Choosing the Right Tights

Written by Lindsay

When the temperature falls below forty degrees, it’s time to pull out the tights. The winter chill is fast approaching, and earlier this week, both Meredith and I noted how it has affected our dressing. I’m lucky enough to work in an office that allows bare legs in the summertime (although, perhaps I should take a cue from one of my co-workers and keep a pair of hose my desk for those chilly, air conditioned days), so making the transition is quite a big deal (ie NYC’s short-lived fall is almost over)! After adding tights to an ensemble, you have a new color and possibly new texture to include in your already layered outfit, and with this season’s patterned legwear, choosing the right tights can be a difficult task!

Fear not. Basic is always a safe bet, so we’ll start with solid colors. First, one must decide whether colored tights are appropriate. I think most muted colors can be, depending on your outfit combination. Other than the given nude, black and white shades, I think maroon, gray and navy are safe choices for the winter season. I also came across a moss colored pair that I quite like. Here are some of my current favorites:

Modcloth Green TightsModcloth: Park Stroll Tights, $15

 

Hue Cranberry TightsHue: Cranberry Tights, $12.50

Charlotte Russe Gray TightsCharlotte Russe: Solid Footed Tights, $7.50

Next is pattern and texture. Some will argue that there’s no place for patterns in a professional setting, but I think that most offices would not eschew them so long as the color and texture/pattern combination isn’t too loud or too sexy. I’ve seen several ladies in my own office and in the building at large rockin’ the patterned tights and they add a pinch of pizazz to their outfits. A good cable knit pattern is another safe option if you’re sick of solids, but I came across some excellent alternative options that veer a little off the beaten path. Behold:

Modcloth Dotted TightsModcloth: Dotted Tights, $18

Avenue Herringbone TightsAvenue: Herringbone Tights, $10

(hint hint: vertical lines make your legs look endless!)

Wolford: Sienna Tights, $68

I’ve always wondered whether it’s worth splurging on the expensive legwear brands. I recently picked up three pairs of tights from H&M because it’s my go-to place for… well… everything, and while the price was right, I am very disappointed in the quality of the tights! I picked up a gray pair, a black pair and a dotted white pair. The black and gray pairs already have runs in them from thinning fabric in the thigh area, and the white pair is pilling. What do you think, readers? Do any of you own Falke or Wolford tights (two favorites of top fashion magazines)? I have a hard time with this investment because prices start around $60 and I figure they must be just as susceptible to runs and snags as normal tights, right? A moderately priced brand that I have had great luck with is Hue. Until I wrote this post, I didn’t realize I even owned a pair! They’re on their second year – which says a lot for a pair of tights – and they’re still alive and kickin’ without any holes or runs. I will definitely picking up a few more pair of Hue tights this weekend.

This last section is for the fearless and fashion forward. These are probably a no-go in most corporate offices, but maybe some brave souls out there would wear them in creative environments. What do you think?

Hue Lace TightsHue: Bold Lace Tights, $18

Hue Splatter Tights

Hue: Splatter Tights, $22

Pamela Mann Paisley TightsPamela Mann: Bootylicious (haha) Tights, approx. $10

What tights will you be wearing this winter?

 

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The Gentleman: Suiting Up

Thrifting a Vintage Tweed Coat, Part II

It took longer than I was hoping, but The Gentleman was finally able to pick up his vintage tweed sport coat from the tailor. Their work was, to say the least, very impressive.

I used the services of Lil Dave’s Tailoring in New Orleans to make significant alterations to a tweed sports coat that I purchased off of the Styleforum.net Buying and Selling Thread. I discussed the process for choosing this 1960s jacket and decided what needed to be altered a few weeks ago.

Tweed Jacket 1

Tweed Jacket 2

Tweed Jacket 3Photos Courtesy of Matt DeIulio

The first major difference is the length of the arms. When I received the coat in the mail, the sleeves extended down past my wrists and onto my hands. Not only was this irritating, but it made the coat look like it was intended for someone else. You never want your jacket to look like a hand-me-down from dad. I had them shorten the sleeves so that about a half-inch of shirt cuff is showing when my arms are in a resting position. This gives the jacket a smart and fitted look.

The coat was also extremely baggy in the middle. The tailor took it in significantly so that it is tapered and fitted in the waist. This is the most significant change to the garment. Baggy tweed looks terribly frumpy. By taking it in in the middle, this jacket made the transformation from dumpy to old-school cool.

These alterations cost $50 in total. While I was hoping that it would be a bit cheaper to tailor it, when you add in the $40 price that I purchased it for, $90 is a real bargain for a vintage coat that would cost more than five times that much new. The moral of this story is, if you’re looking to buy a bargain jacket, getting it professionally tailored is a must.

Next week, the Gentleman presents his third entry in his “Style Sins” series when he decries loud, “clubbing shirts”…

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Green Blouse on a Red Bench

Green Blouse

This is probably my favorite shade of green. It’s such a warm hue and it matches my pale and redheaded coloring well. Plus, ever since the end of high school, I’ve switched from mostly silver jewelry to a stronger gold collection, and this green is just meant to be worn with gold.

Lindsay mentioned her tights earlier this week, and like her, I have also had to make the transition back into wearing them to work. You just can’t survive the fall and winter commute without them. Of course, this can drastically (that’s a strong word… ) change your look because you’ve got another fabric and color to integrate. At first I was unsure as to whether I liked these black tights with my camel heels because the contrast makes the shoes POP in a way I’m not accustomed to, but I decided in the end that I liked how all of the colors came together.

Interested in discussing tights and how to wear them? Check back on Friday!

Red Bench

Green Blouse

Hmmm. Maybe should have titled this post “Look Right.”

Green Blouse Gold Buttons

So here’s the sad part: this shirt died! Photos were taken and then RRRRRRIP: one shoulder got a huge tear. My favorite green is gone, but at least I was able to save the buttons. They are just so cute and shiny, I bet I could find another green blouse as a new home for these buttons. It’s a shame to lose the tuxedo folds and the ruffle sleeves, but this is a hardship I’m confident I will eventually overcome.

Green Blouse

Meredith’s Look:

Shirt: Banana Republic, $25 (but that’s a guess)

Skirt: Banana Republic, $60

Shoes: Aldo, $50

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Stolen Says: Rockwood Music Hall

If you are twenty-something living New York City, chances are you know at least one person who seems to know everyone. And if you are lucky enough, you’ll know two people who seem to know everyone – and when they are in the same room, it’s twice the amount of everyone for you to get to know. Sounds a little convoluted and overwhelming? Welcome to my life. But I love it, thrive on it and love making it all happen. Which is exactly why I love that I am one of many who know Nat Osborn. A talented musician and an all around brilliant human being, Nat Osborn is one of those people who really actually does know everyone. So when he has a gig at Rockwood Music Hall (one of his regular venues – another being the Lovin’ Cup in Brooklyn), he invites everyone he knows, I invite everyone I know, and it becomes a fantastic night of converging and greatness. Not to mention Nat graces us with his incredible music.

Every few weeks, Nat has a gig at the aforementioned Rockwood Music Hall, which is located just below Houston Street at 196 Allen Street  It’s right next door to Pala Pizza, so if you’re so inclined you could stop there for a quick slice of vegan (or non-vegan if that’s your flavor) pizza before you continue down the street to RMH to experience Nat’s performance.

Band

RMH is a cozy place – and I do mean cozy in every sense of the New York real estate term. It’s pretty tiny. But it has a great performing stage, and a fantastic old (but well-tuned and cared for) grand piano, which gives a unique, intimate ambiance to the performances here. There’s a one drink minimum per set, which is not outrageous, and the drink prices are fairly standard, so there are no surprises. The decor is bohemian chic and the staff are appropriately hipsters. But whether you are hipster or anti-hipster, it’s a cool little place to enjoy a glass of wine and to get a healthy dose of the next wave of up-and-coming singer/songwriters.

Menu

ConcertNat Osborn is definitely on the forefront of that next wave. This is a shameless plug, but you have to check out his work. His hooks are brilliant and catchy, but not annoyingly so – they’re of such a caliber that you absolutely will not mind having his melodies rolling around your head for a week. And from crooning solos with just his guitar or that old piano, he can swing a 180 to a 12-piece band that slams you with some fantastic funk & soul. He’s a collaborative and extremely charismatic guy, hence the knowing of everyone, and the seemingly random pulling of people he knows with similar talent on stage to contribute to the spectacular shows he puts on.  Check him out – he’s gonna be big (at least, if I have anything to say about it, and I plan to).

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Drapey Sweater

Breezy days are one of my favorite things in life. This day was a breezy one, with blue skies and little fluffy clouds being tossed around by the wind. In my neighborhood, where we were taking pictures, the trees are reaching their peak foliage colors… yellow, orange and red dance around one last time before the branches become barren and the snow rolls in. It’s certainly time for tights: the November chill is setting in, ruling out bare legs. I recently stopped into H&M to grab a handful of different tights, one pair of solid black, one of solid gray and one cream colored pair with a pinched dot pattern that reminds me of ostrich skin handbags. As much as I love their clothes, I was very disappointed in the tights. The black pair I’m wearing here has already started to thin out in the thigh area, and I’ve only worn them about four times.

On a brighter note, this sweater was a great buy! I saw it at Urban Outfitters in early September but decided not to purchase it because of the pricetag. To my delight, I went back a few weeks ago and found it on sale: score! It’s a great addition to any ensemble, but to make it office appropriate I wore it with black. I think white would work just as well. The material breathes, but its weight makes the sweater’s drapey-ness the focus of any outfit. The fabric falls around me like a blanket – a fabulous one – and makes me feel cozy and like a million bucks simultaneously. Now THAT’S a good sweater 🙂

It’s also a perfect piece to wear on these breezy days – the shape is really highlighted in the wind!

What are your favorite pieces to wear during this transitional time?

Lindsay’s Look:

Dress: Zara, $50

Sweater: Urban Outfitters: $30

Tights: H&M, $4

Shoes: Nine West Outlet, $25

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Giveaway Winner!

Necklace We are happy to announce that Kerry Kildale won the Widow’s Lament necklace from Glowstoes! Expect an email today, Kerry:)

And thanks to everyone else for participating – we really appreciate it!

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Toe Cleavage Etiquette

Written by Meredith

As you may or may not recall, a few months ago I posted a Mad Men-inspired outfit that incorporated a fantastic pair of heels. I briefly mentioned toe cleavage in the post and even tagged it to the post (while laughing to myself), but this silly reference has turned out to be much more influential than expected.

Let’s just say that we get several views a week, if not a day, from the “toe cleavage” search term. My initial reaction was “ewwwwwww fetish,” much like my reaction to receiving views from “long legs short skirts,” but then I thought about it a little more. It’s a taboo subject; while some women jump right into sharing their opinion on the topic, others simply express their relief that the topic has come up at all. Maybe people are just searching for a little discussion. Do we like it? Is it ugly, sexy or weird? Office-appropriate or not? Is this even worth talking about?

Toe Cleavage

Forming my own opinion required doing exactly what had skeeved me out in the first place: I Googled “toe cleavage.” Turns out, toe cleavage is quite the topic of debate. Wikipedia’s claims (obviously, the ultimate authority) that a little toe cleave is sexy and Manolo Blahnik quips that “the secret of toe cleavage, a very important part of the sexuality of the shoe” is that “you must only show the first two cracks,” but there are many in the fashion blogosphere who argue against it. With no clear sartorial rules about toe cleavage, though, it all really comes down to personal preference. Apparently, pumps with toe cleavage are in vogue, so if you’re a fan, you’re in luck! Otherwise, you might have to spend a little extra time combing the aisles at DSW.

Now here is where the real question comes in for Cubicle Chic: what amount of toe cleavage is appropriate for the office? My stance is that you follow Mr. Blahnik’s advice and only reveal your first two toes. More than two looks both vulgar and ill-advised: you are either trying too hard to find a super sexy pair of heels (like a blouse cut too low) or you bought a pair of shoes that simply doesn’t fit. In the winter a pair of tights might cover up this mistake, but during the summer months when tights aren’t an option, leave the low-cut heels at home.

Toe Cleavage

One other point worth mentioning is that everyone is built differently, so, for example, a low-cut pair of shoes on me might look completely different on Lindsay. Long-toed ladies may have a harder time finding something appropriate for the office, especially with the abundance of cleavagy shoes available.

And with that, before this posts gets too overrun with the words “toe” and “cleavage” and just becomes a go-to fetish reference guide, I open this up to you, CC readers: What are your thoughts on letting your toes peek out of your shoes at work and at play? Have you had any personal experiences with the matter? To the comments!

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