Rich seam: why the fashion pack is back in love with tights

Phoebe Philo led the catwalk hosiery revival – now the rest of the fashion elite has cottoned on, producing covered up, confident and cool styles that have filtered down to the high street

The old adage that what goes up must come down is never as apt as with tights. Aside from the obvious, they are frequently described as a fashion staple yet, realistically, they are anything but. In fact, until recently, fashion circles were widely of the opinion that there was nothing more naff than a pair of tights. Tights were for sensible people who took the time to look at the weather forecast before they left the house and prioritised laundry, homework and bed over a lengthy leg-grooming session when they got home. But, this season, there is good news for secret aficionados: tights are back.

The renaissance has been building slowly since designer Phoebe Philo – she who can single-handedly create or kill a trend – put them on the spring/summer 2017 Céline catwalk, reminding us that black opaques and knee-length dresses are still a good idea, in a Sienna Miller, Keira Knightley and Alexa Chung circa 2007 kind of way. Then, for autumn/winter 2017, fellow fashion houses followed suit in varying degrees of denier: Chanel put white and silver opaque sparklers on its rocket-fuelled runway; Balenciaga offered semi-sheer chain-printed options; Givenchy went bold with statement scarlet; Gucci got nostalgic with knitted perforated chevron pairs; while Lemaire dipped its toe into proceedings with white opaques and classic 30 deniers – the latter being the most accessible entry item to this reinvigorated garment given its ubiquity in most chemists and surpermarkets. In short, the gamut of what constitutes being on trend with tights this season runs far and wide.

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