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July, 2011

The “Hero Tights”

It’s official.  Well, more official than when I wrote “PRETTY POLLY + MYTIGHTS = THE BEST” on a post-it last week, anyway.  The Milk Maid’s culture and fashion blog has included these lovelies, supplied by MyTights, as one of their “trend transcenders”- products that will last season after season while the rest of your wardrobe falls by the way – just like the perennial LBD.

As well as billing them “The Hero Tights”, they also referred to these £6.25 tights as “worth investing in”.

Investment?  What investment?!  Let’s face it, at that price we could probably afford to buy ten pairs (in both black and the other colour on offer, denim blue) and still have enough to start saving for one of their other featured products (I’ve got my eye on the Louboutins, a snip at £375).

These champion tights are actually Pretty Polly Lace Tights, which feature a delicate swirling floral design on a fine mesh base – but despite the delicate motif, these tights will last and last because, thanks to the reinforced toe and boxer brief, they’re more durable than they look.  And they really do transcend the seasons.  Wear them now with the summer’s denim and floral dresses, pleated skirts and fringed accessories; and come September team with all your new season buys – houndstooth jackets, tweed skirts and tartan dresses.

So there we have it – the Hero Tights.  They might not be able to save your life, but they can save you from a wardrobe crisis any day.

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Fashion Through the Ages – The Roaring Twenties

The Charleston.  Old Hollywood glamour.  Votes for women.  I’m speaking about, of course, the twenties.  It was the first decade of modern fashion, and many of the trends we see churned out year after year (floral and tribal for S/S 2012? yawn) were spawned in their original state in the roaring twenties.  Even more excitingly for us at MyTights – this was the first decade us ladies really got our legs out on show, following the pioneering Coco Chanel. 

Here, we tell you how to update two twenties looks for modern day Hollywood glamour:

Look One: Time Traveller

This ‘travel’ look is perfect for daytime glamour, whether it’s the daily commute or the runway at Gatwick, and depending on the colours and textures you choose, it can be as suited to the office as it is for lunch with the girls.  A pleated skirt was a twenties essential and there are loads around at the moment- in the twenties, this was usually a midi skirt which is right on trend.  However, if (like me) the midi is not the most singular flattering item in your wardrobe, fear not.  Swap this tricky trend for a shorter hemline and wear with Aristoc Ultra Shine Tights.  These are sheer to the waist (so it doesn’t matter whether you go for midi or mini!) and have a very shiny finish, which is perfect for giving your legs an I’m-all-Charlstoned-out glow.  Team your skirt with a silky blouse and, when it gets colder (so next week, then) add a coat with a mock fur collar.  If you’re feeling really brave you can even add one of the cloche hats I’ve seen appearing recently in several high street shops!

Look Two: Dancing Queen

This look is bold yet demure, and perfect for parties and nights out.  Short hair was an absolute staple in the twenties, but if you love your long locks, you can always fake a bob by backcombing and pinning the ends of your hair to the nape of your neck, and for extra points, create a Marcel wave on one side with tongs.  The key to this look is all about the dress – you need a drop waist dress or a shift dress in a light, flexible fabric such as chiffon or silk, and tons of beading is a must!  Sadly, I have not yet achieved the perfect gym honed figure (too little gym-ing and honing and too much Jaffa Cake-ing), and these dresses and fabrics can be horribly unforgiving, so I like control top tights.  Try Aristoc Ultra Shine Control Top Tights, which highlight your legs in exactly the same way but have a bit of light support at the waist to control and support.  Finish this look with heels, lashings of red lipstick and a can-do attitude.

So there we have it.  The twenties gave us the midi, pleats and the vote.  Not bad for ten years work, I think you’ll agree.

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Hold Ups – The Perfect Summer Solution

When the weather hots up hold ups are absolutely essential.  Say you want to give your bare legs a bit of a boost or you need to wear hosiery to look polished at work but the weather makes tights uncomfortably hot.  Hold ups are the solution!   Reminiscent of old fashioned stockings but with pretty lace tops they will also make you feel, and look sexy and alluring day or night.

Serious glamour pusses will love the Falke Lunelle 8D Peacock Hold Ups with their beautiful and unusual lace top.  Decorated with a peacock feather design, I think that the lace top on these hold ups has a really pretty Art Deco look to it.  These black hold ups without toe reinforcement can also be worn with peep toe shoes so you have plenty of options when it comes to choosing your footwear.  Recommended for romantic evenings in or out teamed with killer heels to make your legs look super long and gorgeous!

If you are looking for something glamorous but still affordable and functional enough for every day then the Pretty Polly Nylons Lace Top Hold Ups are just the thing.  Pretty Polly’s ever popular Nylons range mimics the high shine look of old fashioned nylons but with modern manufacturing methods and materials.  As at home in the office as they are on the dance floor, their classic look means that these Pretty Polly lace top hold ups transition perfectly from day to evening wear without you having to do a thing!

Whether you’re looking for lace top hold ups or a plainer more functional looking top, we have every style you could think of.  From bare leg look to opaque hold ups check out the hold ups section of the MyTights.com website for a full selection of one of summer’s most essential items.

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Get Kate’s legs and Pippa’s bum!

On the 29th April, our very favourite Queen-to-be (sorry, Camilla) married her handsome Prince in a hysteria-inducing real life fairytale.   But what the day really symbolised to millions of us was the Middleton sisters’ overnight transformation into bona fide style icons.  Since then their fashion choices have become our fashion choices, with outfits they’ve been spotted in selling out within hours and Kate’s hair being possibly the most coveted in the Kingdom.  We want their clothes, their hair and their figures… and now we can!  Well, sort of.  Here’s how to get  a Middleton makeover…

Our very own Duchess of Cambridge has been hard at work over the last few weeks touring North America and generally dazzling everyone in her path.  Whilst she has left us green with envy with an array of amazing outfits, there has been some controversy over her pins: some have claimed that the wearing of tights is royal protocol and the poor girl simply doesn’t have a choice.  If this is the case (and we doubt it), it still doesn’t explain Pippa’s preference for sheer tights over bare legs.  In fact, sheer tights have always been part of the Chelsea girl’s  uniform and still remain the requisite accessory for a flawless, polished look. 

The truth is, the sheer tights of old (you know the ones, they were only available in the shade “American Tan” and were one-size-fits-all) are long gone, and in their place are the new super tights, miracle workers that are the equivalent of a spot of airbrushing for us mere mortals.

More and more of us are turning to skin toned tights as an alternative to the streaky orange legs inflicted on us by self tan, or to boost our body confidence by covering up all manner of blemishes and bumps.  Some of us are just wearing them because Kate does and let’s face it; we’re all a little bit obsessed with her.  Wearing them can give us a little bit of queenly dazzle and a really polished look-  and all without breaking the bank!

You can now get sheer tights that suit every shape and size, and come in so many shades that you can match them exactly to your skin tone and it really is impossible to tell you’re wearing any.  Ultra sheer tights (which are less than 10 denier) are the best for this but if you’re likely to be wearing them daily, sheer tights are ever so slightly thicker (10-20 denier) and therefore more durable.  We even stock toeless tights so that you can maintain perfect pins while wearing sandals, and if you need colour guidance check out our skin tone advice.

If we’re honest, it’s not only their legs we’re after.  Since the Royal wedding,  certain parts of Pippa Middleton’s anatomy have continued to steal the headlines, and whilst we can’t help you bag a future King as a brother in law or get your sister to swap that peach nightmare for a Sarah Burton bridesmaid dress we can help you get a gorgeous, streamlined figure.  Don’t worry, it doesn’t involve swapping chocolate for the gym – the solution is much simpler.

Shapewear is a great solution if, like me, you don’t have the time (or the inclination) to exercise.  It can take inches off your waist and hips, and even if you already have a great figure it will smooth out any lumps and bumps under tight clothing, eliminate VPL and create an elegant, streamlined silhouette.  There are loads of different styles to choose from – I like shorts to braline products because they’re all-encompassing and smooth out your thighs, bottom and waist all in one go to give you an hourglass figure to rival Pippa’s; but it’s worth browsing through to see what you feel you’d be most comfortable in, and having a look at our shapewear advice

My work here is done.  I’m off to find a Prince…

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Which Ultra Sheer Tights are Best for You?

Those of us that would never consider ourselves fully dressed without a pair of tights or stockings (me!) might once have been considered rather old fashioned.  Now sheer hosiery fans have a bona fide style leader in the form of the Duchess of Cambridge who never ventures out without a ladylike pair of sheer tights.  Sheer tights have been selling fast this summer and especially the ultra sheer styles (less than 10 denier) that give a natural look, like your legs but better.  As a result we have enhanced our range with lots of new ultra sheer products from brands like Cette, Levante and Trasparenze, to add to our existing best selling products from brands such as Falke and Pretty Polly.  But which one is best for you?  The choice can be daunting.  To help you make your selection I have produced a comprehensive guide of our natural look tights.  There’s something for everyone, whether you want a bare leg look, toeless, or even ladder resistant!

What look on your leg?

For me, the most important thing is what the tights will look like on my leg – and the key to this is the products finish, of which there are three main types. Firstly the ultimate bare leg look tights, which are not matt but cannot really be called shiny either, more they give your legs a natural glow, and have such a natural finish that people always think I have bare legs (these tights generally have a different construction method as well – see below).  The two other finishes; matt and slight sheen/shiny are like regular sheer tights, just sheerer and therefore much more subtle looking on your legs.  Which you go for is up to personal preference.

The other key point when buying tights is what they will look like on your toes?  You can choose between sheer, sandal or even toeless tights.  No ultra sheer tights have a regular reinforced visible toe, so all the products are suitable for summer shoes. Just check the detailed descriptions to see exactly what the toe is like.

Ultimate Bare Leg Look Tights

You really can wear tights that look totally and completely natural on your legs, they just make them look better, healthier and give a more even, flawless appearance.  When wearing products such as the Falke Shelina tights I have frequently had people say to me “Laura, I can’t believe that you are not wearing tights’ and I am!

As I mentioned above, for me, the best bare leg look tights often have a different fabric construction and are made from a Bicomponent yarn.  Products using this type of yarn have an incredibly sheer, gossamer like appearance.  They feel different from the moment you take them out of the pack.  They will often appear much finer than the stated denier on the packaging but you still get the benefit of extra durability from a higher denier.  Your legs really will look ‘better than bare’.  I also find products made from a bicomponent yarn much cooler to wear, so they feel great too.

Our current best selling product made from bi-component yarn are Falke’s Shelina 12 Denier Tights.  The Shelina range boasts a wide variety of styles to suit every need, such as hipster for those wearing low slung skirts and shorts this summer, knee highs and ankle highs, as well as toeless tights and toeless hold ups.  They also come in a very wide range of colours.

La Perla Leger tights are another luxurious bare leg look tights option made from a bicomponent yarn, which have the strength of 20 denier tights, whilst remaining ultra transparent.

My other favourite bare leg look tights are the new Cette Long Beach Tights these are also perfect for the hotter weather and even to take on holiday as they are infused with aloe vera to help cool and soothe clammy or sunburnt legs.

The  Wolford Luxe 9 tights are a luxurious alternative, they have been described as “like wearing make up on your skin” – so these are another great option for a really natural loo, whatever your skin tone.

Often these fabulous Bare Leg Look tights are more expensive, but believe me it is worth it.

Ultra Sheer Tights with a Sheen Finish

There are a range of options if you want to wear ultra sheer tights with a slight sheen finish to give you a just moisturised look.

One of my favourite new ultra sheer tights are the Trasparenze 8 Denier Capri Tights which will give your legs a lovely healthy glow whilst remaining virtually undetectable.  The natural look is especially easy to achieve given that they are available in seven shades and so there is a colour for every skintone, from dark African skin, through Mediterranean and sun tanned, to the palest of English skin.

Trasparenze Tropea Tights also have a slight sheen to them, however they also have an open toe so are really great for showing of your pedicure.  They also have two loops that hook over your big and little toe which keep them in place.

You can also go for an ultra shiny, just oiled look with the Pretty Polly Naturals Oiled Tights that have a gorgeous glistening effect to really give that sun-kissed look!  These are perfect for recreating a post-holiday glow and giving you beautiful shimmering legs.

Matte Ultra Sheer Tights

A lot of people prefer a completely matt look on their legs, and though I personally like a bit of a shine, matt tights look amazing and are more likely to feel unbelievable soft to the touch.

When it comes to matt ultra sheer tights there is also loads of choice with products suitable for everyone, all occasions and budgets.

One of the most popular new ultra sheer products is Levante’s Resistenza Tights which incredibly are only very fine and ladder resistant.  They are made from a yarn that looks incredibly natural and feels sensational, but is still resistant to runs – and at only 5 denier is fairly miraculous in my opinion.  OK, they are not indestructible (don’t yank when you put them on!) however if you do snag them, they really do not ladder, you just get a hole.

We were so excited when we received the Trasparenze Noemi 8 Denier Tights. They are made from a 3D fibre which means they have fantastic fit (3D Elasticity!) and incredibly even colour: They are also fabulously soft to touch and have a wonderful even matt appearance as well as being very comfortable.

As always Wolford have produced the luxury option with their Wolford’s Individual 5 tights.  These tights also have 3D construction (fabulous fit, luxurious appearance and soft touch) and are a joy to wear.  They are the ultimate in luxury, and give a great fit as well as a gorgeous, slightly powdery looking, matte finish.  This classic and extremely natural look is achieved by the super thin finish (they’re 5 denier!) and they are also packed full of extra comfort features that make these tights Wolford classics and worth paying that bit extra for.

For everyday wear you cannot beat the ever popular Pretty Polly Naturals range.  These 8 Denier tights come in several shades and have an ultra-sheer toe which means you can wear peep toe shoes and have very natural looking legs!  Even better, they are less expensive (from only £4.00!) which makes them perfect for day-to-day wear.  The Pretty Polly Naturals range has products suitable for all occasion including some great hold ups, open toe tights, as well as some unique Secret Slimmer control tights, which slim and define your waist and hips whilst remaining invisible, under your clothes and on your legs!  These are a great option if you want fabulous looking legs but also some figure support.

Whether you favour a sheen or a matte finish on your bare leg look tights, need some extra support or just want the best value for money, we’ve got the style for you, and since we have expanded our range there is even more choice than ever before.  Bare legs will never go out of style so make sure yours are perfect courtesy of MyTights.com.

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Lily Allen: Trend Setter and All-round Sensible Girl

We saw the weather forecast this morning and we were officially sulking.  For the next few weeks, the general consensus is that we shouldn’t expect summery weather unless we’re planning on going far, far way: over the next few days, at least, we can look forward to clouds, rain and temperatures plunging to lows of 12 or 13°C.  Not only have we wasted time and money on a leg wax no one is ever going to see, we’ve got a wardrobe full of summer clothes we can’t even wear. 

Thank goodness, then, for Lily Allen, who yesterday did the unthinkable for a celeb and dressed weather appropriately!  Her unseasonal get-up at the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup Polo Final made sure she had the last laugh whilst, we imagine, the majority of bare-legged celebs shivered under an overcast sky.  Elsewhere, Kate Moss cemented the trend when she was spotted in her opaques at the White Cube gallery in London.

And so our love affair with opaques (which was unexpectedly halted when we had Riviera weather in April) is rekindled.  The addition of opaques and a cardi means that we can still wear our pretty summer dresses and holiday skirts and we don’t have to worry about fake tan for another couple of weeks.  Plus, if the weather veers between oh-no-I’ve-forgotten-my-umbrella torrential rain and oh-no-I’ve-forgotten-my-sunglasses blazing sunshine as it’s prone to do, we can just whip off our tights.

So we’ve decided to celebrate the weather (yes, really!) by buying some new opaquesWe know it’s July, but if it’s good enough for Kate Moss, it’s good enough for us.

Here are three of our favourites…

Failsafe Style: Falke Seidenglatt 70 Denier tights in classic black

Bring back the summer with bright coloured tights: Pamela Mann 80D tights in Flo Pink or Turquoise

Sun-Shiny: Wolford Satin de Luxe tights

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Pretty Polly: We Salute You!

Please forgive me, I’m going to just take a moment to gush just a little about how much I love Pretty Polly.  We give so much attention and space on this blog to the funky fashion ranges and the high end brands.  Pretty Polly might be an every day kind of brand but what they do is no less remarkable that some of the more expensive and impressive brands.  Matching quality with such affordability is no mean feat.

With a weakness for all things vintage, Pretty Polly Nylons are one of my favourite products.  Designed to evoke old fashioned Hollywood glamour and emulate old fashioned Nylons, I’ve worn Pretty Polly Nylons Tights and Stockings for 1940s themed parties (they even have a version with a cute backseam that looks so right with a little tea dress) and they always get complements as they look so authentic.

Then there is the Naturals range which are great value for such a convincing bare leg look.  When you want to look really summery but don’t want to wear your shoes with bare feet, the Pretty Polly Natural Knee Highs are brilliant for wearing under those plazzo pants that are everywhere this summer.  For really summery days, the Naturals range also includes Pretty Pollys Open Toe Tights which give a really natural bare leg with a hint of colour that you can wear with sandals.  Completely open at the toe with a loop that fits around your toe to keep them in place, people really can’t tell you are wearing tights at all!

Pretty Polly, we so often take you for granted but there can’t be a girl out there that hasn’t got at least one of their products in their underwear drawer.  Quality and affordability that is right for every day wear is what Pretty Polly is all about and I wanted to say just once – “We appreciate it”.

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Everything you wanted to know about hosiery but were afraid to ask

Avid MyTights.com fans may have noticed that we’ve just received a huge number of new products.  Handling so many brand new and unfamiliar products at once made me realise how little information is sometimes available on the packaging.  It’s not always clear either.   At MyTights.com we always try to provide all the extra information we think you might need to differentiate between one product and another but in a shop sometimes the information on the packet is all you have.   

So over the last couple of weeks, I have been asking everyone who would stand still long enough what they always wanted to know about their tights but never knew who to ask, what points on hosiery packaging left them baffled and what terms they didn’t understand.  

 This blog post is the result of my entirely unscientific survey of friends, acquaintances and passers by along with the answers to those niggling little questions about their tights that they have always wondered about.   

1. What is denier?   

Denier is probably one of the most commonly used in hosiery but and is a basic guide to how sheer or opaque your tights will be.  Technically the denier describes the weight (i.e. the thickness) of the yarn from which the hosiery is woven.  So, 1 denier would mean that 9000 metres of yarn weighs 1gramme.  The lower the denier the sheerer your tights.  Anything under 10 denier would be regarded as ultra sheer and anything from 40denier up is considered opaque.  Simple!    

However, just to make things complicated, modern yarns and knitting techniques mean we can now produce hosiery that looks finer than the denier would suggest.   Often this means you get the durability of a higher denier in a product that looks finer and more delicate than it actually is.  For example, Falke’s Shelina Tights are a 12 denier but they actually look more like a 8 denier so you get a great bare leg look with a bit of extra durability from the higher denier.  You may also see “denier appearance” used to describe the appearance of support tights and stockings which are made in a different way to non support hosiery.    

Like the manufacturers, MyTights.com uses the term “denier appearance” when we think it is a more appropriate way to describe the look and feel of the product.   

2. Lycra vs elastane what is the difference?   

There isn’t one really.  Elastane is the generic name for the rubber compound yarn that is used to give hosiery its stretchy feel and the ability to recover its shape.  Lycra is a trademark registered by Invista to describe their elastane fibre.  For more information about Lycra and how it is used in the manufacture of hosiery check out our Lycra information pages.    

 

3. What do all the different toe descriptions actually mean?  

To lots of people the appearance of the toe is one of the most important things about their tights – it can certainly dictate what sorts of shoes you can wear with your outfit.  We try to make sure that our descriptions of toes are clear and consistent so we use the following terms across our site: 

Reinforced toe – Describes hosiery with visible reinforcing across the toe to give added durability.  Sometimes the reinforcing can feel much thicker than the rest of the tights or, like the Levante Class range, you will just notice a different weave across the toes.  

Sandal toe –Describes hosiery with more subtle reinforcing which is only barely visible.   Tights like the Aristoc Ultra Shine 10D Tights for example have reinforcing that is light enough to be worn with sandals. 

Sheer toe –Hosiery, like Charnos’ Sheer Lustre Tights, with no reinforcing or difference in weave across the toe area. 

Open toe –Summer essentials, these open toe tights have an opening at the foot which leaves the toes completely exposed for wearing with sandals.  Products like Pretty Polly’s Naturals 8D Open Toe Tights are secured at the foot with a loop that fits around your toes others like Falke’s Shelina Toeless Tights have no toe loops at all. 

4. Can you get tights without a seam at the toe? 

Because of the way that tights and stockings are constructed it is simply not possible to make them without an opening at the toe which is then stitched closed.  If you don’t like the feel of the seam across your toes, try products from Wolford which are made with ultra soft, flat seams. 

5. Why do some Stayups cause me a rash where it grips?

If you get a rash when you wear hold ups, you may have a slight allergy to the silicone that holds them up.  Try to find products that are made with pH balanced, hypoallergenic silicone like Falke’s Lunelle 8D Peacock Hold Ups.  They are utterly gorgeous, have some of the prettiest lace you will ever find on a hold up and they should keep that rash at bay! 

6. How do I know I am ordering the right size?

I can’t stress this enough – check the size guide!!  All of the products on our site and in the shops will have a detailed size guide so don’t assume you are a medium as the sizing will differ from brand to brand.  Get a good idea of your height, approximate weight and hip size before browsing as this will save you lots of time and avoid any costly mistakes.  

Having said that, don’t be disheartened if you don’t get the right fit or feel right off but do experiment with different brands.  Every body shape is different and it can sometimes take a little trial and error to find the brand with the cut and style that is just right for you.  

If you have got any more questions about hosiery you can pass them on here, by email or via Twitter or Facebook and we’ll work them into another advice blog a little later in the year.  

 

   

     

 

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The New Festival Fashion Tips: Your ultimate go-to guide

We’ve already brought you some of the hottest looks from this year’s Glasto, and now, with festival season already half way through, here is your definitive guide to the new festival fashion.  If you didn’t manage to get to Glastonbury or T in the Park this year, there are still loads to choose from, including the Big Chill and Bestival.  And even better, we’re here with the looks you need, whether you’re sitting in a muddy field or watching the coverage at home.

1. Do steal Beyonce’s style from that Glasto set.  Team gold sequins with black basics (may we suggest a dress rather than just pants if you’re planning on wearing it to the pub), and finish with nude fishnet tights.

2. Do adapt celeb looks for everyday wear.  Poppy Delevigne may be able to pull off bright red skinny fit trousers, but let’s face it, most of us can’t.  For a more wearable alternative, try red tights with a dark denim dress, or under denim hotpants à la Alexa Chung.  For style leaders, try this season’s bottle green.

3. DO match your accessories.  Florals are always a summer staple, and this year it’s all about the headwear.  Match yours to floral Pamela Mann tights for double the fashion points, but toughen up with a black leather jacket or army boots to avoid looking too cutesy.

4. DON’T be scared to try something new.  Love her or loathe her, Taylor Momsen’s legs looked fabulous during her set at T in the Park.  Get the same effect with some on-trend suspender tights, or make like Jessie J in some monochrome patterns.  Team with preppy basics for a great day-to-night look.

5. DO go for glam ankle socks if it’s too hot for tights.  Choose from a rainbow of colours and pair with shorts skirts and sandals: they’re so cheap, why not choose a few different colours and use them to transform any outfit?

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A Fishnet Revival

Cosmopolitan – August 2011 edition

Oh my! I’ve just spotted this piece that Cosmopolitan recently shot with a gorgeous curvy girl called Lily. They’ve really made the most of her sensational curves with this fabulous retro inspired shoot.

If this shoot is anything to go by, the 60s and 70s revival looks set to give a new lease of life to fishnets. Lily has accessorised her leopard print and hotpants combo with a pair of fishnets from Pamela Mann. This outfit would work for day with bare legs but for evening the Pamela Mann Fishnet Tights give her look a more dressed up sophisticated feel. She looks totally ready to party!

A white lace dress is one of this season’s key pieces and I adore the flared sleeves on Lily’s 60s style lace dress. Accessorising lace dresses with warm black opaque tights was quite a trend through spring but these Jonathan Aston Burlesque Midinet Tights give a lighter more summery look. They also give modern touch to a retro inspired outfit – pure 60s from head to toe can look a little much!

Fishnets also work with pretty pencil shirts and heels if you are looking for that Joan Holloway from Mad Men vibe so stock up on fishnets now to give your 60s and 70s inspired outfits a sexy and slightly modern edge.

Emily

 

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