Patchworked lace tights were a key styling element for Karl Lagerfeld's Pre-Autumn 2016 Chanel show when it was presented last December, but we couldn't have predicted just how seismic those hosiery waves would be across the fashion world.
Patterned tights haven't been particularly popular in a long time. Let's be honest: They are one of those accessories that can veer into trashy territory, but a new crop of all-black styles have more than a chance at looking chic and provide a great opportunity to pepper your look with newness while we're still in the depths of winter. Socks have a higher profile than ever, but just one look at the A-listers and trailblazers wearing fishnets or patterned black tights here, and your mind will be made up. Hey, if Alexa and Carine agree with each other, who are we to argue?
On Alexa Chung: Prada dress and shoes.
Tights to buy: Topshop Micro Fishnet Tights (£7)
Tights to buy: Wolford Sixty Six Tights (£24)
On Caroline Vreeland: Ralph Lauren dress and boots.
Tights to buy: Pretty Polly Chevron Cable Tights (£4)
On Lainy Hedaya: Proenza Schouler tights.
Tights to buy: ASOS Oversized Fishnet Tights (£6)
Tights to buy: Wolford Judith Fishnets (£47)
On Diane Kruger: Chanel coat, dress, tights and bag.
Tights to buy: Aristoc All Over Lace Tights (£12)
On Carine Roitfeld: Louis Vuitton coat.
Tights to buy: ASOS Fishnet Tights (£5)
Tights to buy: Carine Roitfeld for Uniqlo Tights (£10)
Tights to Buy: Wolford Sibylle Socks (£15)
Do you fancy giving these tights a go? Let us know in the comments box below…
Good news! Sheer black tights are back.
Fashion epiphanies are sometimes a matter of noticing the smallest, almost imperceptible things that can end up making you feel incredibly smug.
This winter, it’s the tiny yet game-changing matter of the right tights. Forget opaques. Dismiss bare legs. Believe it or not, sheer black tights are back for the first time since the Eighties.
Now, if anyone had told me last year that I’d ever find the slightest desire to wear sheer black tights again, I would have scoffed at them. Never! Not me! I’d had sheer hosiery so firmly categorised as old-fashioned, frumpy and generally unnecessary to life that it was just inconceivable.
Last winter, I remember waiting in a smart Paris hotel lobby while a cocktail party was going on and feeling supercilious to observe that the gathered Frenchwomen — and I am speaking of businesswomen of a certain age — were all wearing sheer black tights and court shoes.
What an old, backdated, conservative French custom, I thought. Something we advanced British left behind around the time of Robert Palmer’s Addicted To Love video — which would be 1986.
Now I’m eating my words. The subliminal comeback for black sheers started on the catwalks in March, most noticeably at Hedi Slimane’s swansong collection for Yves Saint Laurent.
You’ve guessed it: the inspiration was all things Eighties —velvet pelmet minis, giant lame shoulders, puffball skirts.
Frankly, the models were so thin they were painful to look at and the whole thing was so shockingly extreme it was hard to imagine it having any real-world impact.
But there has been one: Slimane’s girls wore black 15-denier tights and since then it’s become a trend on the catwalks and among the fashion crowd.
Once you’ve adjusted your eye, the great thing about this look is that it’s obviously the cheapest fashion revolution of the year: a new look available in every supermarket and department store in the land. Also, it’s ageless.
While young, leggy girls are switching to sheers as a novelty, the rest of us have a perfect entitlement to them, too. Good legs are a lifelong blessing, if you happen to have them and they never look better dressed than in sheer black hosiery. Fifty, 60, 70 — go ahead, be enviable!
15 denier tights:The rules
As soon as there’s the slightest snag, bin them — you just look unkempt otherwise.
Sheer is good, shine is not. We don’t have to go back to the Eighties. Keep it matt — it looks much more sophisticated.
Resist patterns, whether seams up the back or polka dots. Keep it simple.
NEVER be tempted to go down a size. There’s nothing less flattering, or uncomfortable, than tights that don’t fit.
Even those of us with non-racehorse limbs can get into it. For me, the new black sheer option solved all my dilemmas about what to wear with my favourite black midi skirt and has given new life to a mid-calf cocktail dress I haven’t worn for years.
Opaques looked too drab and depressing with them. Fishnets felt too risky. A semi-transparent coating of black tights does the trick beautifully. As for where to buy them, there are options on every corner.
If you’re the type who can’t wear sheer tights without seeming to encounter every nail or splinter in the vicinity, it’s probably wise not to splash your cash on the upper end of the market.
But there’s no denying that if you spend more, you get smoother, silkier tights that — in my experience — last longer than less expensive brands.
For some inexplicable reason, when it comes to high-end hosiery, the German-speaking countries have cornered the market with Wolford (Austrian), Falke (German) and Fogal (Swiss) among the best.
Try Wolford’s super soft Luxe 9 (£17, wolfordshop.co.uk), Falke’s Lunelle 8 denier, which come in six sizes (£16, falke.com), or Fogal’s super soft Catwalk 10 denier (£25.50, fogalworld.com).
When it comes to the High Street, M&S offers every variation at competitive prices.
With so many options, you’ll find one to suit — it’s an easy, sophisticated solution for what to wear this winter. Great for parties, nice for everyday.
This girl has been giving me all sorts of inspo for holiday dressing lately. Whether she’s releasing must-have merch or just wearing the coolest outfits, she always knows just how to convince me to add some pieces to my wardrobe. Find out where to buy Kylie Jenner’s fishnet tights so you can get all of the festive feels from your legwear this season. UPDATE: You can shop the exact pair Jenner wore for $100 on dbleudazzled.com.
Jenner’s the queen of rocking fishnets with jeans, sneakers, fancy dresses, you name it. But, she just took her pantyhose-wearing to the next level when she wore ones that were covered in rhinestones. Once you see how truly amazing these are, you’ll never want to step into regular old plain tights ever again.
Now, you might not be able to cop the exact same pair as Jenner, unless she makes them available in her online store or pop-up shop, that is. You really never know with her, so keep your eyes peeled for a pair of these when the merch becomes available to shop. In the meantime however, you can grab similar shimmering options from plenty of retailers. So, get ready to have the fanciest holiday season yet. Because it just doesn’t get more glam than sparkling hosiery, you know what I mean?
This is peak holiday-party attire.
They're sooo sparkly. I'm obsessed.
1. Extreme Shimmer
Extreme Shimmer Tight, $7, Urban Outfitters
Update your basic black tights by adding specks of silver.
2. Zig Zag Sheer Tights
Zig Zag Sheer Tights, $10.80, Nasty Gal
Shimmer and stripes? Don't mind if I do.
3. Metallic Knit
Metallic Knit Tight, $9.90, Forever 21
Knit tights are bound to keep you warm this winter, so if you're worried about freezing, shop this option to have all of the glitter (and coverage) you desire!
4. Sparkle Fishnets
Sparkle Fishnet Tights, $18.90, Torrid
Fishnest and tons of shine? That's the best of both worlds.
5. Pizzazz Tights
Pin-Up With Pizazz Tights, $12.99, ModCloth
These tights are business in the front and party in the back. Just what you need for those holiday office parties, huh?
6. Backseam Fishnets
Backseam Fishnet Tights, $12.50, ASOS
A little rhinestone action? I'm into it.
7. Glitter Socks
Out From Under Sparkle Party Anklet Sock, $6, Urban Outfitters
If you're into a subtle glitter moment, go for socks infused with a little extra shimmer!
Have a merry Jenner-inspired holiday season!