Photo: Getty Images


Three cheers for your black opaques  

Sheer tights might be in this season but you can't beat a pair of 50 deniers

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By Frankie Graddon on

Today is the 13th October, meaning that the annual “what do we all think about black tights?” debate has begun. There is nothing fashion folk love to discuss more than whether tights are a sartorial faux pas or faux yah and, if yah, what density is acceptable. Traditionally fashion has always favoured the bare leg (all the better to show off that fortnight-in-Santorini-glow. Ahem), but following an appearance by Alexa Chung during LFW, a sheer denier (thirty or less), has been declared this autumn’s choice. 

Now, I have a lot of time for the sheer den. I appreciate the soft black colour that goes with everything and the way they somehow make your legs look like they’ve had a trip to the gym. I very much admire the lace-print styles that Carine Roitfeld wears with a leather skirt, or the fine fishnets that look brilliant with boots (try Topshop for both). But if we are talking proper tights – chilly train platform tights – then in my opinion you can't beat a pair of opaques. 

Carine Roitfeld

Fifty denier, sixty denier – I even have a pair of hundred denier – and these form the much loved basis of my cold-weather wardrobe. Skirts and dresses are rendered feasible even on the most bracing of mornings and in extreme circumstances they can be worn under your jeans for an extra layer. Of course they also mean that you don’t have to shave your legs until May which in my book can only be a good thing. If you are concerned that they are all function no form, than may I refer you to street style photographer Tamu McPherson, who regularly wears her black opaques with mini-mouse heels, brogues and lace-up ankle boots. 

Tamu McPherson

As for where to buy them from? If you are a posh tights kind of person then you cannot beat Falke – their cotton touch tights, £22, are simply lovely. At the weekend I tried new tights brand Heist who boast tights that have a non-slip waist band and super stretchy anti-itch fabric. They are also completely seam free meaning no uncomfortable crotch seam or toe seam – good for when wearing open toed-shoes. At £22 for the high waist style they are pricey but ticked every box.

However in my experience you can’t beat the high street. Of course there is M&S, the mecca of all hosiery, but also worth looking at are Tesco’s F&F for £4 60 denier 3 pack (they also do hundred and forty denier – wonderful) and Uniqlo for their super warm HEATTECH tights that refuse to rip. 




Photo: Getty Images
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