Every year, the great British winter throws up the same debate: Do you don tights or brave the cold with bare legs? Well, thanks to the SS20 catwalks, there’s a new, fun kid in town. Designers from Marc Jacobs to Balenciaga via Collina Strada and Gucci got experimental with hosiery, pairing tights in pillar-box red, Big Bird yellow and aquamarine with everything from glamorous open-toed heels to quaint Mary Janes. Elsewhere, decorative lace and jacquard patterns came in sumptuous berry shades.
The V&A’s blockbuster fashion exhibition, Mary Quant, and Margot Robbie’s turn as Sharon Tate in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood have trained the spotlight back on jazzy hosiery. Quant's partnership with the Pamela Mann Tights Company during the 1960s saw the legs of every sartorially switched-on woman on Carnaby Street clad in paisley prints and psychedelic swirls.
Since the Swinging Sixties, loud tights have flowed in and out of fashion. The ‘00s threw up a particularly strong revival thanks to indie musicians like Kate Nash and The Long Blondes, the ultimate Manic Pixie Dream Girl, Zooey Deschanel, and, of course, Gossip Girl's Blair Waldorf and her minions. Throw out your preconceptions though; this season, designers are taking a fresh approach and convincing us that the coolest way to cover up is in vivid hues and look-at-me prints.
From Marine Serre to Mugler, Richard Malone to Richard Quinn, tights were ribbed and glitter-flecked, monogrammed, woolly and thick or barely there, in neon bright animal prints and muted florals, proving that there is a pair of tights for every outfit and occasion.
Rogue Matilda Gold Mary Jane Shoes, similar available here; ASOS Design 50 Denier Tights in Hot Pink, £6, available at ASOS; Sezane Red Suede Mary Janes, similar available here; Calzedonia 50 Denier Total Comfort Tights in White, £7, available at Calzedonia; ASOS Design Wide Fit White Croc Mary Jane Heels, £30, available at ASOS; Calzedonia 50 Denier Total Comfort Tights in Mustard, £7, available at Calzedonia.