SHANE WAT­SON PEO­PLE WAT C H I N G

You’d be for­given for as­sum­ing that flash­ing a leg is as straight­for­ward as fash­ion state­ments get. Think again

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - COVER STORY -

Here are the Duchess of Sus­sex and Cheryl do­ing leg flash­ing, this week, in very dif­fer­ent ways. Sim­i­lar idea (long dress, one thigh­high split) and yet not the same at all.

You would think leg flash­ing was a pretty straight­for­ward fash­ion state­ment: you ei­ther do or you don’t. If you do, no big deal, just make sure you’ve got the legs for it, and your knick­ers are not on show (un­less you are El­iz­a­beth Hur­ley, in which case of­ten your knick­ers are span­gly and de­signed to match your dress, so go right ahead). But leg flash­ing is, as we can see from these ex­am­ples, far from sim­ple. You could write a small book on the sub­ject, or at least a long list of dos and don’ts, and they would in­clude the fol­low­ing:

When flash­ing a leg you want lit­tle and of­ten, now you see it now you don’t; glimpse of leg, no leg, glimpse of leg, no leg, ooh sud­denly quite a bit when she crouches down, and so on. You do not, on any ac­count, want yawn­ing leg out, all day, like a ham in a butcher’s win­dow. Meghan is hedg­ing her bets in this Re­for­ma­tion dress, with a safety but­ton a few inches south of the top of the split. This way you get the ef­fect of a high thigh split with roughly 20 per cent less ex­po­sure, 20 per cent more el­e­gance. That’s the idea, any­way.

What­ever you do, don’t stick your on-show leg out! Any­one stick­ing it out since An­gelina Jolie’s mem­o­rable hu­mil­i­a­tion at the 2012 Os­cars (the of­fend­ing sticky-out leg cap­tured the pub­lic imag­i­na­tion and got su­per­im­posed on ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing Brad’s head) has not been pay­ing at­ten­tion. You can stick it out a frac­tion, if pos­ing on the red car­pet, but you’re far bet­ter off look­ing like you’ve for­got­ten you are leg flash­ing. If you are leg flash­ing, put your breasts away. Just say no to ex­trav­a­gant cleav­age. Pos­si­bly you re­mem­ber Rachel Weisz in her thigh-split Miu Miu long dress, at the pre­miere for The Mercy, and what a suc­cess that was – be­cause the split was bor­der­line rude, but the rest of the dress was long-sleeved, high­necked, and as prairie-mod­est as a dress can be. If you are flash­ing your up­per thigh, that’s gen­er­ally enough for one day.

Even leg tone is es­sen­tial.

Ev­ery­one is look­ing at this on-show leg, so if noth­ing else it’s got to be scrubbed up and smoothed out and look­ing its best. It’s got to look bet­ter than two legs in a miniskirt. Which is say­ing some­thing.

There’s no rule about heels or flats with leg flash­ing, but it goes with­out say­ing that a thigh-split dress with Ro­man san­dals is more breezy than saucy. (At this point it seems right to point out that while Meghan is play­ing the leg flash­ing down quite well, the dress was see-through – rookie mis­take). If there is any­thing to learn from these two in their leg-show­ing best it’s prob­a­bly that leg show­ing is a tricky busi­ness, not to be en­tered into lightly, and both of them have looked a lot bet­ter, frankly.

PREG­NANT PAUSEThe Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex, left; and Cheryl, below left

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