Text: Julia Katkalo, Dasha Knyazeva
In the conditions of Russian reality, tights rarely play the role of an accessory. They are, no joke, a vital wardrobe item. Because of their utility, tights cause few positive emotions - rather, associations with an eight-month-long winter. However, if you do not limit yourself in your choice, it turns out that everything is not so bad. There are a lot of variations now: colored, translucent, mesh and patterned - it all depends on your personal style. We will tell you about the density, textures and different colors of tights, which may spur your imagination.
It seems that just some five years ago, semi-sheer tights of medium density were considered almost a taboo. Thick tights with strong contrast, fishnet tights and small polka dots in the obligatory black were almost the only options that gloss approved. Now, when there are no strict rules, you can only be guided by personal preferences. On the catwalk, you can see all the options: both subtle, and translucent, and very dense with a large addition of wool.
The safest and most versatile option is matte tights of medium density 30-50 den in dark shades: black, anthracite or graphite. Dark translucent ones look neutral on the leg, without distracting attention from everything else. These tights will fit well into the office dress code with classic shoes and ankle boots.
If you like colorful shoes, try to rely on translucent models of tights - with them the combinations will turn out softer. This applies to both sleeveless dresses and bustier dresses - tight models with them will look more rude. A great example is Saint Laurent, where dressy 80s with an open shoulder line were combined with translucent tights and looked, despite all the references, as in the spirit of the times as possible.
Black matte high-density tights (from 80 den and above) are best kept in the image with something close in season: ankle boots, knitted sweaters and jackets, skirts and coats made of warm fabrics - wool, velvet, leather, suede or faux fur. It can also be combined with skirts or dresses made of light flowing fabrics: in order for the play on contrasts to work, it is better to add warm clothes to a pair. For example, a pleated or silk skirt can be complemented with an oversized hoodie, tight tights, and rugged boots.
This advice can be turned in the opposite direction: if dense and warm fabrics prevail in the image, translucent tights can be a good addition - they will add lightness to the image. A good example is the Louis Vuitton show. A large number of items of the same density and similar color in an image can make it flat, but it is important to maintain balance and be guided by the weather conditions. Bare legs in cold winter are a direct road to unpleasant health-related consequences.
Options that are often a real lifesaver are crisp, textured tights in cashmere or cotton blend. Any voluminous pattern, whether it be a pigtail or a strip, adds visual volume to the silhouette - you should not forget about this when choosing the rest of your clothes. It is also better to support such tights with things made of fabrics similar in seasonality, adding “warm” layers like a coat or cardigan to the image. For example, at Prada, such models were combined at the show with parkas, heavy coats with fur and long knitted gloves.
Many people avoid fancy translucent tights for fear that they will look vulgar - and very much in vain. They can complement knee-length dresses or midi skirts, which, thanks to such a simple combination, immediately look more interesting.As a top, then it is better to choose a turtleneck or a sweater without cutouts in the neckline. Fantasy tights also look good with sportswear: ski jackets, huge down jackets or sweatshirts. In contrast, the finest lace or mesh will look great with dense fabrics: leather, bouclé, wool. But if this does not convince you, you can follow the example of Chanel, who have opted for monochrome colors.
You should always pay close attention to the pattern and its size: the most successful options are small, classic ones: mesh, polka dots and a herringbone. Polka dot tights ruled the show for a long time: the peak of its popularity came at a time when a lot of fashion bloggers appeared. So if you want to add variety to your set, which until then consisted of only a few similar pairs, then this is a great way to start experimenting.
Other tights that keep making a comeback are fishnet tights. After the dashing 2000s with ostentatious luxury and sexuality, it seemed that we would not see the net soon. But six months ago, such tights and socks appeared in almost all lookbooks of young and progressive brands. In addition to the obvious set of trendy things like a dress with a hood, you can try to implement them in an office look. So, for example, they did at the show of the Italian brand Max Mara, which from year to year show confident classics for every day.
Colored matte tights can be tricky. Firstly, in combination with dark clothes and shoes, the silhouette will break into blocks, and horizontal color transitions will significantly eat up the growth. This applies not only to bright, but also light shades - milky, white, melange - which create a strong contrast. Secondly, if you scrupulously select colored tights to match your clothes or shoes in order to stretch your silhouette, it will be difficult to avoid the effect of pretense.
If the above doesn't scare you, here are some win-win color tights combinations. For example, try wearing them with midi skirts or dresses and white sneakers, as suggested by Celiné at the last show. Also, colored tights can help give your look a retro vibe that hints at the 60s and 70s. Here you can get inspired by the Gucci runway by pairing tights with printed dresses, oversized fur coats and heeled loafers.
Flesh-colored pantyhose, although many people don't like them, remain part of the work uniforms of companies with a strict dress code. Girls who cannot afford to walk with bare legs even in summer can be advised to replace their nude tights with ultra-thin graphite or anthracite tights. Models of this shade become a compromise between fashion and work dress code: they fulfill their applied function (hide the skin), and are also combined with clothes and shoes of light shades.
Combinations with shoes
As it turned out, the problem of choosing tights for sports shoes is at the forefront for many. In this case, you can focus on the density. We have already mentioned that translucent tights are the most versatile option in the world, which can be worn not only with the usual shoes, but also with white sneakers: this way they do not create a sharp contrast in the ankle area. Moreover, the tights themselves can be not only black, but, for example, graphite, depending on the color of the rest of the clothes.
Fishnet tights are another salvation for sports shoe lovers. Despite the fact that they often draw attention to themselves, with a certain style, this only works as a plus. For example, black fishnet tights could be combined with all the sneakers and knitted dresses in our new section. Mules with and without heels, rough boots and slippers with decor also look great with fishnet tights.
The question that periodically baffles me is - is it possible to wear tights and socks with sandals? At a time when no hard and fast rules exist, the answer is obvious.And the choice between translucent or dense depends entirely on your personal stylistic preferences.
Photos: A.P.C., Iro, David Michael, Cinq à Sept, Nina Ricci, M Missoni, Gucci, Josh Goot