This Week I Love …

… textured tights.

Last year, I felt my tights-related preferences beginning to shift. Despite all of my age-appropriateness rhetoric, there was this tiny little voice squeaking out, “Are you sure you want to wear those nearly-neon turquoise tights? Really sure?” Some of my wilder patterned tights also felt a bit off: Stripes and florals seemed somehow over-the-top, and I shied away.

But now and going forward, textured tights feel spot-on. They’ve got the movement and interest of patterns, but the subtlety of opaques. Plus they’re ideal for transitional weather, and a great solution for women who may want some leg coverage but feel opaques are too warm and pantyhose are too old-school. Here are a few pairs I’m loving:

Falke Dot Tights – $35.18

I never thought I’d spend more than $12 on a pair of tights, but this brand has won me over. Their tights are warm, durable, and incredibly comfy. I’ve got mostly opaques from Falke, but am lusting after this textured pair. Subtle, classy, and utterly lovely.

Express Diamond Texture Tights – $22.90

Express is another favorite brand, and this style is right up my alley. True fishnets are a little too breezy for my taste, but versions that emulate that tiny diamond pattern yet offer more coverage? Ideal.

DKNY Plaid Burnout Control Top Tights – $25

I can honestly say I’ve never seen a pair quite like this. The texture doesn’t read as plaid to me, but I’m still loving it. DKNY is another standby brand, although the tights tend to run small, in my experience.

How do you feel about textured tights? Do they work for your personal style?

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  • http://www.sandyalamode.com/ Sandy a la Mode

    i love textured tights!!! it’s just another place that can be pattern mixed! :)

    xo,
    Sandy
    Sandy a la Mode

  • http://www.befabulousdaily.us Cynthia

    I like textured tights in black or muted neutrals. A few years ago I was wearing all sorts of funky bold- patterned tights, but since I also have a predilection for patterned dresses and patterned skirts, well, something has to fade into the background. I’d wear fun (but erring on the side of sophisticated and muted) tights patterns again if I decided to go all-solid with my dresses and skirts, maybe. I’ve never liked the super-bright neon and pastel solid colors. I get the “clown legs” vibe. I’m not sure that it’s really an age appropriateness thing — they have always seemed pretty costumey and little-girlish to me. Anyway, yes patterned tights.

  • http://versatilestylebytracey.com Tracey Jennings

    As a 47 year old with a 21 year old daughter, I too shied away from the bright colors and bold prints. I do like the subtle patterns and will give this a try. Thanks for bringing up this topic…

  • Anna

    In this cold climate, I live in opaque tights during the winter. Looking at the current crop of textured tights, so far removed from old-style fishnets, I think I may vary my opaques with some textures in nice dark colors (no clown legs, thank you). Also, yearning for something in leopard, but suspecting that leopard will run its course and then crowd the thrift shops in a few years (though I’d love to be proved wrong), I may indulge at little expense by getting leopard tights — something like this:

    http://www.silkies.com/itemdy00.asp?T1=9421&Cat=

    (Isn’t it cute that the catalog number abbreviates to Cat?)

  • LinB

    In this moderate-winter climate, tights are for little girls or for dance costumes. Women wear pantyhose. Plain pantyhose. Not patterned. Not opaque, unless you are disguising varicosities. (In that instance, you are usually old enough that you can wear whatever the heck you want, with no excuses.)

  • poodletail

    J’adore texture tights, most especially in black. Too bad they make my muscular legs look like those of a Swedish masseuse, so I don’t wear them.

  • Sarah

    I tend to be wary of textured tights. I don’t think they are often flattering and can add a lot of weight to the leg. For instance, I don’t think those DKNY tights are flattering, even on the model whose legs, I’m sure, are like pins!

    • Dee

      I also think patterned hose or tights can add weight to the leg. Just yesterday I saw a few ladies wearing patterned tights (if they are pretty sheer I think of them as hose, not tights, btw, ) and I didnt really like the look with their outfit. I think the busy patterns are best with boots and a plain skirt/dress/tunic, so not as much pattern is showing and the pattern is not fighting with the print in the rest of the outfit. While we are on the topic of tights I do love dark tights with the right outfit but I can’t say I like tights with summery light weight fabrics – I am seeing some of that in the city this fall. I think tights, (true opaque tights) look best with wools, corduroys, heavy denim, and mid to heavy knits. Honestly I see this fashion faux pas mostly on yournger women so maybe I am just out of it….

  • Aziraphale

    Yes, I wear textured sheer hose and textured sweater tights quite often, and never brightly coloured or flat, opaque tights. It’s not just my age, though. I have never worn colourful tights — not since childhood, anyway. Too dance costumey.

  • http://www.khinky.wordpress.com Osprey

    I love the look but I wonder if I’m buying the wrong tights? To me the sheer and textured ones feel colder than bare legs – when you walk there’s always a swish of wind and it’s quite chilly… anyone else get this?

  • GingerR

    I like textured tights or stockings. I’d wear the DKNY ones to work with a dark skirt. I probably wouldn’t wear them with girly heels like the model has on, I’d pick a chunkier shoe or boot.

    I think the situation and how you want your legs to look should govern brighter colored legware more than age. If you like a grown-up Hanna Anderson model look and the setting is casual, then go ahead.

  • Susan

    Oooh I feel so in the know! I had actually emailed this question to Sal a couple of weeks ago and she replied! She’s like a great girlfriend that knows all the best places to shop. I think I might, toe in the water, TRY a pair of textured tights.

    I’m still bewildered why hosiery became so passe’. And then everyone got so excited about Katherine the Duchess of ? wearing hose this year. I read several bloggers and fashion writers going on about how finished and polished she looked wearing hose like she had invented the idea. Am I just old? Persih the thought!

    • Anna

      Like LinB (above) and Moira (below) I am bemused by the disappearance of hose on many women, which I became aware of only when Kate’s legwear (supposedly “forced” on her by the palace dress code–and what is so terribly wrong with that?) came under discussion. But then, I live in the boonies and would have noticed this far sooner if I were in the city. I simply do not understand how anyone can put her bare feet into shoes, unless they are sandals or perhaps sneaks. Foot-sweat plus shoe-lining? Yuk, yuk, and yuk. My feet are not especially sweaty, but I still need that protective layer, however thin.

  • Moira

    I’m older but will wear very bright tights – but I always pair them with an otherwise fairly conservative outfit. I think it still works. Hope so, anyway!

    • Eliana

      Me too. I cannot give up my colored tights yet, maybe when I’m EVEN older. Target as all these great colors right now, I picked up one in every color.

  • Moira

    And LinB, you’re the first person I’ve seen suggest plain pantyhose in years and years. I’m being quite serious — I thought they were out, out, OUT unless you were over about 60. What is the fashion take on plain pantyhose now? I don’t think I’ve owned a pair in six years, and I haven’t missed them.

    • LinB

      Hahaha! I live near where most of the pantyhose in the country are knitted. (We were among the first to have pantyhose readily available. We’ll be among the last to wear them.) Also, it’s quite a conservatively-dressing place, so maybe that’s why I’m so old-fogey. Also I am over 50. In my sphere of existence, I only wear hosiery to church, and even then only if i’m wearing a skirt or dress, or if my shoes won’t accommodate even thin woolen socks. Corporate-type women in Greensboro, NC, still wear plain hosiery to the exclusion of any other type. If you want to be thought of as a serious businesswoman or college professor/administrator or lawyer/judge, — or if you want to help advance your husband’s career — it’s plain and simple all the way. It’s different for younger females: College/university girls here rarely bother with hosiery, even during the wintertime, preferring to show off their bare, purple, chilblained legs to all passersby. I am sure that generational attitudes are at least as much at play as geographical attitudes en re what is considered “proper” legwear. When I lived in the upper Midwest, I wore tights all the time, for warmth. Here, I wear them for modesty, and/or to please my aged mother.

  • Jean

    I love opaque textured tights in the fall and winter–monochromatic vertical rib knit, herringbone, or something like tiny black leopard print on dark grey. I enjoyed wearing bright tights when I was a younger woman, but am still happy at 50 wearing deeper opaque colors such as charcoal, deep brown, burgundy, or navy. I have always worn pantyhose, except in the muggiest heat of summer, simply because my legs look better that way. I always seem to have bruises or scratches on my very pale legs, and hose or tights help to camouflage that.

  • Eleanorjane

    Yup, love ‘em. Only subtle patterns usually, although I have enjoyed some lacy beige ones (the beige tones down the lacy). I find lighter coloured tights really good for transition seasons.

    I’m thinking in the UK I’m going to have to go from polyester to wool mix opaques pretty quickly or I’m just not going to want to wear skirts/ dresses.

  • shebolt

    I made the mistake several years ago of wearing fishnets to work. In my defense, they were flesh toned, and I wore them with boots and a knee length skirt so there was only a few inches showing. It caused such a stir that I shied away from all textured tights for a while.

    I picked up a few pairs last year (diamond and argyle) and I’m loving them! But I still shy away from anything resembling a fishnet. I love the dot ones you linked and may have to get a pair of those.

  • http://ticka-spoonfullofsugar.blogspot.com/ Shanticka

    I love textured tights!! I want polka dot ones really bad. The only ones that I feel don’t work for me are the ones with straight lines because my legs make the lines curve. I did a post on them a while back… Haven’t worn them since :/

    http://ticka-spoonfullofsugar.blogspot.com/2011/11/houndstooth-tights-not-for-me.html

  • http://talkingarchitecture.wordpress.com/ Ruth Slavid

    I’m amazed that you would buy those expensive sheer tights with the spots. My experience with sheer tights is ‘wear once and throw away’. Not because I want to but because they always have a ladder after the first wearing. I like some of the denser textured tights (but by the way I love fishnets as a transition from summer to winter – I have black, brown and even beige which are quite subtle), But on the whole I think coloured tights are one of the joys of winter dressing. Lots of black and navy and grey but also red and purple and bright blue and even occasionally magenta. I’d love to know though how to tell black from navy in the dim/ artificial light of early morning.