An Ode to Black Tights, The Fashion Best Friend You Can Count On Forever

Between that pair of platform sneakers I bought on a whim or the annoying amount of sweater vests I seem to be constantly swapping out during each season, unwilling to admit I'll never wear them again, there are a lot of purchases I've made that just won't stick. However, there's one constant in my closet that I can't ever forsee giving up: black tights. Tights have always been fashion controversy (when can I start wearing them? Are pantyhose a faux pas? How many runs are acceptable before I have to throw them out?), but baring through brutal New Hampshire winters, finding parking in Boston during sub-zero temperatures, and battling my way to work in a snow storm means that black tights have been my fashion essential for years.

From sweater tights, fleece-lined tights, back-seamed tights, to black-on-black striped tights, there's a breed of black tights for everyone. Oddly enough, the fashion world has seemed to fight this incredibly practical fashion "do" for years, rarely photographing models in black tights, instead leaving them shivering in the wind, all in the name of fashion. The Guardian has pointed out that prior to the unveiling of Hedi Slimane's Fall collection, which showcases opaque black tights, fashionistas worldwide have heavily rejected black tights as being uncool and outdated. Plus, snagging tights has to be one of the most annoying things in the world.

I've never been one to follow a fashion trend that didn't make sense to me. Bell sleeves were never a part of my wardrobe. You certainly never caught me rockin' an undercut because no matter how cool it was in punk fashion, growing out that half-shaved look seemed like a task worse than growing out my eyebrows. Think you'll catch me in the hottest uncomfortable heels? Think again — I stay on the move, and falling flat on my face is highly unfashionable.

Of course, it gives me great pleasure to know that my opaque black tights are getting a stamp of approval, finally, in the fashion world. Here are all the amazing reasons why black tights will forever be my style bestie.

1. They Goth Up My Outfit

Sometimes (very rarely), I find myself wearing colors that are not black. This usually puzzles me, and leaves me less-than-confident in my ensemble for the day. Instead of having to change my outfit several times, I know that black tights will give me the safety net of darkness I crave in my fashion.

2. They're Perfect For Layering

When the temperature is below 40 degrees, I still stay in dresses and skirts because I can conveniently wear a pair of fleece-lined leggings and pull on black tights over it for extra warmth. This move can also work under jeans, but there's nothing as comfortable as a little leggings-on-tights action.

3. You can Wear Them Under Shorts

Typically, when the temperature drops, the last thing you want to do is wear a pair of cute short shorts. Personally, I love wearing a pair of army green or black shorts with a pair of tights underneath. It's casual, dressy, cute, and warm all in the same outfit.

4. They Dress Up Your Outfit

Black tights are definitely a staple at holiday parties, from office Thanksgiving gatherings to big New Year's Eve bashes. There is nothing that classes up my outfit like a pair of black tights, no matter how many layers I have to pile on to get to the event without freezing. Wearing boots or sneakers? Throw on a pair of black tights and you've just made your casual outfit "semi-casual."

5. You Can Buy Them ANYWHERE

The only thing I hate about tights in general is the fact that I snag them constantly. Sometimes my tights don't even make it all the way up my legs before I rip them to shreds. As a bartender, I can go through a pair a night, as they get snagged on the well when I rush back and forth pouring cocktails. Fortunately, you can buy black tights at pretty much any pharmacy, clothing store, and dollar store when you find yourself in a pinch, and are generally pretty cheap.

6. They Go with Everything

Occasionally, I buy a skirt or pair of shoes that goes with literally NOTHING I own. I'm confused by the funky pattern or I'm in love with the fabric or I'm just not shopping sober. Whatever the reason is, I'm thankful that black tights can pull even the most unmatched of my fashion choices together without making me look like a crazy person.

7. They Are Cheap

You can spend $40 dollars on a pair of black tights that you think are unsnaggable only to find yourself with a hole in the toe a week later. Or you can buy tights on sale at the end of the season for $10 that are likely the same quality. Often, you can find thinner versions for under five bucks. There aren't many other fashion staples you can feel so confident about buying in bulk, and that's why I love them.

Image: Julie Robertson, Jessica T, Maegan Tantari, Katherine of Chicago/Flickr; Kristin Collins Jackson; Polyvore; Giphy