High-end hosiery Why the fash­ion pack got back into tights By Scar­lett Con­lon

The Guardian - G2 - - Style -

The old adage that what goes up must come down is never as apt as with tights. Aside from the ob­vi­ous, they are fre­quently de­scribed as a fash­ion sta­ple yet, re­al­is­ti­cally, they are any­thing but. In fact, un­til re­cently, fash­ion cir­cles were widely of the opin­ion that there was noth­ing more naff than a pair of tights. But, this sea­son, there is good news for se­cret afi­ciona­dos: tights are back.

The re­nais­sance has been build­ing slowly since de­signer Phoebe

Philo – she who can sin­gle-hand­edly cre­ate or kill a trend – put them on the spring/sum­mer 2017 Cé­line cat­walk, re­mind­ing us that black opaques and knee-length dresses are still a good idea, in a Si­enna Miller, Keira Knight­ley and Alexa Chung circa 2007 kind of way. Then, for au­tumn/win­ter 2017, fel­low fash­ion houses fol­lowed suit in vary­ing de­grees of de­nier: Chanel put white and silver opaque sparklers on its rocket-fu­elled run­way; Ba­len­ci­aga of­fered semi-sheer chain-printed op­tions; Givenchy went bold with state­ment scar­let; Gucci got nos­tal­gic with knit­ted per­fo­rated chevron pairs; while Le­maire dipped its toe into pro­ceed­ings with white opaques and clas­sic 30 de­niers. In short, the gamut of what con­sti­tutes be­ing on trend with tights this sea­son runs far and wide.

The big re­tail­ers have honed their hosiery of­fer­ings ac­cord­ingly. Con­sump­tion over at Match­es­fash­ion. com is on the up – and the price bracket isn’t putting peo­ple off. The Ba­len­ci­aga ones (£145) seen on the run­way in Fe­bru­ary en­able cus­tomers to buy their favourite look head to toe, ac­cord­ing to buyer Chelsea Power. At the op­po­site end of the spec­trum, the e-tailer also sells tights by Falke at a more palat­able start­ing price of £12, which have been see­ing sub­stan­tial pick-up in re­cent weeks, says Power. Other brands favoured by the fash­ion pack in­clude Wol­ford and Heist (prices start at £17 and £19 re­spec­tively) – the lat­ter of which has won plau­dits since its launch in 2015 thanks to the hand­sewn, seam­less USP.

While some may balk at pay­ing more than a fiver for a pair, bear in mind that, when it comes to tights, a higher price usu­ally re­sults in higher qual­ity. And, while it is prob­a­bly a stretch too far to say that Ba­len­ci­aga, Chanel and co are sav­ing us money, cheap tights – with their ten­dency to lad­der – are a false econ­omy.

It is worth not­ing here that the matt or shiny (shud­der) nude tights favoured by the Duchess of Cam­bridge and Me­la­nia Trump are not in­cluded in fash­ion’s cur­rent en­dorse­ment. On the con­trary, they negate the rea­sons why tights are on de­sign­ers’ radars in the first place, given that they make it look as if you are not wear­ing any and you have an im­pos­si­bly even, year­round skin tone. The look right now is cov­ered up, con­fi­dent and cool; a sar­to­rial mid­dle-finger to fash­ion-vic­tim sta­tus, which re­quires wait­ing for the bus bare-legged in -5C tem­per­a­tures af­ter the work Christ­mas party. Need any more con­vinc­ing? Kate Moss was spot­ted step­ping out in her matt black 50 de­niers in Paris in Septem­ber.

Sta­ple sta­tus reaf­firmed – for this sea­son at least.

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