First there were It bags, then there were trophy shoes. Now, it seems, we are entering the age of must-have hosiery.
Sixty-three per cent of women now spend between £11 and £30 on a single pair of tights, inspired by the legwear of stars including Cheryl Cole and Alexandra Burke according to a new survey.
Online retailer Tights Please, which commissioned the research, is now predicting a surge in sales of Wolford's £32 Bondage tights after Cheryl Cole was spotted wearing them in the video for her single Promise This.
Must-have tights: Cheryl Cole, left, in Wolford's Bondage tights, and Alexandra Burke in Falke's Glamour tights, have sparked a trend for expensive hosiery
Already, X Factor winner Alexandra Burke has generated sales for Falke's £22 Glamour tights after she performed in them at the Help for Heroes concert earlier this month.
And Henry Holland's designs for Pretty Polly have proved especially popular - they've been worn by everyone from Pixies Lott and Geldof to the Saturdays' Frankie Sandford and Agyness Deyn.
Charles Duncombe, Director of the site said: 'Tights have become key to the total look of an outfit and the price women are prepared to pay for them has increased, as they are no longer seen as an after-thought.
'We have been retailing tights for 10 years and have seen the average price rise from £4 in 2000 to £7 today as customers have demanded higher quality. This is an increase of 30 per cent over inflation.'
Mr Duncombe explained that luxury tights were an achievable way for consumers to buy into the glamour of their favourite celebrities.
Best foot forward: Pixie Lott, left, and Agyness Deyn, right, are fans of Henry Holland's tights for Pretty Polly
'The explosion of the celebrity scene on the internet has created a "me too" approach to buying hosiery and our customers want to look just like their favourite stars,' he added.
'A pair of tights costing in the region of £15 buys them a little of the glamour of
Cheryl Cole or Alexandra Burke, as the rest of their outfit will probably be beyond their budget.'
But while Cheryl's tiger-striped hoisery is a far cry from Marks & Spencer's black opaque multipacks, they are practically budget compared to other products in the Wolford range.
The £79 Seraphine tights are fishnets embellished with hand-sewn crystals, while the Fringe tights, which feature layers of fringing from calf to ankle, cost an eye-watering £200. At that price you're unlikely to have much left to spend on anything else.
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