For years, if I was putting together an outfit and wanted to call attention to my legs, I did it with colored and colorfully-patterned tights. But now that I’m getting older, that seems too youthful for me. I still wear them if only a few inches show between the top of my boots and the bottom of my skirt — that can give a nice splash of color and vibrancy without being heavy-handed — but a full-length leg with planets or clouds, with bright green or bright blue, just doesn’t seem age-appropriate anymore.
Black patterned stockings are another story.
Black patterned stockings are sexy, and at the same time they’re elegant. They call attention to your legs, but in a way that’s not flashy. They’re subtle, sophisticated, graceful. (Depending on the style, of course. I have seen some tacky ones.) But at the same time, they exude swanky, womanly, glamorous sex appeal. That balance between sex and elegance is often what I’m going for these days, and black patterned stockings can be a good way to get there. They also give me a lot of options — I can go for a more swirly pattern if I’m feeling fluid and feminine, an angular pattern if I’m feeling more snappy and sharp, darker patterned tights if I’m feeling more subtle, patterned fishnets if I just want to fucking well go for it.
And — very importantly for me these days — they don’t specifically say “youth.”
Colored and colorfully-patterned tights say a lot of things that I very much want to say: cheerful, playful, exuberant, joyful. But I think they also say “youthful.” And I don’t want to say “youthful” with my style any more. I want to say “middle-aged woman who’s comfortable with her age and loves her body.” So I need to find other ways to be cheerful and playful and exuberant and joyful in my clothing. I need to let my legs tell another story.
And black patterned stockings have been telling a good one.
(P.S.: Very fine-meshed fishnets can accomplish much the same effect. From a distance, they look like good-quality pantyhose, and people don’t even notice that they’re fishnets until they’re up close.)