A history of ladydom in 100 objects #1: TIGHTS

Autumn — season of mists and the mellow fruitlessness of dark-morning rummages in your undies draw for a pair of tights. A pair of tights that doesn’t have a hole in the toe, ominous ladder or spent waistband elastic that’s about to ruin your day.

Ah tights. Harbinger of frosty mornings, endless lunch time replacement trips to Boots, black marker-pen scribbles on your leg in meetings to deftly disguise the ladder that has just appeared (don’t pretend like you haven’t done that).

Tights. Close ally of the weary razor, exhausted from its summer of toil, conspiring with it to welcome a winter of hairiness, six months’ hibernation for depilatory devices.

Tights. How you puzzle me. How you add at least ten minutes of panic to my morning dressing routine; or, when I’m short on time, or have packed a gym bag the night before with an anonymous pair of tights, carelessly unchecked, how you play with me, toy with me, single-bullet-gun to my reckless Walken, waiting for my reaction when I realise the pair I bet on features a forgotten hole, that shiny oil-slick effect (not buying those again) or -horror of all horrors — a waist as loose and ineffectual as David Davis’s Brexit plans, thus consigning me to spend the entire day finding semi-private spaces to hoik up the bastard things so the gusset doesn’t actually end up round my knees (yep, that happens).

Tights. Tightsy tights tights. Invented by someone who presumably thought women didn’t have enough reasons to need to excuse themselves urgently to go to the bathroom. And yet, tights are there to protect us against the elements, and to endow us with the ability to wear skirts that are almost certainly too short for our current office / age / cellulite situ but our best mate hasn’t got the heart to tell us yet.

Oh, ye tights. You giveth and you taketh away: a necessary evil, much like the northern line; my daily wintry ally. I would be lost (and chilly) without you.

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