress and black heels.

  • Mixing Things Up


    Kate strayed from her beloved black or nude tights for this outing. Instead of mixing brown and black, she opted to keep her look streamlined and wear brown tights with her brown suede boots. She rarely wears brown to events, so this is basically a rare outfit. Enjoy the style switch-up while it's here. Hopefully she knows how much she can rock a brown pair of tights and gives it another try some day.

  • Running in Tights


    No one wants a run in their tights, but Kate doesn't mind running in her tights. For this 2012 event, Kate hopped onto the field to play some hockey. We don't know what's more impressive -- that she's playing in heeled boots or that she's playing in tights or that she's playing in a dress. We love it all. She makes everything look so effortless.

  • Christmas Day


    Even though it was Christmas and a bit chilly, Kate opted for nude tights in 2016 to go with her maroon coat. Perhaps she wanted to let little Charlotte's cranberry tights stand out instead. (Plus, black tights with a dark maroon dress is a lot of dreary color together.) Kate had Charlotte in tights from early on, so she's probably going to grow up loving them, just like mom. Perhaps Charlotte can teach her mom to be a little more adventurous color wise when it comes to tights. though.


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