The Co. staff writer and influencer Jenn McNaughton identifies and interprets fashion trends and inspirations of the moment, with a nod to where they’re coming from and how to make them your own.

This week is an attempt at making a case for my black tight love affair. To some, rolling on the suctioning-stretch is succumbing to the act of layering with remorse. For myself, the look of the semi-sheer shade acts as a great base layer for my fairly monochromatic wardrobe and makes me feel like Dame Helen Mirren, red carpet ready.

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Self-solidification aside, one question has prevailed overtime: are black tights mainstream? I’ve never thought otherwise, sporting them during the snow and sizzle à la T. Swift, but based on the amount of bare-legged women I’ve seen donning ankle books and miniskirts during an east coast winter, I’m having to readdress.

Rihanna PFW Courtesy: Amber Sceats


First, we’ll brief on a little hosiery history: the first nylons debuted in 1940. Historic photographs reveal women lined up down the street in order to get their feet in a pair. The ’60s saw the onset of the one-piece, ridding the garter belt and shaping the lives of women everywhere—though Rihanna’s revival of the clip during Dior at PFW essentially ruled out any sartorial stocking woes there.

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Previously, women wouldn’t dare be seen in public without them (one part chicness, two parts patriarchy); nowadays, they’d rather look like a raw turkey than a dignified, black and white-filtered Jean Shrimpton. While I don’t advise acquiring a pair reminiscent of the ‘80s fishnet craze—we’re not trying to replicate Madonna’s reunion tour here—I can get behind a standard 40-den.


Although their lifespan is on par with that of your last relationship…they’re easily replaceable (ahem, buy the two-pack ????). PSA: the suede-synthetic pair from the Secret Collection stocked at Shopper’s is my one and only. The shape control keeps the nylon feeling brand new with each tug over-the-booty and they’re cheap; a win—win for the next time your chipped shellac puts a run in them.

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I conclude with this poignant quote by Refinery29 writer, Rachel Syme, in response to The Guardian’s article essentially tearing up your shredded leftovers.

“You are implying that those who like to peacock with tights on are somehow doing fashion wrong, that the bold risks a woman takes when her legs are covered are somehow always going to feel like a consolation prize for not having better, younger, more model-esque stems. I can understand how living in that world would make you die a little when you put on your tights. But in my world, suited up in my Wolfords and strolling down Fifth Avenue, I never feel more alive.”


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