Ask Allie – Peeptoe Shoes and Legwear?

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Hi Allie, What do you think about pantyhose or opaque tights with peep toe heels? Are both absolute no-no's? I can't stand Sarah Palin, but thanks to her I've now discovered the world of Naughty Monkey shoes. I live in Baltimore and am considering going bare-legged while wearing peep toe shoes. Thoughts? (apologies if you're a Palin fan) 🙂 Amy

Hey Amy:
Well hope this doesn't offend any other readers, but I can't stand her either!  However Naughty Monkey DOES have some utterly adorable shoes!

tights peeptoe heels

As for your question:

Pantyhose with peeptoes – bad
Tights with peeptoes – doable


… as long as you keep a contrast – like black tights and red shoes, red tights and black shoes, texture tights and solid heels, etc. If you make it look purposeful, it works. It's hip, it's funky, it's fun.

tights peeptoe shoes

When I used to drive to work, I often wore peeptoes with trousers in the dead of Maryland winter. Now that I have to walk more than two aisles of a parking lot, I wouldn't dare. However all over the city I see women rocking peeptoes in winter. Those wearing them with bare legs look insane (unless it is dashing from car to evening gala), those with sheer hose look as though they haven't picked up a fashion mag in the past decade (sorry, it just looks dated – if you must wear hose keep them with more simple or period-style of shoes so you don't look like a Rockette), those who do it with good contrast and sense of humor look the most pulled together.  Hope that helps!

UPDATE: It seems that in the UK tights and pantyhose are synonymous; I believe this is causing some confusion. 🙂  When I state tights, I mean opaque legwear, as seen in the images in this post. When I mention pantyhose, I am writing about sheer legwear, sometimes that comes in a color but is most regularly seen as attempting to match the color of the wearer's skin.

The difference is in denier; most stockings are around a denier of 5; the higher the number the more opaque (up to around 80). Usually, retailers will note on the packaging if what you are purchasing is considered tights or pantyhose. Often you can find the denier on the back of the package.

Pantyhose used to be a given with most skirts and tights but have become quite dated in the past few years. Yes, you will occasionally see celebs and socialites wear them, but they run a fine line between looking stylish and tacky. I find they are best worn for conservative environments or by True Fashionistas.

A reinforced toes is NEVER acceptable in an open toe shoe, no matter the type of legwear.

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. I don’t know where women got the
    idea that hose with open shoes was
    bad. We men have always loved to
    see it. I don’t care what the
    fashion rules are, it looks good!

  2. Thanks Allie! This post is very timely as I’m about to spend $200 on a pair of peep-toes and was thinking about this very issue this morning!

    Like some of the other readers who’ve commented I’m also confused about the issue of reinforced toes. I was always under the impression that anything goes with peep-toes (hah, sounds like a slogan) provided that “anything” didn’t have a reinforced toe.

    Is that the case? Or is it only ever appropriate to wear tights or stockings without a reinforced toe with peep-toes? Also do the stockings have to be opaque or can they be semi-opaque?

    Thank you!
    Harmony 🙂

  3. What is your definition of pantyhose as opposed to tights? I’ve always regarded them as different names for the same thing. Are you saying that pantyhose are skin-coloured and tights are anything else?

  4. Perhaps I am alone here, but the sight of tights with a peep toe shoe ALWAYS makes me cringe. I absolutely hate the look. To me, it looks just as horribly misplaced and out of season as a mini-skirt paired with Uggs.

  5. I have to disagree on this one. You do make a distinction between “simple/period-style” peep-toed shoes and I guess modern shoes, but to me, the more modern ones that would look inappropriate with nude stockings (without a reinforced toe) look just as out-of-place with opaque fashion tights — it looks like you’re trying to jerry-rig out-of-season clothing for the colder weather. I’d probably make a distinction between winter peep-toeds and summer peep-toeds, and say that since stockings are pretty much socially and physically mandatory in colder climates (and always acceptable especially in more conservative cities), you can wear stockings (without reinforced toe) with peep-toed shoes as long as the shoes are season-appropriate (as everything should be!).

  6. You give fabulous advice, Allie! I love the funky look of Naughty Monkey peep-toes with tights, but I’m pretty sure I’d fall and injure myself if I wore shoes so high. Thanks for all the great advice – I’m 5’0 tall, and have appreciated your information for petites!

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