Monday, 10 October 2016

Time for Tights Lesson 2 - How to wear Sheer Tights

The Times sounds the death knell for Opaques....

I was in London last week where there was a nip in the air. Happily skirting around wearing my 80's charity shop double breasted wool blazer, I noticed many-a Londonite battening down the hatches readying themselves for winter by going full pelt: coat, scarf, tights, boots. Was a single one of these people wearing sheer tights? Nope. As a northerner I found the article above slightly hilarious - bare legs or sheers? Give over, have you ever experienced a winter in Yorkshire? In winter it isn't survival of the fittest, it's survival of the warmest. As I type this I'm wearing 100 denier tights and I'm inside a warm house, warmer with the black coating of a thick tight. I guess what I'm saying is take the "advice" from The Times with a pinch of salt. Ladies up and down the land will be reaching for their opaques this winter regardless of what fashion decrees are handed down to them. As it says in the article sheer tights aren't as practical as an opaque: they aren't as warm, the ladder easily and they skirt dangerously near to the edge of the 80's (which I LOVE but that's my personal taste). But if you do want to switch things up this year, alternating your opaques for sheers can the way forward. I began wearing sheer tights last winter and love them. I don't wear them everyday and yes they do ladder exponentially often but it's a break from the norm. I even took them a few pairs on my honeymoon in April (and WORE THEM! Dear gawd it was freezing in Chicago!)

 Let's begin this weeks masterclass using the master of the sheer tight: Carine Roitfeld.

1. Just plain sheers - Carine has a cracking pair of pins which she dresses really well in pencil shaped skirts. Her style is very sexy, a lot of body-con type stuff in a monochromatic colour palette with hints of grey, brown and khaki. Easily identificable she mixes it up using different fabrics to add interest: leather, brocade, lace. Here she has a monochrome look broken up with a sheer tight. If she had worn an opaque (and I highly doubt she ever would - maybe I should invite her to Halifax to see if the cold weather would force her hand?) the shoe would have disappeared into the tight, all you would've seen would be one black mass resting on a stiletto heel. Carine has so kindly answered another question here - is it ok to wear tights with peep-toe shoes? Why yes but don't show the seam where the tights are sewn. That's a fashion tragedy waiting to happen.

Image: Stockholm 

2. Patterned Sheer Tights - this once again is down to personal style. I myself loathe them, they make my outfits overtly fussy and I don't like how my legs look in them. But let's look to Carine for some guidance if you do want to head down this road. Below Carine is once again loving black and using a mix of textures to make her outfit visually appealing. A heavy coat is broken up with a patterned skirt and patterned tights, both in contrasting patterns. The tights draw attention to arguably her crowning feature: her legs. And after years in the fashion game, she's savvy - sitting on the FROW what's on show? Her legs.

Image: Pinterest

3. Fishnets - I had a fab client recently who I re-styled with a vintage 1950s grown-up Rockerbilly vibe. One of the key things I bought for her was a pair of black seamed fishnet tights to wear with her full circle skirts. But fishnets are not just for vintage wear. Carine shows us how - look close and you'll see the tights below aren't sheer, they are a pair of close knit fishnets. Clever Carine has worked broken up a fairly matt, flat outfit, with the texture of a fishnet and the colour of a pink stiletto. Her take on a business suit subverts the traditional ideals of the office and gives us something fun to look at.

Image: Getty Images

4. Oversized Fishnets - Carine is also known for wearing a larger scale fish net (below) which works as she's gone bold with a mid length textured coat. I don't think a smaller knit fish net would've worked with this, it would've gotten lost and ended up looking like a sheer in the photo. A larger more open weave is the way to go this winter (2016) - check out this article from WhoWhatWear for more inspiration.

Image: WhoWhatWear

5. Socks - the saviour of a winter wardrobe and a sharp turn away from those gawd-awful pop-sock things. Wear them with your 7/8th trousers and heels for a stylish extra layer of warmth. More on socks next week...

Image: ASOS

What will be adorning your legs this season?

Til next time....stay wardrobe happy x

The Wardrobe Angel

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