I've discovered the answer to the Leg Dilemma. The "experts" have been preaching "no hose" for years, and I wholeheartedly support the non-support movement. Even if I wanted to wear hot, uncomfortable plastic on my legs whose waistband cuts me off, I'm so pale that I can't find a color that even remotely looks like it might actually be my legs. So I'm a huge fan of no-hose-at-all. Chastise folks (usually just in my head, but sometimes it sneaks out loud) for wearing hose with their skirt suits. And never understood why one would want to wear them with sandals or open toed shoes. Isn't the whole point of stockings to be natural, then you go and wear shoes that advertise you're not wearing your own legs? Just wrong.
Nevertheless, I'm also a big fan of skirts. I like being a lady. So up until last year, I went bare-legged. All year round. It gets mighty chilly in the DC winter. But if I wanted to wear a skirt, I wore a skirt. And no hose. Then, much to my pleasant surprise, tights showed up. I vividly remember one of the mags having this great "centerfold" with shoes and tights in all mixes of colors and patterns. It was about two years ago. And I was thrilled. (I wish I still had that spread - it was so cool.) Marched right out to find me some tights, and was totally enamored with my new best friends, the fish-nets. That was the best thing I could find in patterns last year. Everything else looked like old lady tights. So I proudly wore my fishnets - aqua, nude (my faves), small black, burgundy - and, needless to say, got quite a few comments. And not just from the boys - though they were definitely fans (especially since, if you've read earlier posts you know, I tend to wear Heels). Women all over - metro escalators, Starbucks lines - said how much they liked my tights. They kept my legs at least a little bit warmer, and I was happy that I could have a little bit of funk with my plain(er) suits.
And now it's a new winter. Fortunately, the mass production market has apparently caught up with runways, and I can now find more interesting patterns. Nordstrom, for example, has lots of great stuff in black - DKNY is a front runner - and some cool matte colors. But I'm so excited about this little Italian (I think) brand I found at the very bottom of the rack - they've got mod, sixties-esque patterns in complimentary (think color wheel) colors. I can't wait.
I'm thinkin' I might break out the Italian tights later this week with my black & white tweed Banana suit. Or maybe with a LBD I picked up at Ann Taylor 3 years ago. It's a v-necked shift with these adorable little pleats at the sides. I'm thinkin' I might be able to channel a little Twiggy with the tights & shift dress. I know, I know, I'm preachin' "no mass produced, don't wanna look like anyone else," but if I pair with something no one else has, well, then, I won't, will I?