When the season of hot chocolates and hygge finally rolls around, the population divides into roughly two camps. Who’s watching Strictly Come Dancing and who would rather gouge their eyeballs out? Close. It’s who’s cracking out their tights and who are bravely going bare until December, or a polar vortex arrives.
I know women who greet their opaques like long lost relatives after a summer of waxing their legs to smooth perfection; others challenge themselves to a tights-free winter. It’s early days, but the latter group might be rethinking the boycott right about now. Not only is frostbite a serious faux-pas, but the fashion pack has fallen back in love with tights.
They aren’t just digging out their sheer and black hosiery (although Naomi Campbell made a convincing case for both at Princess Eugenie’s wedding and looked marginally less cold than other guests). Statement colours and patterns are also having a moment.
Balenciaga’s autumn/winter show was a parade of jewel-toned tights, while Danish influencer and Social Zoo founder Pernille Teisbaek is a fan of icy cool shades like white and grey. Chiara Ferragni picked a polka-dot pair for the Philosophy show in Milan, while fashion stylist Emili Sindlev wore Fendi’s sell-out logo tights in baby blue with metallic sandals way back in April.
According to global fashion search platform Lyst, Sindlev and her patterned pins are onto something. Searches for 'monogrammed' and 'logo' tights have increased a combined 48 per cent year-on-year, with Gucci and Fendi topping the list of the most popular brands. The latter’s black nylon stockings covered in interlocking Fs are available now for £150 or you can pre-order the spangled gold version just in time for Christmas party season (£170). Gucci’s gold pair also clock in at £170, but are in stock.
Good old M&S, purveyors of the best value three-pack of good quality 60 deniers at £6, has a section called 'Fashion tights' that is surprisingly less ominous than it sounds. The glittery silver pair might not be embroidered with twin Gs, but will still add much-needed razzle-dazzle during the bleak midwinter (£8).
You have to be careful with coloured tights - too garish a shade will make you look like you got dressed in a power cut. Maria La Rosa’s tights on Matchesfashion.com come in a range of cheerful paintbox-brights, including rose-pink, strawberry and turquoise (£33). A tonal outfit will look much softer than contrasting colours so try the strawberry tights with a floral pink dress, or vice versa, and the turquoise with pastel blue or muted peacock.
It’ll also, pay to upgrade your basic hosiery wardrobe this winter. Fashion editors swear by the seamless, sag-resistant tights from Heist that start from £19. In winter, the brand sells a pair every 15 seconds so they’re obviously doing something right, namely the fact that you can choose a low or high waistband on their 30, 50 and 80 denier designs and they’re guaranteed not to sag halfway through the day. Their Nude tights also come in a range of seven different skin tones. Fiona Fairhurst, the brand’s vice president of innovation, says they’ll be launching colours later this year due to customer demand. For now, wear their opaques with anything from ankle boots and trainers to platform sandals (yes sandals). 'We tuck the toe seam underneath the toes, making them ideal for pairing with sandals,' says Fairhurst.
One final note is that Weekday has the best collection of coloured hosiery on the high street - think spearmint-green to turmeric and violet - that are all £10.
That’s the other great thing about this trend. Aside from actually keeping your bottom half warm - you can give your credit card a well-deserved holiday.