Me and tights have a complicated relationship. Starting with a truly tragic pair my mother would procure me for primary school that would, inevitably, sag at the ankle (I never did, as promised, “grow into them”). Then there was an ill-advised flirtation with fishnet styles in my teens that makes me shudder. Today, my collection is largely an assortment of will-they-won’t-they-be laddered opaque black tights from M&S, or a cheapo pair hastily bought in a corner shop, that feel like having sandpaper stuck to my legs. I’m not alone - a BURO. survey suggests tights are, in fact, one of the most polarising of accessories.
“My most enduring memory of tights is having to repeatedly hoik up a low-flying gusset,” remembers associate editor Phoebe McDowell. “Every girl at my school used to lift their skirt right up and rejig their tights at least five times a day, which ill-prepared us all for how to navigate tights issues in public.” Then there’s the added pressure of deciding the sheer scale? “10 denier is always the chicest but they're not compatible with a full set of acrylic nails,” warns contributor Heather Gwyther.
Though, fear not friends, the search for the perfect leg dressing could be over, thanks to autumn/winter’s logo-clad, crystal-embellished and colourful haute hosiery. Everyone from Chanel and Fendi to Prada and Gucci are producing talking point (or MFI: Made For Instagram) tights to breathe new life into your winter wardrobe. Intrigued? Discover the new-gen tight tribes below.
If it’s luxe Insta-bait you’re after, look no further than Chanel’s double C logo tights (the small print: available only in stores; will cost you more than a UK mini-break. £315 to be exact). Elsewhere, see Fendi’s tights featuring the Karl Lagerfeld-designed cursive Karligraphy FF logo or Gucci’s ‘GG’ patterned style. Pair them with your favourite winter boots.
A cornflower blue, powder pink or scarlet option is a welcome addition to lift an otherwise meh uniform. For peak desirability, Prada’s silk blue style is near-perfect. For relative affordability, and fans of Penelope Pitstop (or 70s punk rock), see Junya Watanabe’s pink tights (£50), first spotted on the label’s Debbie Harry-inspired AW20 runway.
From Balenciaga-emblazoned tights to Calzedonia’s new striped-pattern style, discover the black tights with a difference.