Plush velvet. Sleek leather. Pleated skirts. Denim all day.
Hello, fall, and hello, fashion. In major service to us all right now is great hosiery, an instant wardrobe update that makes it possible to wear what we want before it’s too cold.
Fashion math time: For less than the price of a lunch out, you can get a new pick-me-up that’ll take you through the whole season; hosiery’s cost-per-wear ends up being cents on the dollar. Says no less an authority than the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar, “In an era when mindful consumption is increasingly becoming an urgent aspiration, you should think in terms of what will make the most impact” (‘Summary of the Season’ by Lisa Armstrong). In short, the value of a good pair of tights can’t be overemphasized.
This week, Bare Necessities looked for fall stylespiration and the legwear to support it. Here’s how to layer, wear and rock the season’s choicest hosiery.
“If you’ve missed the versatility of separates, this is the season to get back together with them,” writes Armstrong. When layered with solid-colored components, Berkshire Sheer Dots Control Top Pantyhose lends those separates graphic interest without straying too far from the comfort zone (see first photo). Polka dots are always a good time but never try too hard. They’re also that rare pattern that plays well with just about everything. What’s more, we love that these in particular go up to a 4X, offer a control top, come in even bolder spots and, for more contrast, a fun black-and-white version.
What’s even more fun than fishnets, the reigning queen of edgy tights? A reeeeeally wide weave. Instead of pairing a patterned wrap dress with a safely solid opaque pair, an interesting texture really punches up the details in the rest of your outfit (see second photo). And while black is a no-brainer, a deep, rich fall color like rust, gray, peacock blue or pinot noir—like these Falke Blackout Net Tights—all but eliminates the need for statement jewelry or flashy accessories. Temperature-wise, too, they’re just the thing to wear on those is-it-warm-out?-is-it-cold-out? early fall days when legs still want to breathe a little.
ALL ABOUT ANKLETS
Sometimes, you don’t want to commit to total leg coverage, but standard socks won’t cut it…. Enter sheer anklets. The key to pulling them off is to incorporate them into an otherwise classic outfit. In this case (see third photo), a minimalist leather jacket over a cream sweater with a traditional pleated skirt and loafers is archetypal autumn; the Berkshire Shorty Anklets are the most daring part of the look. Fashion risk-takers will also want to wear these sheer socks with open-toe, high-heeled sandals, not to mention ankle-length jeans. More styles to try: the sheer dot, shimmer, fishnet, rose and daisy designs.
When in doubt, wear black is as true a fashion axiom as there ever was, but basic black tights can get a bit boring after a while. With this fall’s LBDs, like the borrowed-from-the-boys blazer-dress (see first photo below), hosiery is how to make it feel new again. Romantic moody blooms rendered in lace, like Falke Rose Drama Lace Tights, are as sultry as they are sweet, softening the sharp tailoring of the jacket and really playing up that his-meets-hers vibe. Just add pointy-toe pumps and you’re good to go to work or out afterwards. Isn’t that the best?
Match your skin tone or match your outfit; either way, the latest generation of sheers gives your legs a flawless finish. Berkshire Ultra Sheers Pantyhose are whisper-thin and all but imperceptible. With a monochromatic outfit in multiple textures and shades, like the bell-sleeve top and pencil skirt shown below, bare legs would interrupt that long, lean head-to-toe line; better to smooth things right over with sheers. Their true beauty is that they go with everything, casual to dressy, day to night. If they’re good enough for Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, then they’re good by us, too.
Now and then, there’s a case to be made for more is more. In fall and winter, that translates to piling on cozy, touchable textures. Here, a fringed panné velvet jacket over a crushed velvet slipdress in shades of burgundy is all soft and flowy. Adding a tougher note in the form of pewter metallic ankle boots and linear Berkshire City Cable Control Top Pantyhose is a pro move that anyone in the know can pull off. That means you.
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