Little girls copying mom's stylish legs


Now that colorful leggings and tights have become staples of women's wardrobes, several legwear companies are introducing lines for little girls, ever eager to look grown up. This spring, members of the lively set will camouflage their limbs in tulip colors and posy prints.

Hue, an 11-year-old New York company that designs and makes fashion legwear for women, has introduced its girls' line in styles that come in demure pastels like violet and sky, bouncy colors like mango and lime, sophisticated neutrals like malachite, and neons like fuchsia and yellow 16 colors in all.

"There's a new sophistication in children's ready-to-wear," said Sandy Chilewich, president of Hue. "And we think our designs will wake up the children's hosiery area."

The leggings and tights are "one size fits all," knit to fit children 3 feet 10 to 5 feet 4, weighing 45 to 100 pounds. The decision was based on market research that revealed frustration among parents.

"Parents complained that they can never tell if a pair will fit, and daughters were outgrowing tights before they'd even been washed," Chilewich said.

Hue's lace-cuffed capri-length leggings are about $10; silky opaque tights in Lycra are $7.50; cotton-and-Lycra tights are $9.50. "Knickies," an over-the-knee style trimmed with a ruffle, are $11.50.

Peeking out from under the hem of a miniskirt, they look flirty. Cotton-and-Lycra capri-length leggings with a matte finish ($9.50) may be worn under layers say, a T-sweatshirt and jacket.

Hue leggings are sold in about 5,500 stores nationwide. In the New York area, the leggings are at Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Macy's, major children's clothing stores and legwear boutiques.

fTC Limited Too clothing stores, for children 2 to 14, are showing lace-trimmed capri-length footless tights of nylon and Lycra blends ($8). Footless leggings without the lace, in a blend of cotton and spandex, come in solids like fuchsia, lime, shocking blue, gold, violet, seafoam and hot red ($28).

Garnet Hill, a mail-order outfitter in Franconia, N.H., that specializes in natural-fiber fabrics, introduced children's cotton-and-Lycra leggings in its spring catalog.

So far, only one pattern, navy with red and pink roses and white pansies, is available ($22.50). More styles are planned for fall, said Alice Williams, a spokeswoman for the company, which may be reached at (800) 622-6216.

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