Let’s talk for a moment about my history with tights…
I’m from a small market town in South Yorkshire called Penistone. Some of my earliest memories involve being taken to go see the sheep at the local cattle market, buying second-hand Barbie dolls from Barnsley market on a Saturday morning and running around in garden until it was dark outside. I have a lot of memories from growing up in the north but do you know one thing they almost all have in common? Being cold.
It’s a bit of a cliche how it’s always cold up North. They never have any sun up North. Oh Northerners, they’re so pale. But it’s true, the temperature difference is noticeable. I remember my first Christmas coming home from uni; I left Coventry warm and happy and emerged from the car in Penistone, shivering and grumpy.
Bare legs weren’t a thing up North when I lived up there. You could go bare legged 2 maybe 3 days of the year, only at the height of summer. Even then it was usually in defiance as you proclaimed ‘I am going to enjoy summer!‘ and then spent the rest of the day trying to rub away the goosebumps from your shins.
That’s why I always got into the habit of wearing tights. I buy them in bulk and the thicker they are, the happier I am. But it’s only in the past few years I’ve started to notice that tights aren’t quite the staple of the average girl’s wardrobe as they are in mine.
Other girls have the confidence to wear a skirt and actually show their legs. As I’ve slowly moved further and further South, eventually ending up living in London and even doing a stretch in Brighton along the way, I’ve discovered that sometimes it’s actually too warm for tights! The shock! On a couple of occasions I’ve even been known to run into public toilets to shed my tights and thank god this was a shaven-leg-day because it’s just too hot!
It was a weird concept for me at first; showing the world my legs. The rest I’m used to, bare arms, crop tops, but having even my shins on show took some work.
Now, I’m not going to give up my tights completely. I still love them. I still think they’re cosy but I’m starting to see the benefits of not wearing them. For a start, I was constantly tearing them and that was being to cost me stupid money. I have to realise who I am: I’m a photographer who spends half her time crawling around on the floor, I’m an incredibly clumsy cyclist who is learning that she can’t sit on a bike without snagging something, I’m a constant ring-wearer who cannot count the number of times my favourite silver leaf ring has ripped a hole in a new pair of tights, straight out of the pack.
Tights aren’t always practical and some people / most people might not think they’re a particularly cool item to own. Apparently, there are strict tights-wearing rules that I’m not following. But I still love them and they’re always going to be a part of my wardrobe and my memories and I don’t think that will ever change.