Hollywood Legs: It's All About Legwork

Amazing gams don't just happen. Celebrity stylists and costume designers reveal their tricks for creating sexy, screen-worthy legs.

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Playing up the legs in “For Your Eyes Only.”

Photo By EON/Ronald Grant Archive/Mary Evans

Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Special Report issue 02/21/2012

George Kotsiopoulos, stylist and host of E’s “Fashion Police,” said fishnets are his legwear of choice.

“I love fishnets because they make even unshapely legs look shapely. A nude fishnet is a great way of doing a bare-leg look without really having a bare leg. Some women think black is too severe, so tan, gray or brown tones it down. And I love the idea of matching sheer hosiery with the same color dress. More people should do it.

“Even though a bare leg looks nice, I can’t understand how women can go around with bare legs,” he added. “If you’re doing an ankle strap or bootie, an opaque tight in the same color really lengthens the leg. And I like tights with sandals, it’s fun. Any heel with a really low vamp is going to lengthen the leg. With a longer skirt, I like ankle-strap shoes. If you don’t have shapely ankles, a strap helps to create the illusion of one.”

Favorite legs on screen: Liza Minnelli in “Cabaret,” Ann-Margret in “Kitten With a Whip,” Shirley MacLaine in “Irma la Douce” and Sharon Stone in “Basic Instinct.”

“There’s also the scene in ‘Working Girl’ where Melanie Griffith is at the bar and Harrison Ford first sees her. Her stockings have back seams and little crystals. The clothes she wore when she transformed [from a secretary to executive] are so timeless and beautiful — and her legs are fantastic.”

Lindsay Albanese, whose clients include Kristin Cavallari and Maria Menounos, is a fan of sheer black hosiery.

“Supersheer black hosiery is perfect for a bit of coverage while still showing off the legs in chilly climates. I also have hundreds of black opaque tights. When in doubt, they always do the trick for style and warmth.

“Any hosiery with a vertical print or design is key to avoid making the legs look bigger than they are. Anything with a sky-high heel elongates the leg. Simple peep- or round-toe shoe styles will always be the best bet because they show off the foot and are a simple silhouette. Nude heels also create the illusion of a longer leg.

“I also love Jergens self tanning lotion and I use NARS bronzing oil, but it’s expensive. So, I found a product at Victoria’s Secret that does that same thing for a fraction of the cost.”

Favorite legs on screen: Julia Roberts wearing white boots in “Pretty Woman.”

Sophia Banks-Coloma, who dresses Kristin Chenoweth and Maggie Grace, and recently costumed Amber Heard in the upcoming indie film “Syrup,” said polka-dots and nude-tones are her go-to items.

“I just styled Jennifer Aspen of ABC’s upcoming ‘Good Christian Belles’ for New York Fashion Week in a lot of tights, and I just sent Melissa Rauch of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ nude tights to wear on the Craig Ferguson show. I think a nude pump makes the leg look longer….I love Brian Atwood and Louboutin pumps for a longer leg. And a pencil skirt is great for a long leg as well as a slim-leg pant.”

Favorite legs on screen: The cancan girls in “Moulin Rouge” and Marilyn Monroe in “How to Marry a Millionaire.”


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