Sure you’ve been wearing tights for years and probably know your favorite pair inside out. But you may not have known these modern day wardrobe staples have some very unusual uses and a deep rich history. So get a leg up on all things tights and expand your hosiery knowledge with these five fantastic facts about our favorite accessory.
The closest representation to modern tights began in the 1500s as leggings for men and attached at the waist via a belt. Shortly after the invention of machine knitting, sheers progressed by utilizing materials such as silk, wool and cotton. Queen Elizabeth was presented with a pair during this era and rumor has it she never took off her tights. She was literally obsessed. Can you blame her?
Dupont invented nylon in 1938, a highly durable, easy to dye, super elastic fiber that was a major development for tights. This innovative material was first introduced at the world’s fair and shortly brought to mainstream fashion. The demand for these new nylon tights caught on quick and was shockingly high. Reportedly in May of 1945, 4 million pairs of tights were sold in four days. Macy’s alone, sold 50,000 pairs in 6 hours. Women who couldn't get their hands on these lusted items would paint their legs with self tanner and draw a line up the back of their leg to replicate the seam that closed the stocking in that era.
Although tights were incredibly popular, it oddly wasn't until the 1960s designer collections caught on. French designer, Pierre Cardin, was the first major designer to embrace the sheer popularity of the accessory and created a collection of bright bold colored tights. Emilio Pucci and other major labels shortly caught on and to this day most major couture ateliers produce their version of tights