There's a strong case to be made for the feeling of cotton poplin wafting against your skin as you enjoy a balmy summer's day but I'm here to suggest that it's nothing compared to the moment when you feel a chill about the ankles and have to reach for your favourite pair of tights. Well, that moment has arrived and, given the ubiquity of tights at Paris Fashion Week, it seems that hosiery isn't just practical – it's a fashion statement in its own right.
Cast your mind back to 2019 – a simpler time, before we all had to face a global pandemic – and you might remember (you probably won't) that Katie Holmes provided an encore to her cashmere bra/cardigan moment in the form of polka dot tights. Naturally, I took the opportunity to write a homage to the new wave of hosiery that had been springing up in fashion circles – tights which were covered in logos, lace and all sorts of embellishments. And they're still going strong.
This has a lot to do with the fact that, from autumn 2019, designers started making tights one of the focal points of their collections. From Gucci's monogram pairs to Versace's lace numbers of that year, 2020 then gave us something other than a whole lot of distress: Chanel tights!
I know, it's enough to make you forget that last year even happened. Which is (almost) possible because if you spent enough time on Instagram, you'd be forgiven for thinking that only Chanel tights were available, such was their ubiquity.
Every influencer and her handbag-sized dog was wearing them after Virginie Viard put them with almost every look in her AW20 show. Following that success, designers even included them in their spring/summer collections this year, with sheer spots at Saint Laurent and rainbow brights at Molly Goddard. For autumn/winter 2021, designers seemed to embrace stockings over full tights.
At Chanel, bright white stockings peeked out from underneath skirts with thigh-high slits, while Dolce and Gabbana's invoked a punk attitude, worn short with clompy shoes and mega minis.
Of course, with it being autumn now, any tights are a good idea. As well as fashion's haute hosiery, there are some excellent pairs on the high street that will look excellent with any outfit and won't break the bank, either.
This is why I've decided to share the very best tights on the market, as tried and tested by a woman completely obsessed with black opaques, sheer tights, fishnets and the designer pairs. That woman is me, by the way.