While some of that demand might be due to the cold winter weather, it’s likely due to shifting preferences especially among younger women. In her blog for The NPD Group Inc., Maria Ianni, senior category specialist at NPD Fashion Apparel, wrote, “As tights are increasingly becoming more of an accessory to complement any outfit, the endless choices of patterns and hues make them fun and fashionable. Even traditional pantyhose have made a comeback over the last few years thanks to public figures like Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge who has made wearing pantyhose an acceptable fashion look.”
Actually women’s tights are growing at a faster rate across all age groups, but there’s an interesting lift happening in sales of sheer hosiery for wearers in the 13 to 24 year-old group, Ianni said.
“Their share of the category has grown 3%*, now accounting for 14% of dollars sales. It was surprising to see that sales of sheer hosiery declined among women over the age of 45, although they still account for the lion’s share of dollar sales (59%),” Ianni said.
Spanning from September to March is the tights season, which accounts for more than 80% of sales. On the flip side, sheer hosiery spans out a little further from September to April and accounts for 75% of dollar sales. Approximately 25% of sheer hosiery sales come from the warmer months (May to August).
*Source: The NPD Group, Inc./Consumer Tracking Service, March 2013 –February 2014 vs. March 2012 vs. February 2013 (Tights may include leggings) www.npd.com