While there is no right answer to this question, here's an infographic to illustrate this slightly complex topic.
To elaborate, hosiery can be simplified into two categories: sheer (less than 20 denier) and opaque (more than 20 denier). While sheer stockings are meant for formal events, opaque stockings are meant for casual settings.
As you will see in our table, we do not recommend wearing sheer stockings with sandals, open-toe, or peephole shoes for any occasions – simply put, it does not look good. Seriously, who wants to see feet and toes underneath sheer stockings on any occasion? Avoid social awkwardness by covering your toes with closed-toe shoes.
On the other hand, wearing opaque stockings with open-toe shoes is acceptable. Opaque stockings cover your toes and therefore you do not need to worry about looking silly.
Additionally, we asked three professional stylists to provide insight on this fabulous topic: Meet Ginger Burr (Founder of Total Image Consultant, and author of That's So You!), Diana Moore, Stylist extraordinaire of Worth New York, Tricia Cromwell, Founder of Trust In Tricia, and Susan Kanoff, stylists and owner of The Midlife Fashionista.
|According to Ginger Burr:|
"I discourage women from wearing stockings with open-toed shoes. Perhaps someone who is 20 can pull it off as looking trendy and cool, but anyone over 40 doing the same thing has a tendency to look old and stodgy. The exception is black tights. Since you can’t see your toes through the material and they are usually worn (although not always) with black shoes, it doesn’t make your toes look webbed (like regular stockings do)."
|Diana Moore says:|
"I think stockings with open-toe shoes look terrible. The only exception would be a very narrow opening at the toe of the shoe."
|Contrastingly, Tricia believes:|
"Yes, you can wear stockings with open-toe shoes."Tricia recommends getting stockings that do not have a reinforced toe or a large seam on the toe.
|And Tricia is not the only one who believes stockings can be worn with open-toe shoes. According to Stacy London, of What Not To Wear, she too agrees that hosiery can be paired with open-toe shoes so long as the shoe is more of a peep-toe.|
Interestingly enough, for Spring 2017, designers such as Altuzarra, Balenciaga, and Céline intentionally dressed models in pantyhose with open-toe shoes on the runway as well (read Liana Satenstein's article in Vogue).
|But then again, perhaps stockings and shoes may be just a trend? In the famous words of Yves St. Laurent: "Fashions fade, style is eternal". Ultimately, it's up to you to establish your own style and sophistication.|
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