It’s Springtime, Can We Ditch the Black Tights Already!?

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I would just like to start this article out by saying that when you are looking to do a springtime fashion piece on tights vs. no tights and are searching for images to use, it is virtually impossible to conduct an Instagram search for “tights” or “bare legs” and not unearth just about every softcore porn image that every bored housewife with a digital camera has taken since 2010. Seriously, people are posting porny images of themselves at a rate that makes a high-speed Japanese commuter train look like it moves with the speed of a glacier.

However, because I feel very strongly that the whole tights vs. bare legs thing is a fashion conundrum that most of us struggle with at seasonal transition times of year, I persevered through the fishnet stockings and lacy one-piece once bodysuits to find actual images of actual tights (or not), and came up with a few modern alternatives to the ubiquitous black tight.

Personally, I am very firmly in the “no tights” camp. Granted, in the middle of January, it is a necessity, but at this time of year, tights look heavy-handed and out of place. Yes, you may be a bit cold, and you may have to consider your environment, but by and large, if you’re not going to be hanging-out at an outdoor event with an icy breeze constantly at you, by the time March rolls-around, you should ditch the heavy black tights.

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Think I’m being harsh? Have a look around you the next time you are walking down a city street. Even at the height of summer, with the exception of children, most adults will be wearing at least one piece of black clothing. This is doubly true in places that get cold in the winter. Black is our get out of jail free card – our security blanket.  while I concede that opaque back tights (or even leggings) take away the necessity to shave your legs or feel an urge to slather on layer after layer of self-tanner (that’s another article for another time), they also weigh a look down, taking away the lightness and whimsy that so many of us might otherwise crave in our spring fashion game.

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Hey, if wearing black all the time is your style ethos, great. Far be it for me to stomp all over your sartorial parade. Some people look amazing in all black, and we wouldn’t dream of seeing them in anything else. This diatribe article is aimed specifically at that tricky sartorial area of tights. If you find yourself reaching for that old faithful pair of black tights over and over again simply because the transitional weather is a bit challenging and you can’t figure out what else to do, this advice is for you.

3 Alternatives to Heavy Black Tights: A Springtime Transitional Weather Primer

The Midi Skirt

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If the temperatures aren’t quite there yet, instead of covering your legs with tights, try altering your skirt length! A midi skirt will cover a lot more leg, giving you a little more protection from the cold while still preserving that lightweight feel of the promise of warmer temperatures to come. A word of caution however; if you decide to go with a midi-length of longer skirt, do not pair it with sheer hosiery, or you’ll risk channeling your Gran on her way to church. A bare leg keeps things modern and edgy, and sheer hosiery looks dated and can’t (or at least shouldn’t) be worn with open-toe shoes.


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Culottes made their presence known a season or two ago, and they’re still going strong. They’re a great option for the office, and provide the security and coverage of pants with the feminine flow of a midi skirt. Pair yours with heels or strappy shoes for a modern, edgy effect, or even team them with sneakers…without the socks… for a more street-wise vibe.

Dress Over Pants

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A dress over pants has been an enduring staple since the 1990s, and this spring’s bohemian trends are the perfect reason to employ this sartorial trick. Dress-down a more formal dress (as above) by adding a pair of close-fitting ankle-length denim underneath (extra points if your denim is distressed). Pair your looser, flowing frocks with jeggings and booties for that trust-fund hippie, “festival” look, or layer a strapless dress over a crisp white shirt and ankle jeans. Whatever method you choose, you are essentially transforming your dress into a tunic, and expanding your wardrobe possibilities tenfold.