Tights were originally worn by men and were made from fine wool or silk, but over the years they evolved and by the time the swinging sixties arrived, pantyhose suddenly became extremely popular and no self respecting female in a mini skirt was seen without a pair of fashionable tights on.
In the early days, designs were mostly plain and your choice of colour was restricted to various shades of tan. Thankfully, designs have improved and modern incarnations come in a myriad of different colours, fabrics, and deniers. Sheer tights in nude colours are a popular choice for both day and evening wear, but for those who prefer something trendier, there are lots of patterned variations to choose from, all of which look fantastic with the latest fashion styles. Thick opaques are also popular, especially during the winter.
Fashion tights are now widely considered to be an accessory to a stylish outfit rather than an essential piece of hosiery to protect the modesty when wearing a mini skirt and today’s woman can choose from wool, sheer, fishnets, patterns, and a million other styles and designs.
In today’s world, pantyhose are mostly worn by women and girls of all ages, babies and toddlers. However, in recent times, there has been a revival of interest in tights for men and some manufacturers have brought out ranges especially designed for men, although we have yet to see the average man about town donning a stylish pair for a night out. But whilst tights in fashion remain as popular as ever, they are not only a fashion accessory for women: they also have a number of different uses and applications.
In the world of sport, athletic tights are commonly worn by athletes, either as a base layer garment to protect the legs, improve blood circulation and reduce the incidence of muscular injury and strain during vigorous exercise, or simply as an aerodynamic garment for sports such as cycling or running. Gymnasts often wear footless tights and they are also worn by ballet dancers, male and female as well as being traditionally worn in the theatre, particularly in historical productions.
Pantyhose also have a medical benefit and support tights are commonly worn by older people or those suffering from circulatory problems in the legs. Supports work by the application of compression around the legs, which improves circulation and helps to prevent dangerous blood clots.
All in all, fashion tights have been around for centuries in one incarnation or other, and there’s no sign that things will change in many years to come.
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