I wear them because I like them & also I was a teenage Goth
October 20, 2015 4:08 PM   Subscribe

When is it socially acceptable to wear black tights? (slTheGrauniad/The Guardian)
posted by Kitteh (113 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
I am wearing black tights right now! And the only reason I wish I wasn't is because I can feel them touching the tips of my toes and oh, how I wish I couldn't. Can we bring back stirrup tights?
posted by Grandysaur at 4:13 PM on October 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


The answer is: when it is cold enough to wear effing tights. In Central Indiana I've been able to wear tights a couple nights in the past week. Daytime tights-wearing will happen in a couple weeks.

Grandysaur, footless tights are available at Target.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 4:17 PM on October 20, 2015 [7 favorites]


I know, but then they ride up when I put on my warm socks! BUT MOSTLY I think I just want stirrup tights like the leggings I had when I was seven.
posted by Grandysaur at 4:18 PM on October 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


Grandysaur, if they're actually tights (like, opaque tights) you should just be able to cut them. That's what I do with my Target tights, anyhow, and they're fine.
posted by anastasiav at 4:21 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


I still wear black cotton tights like I have since high school, but if anyone can point towards sturdy affordable black tights not in cotton, I'm willing to listen.
posted by Kitteh at 4:21 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


I look forward to the R months precisely because I can wear my black tights and not pass out from heat, but I find bare legs year round horrifyingly coddled and delicate, for my crazy gendered assumption- dressing such that you summon a car rather than deal with normal weather feels like employing a servant so you don't travel alone. Neat how weird one can be about warm legs, ain't it?

Then again my family is a crazy quilt of brains and bad decisions, high wealth and first world poverty.
posted by Phalene at 4:21 PM on October 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


... Always?

Isn't this a question like, when is it OK to wear a shirt?

Am I missing something?
posted by kyrademon at 4:23 PM on October 20, 2015 [84 favorites]


I love my black tights! Except for some reason for dudes they call it long underwear.
posted by threeants at 4:26 PM on October 20, 2015 [16 favorites]


When it is 27 degrees outside, you walk to work, and you have space age thermal longjohns that look like tights. With khaki cargo shorts over them.
posted by vrakatar at 4:27 PM on October 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wore them to work this week under a dress. Tights are the season !
posted by AlexiaSky at 4:28 PM on October 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


I consider myself to be somewhat fashionable but I didn't even know this was a question. How are black tights not fashionable? They're practical and they look good.

I am a huge fan of tights (more into colored/patterned ones but all are good) and I'm just ... yeah. Every woman I know wears tights all the time in the cooler months (and sometimes in the warmer ones if they can get away with it).
posted by darksong at 4:31 PM on October 20, 2015 [12 favorites]


When is it socially acceptable to wear a particular type of clothing?

Whenever the hell you damn well please.

The built-in assumption that society-at-large gets to pass judgment on this question, or that anyone should listen to them when they do, is baffling. Wanna wear black tights? Fantastic; they're your tights and your legs. Go nuts. If anyone has a problem with it, that's entirely their problem.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:33 PM on October 20, 2015 [22 favorites]


... Always?

Isn't this a question like, when is it OK to wear a shirt?

Am I missing something?


The desperation of a journalist that needed to file a column by deadline.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:37 PM on October 20, 2015 [37 favorites]


Judging from my wife's dressing habits, the answer is "Any time I damned well want to." Seriously. Year round.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:37 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


The built-in assumption that society-at-large gets to pass judgment on this question, or that anyone should listen to them when they do, is baffling. Wanna wear black tights? Fantastic; they're your tights and your legs. Go nuts. If anyone has a problem with it, that's entirely their problem.

It's definitely baffling...but I don't think these assumptions as easy to ignore in all circumstances as anyone here would like them to be. The world seems to have a way of making women's clothing choices into a problem considerably more often than ought to be acceptable.
posted by howfar at 4:38 PM on October 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Instead of stirrups would it not be more gother to just snip off the last inch or so of sock-toe-part, since probably you have fingerless gloves on anyway, because goth?
posted by Rat Spatula at 4:45 PM on October 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Another article on bare legs as status symbol: "...bare legs are a status symbol (the implication being you probably have a driver, a change of shoes or no job to run back to after a show)." In other words, the tightless (in colder climates, anyway) are not shivering on public transportation or hoofing it through puddles and snowdrifts - they are going from nice warm car to nice warm office to nice warm home. And they're rich enough that they can afford the time and money to keep their legs toned and tanned even in winter.

I can't remember where I read it, but another article I ran across way back when noted that uncomfortable high heels worn in the daytime are another status symbol - the people wearing them are not doing much walking because they can afford taxis and limos everywhere they go.

I, personally, prefer to encase my pasty middle-aged legs and easily blistered feet in nice cozy tights whenever possible, and phooey to anyone who doesn't like it.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 4:48 PM on October 20, 2015 [9 favorites]


When is it socially acceptable to wear black tights?

Call me every morning before you dress and I promise to answer this question in increasingly ridiculous ways.

Or just dress your own damn self.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:48 PM on October 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


I cannot wear tights in July and August unless I want to feel like human chorizo in the New England humidity.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:51 PM on October 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


This column was like a dispatch from some distant, fascinating planet. It felt like getting a peek at a totally alien culture. Someday maybe she will visit my land, and I can introduce her to the folkways and customs of my people, which are so very different from the folkways and customs of hers.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:51 PM on October 20, 2015 [36 favorites]


ALWAYS. The correct answer is ALWAYS.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:52 PM on October 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


I wear black tights, when it gets really cold. But a tiny part of me dies, the first day I do so.

Why do you do this to yourself, over such a useful and versatile piece of clothing?

I do wear a lot of black all year though.

As I was walking through downtown Minneapolis this July, a young man asked "Aren't you hot in all that black?"

Of course I responded "I certainly am!" and checked out my reflection in a window.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:01 PM on October 20, 2015 [56 favorites]


I wear black tights almost exclusively when I wear tights.

My cats do like to shed on them though.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:05 PM on October 20, 2015


I'm one of those mythical women who never wears tights! I hate them because they're uncomfortable, and I don't care nearly enough about how I look to wear anything uncomfortable, unless maybe I've got a job interview or something. Even then, I'd probably wear pants with knee-highs.

I was THRILLED when the fashionistas declared tights and pantyhose passé. I have hated them ever since I was a kid.
posted by Anne Neville at 5:05 PM on October 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


I generally don't wear black tights, but I'm happy to wear grey or purple tights (if they're long enough that the crotch isn't at my knees) when it's not so hot I'll give myself heat stroke. I totally get what she means about going bare-legged, though, because I hate doing that. I have a large birthmark on my lower right leg and when I was younger, people always asked me about how I'd gotten that terrible scar. While we're on the subject of people being nosy about your clothing choices and all.
posted by immlass at 5:12 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


I love my black tights! Except for some reason for dudes they call it long underwear.

...which I am about to start wearing right now, because it is fucking cold in my unheated house this afternoon and this article made me remember that longjohns are a thing. The best thing, really.
posted by brennen at 5:12 PM on October 20, 2015


Well, I for one do think it's tacky to wear black tights on a warm afternoon to a summer picnic. They are for <75 degree weather, I'd day. And they are a bit formal. They'd seem out of place at a barbecue.
posted by amaire at 5:17 PM on October 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't like tights and pantyhose - they're uncomfortable and never stay up right. I do like leggings though and like pairing up my dresses and shorts with them.

This article assumes that no one who is hairy-legged would ever step out with bare legs. Hello :)
posted by divabat at 5:18 PM on October 20, 2015 [12 favorites]


ArbitraryAndCapricious - spot on, I was going to say almost exactly the same thing. This is from some crazy planet where middle school lasts your whole life. On Thursdays, we wear black tights.

I feel like this person's brain would explode upon learning that there exist women who *gasp* don't shave their legs.
posted by goodnight to the rock n roll era at 5:22 PM on October 20, 2015 [8 favorites]


I am fully on board the leggings train despite my best friend hissing at me angrily when I wear them.
posted by Kitteh at 5:25 PM on October 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Grandysaur, maybe "convertible" tights would work for you? Capezio makes some, and I've found their stuff fair value for money (not the cheapest, nearly the sturdiest).
posted by clew at 5:38 PM on October 20, 2015


Whenever I won't overheat wearing them. I've never really given it much thought!
posted by sarcasticah at 5:40 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


And I would wear leggings with skirts in the winter, except that the one pair I have gets SO covered in cat hair that they end up looking like Yeti legs.
posted by sarcasticah at 5:41 PM on October 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wear black tights when my black leggings are in the wash. Work doesn't like me to swan about all hairy-legged, I don't like to shave or wear pants much of the time, so skirts and leggings or tights it is, because I am a grownup who buys my own clothes with my own money and to hell with fashion dictates. That cabal doesn't care to make clothes in my size anyway so why should they get a say?

(there is, in this case, absolutely a cabal)
posted by angeline at 5:43 PM on October 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


The built-in assumption that society-at-large gets to pass judgment on this question, or that anyone should listen to them when they do, is baffling. Wanna wear black tights? Fantastic; they're your tights and your legs. Go nuts. If anyone has a problem with it, that's entirely their problem.

This would be an entirely different thread if it were about jorts or Crocs or Uggs, though.
posted by desjardins at 5:46 PM on October 20, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm wearing black tights. over my head. I'm about to commit a very poorly planned robbery.
posted by jonmc at 5:48 PM on October 20, 2015 [17 favorites]


I don't relate to this article at all.

1. Black tights are super cute, super comfortable and very warm and cozy. The only reason I don't wear them in summer is not because they don't look summary (I couldn't give a shit) but because they're hot.

2. I have never, ever heard of bare legs in the winter being some sort of status symbol. Maybe it's because I've spent my entire life in either the northern United States or northern England but having bare legs in the winter strikes me as nothing but GODDAMNED MADNESS. And I'm a person who loves fashion, which means I am usually TOTALLY ON BOARD with REALLY DUMB clothing trends because fashion! But bare legs in winter makes about as much sense to me as wearing moon boots while swimming. It just doesn't make sense at all unless you live in a place where it never gets that cold.

Maybe I'm just getting old though.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:50 PM on October 20, 2015 [8 favorites]


I love my black tights! Except for some reason for dudes they call it long underwear.

Or "compression pants" if you're an Under Armour fitness model in which case MeMail me

posting from a baaaaarrrrr
posted by en forme de poire at 5:54 PM on October 20, 2015 [19 favorites]


I actually kind of hate tights -- there's static cling, none of the seams ever sit comfortably, and I always feel like the crotch is going to rip loudly and dramatically if I make one awkward move. But possibly I missed the Fashion Boat here (wouldn't be the first time) but don't a lot of winter outfits need black tights? For example, this looks good with black tights and wouldn't work at all with bare legs. If you're doing the black-gray-and-white thing so many fashionable people seem to do in the winter, you don't necessarily want a pair of brown or pinkish legs messing up the color scheme.
posted by ostro at 6:00 PM on October 20, 2015


arrg this post is just reminding me that I have ordered a pile of awesome socks and tights from sock dreams and they have not arrived yet and I want them nowwwwww
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 6:10 PM on October 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


I've completely moved on to actual leggings, and yes I would love for stirrup pants to come back - such a boon to the tall lady.

But turning 43 has been such a revelation, as the last molecules of Giving A Shit burned up on the edges of the atmosphere. I wear what I like.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:17 PM on October 20, 2015 [14 favorites]


Awesome, my inability to tolerate tight things touching my skin now makes me a *fashionista*!

Except, sometimes I'll throw on sweats under my dress to get to work when it is VERY cold. I'm not sure where that lands me in this reporter's book.
posted by NikitaNikita at 6:19 PM on October 20, 2015


I work on a college campus. Leggings were reclassified as "pants" about 8 years ago.

although I'm a little hazy on the leggings/tights divide
posted by Existential Dread at 6:20 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Everything I wear would give the fashionistas such a case of the vapors I can't imagine them even noticing if I wore black tights. I mean, those are people who believe women should wear high heels to make their legs look nice, even regularly wearing high heels deforms your feet and shortens your Achilles tendon.

I don't understand fashion but I also resist and resent it, because sexism. I'm privileged to be able to do so - I don't and wouldn't work a job where my dress is policed, because I have a choice about it, but of course not everyone can.
posted by gingerest at 6:22 PM on October 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


I am also suspicious of the argument that bare legs in winter is a status symbol ("I'm so prestigious/wealthy that I don't have to worry about keeping warm" does not ring true to me). However, the notion that women who are bare legged in the cold are appropriately helpless rings true to me.

Seriously. One of my favorite New Year's Eve activities was to stand on a street corner at 12:01 and count all the freezing, angry drunk women without coats and bare legged all trying to hail the same cab. They never seemed statused or privileged to me, just sad or pathetic or foolish.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:23 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't think the reporter was imagining the Little Match Girl as a fashionista because of her bare, blue legs. The cab-hailing women are behaving aspirationally, following the example set by the wealthy, famous, powerful women seated in the front row at Fashion Week.
posted by gingerest at 6:28 PM on October 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


I don't wear tights or pantyhose. My legs aren't tanned, though. On good days, they've been shaved in the past week, though my leg hair is pretty fine and doesn't show that much.

The fashion police don't really notice me, though. I'm overweight and middle-aged. It's as good as a personal Somebody Else's Problem field most of the time.
posted by Anne Neville at 6:33 PM on October 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


I will say that when I was a super-cute teenage fashionistagoth, I routinely stomped around Gothenburg, Sweden in bare legs (though my skirts were on the longer side) because I just...didn't feel it. 17 is a hell of a drug.

I think that's the thing that's being mimicked by bare legs by sane adults in real winters. Much like blush and lipstick, the bare legs say "my vascular system is operating at peak performance and therefore I am a highly viable mating partner."

(Possibly also it says "I'm not vry smrt.")
posted by Lyn Never at 6:33 PM on October 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


FYI Kitteh and everyone looking for footless tights that fit ALL sizes (seriously...up to 4 or 5x), you need a pair of Teggings. They are AMAZING, don't run, don't fade, don't get staticky. Magic. And they come in colors other than black if you're into that.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:36 PM on October 20, 2015 [10 favorites]


Working Dad? Put on some Black Tights, and burn 298 calories folding some laundry before work! Treat yourself! #manwhohasitall
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:45 PM on October 20, 2015 [29 favorites]


Today I was wearing TWO pairs of black tights! Well, tights and then leggings. Because downtown Chicago is, in fact, one big wind tunnel and my dress was short. Also because I JUST LOVE BLACK TIGHTS SO MUCH.

Also because I don't think anybody's touched on what the frick your other options are, when the natural color of your skin is not so much "white" as "like one of those creepy translucent fish where you can see their brains".
posted by floweringjudas at 6:49 PM on October 20, 2015 [15 favorites]


Black tights in 1985, black tights in 1995, black tights in 2005, black tights now.

I've mostly switched to leggings in the winter, though, unless I'm for-real dressed up, because pulling boots over tights is the fastest way to get strangletoes. (What are strangletoes, you ask? Tiny holes in the ends of your tights that your toes have managed to squeeze through.)
posted by pernoctalian at 6:57 PM on October 20, 2015 [9 favorites]


I find black leggings cooler than tights, if anyone needs a summer option. I too have creepy translucent fish legs and would rather have the solid black between my shoes and my skirt than people saying "wow, you sure are pale!"
posted by kitten magic at 6:58 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


My skin is like that. I wear bare legs anyway. Not giving a damn is always an option.
posted by Anne Neville at 7:00 PM on October 20, 2015


I literally would never think of limiting when I would wear black tights. I can honestly say it's never crossed my mind. Maybe it's because I've often used them to cover my feet tattoos when needed, but they're always a go-to. Most other tights won't be opaque AND neutral (unless of course gray which is pretty much black.)

I think of them as black pants. It would be crazy to say "It's summer you can't wear black pants."
posted by Crystalinne at 7:01 PM on October 20, 2015


I just also told this to my husband, "When is it socially acceptable to wear black tights?"
He said, "Isn't it like... all the time? I don't understand."
This is why I love him. We are two peas in a pod of black tights.
posted by Crystalinne at 7:03 PM on October 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


I wear black tights all winter, but ugh I keep putting off the inevitable this year. Just one more constricting layer. And always pulling them up. You don't want to buy the smaller size because then after lunch sitting at your desk you're uncomfortable but the large size starts to fall down during the half an hour walk to work. And then you have to keep pulling down your skirt as you pull up your tights.

I hate winter.
posted by whoaali at 7:03 PM on October 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


I mostly wear jeans year-round but there are like eleventy billion cute pairs of tights in the world. I mean, the author doesn't have to wear black? I have some nice olive tights and some super-cute gray ones with a cable pattern. She should go wild out in her color/pattern choices and then she could feel excited for tights weather, not sad!
posted by Squeak Attack at 7:13 PM on October 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


So here's the thing. I totally understand waking up on a scorching August day and thinking "I am not going to wear black tights today, because that sounds really unpleasant." I do not understand waking up on some sort of weird, sign-of-the-apocalypse frigid day in August and thinking "tights would be warm and comfy, but I am not going to wear them, because this month does not contain an r, and the fashion police have ruled that black tights are embarrassing at all times and forbidden during non-r months." I also totally understand not wanting to wear tights because they're constricting or uncomfortable. What's weird is the idea that you would want to wear black tights but not wear them because rules.

I have also never heard the thing about only eating oysters during months containing r, though, and actually am totally oblivious to the etiquette of oyster-consumption, so I'm going to chalk this up to me and Jess Cartner-Morley coming from somewhat different social milieus.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:17 PM on October 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Here in Chicago in the winter, you see a woman wandering around in the Loop with bare legs you just roll your eyes and assume she's visiting for the day from the burbs.
posted by Windigo at 7:20 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Summer dress + black tights + black long sleeved t-shirt = winter dress.
posted by Lucinda at 7:36 PM on October 20, 2015 [10 favorites]


I was a teenaged goth. In Los Angeles. In the 80s. I wore black tights all the time, unless it was 113 degrees, in which case I would peel them off and curse the sun. I am still in L.A. I still wear black tights. I find them comfortable and reassuring, like a thundershirt for former goths. Of course it's still 85 degrees here, so I'm holding off until the highs are in the 70s. Also, that article made me cringe, hard.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:42 PM on October 20, 2015 [9 favorites]



My skin is like that. I wear bare legs anyway. Not giving a damn is always an option.


True, but my legs creep me out!
posted by kitten magic at 7:46 PM on October 20, 2015


I think that's the thing that's being mimicked by bare legs by sane adults in real winters. Much like blush and lipstick, the bare legs say "my vascular system is operating at peak performance and therefore I am a highly viable mating partner."

(Possibly also it says "I'm not vry smrt.")


Alternatively, it says, "I'm so drunk that I can't tell if it's 30 degrees or 80 degrees (Fahrenheit)."

At least that's what it meant when I was in college. Going out for a night of heavy drinking/partying? Sure, I'll totally wear high heels and bare legs and no jacket since in no time at all I'll be so drunk that I won't feel a thing.

I'm sure I might do the same thing now if I actually drank or went out to the kind of parties where this was expected.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:00 PM on October 20, 2015


I'm not a tights wearer (long underwear feels gross and constricting, I can barely imagine that feeling extending down onto my feet) but I wasn't aware that there was a special season for black tights. I've always seen them pretty much year round, or at least whenever it isn't hot.

Or basically, this:

This column was like a dispatch from some distant, fascinating planet. It felt like getting a peek at a totally alien culture. Someday maybe she will visit my land, and I can introduce her to the folkways and customs of my people, which are so very different from the folkways and customs of hers.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:01 PM on October 20, 2015


As an overweight woman in her 30s, I was never so happy to discover a trend as I was to discover tights and tunics was A Thing people were into. I love my tights and my leggings. And I love turning my summer outfits into winter ones by adding tights/leggings and boots. But as an overweight woman in her 30s, in Kentucky, in the summer, I go with my really pale, unshaved legs. Because it's too hot for that.

I will be the person who's still dressing the same in my 60s as I did in my 30s because no matter what happens in clothing trends, I'm not giving up leggings/tights and tunics.
posted by persephone's rant at 8:02 PM on October 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


dibs on Creepy Translucent Fish Legs as my new band name
posted by floweringjudas at 8:02 PM on October 20, 2015 [4 favorites]



I am fully on board the leggings train despite my best friend hissing at me angrily when I wear them.


Is your best friend a kitty, kitteh?

(my cats don't show that much of an interest in my choice of clothes but hey, cats, anything is possible)
posted by kitten magic at 8:10 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


The UK has this special fashion offensiveness (imo) of black tights worn under short shorts (usually denim cutoffs) because it's so seldom really hot enough there to warrant normal short-wearing. I have never seen that look in either the US or Australia, thus I am assuming it's just a UK thing. Is that what's driving the "stop wearing black tights all the time" hate from a British paper? Because I cannot possibly conceive of it being an issue otherwise. Speaking as a former Bostonian, you'd pretty much die there going bare-legged for any amount of time between mid January and early March.
posted by olinerd at 8:11 PM on October 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh gosh. Black tights under denim cut off was very very much a thing when I was in college in the US in the late 80's/early 90's. Especially if they were some guy's jeans you hacked off. Only thing that EVER got me to wear denim.
posted by crush-onastick at 8:13 PM on October 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


I buy all my tights at Target and in recent years I've never had the problem of them falling down like I always did when I was younger. I think it's because I now buy control top tights ALWAYS. They're so awesome, especially if you find a pair that you can basically pull all the way up to your bra. They never slide down, no unpleasant waistband cutoff bulge and everything feels tight(er) and streamlined. I really love tights.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:13 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, count me as another person who had no idea that this was even A Thing. I actually do care about stupid fashion rules and wearing uncomfortable crap because it looks nice, but this had never even occurred to me. I had never heard of this "R" rule. In New England, it can be pretty damn cold even in May. If the highs are regularly below 60 F, you better believe I'm not going out in bare legs.

I mean, it's one thing to try to brave the cold with bare legs if you're going out to a club or something. After all, bars and clubs can get pretty toasty very quickly. But in general? I actually think black tights can look very chic and put together. Personally, I don't like the look of bare legs plus other winter clothing (like boots, tunics/sweater dresses), at least on me. I've seen other people pull it off. This may have to do with the fact that I have super pale/translucent skin.*

Of course, growing up in Florida, I think I maybe owned one pair of black tights that I never wore, but we also wore sandals all year round which I'm sure violated all sorts of fashion rules.

*One of the glorious things about moving to New England from where I grew up (Florida) was that suddenly I wasn't the only pale person. Also, I could wear black in the summer without looking completely out of place.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:15 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Tights haters who would like to be tights lovers: you should try We Love Colors! I thought I hated tights too but it turns out if you buy them in amazing colors in the right size, they are actually quite pleasant! They have their own website but Amazon and eBay also feature them. Get the spandex blend, not the all-nylon. Trust me!
posted by masquesoporfavor at 8:16 PM on October 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


I......... what? I am seriously furious about this terrible article. I am not THAT fashionable but like to read the occasional fashion magazine, wear the occasional weird silhouette, whatever, and........ I have just literally never heard of this. If you aren't wearing pants or tights or leggings in winter in New York, you are an idiot.

WHAAAAAT. Ugh, fuck everyone.
posted by easter queen at 8:21 PM on October 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, and if your tights are always falling down on you, buy a size up. Works nearly every time.
posted by easter queen at 8:21 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, I do agree about clubbing though. Tights are disgusting in the club or when dancing hard or whatever. Like, physically, not fashion-wise.
posted by easter queen at 8:22 PM on October 20, 2015


Tights under denim cut offs were a thing here (Australia) in the early 90s. But more commonly with fishnets than black opaque tights.

Back in my short skirt/knee high boot days in the late 90s we would wear shiny skin coloured tights when dressed up at night (better than this might sound - much more attractive than the beige pantyhose type) so that we looked like we had bare legs but avoided the blue & mottled skin look. And it was always well above freezing. Bare legs in winter in New York sounds insane.
posted by kitten magic at 8:32 PM on October 20, 2015


Someone's written a counterpoint. PHEW.

Black tights are the perfect embodiment in ordinary life of Jeremy Bentham’s famous principle – they bring the greatest amount of happiness to the greatest number of people every day. Because the greatest number of people have imperfect knees and are a bit chilly. Pull on your opaques, people!

Also, I wasn't sure how I felt about the tights under cutoffs combo - given the bad 80s association - until I saw a woman wearing it this summer (except I think the tights were a lace/fishnet- type pattern and they had little rips and runs in them) and I was like OOOH cute idea
posted by triggerfinger at 8:41 PM on October 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


The UK has this special fashion offensiveness (imo) of black tights worn under short shorts (usually denim cutoffs) because it's so seldom really hot enough there to warrant normal short-wearing

I think this recently came back into fashion in the US. Or at least, I've seen it crop up more within the last couple years. I actually think it can be a cute look when pulled off a certain way, but I feel like I don't have the legs to make it work. Maybe if I weren't 5 feet tall. Or maybe back when I was 20 and about 40 pounds lighter. Now, eh, not so much.

But going back to the article, I still can't wrap my head around it. "Is it okay to wear black tights right now?" is a question that I never in a million years would have thought to ask myself. I mean, unless it's the middle of summer, because black tights when it's over 85 degrees and humid (as it often is up in the Boston area) just sounds like hell. About as hellish as going bare legged when it's 20 degrees out and there are snow banks piled above my head.

I have been really putting off pulling out my tights/leggings and other winter related gear this fall, but that's not at all about anything fashion related. It is completely based off of the fact that I'm terrified that we're going to have another snow-pocalypse this winter, and that just fills me with so much dread that I'd rather pretend like winter isn't just around the corner.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:29 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, that rebuttal is great, but I also think it doesn't really address the fact that black tights are more than just a go to when you are considered about function rather than form. To be fair, the pictures at the top of the article do implicitly address this point. Just because you won't see black tights on the run way doesn't mean that even very fashion-oriented and famous people don't wear them.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:34 PM on October 20, 2015


I find them comfortable and reassuring, like a thundershirt for former goths.

this is wonderful btw

For the record, today I wore black tights with gray polka dots. Yesterday I wore black tights with gold stars and moons. I think the day before that I wore forest green tights, and the day before that, raspberry. Tights are the shit and I am super excited about my fall wardrobe.

(also, if your skirt is catching/riding up on your tights, wear a slip! Prevents that, usually gets you an additional wear of the outfit before laundry day, and frankly if it's cold enough the extra layer doesn't hurt.)
posted by nonasuch at 9:35 PM on October 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


Back in my short skirt/knee high boot days in the late 90s we would wear shiny skin coloured tights when dressed up at night

Very Buffy!

I think the article must be talking about some very specific social circle that most of us aren't in.

It does make me think, somewhat, of seeing young women on campus who are wearing brief clothing and no coats, shivering, on cold evenings. I think that fashion rule can be summed up as "coats aren't sexy, y'all."
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:42 PM on October 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


Aw. I have the opposite problem. I'll go barelegged year round and people comment "aren't you cold?" Well, no, I live in Southern California and run a bit warm. It's 66 out, 9:45pm, October 20, dude. So, when do I HAVE to wear black tights?

Last winter, I never wore any of my tights or any of my sweaters. Truly, it is the end times here, no more winters, I fear. If I want to get use out of the drawer full of tights I own, it's gonna be in roller derby probably.

Also, if anyone knows how to give up leg-shaving for good but make the little fuckers lay flat, let me know. They're barely there but they're mighty frisky.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:43 PM on October 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Weird, I always thought that bare legs were considered informal/lower-class and tights of any sort are more appropriate for offices, formal settings etc.
but I wear jeans nearly every day so what do I know.
posted by emd3737 at 10:03 PM on October 20, 2015


Black tights season is as soon as I feel I can get away with wearing 'em. I put them on when I put away the white shoes. I buy mine at Costco (sturdy and relatively cheap), but these look promising if I want to spend real money on them someday.

Also, if anyone knows how to give up leg-shaving for good but make the little fuckers lay flat, let me know.

Not sure about laying flat, but a cheap beard trimmer will keep the leg hair short enough not to pull through the tights (ouch) when you're wearing boots all fall-winter-spring long. Much faster and easier than shaving if you don't care what the results look like (and applicable to any body hair removal for practical-not-fashion reasons.)
posted by asperity at 10:32 PM on October 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


If you haven't read the essay, it's more nuanced than the headline. The author seems to encounter a certain subset of fashionistas in New York and London – cities where most women will wear opaque tights in the colder months if they're wearing skirts or dresses. Yet this group of fashionable and wealthy women have decided they don't need to, because they can quickly transfer themselves from Ubers to warm offices and homes and events, and actually never need to stand outside for more than few minutes. And so this lack of thick tights has become a subtle status marker.

So for most of us who don't intersect with that small group of people (even if we live in New York or London), and occasionally walk outside in months with R in them, it just means more warm, cute, and practical tights on the store shelves for us.
posted by lisa g at 11:20 PM on October 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


I mean, those are people who believe women should wear high heels to make their legs look nice, even regularly wearing high heels deforms your feet and shortens your Achilles tendon.

Ah, but high heels do make legs look nice. I came up in the 90s, and was busy with unglamourous things after that for a while, but I did enjoy a brief period of indulging in glam and (weekend) heels, before my feet insisted it wouldn't be possible, ever again. (Because of running injuries, nothing to do with the heels.) I'm still six kinds of sad when I have to wear the (apparently necessarily) frumpy shoes that fit my orthotics with a pretty dress.
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:34 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


(Because although I agree that life's too short to be uncomfortable all the time, there's that 10% of the time when you [or some] want to approach fabulousness in a totally impractical way, if only to have a pic or two to reminisce over when you're 70.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:50 PM on October 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


My three year old is getting an early start on being one of those women who never wear coats. We were at the zoo on Saturday, and she was insisting she didn't want to wear her jacket, even though her lips were turning blue from the cold.
posted by Anne Neville at 11:55 PM on October 20, 2015


ALL MEN! When is it socially acceptable to wear long overcoats this winter? Women won't be able to check out your hind legs but you could freeze to death! Decision time... Click here to read more!
posted by yoHighness at 2:13 AM on October 21, 2015 [9 favorites]


Dude. Burbs are cold, too. In fact, colder.
posted by persona au gratin at 2:15 AM on October 21, 2015


The "hind legs" thing really hits my funnybone.
posted by triggerfinger at 4:00 AM on October 21, 2015


Well done, ass-illuminati.
posted by signal at 4:28 AM on October 21, 2015


Ambrosia Voyeur Also, if anyone knows how to give up leg-shaving for good but make the little fuckers lay flat, let me know. They're barely there but they're mighty frisky.

I find that if I put some lotion on my legs in the morning, it tends to keep the hair laying a bit flatter than if I don't. Also, once it grows out a bit, it lays flatter and after a certain point, it doesn't seem to get any longer. However, I say this as someone who doesn't have a ton of hair on my legs and it's pretty light colored, so I don't mind it if it sticks out a bit.
posted by persephone's rant at 5:42 AM on October 21, 2015


Huh? I am mystified this is a problem for anyone. Wear what you want.
posted by agregoli at 5:44 AM on October 21, 2015


The #wearingblacktights Twitter hashtag may be of interest to some here.
posted by Stacey at 6:22 AM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I actually am totally oblivious to the etiquette of oyster consumption...

ArbitraryAndCapricious: The timing of oyster consumption has little to do with etiquette and more to do with reducing one's chances of ingesting toxins from "red tide" alga blooms that are A Thing in the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere.

(This guideline applies only to locally raised oysters, not to the commercially farmed oysters that are becoming increasingly common.)

P.S. Not an oyster fan, because of the unfortunate aftermath of 8-year-old virago gulping down a raw oyster because she'd just seen Dad do it.
posted by virago at 6:47 AM on October 21, 2015


Back to the topic at hand: As far as I'm concerned, black tights (and/or leggings) season is set by the wearer and is not open to questioning by others.

I generally favor the cotton kind but go for the wool variety in the depths of a northern New England winter.

I'll always wonder, though, how a solid-black cat (RIP Marty) could shed white hair onto my favorite black stockings.
posted by virago at 6:55 AM on October 21, 2015


My life changed last winter when I bought my first pair of fleece lined tights. They look like normal tights on the outside and feel like my favorite sweatpants on the inside.
posted by workerant at 8:06 AM on October 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


I am wearing black tights covered in tiny white skulls today. They are seasonal all year round, thank you very much.
posted by a hat out of hell at 9:03 AM on October 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


I have been wearing black as my primary palette since 1993. I see no reason to give up my Fairy Gothmother status because some fashionista thinks tights and or leggings are passé. Also, I'm a short, round middle aged lady, and I have aged right out of the male gaze, so I have no fucks to give about what anyone thinks of my sartorial choices. Matter of fact, I'm wearing a bat tiara and black leggings even as I type, and I'm about to go to the little rural grocery, where everyone just shakes their head and smiles at the town loonie. Go me!
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:12 AM on October 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Tights, yes! They don't have to be black. They can be turquoise, zebra striped, patterned. Tights are a warm, comfortable option for cooler months. Obsessing about what fashionistas wear? Nope, nope, nope. The fashion industry will cheerfully make women cold, uncomfortable, and cripple their feet, not to mention making women broke.
posted by theora55 at 9:47 AM on October 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


If you can't stand the falling-down and the crotch-sagging and the waist-cutting, just get yourself a sturdy garter belt and cut them legs off. Tights work just fine as stockings, that's what I do. Never going back.
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:51 AM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am currently wearing black tights because even though it's 82 degrees outside, the person in control of the thermostat in my office keeps it at 68, and that's too cold for me to get any work done. I actually left work yesterday to go home to pick up tights because the cold was making me so angry.

I LOVE it when it gets cold enough for tights (which isn't probably legitimately until late November most of the time in Texas, barring crazy office air conditioning circumstances). I usually wear gray because that coordinates best with most of my clothes, but I like to throw in beige, black, and lavender once in a while to mix it up. My favorites are cotton from Sock Dreams, although I just found a pair of Spanx tights that are reversible black/gray, and are super thick and comfortable (not binding in any way).
posted by odayoday at 10:24 AM on October 21, 2015


I could have written odayoday's post just about word for word as I am in Texas, in an office kept like a meatlocker, and I'm wearing black tights with a gray dress.

*squints suspiciously*
posted by angeline at 11:04 AM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


ArbitraryAndCapricious: "I have also never heard the thing about only eating oysters during months containing r, though, and actually am totally oblivious to the etiquette of oyster-consumption, so I'm going to chalk this up to me and Jess Cartner-Morley coming from somewhat different social milieus."

This is actually the other way around, and has to do with algal blooms in months containing R making oysters potentially unsafe to eat. But this is kind of an outdated rule, applying nowadays only to oysters you catch yourself or possibly from small outfits, since all commercial seafood is checked for these toxins.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:27 PM on October 21, 2015


But this is kind of an outdated rule, applying nowadays only to oysters you catch yourself or possibly from small outfits, since all commercial seafood is checked for these toxins.

It also still applies to native British oysters, which have a more distinct growth season to their Pacific cousins. We eat both in the UK, but the rule for natives is sometimes applied to Pacifics. Even the Pacifics tend to have a stronger flavour and better texture in winter.
posted by howfar at 12:40 PM on October 21, 2015


I don't get it, I love black tights all year round. I don't get overheated easily, but I am super-sensitive to the sun. I like the way tights feel, the way they make my legs look, I even went through a phase of wearing them under my slacks. I have more pairs of black tights than I do panties, and I will wear them regardless of what letters are in the month. I literally wear them to work every single day. I had no idea I was doing something wrong, fashion-wise...
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 12:19 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thinking about wearing tights sets off some strange miserly behavior in me. They're not as durable as jeans or cords, so I get all weird about how they'll rip or I'll poke holes in them or they'll just, I don't know, disintegrate or something. This despite the fact that a) I can afford tights and b) they aren't really that delicate.

I'm tall and have big feet, so tights were difficult to find in my size back in my fashion-formative years. But this is no longer the case. I must adjust.

It makes me think of the AskMe someone had about saving "nice" clothes and never actually wearing them. I do that with tights. Stop it, me! You are free to wear the tights you want!
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:20 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


For the tights wearing crowd: apparently the way to make them run-proof is to freeze them before you wear them.

Also: In defense of black tights (which I didn't see upthread, sorry if it's a dupe).
posted by immlass at 4:03 PM on October 22, 2015


ok so just to update because I know everyone is really anxious to find out about my sock delivery; you'll be happy to know that they are all great, but these in particular are the comfiest fuzziest awesomest leggings I have ever put my butt into.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:42 AM on November 4, 2015


For the tights wearing crowd: apparently the way to make them run-proof is to freeze them before you wear them.

This person does not live in Canada.
posted by Kitteh at 5:34 AM on November 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Socks are not tights. Some tights are socks. These folks make socks! And they have a plan.
posted by vrakatar at 5:10 PM on November 4, 2015


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