MeMoi's Hosiery History: A Brief Timeline of Tights in the 1960s
Nowadays, tights are the go-to for anyone trying to make themselves stand out from the crowd. Whether they're donning slimming sheers or boldly colored sweater tights, tights are ubiquitous in the American fashion sphere. They're present in school uniforms, office settings, formal functions, and many more events. It seems like a garment this convenient has always been around, but this hasn't always been the case. Before 1959, we lived in an entirely different world.
Before the invention of modern tights, their equivalent were functional garments that stopped at the thigh, held up by constrictive garter belts and girdles. But inventor Allen E. Gant took a stab at inventing an underwear-pantyhose hybrid after his pregnant wife expressed concern over the discomfort of wearing a girdle and garters with her pantyhose late into her pregnancy. Although it took many tries at his clothing mill, the new invention gave women the convenience of an all-in-one garment that was much more comfortable and freeing than previous ensembles.
However, it wasn't until the mid 1960s and the onset of the Mod trend that tights really took flight. Models like Twiggy proudly wore their color block tights with short mini-skirts and dresses, shocking the Western hemisphere with their rebellion from women's fashion trends of the time. This lack of adherence to prior social norms, a reluctance to follow in their mother's footsteps and transition into full adulthood early, rocked the Western societal structure. Tights indirectly lead to the liberation of young women. Girdles and garter belts were now seen as subtle tools of oppression, and young women were literally stepping into a whole new world.
MeMoi has some ways that you can imitate the look of 1960s rebels and Mods and get in that free spirit! Keep reading for tips and tricks.
For the Twiggy Look: Pima Cotton Tights (available in 8 colors)
For the Allen E. Gant Classic Look: Melas Microfiber Opaque Control Top Tights
For that funky striped look: Multi Stripe Tights
For that far out groovy look: Wild Side Cotton Sweater Tights
Now it's your turn to show us your best 1960s tights looks! Take what you've learned and head over to Instagram, tagging your post with #MeMoi1960sTights. Be sure to tag us in your post (@memoi) so we can see your mini skirts, heels, and tights! (Or however else you decide to style it, the world is your oyster.)
Komar, M., 2019. Tights Are Now A Fall Fashion Staple—But They Were Once A Revolutionary Style Statement. [online] Time. Available at: <https://time.com/5680431/tights-fashion-history/> [Accessed 21 September 2020].