Nude Tights – the debate in my mind continues…
I want to like nude tights, in fact I do love nude tights. I might love them better if I had better legs, or if legs were my number 1 asset, but in any case I do heart them. To me they are a sign of a sophisticated, mature attitude to what one wears. The black opaque tights that I generally wear are robust and functional: they don’t ladder, they tend to form holes which, I have discovered, can be sewn; water splats from puddles and rain don’t show, and a multitude of imperfections: podgy knees; mottled skin; bruising, are all hidden. Nude tights seem to require more effort and prefer a taxi-office-taxi-home routine rather than a car-ferry to school-car-work-car-school pick up, dog walk, supermarket shop kind of route march.
Nude tights are very elegant though. They are Jackie Kennedy – in fact they are every First Lady and every female member of any Royal Family (not to pick one out in particular). Perhaps I should qualify that and say they are very elegant on the right legs, and in the right environment.
I saw a lady in the street the other day and when I saw her nude tight look it made me feel cold. I think it was less to do with the fact of her wearing them and more to do with the shade of nude that they were, it made her look very bare legged, which, on a day when temperatures were barely above freezing, is probably what made me feel cold.
Hem proportions might have been a factor too. Her skirt, a beautiful tweed, was a little on the short side, and although she looked great in it, I did feel quite chilly just looking at her. Maybe if she had been wearing a longer length skirt, with a lesser expanse of nude tight it would have had a very different feel to the look.
This poor lady, I’m not trying to be critical, but to understand what it is that makes nude tights look good in winter. So far I think we have come up with the following:
1. Nude tights in Winter can be a great look
2. If you are already blessed with an amazing pair of legs you’re on to a winner and are advantaged in a way that some of us are not.
3. If you have the legs of a mere mortal there are certain factors to watch out for namely:
a. Tight tone or colour – too pale and you may look rather washed out. A sheen rather than a matt finish (sheer tights for example) can look very elegant and even out a mottled skin tone
b. Construction – tights with a higher gauge will have a greater strength and go someway to ‘supporting’ the leg, and stop our legs wobbling around in a distracting fashion.
c. Hem length is important – the shorter the skirt the more confident you need to feel and the better shape your legs should be in.
d. They might be more suited to “formal days” ie days when you won’t be doing much running around, although I could be wrong on that. You may wear them all day every day.
Additionally if you want to lighten up a look nude tights can be great, and some outfits, probably do look better with a nude tight. I’m currently making a red wool crepe dress which will almost definitely look better with nude tights.
I wonder if nude tights breathe authority into the wearer’s outfit. A casual glance through the online images of women in power or a position of authority shows a high percentage of women wearing nude tights.
Geneviève Antoine Dariaux, author of “A Guide to Elegance”, first published in the early 1960s, writes of stockings and nylons rather than tights. She advocates 2 shades of nude “nylon” for which read tight: a neutral beige for day and a slightly paler sheerer stocking (or tight, if you prefer) for evening. That would probably still stand as sensible advice today.
She also advocates keeping a spare pair in your handbag. This is definitely still valid advice and I know lots of people who do exactly that even to this day and which advice I should probably take myself.
Interestingly Dariaux advocates a nude tight for a black ensemble stating that dark tights with a black outfit make the effect rather drab. Quite Interesting. She may have a point, but it might not be enough to get me out of my black opaques. Who knows.
What do you think? Which way do you go on the nude/black debate, or do you wear other? Coloured? patterned? Or is the headache of tights what turned you to the safety of the trouser suit?
Have a great day.