Lessons in Opacity
Jan 18, 2011
Lord knows that I love tights. There one of my favorite things about cold weather attire. Unfortunately, a growing number of women on the Hill seem to be unaware of The First Rule of Wearing Tights: Opacity matters.
For tights to achieve their maximum level of chic, they must be completely opaque or thisclose to be completely opaque. Why? Well, it has to do with the art of concealment.
For those of you who skipped physics class, allow me to be the first to tell you that nylon stretches. And as it stretches, it becomes thinner. Thus, even if your stems are practically perfect in every way, the tights will be stretched thinner over your widest parts (thighs, the mid-calf area) than it will be over the slimmer parts (ankles, knees).
When you wear tights that are less than completely opaque, this stretching become more pronounced causing your tights to look more like colored nylons than tights. But worst of all, this stretching creates a halo effect around your thighs and calves, directing attention to your widest parts.
This is the same effect that heavy distressing has on denim when the thighs are done in a lighter wash than the rest of the jean.
Thus, if you want your legs to look their slimmest and trimmest, you need opaque or very nearly opaque tights. If you buy a nice thick tight (Spanx, Wolford, Hue) and they still halo around the thigh, you should think about going up a size. The sizes are so fungible this won’t typically be a problem.
And on a related note, I think tights that are thin enough to see skin even when standing look cheap. The opaque tight is just a more stylish, more pulled-together choice all around. And for my money, Spanx makes the thickest, most durable tight out there ( I simply can’t afford Wolford on a Staffer’s budget).