Why Statement Tights Should be a Staple in Your S/S18 Wardrobe

Hawaiian-print tights by Richard QuinnPhotography by Chris Rhodes, Styling by Chloe Grace Press

From floral patterned to gossamer iterations studded with crystals, AnOther Magazine makes a case for incorporating tights into your springtime ensembles

The origins of tights can be traced back to ancient forms of dress, with some of the earliest iterations taking the form of thin strips of insulating animal hide wrapped around the legs. While materials have changed and technologies have advanced, the function of hosiery remains much the same as ever it did. Such close proximity to the body allows for ease of movement, and thus stockings – or ‘panti-legs’, as they were coined in 1950s film and theatre circles, sewn into the briefs of actresses and dancers – meant that pulling on a pair is akin to sporting a synthetic second skin. 

Fashion, too, adopted tights as a wardrobe staple, as their form-fitting stretch – right up to the waist – eliminated the need for suspenders and garters. By the 1960s, thanks to the likes of Pierre Cardin and Mary Quant, they were the most popular form of undergarment, contouring and shaping the thighs and buttocks. As hemlines were hitched ever shorter, they began to become accessories in their own right, adorning the lower extremities with pattern and colour. Opaque or sheer, woolen or Lycra, tights became emblematic of a particular kind of sexiness that is difficult to pinpoint. David Bowie, too, championed the garment, in his gender fluid garb: “I still derive immense pleasure from remembering how many hod-carrying brickies were ­encouraged to put on lurex tights and mince up and down the high street, having been assured by know-it-alls like me that a smidgen of blusher really attracted the birds,” he wrote in 2001.

For S/S18, tights were back on the runways with a vengeance: at Gucci, in gossamer stockings that were studded with crystals; at Fendi, where logomania ruled supreme right down to the model’s legs printed with ‘FF’ insignias; at Richard Quinn – whose floral spandex engulfed the entire body – and in Demna Gvsalia’s pull-on Balenciaga knife boots, which were printed with images of desert-scapes. Far from just a practical item offering supreme comfort, it has been proven time and time again that tights make for a strong statement – which is reason enough to incorporate a pair into your wardrobe for the transitional springtime months. 

Model: Aiden Curtiss at Next NY. Casting: Svea Greichgauer at AM Casting. Photographic assistant: Johnny Knapp. Production: Webber. 

This story originally featured in the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of AnOther Magazine, which is on sale now.

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