While Kate Middleton is known for her stylish attire, the newest member of the Royal Family is now being singled out for contributing to a spike in hosiery sales as winter bears down in Britain.

The Duchess of Cambridge has shown a fondness for tights and has often turned to nude hosiery as part of her fashion ensemble, which has become something of a trademark for her.

Since autumn, Kate has been spotted in darker hues and, as the dark days of winter descend, she has even added black tights to her wardrobe.

This change, subtle but significant, has not gone unnoticed by royal watchers, of which there are many in Britain.

Tights have increased in popularity in recent months, with many celebrities donning them as a versatile fashion accessory.

Joanna Townsend, hosiery buyer for UK fashion retailer Debenhams, said tights have become a popular choice for winter not only for their warmth, but also because their versatility enables them to be used to create a number of different looks.

"Thermal and heavy denier tights offer a good alternative to trousers in the winter months," she said.

Given the current economic climate, where people are looking to save money, Ms Townsend said tights are an affordable option to update an outfit at a minimum cost.

Tights in neutral and brown shades are a must this winter season, she said. "They can be worn with the popular camel colours, which we are seeing in outerwear, and they offer a more fashionable alternative to black."

Nude tights made a comeback in the autumn after Kate was spotted in a variety of outfits teamed with sheer tights to create a finished and elegant look.

Nude tights are still very popular in the winter, Ms Townsend added. "The slightly higher deniers are great to wear for work or with evening wear. They finish an outfit and offer more warmth than bare legs."

According to the hosiery buyer, there have been great strides in the technology used to make tights in recent years. "The finer 7D, which has come on to the market, gives the appearance of having nude legs while helping to hide blemishes, bruises and cellulite, giving your legs a flawless look."

A spokeswoman for the popular British hosiery brand La Senza said this season's main tights trend focuses on a monochrome pallet, incorporating fun pattens that can be worn both causally and dressed up.

"Consumers are looking for ways to update timeless outfits and hosiery is the perfect way to inject a trend element," she said, adding that they are particularly useful as the party season looms.

"Hosiery is a popular fashion statement this year, with key fashion hosiery trends filtering down from the catwalks, and a huge celebrity following is encouraging people to be more daring when accessorising their outfits."