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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A combination of cool weather and hot celebrities has driven up sales of stockings and suspenders in Britain, according to a major department store.
Demand for the traditional style of lingerie is rocketing, said Debenhams, reversing the universal popularity of tights which captured the market in the early 1960s.
"The unpredictable spring and summer weather as well as a growing number of celebrities showcasing their stockings on stage and at star-studded events may be behind the trend," it said.
Said Debenhams spokeswoman Ruth Attridge: "Our British summer has started in the traditional way with frequent spells of sun and rain in the same day, leaving British women up in air about what to wear.
"Stockings and suspenders, just like leggings, have become the popular alternative to tights. They provide coverage for legs on an unexpectedly chilly day, but at the same time are cooler than tights and far more comfortable to wear in over-heated City offices."
She noted the growing number of celebrities using underwear as outerwear, including Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Katy Perry and Dita Von Teese.
The store said black suspender belts, with embroidery, sequins and bows were most in demand, with sales soaring by 238 per cent in the last month alone.
"We've had to change our buying patterns to accommodate customer demand," said Attridge.
Reporting by Jonathan Parr; Editing by Steve Addison