Another fashion news flash from the south of France: colored tights are a thing.

The first pair I noticed, in the fall, were purple. Not a dark aubergine that subtly rejects the banality of black. They were a shocking violet, a Prince-ly purple. The wearer also had on other purple accents. Committed to the color.

Soon colored tights were everywhere. Fuschia. Yellow. Orange. Big florals against black backgrounds, kind of like a Dutch golden age still life.

Granted, tights mean skirts and neither are suitable for serious cold. Until last weekend the weather has been warm enough for coats left unbuttoned. Even so, everybody–men and women, young and older–wears long, thick scarves wound several times around their necks, so they look like whiplash victims. The silhouette is similar to Elizabethan neck ruffs:

Back to tights. Mostly they are solid, vibrant colors.

green-tightsSometimes there are designs.

writingstripedI also saw, but failed to photograph, tights the color of raw chicken breasts, with a rose vine motif up the side that looked for all the world like a long tattoo. And two-tone tights with black from the foot to just above the knee, then pale peach, so they looked like stockings attached to garters–even with a little fake bow as if they were tied on. Proof that not all French women have great taste.

And then these two ladies, dressed up with style all their own. I particularly liked the green beret with the fur coat.

39 thoughts on “Crazy Legs

  1. The french fashion has gone crazy or maybe I am getting old or is it because I am not brave enough to wear these tights, the fashion is sometimes off the wall and it doesn’t stop at clothes, I was brought up with lovely white net curtains but now thwy can be any colour from red, brown to lime green, I can drive through a village and know which houses have elderly occupants and which ones have young people in them purely by their net curtains.

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  2. I have been a fan of colored tights/pantyhose for years! I still wear some great one I bought probably 10 years ago (at least…) that are mustard color. And yes, I have aubergine and bright blue and shades of red!!! But I am also a dress wearer and when it’s cold the whole thing looks great with tall boots. So yes, very glad to see they are popular across the pond!!

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  3. A scarf does help keep the warm in even without a top coat. In the UK we dread the look on old thin shanks of thickish stockings or tights that wrinkle around the ankle. Known as Nora Battie’s after a character from a TV series with such clothing.
    I am just about to put three rails up on the inside of our cupboard semi walk-in wardrobe door to house my scarves.

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  4. What fun!!! I love the look. I feel naked without a scarf wrapped around and around my neck. I have worn that look since my twenties. I think I own thirty or more scarves …all large. Even in summer I wear them but just loose. If I wore skirts or dresses….the tights would be just as wild…I guess I need to buy at least one skirt so that I can do this….but love my skinny jeans and trousers and ankle boots.


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    1. You would be dynamite with wild tights.
      I have to admit I did the scarf wrap today. We started the soldes with rain and wind, and I had my scarf entwined up to my ears. Happily, by the time we left, it was sunny and mild. But that just makes people open their coats and leave the scarves wound tight.


  5. I love your fashion posts! I confess that I am a fan of coloured tights and have several pairs even though I am knocking on the door of fifty five. Winter is dreary enough in the UK, without wearing drab clothes too. My latest favourites are an orange pair which I call my Tango tights, (Tango is a ghastly canned bright orange fizzy drink) purchased from a market stall in Lille. I only wear them with long boots so there is just the merest glimpse of orange peeking from beneath my skirt and no chance of a Nora Battie look.

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  6. Ok, time for a guy to weigh in. Actually a guy who does a lot of street photography in France. It’s normal to be apprehensive about photographing a stranger. One way around? Simply approach the “target” and you can honestly say something like “you look fantastic in those tights. I’m doing a photo project on women in tights. Could I MAKE not TAKE your photo?” Likely result? In my experience, people are flattered when you make a compliment. Most likely, you’ll get the shot. Try it.

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  7. I think I could have a go at colored tights. I’ve seen some very attractive ones here in the States too. I generally just wear black or brown, but I haven’t given up dresses for the winter. I go with tights and a pair of ankle boots, thinking that I look fashion forward.
    Come play along with Dreaming of France if you get a chance. I’m blogging about your neck of the woods. Here’s my Dreaming of France meme

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    1. Tights and boots can be pretty warm. Knee-high boots keep the wind off. It doesn’t get that cold here, though a Siberian front is supposed to arrive tomorrow. It might dip into freezing territory.


  8. I think the colored tights are kind of fun. As short as I am though, on those rare occasions that I wear skirts, I find keeping tights close to the skirt color is what works best.

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  9. Great post & bought back memories of when I was a student in the seventies and used to wear striped tights with all black. We’re back to Castelnaudary in a couple of weeks so I’ll be keeping my eyes on the leg wear!

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