Many of us have encountered the delicate dance of donning a pair of tights. There's the careful tug to avoid ladders as they slide up, followed by that familiar mix of relief and snugness once they're on. Whether it brings to mind school uniforms or ballet rehearsals, their stretchy, shiny sheen holds a place in our memories.

The invention of tights is attributed to Allen E. Grant in 1959, spurred by his pregnant wife's frustration with the cumbersome attire of the era, which included thigh-high stockings, girdle and garter. Tights, or pantyhose, soon emerged as a symbol of liberation, simplifying the dressing process for everyday ease.

But tights didn't have their moment in vogue until the rise of the mini skirt in the mid-’60s when popularised by models like Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton. After all, a thigh-grazing mini skirt couldn't be properly executed with the difficult combination of girdle and garter.

Like most essential pieces, tights were soon elevated to an accessory as opposed to a necessity, rendered in bright colours to complement the block hues of the period. Since then, Liza Minnelli, Princess Diana, and Blair Waldorf have all been proponents of a vibrant tight, though until recently, they seemed confined to bygone eras.

Now, tomato red, teal, hot pink and cobalt blue tights can become a part of every outfit. Over the Spring/Summer 2024 collections, a kaleidoscope of colourful tights were seen in the fashion capitals. Posy pink pantyhose at Gucci’s elevated evening looks and Miu Miu’s rusted orange tights were paired with butter-soft leather. Acne illuminated theirs in cobalt, emerald, red and pink to match full-block colour looks, while Marc Jacobs opted for more pastel offerings.

From the runway into the wardrobes of many, colourful tights have trickled down to the masses on TikTok, with #colorfultights gaining over 6 million views. Most recently, during the festive season, red tights paired with black footwear struck a stylish balance. Today, we are seeing people experiment with all tints and tones.

When the mods first slipped into their technicolour tights, newspapers described them as being “dressed like fugitives from kindergarten” and while we understand that this colourful-legged look might not be to everyone’s taste, the chance to be likened to a criminal toddler is quite exciting.

Text by Olivia Barrett. All tights shot on The Because Team

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Tags: tights , denier , trend , colourful , 60s