My winter staple is a perfect pair of black tights. When I’m getting dressed, I put on my undies and bra, a pair of black tights, and then stare hopefully into my closet for 10 minutes trying to figure out what to wear on top of those three necessities. As long as the tights are right, the rest should be easy. The perfect tights make me feel just like the prancing lady in this animated intro for Adelline. (Yes, I know hers is more of a catsuit than tights, but I still want that same effect… SOLID inky black, and so perfect and well-fitting that they inspire prancing). The Adelline lady looks like a grown-up version of Fantomette, a fabulous French children’s cartoon character. She’s a normal teen by day, but goes about her undercover crime-fighting at night in perfect black tights. That’s exactly how I want to go about my business in the winter. See, there are no picks or ladders in Fantomette’s tights. They aren’t darker at the ankles and then sheer over the thighs and calves; they are jet black from top to bottom. Now THAT is the right pair of tights, and that’s what I’m after…tights as close to cartoon perfection as I can find.
After a lot of trial and error, I have found the only place for cartoon-perfect tights is Wolford. What you want are the Mat Opaque 80 denier tights. Their Velvet de Luxe 66 denier will not get you the Fantomette effect. I even buy a few pairs of the the Mat Opaque 80’s in one size larger than I would normally wear, so they are extra, extra dark and have no chance of going sheer anywhere. The whole point of wearing such seriously opaque tights is that they allow you to wear much shorter skirts and dresses without venturing into the tarty/vampy category that sheer hosiery plus short skirt equals. If you’re over 40 and have good legs, then GET THEM OUT please. Just keep it stylish with the right hosiery.
Another lovely option are the Wolford Satin de Luxe tights. These are SUPER shiny, SUPER black, and thick (like leotard or swimsuit fabric) and there is a lovely seam going up the back of each leg. The tights are so dark that you can barely see the seam, but I know it is there and it is a subtle detail that makes me purrrrr. They are so shiny and slippery that you will feel like you have been buttered from your waist to your toes (never a bad thing) and even a clingy knit dress will just SWOOOOSH right over your slippery self.
Both of these Wolford tights are a little pricey, but I don’t really care because they last forever, and by forever I mean several years (which IS FOREVER in hosiery years). My first pair of Mat Opaque 80s lasted for 5 years. They are smooth and so tightly woven that my jewellery doesn’t pick them, and they’re durable enough that I don’t get scrapes and bobbles on them from my mid-calf biker boots rubbing against them (This is not the case with the Satin de Luxe tights. They are more fragile, and will get picks on them if I’m not careful).
The last excellent Wolford option is their cashmere and silk tights. I’ve only had mine for a year, but they are very cozy and warm without being too bulky. You don’t get that sleekening effect that you get with the other two pairs above, but with the right styling, or with any of the Celine-inspired knitwear that is sure to be everywhere this winter, they’re a warming winter treat.
Are you all stocked up on tights yet for the coming cooler weather?