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End To The Cover-Up?

For the last few winters, women have had to suffer through the bare leg trend to stay in fashion — even in the frostiest weather.

But thanks to the return of the mini skirt, the great leg cover-up has finally begun. The only look that's apparently out this season is a bare leg.

In this week's Hib Report, Early Show contributor Laurie Hibberd will show how to keep your outfit in style, using all the colors, textures and layers of legwear available.

"You can have a lot of fun and you can play with it," says Julia Townsend, HUE Legwear's general manager. "Now is a great time in legwear fashion because there's so much out there for women and she can create her own look."

That look can be just about anything a woman wants to put together.

The mood this season seems to be "anything goes." Vogue magazine gave its stamp of approval to the opaque look with a full spread in its October issue. And even major designers are showing their legwear. Armani's fall ads feature lacy stockings, and Prada is showing sexy black sheers.

"This has been a better sheer business that we've seen this fall than we've seen in any number of years," Townsend says.

Tobey Tucker says the fashion trend was propelled by the Marc Jacobs show.

"Its really the starting point of it," he explains. "He showed all kinds of opaque, really super bright tights on the runway. Carolina Herrera showed a bunch of fishnets on the runway, which were amazing and ladylike and beautiful."

The fishnets, which had their last hey day in the '60s, were immortalized by and Tim Curry in the "Rocky Horror Picture Show."

But this time, they hit the streets with a twist. You can wear them alone or pair them with a bright tight.

"Our fishnet business is three times the size this fall that it was last year," explains Townsend. "So, I think fishnets and a pair of colored opaques if you're going to pick a legwear accessory, you got to have for fall 2003, buy one pair of each of those things and you'll be able to accomplish that for under 20 bucks."

But is it a look for everyone? Some fashion experts think that no matter what your legs look like, some vibrant tights will make them look skinnier, and you look younger. Not everyone shares that opinion.

"Be honest with yourself about what your body looks like," says InStyle magazine's Toby Tucker.

If you want to be part of this trend and you don't have exhibitionist tendencies, just wear a pair of plain black opaque tights. You'll look trendy and great.