Flashback Friday: The White Tights Trend

What. The. Hell.

This photo of my sister and I was taken sometime in 1987. Judging from my Pac-Man polka-dots and Deanna’s drop-waisted mid-thigh bow dress, I’m guessing this was Easter Sunday. We are both sporting horrendous opaque tights in chalky white. And we’re thinking to ourselves, “Damn! We look good! Let’s go to church!”

Apparently this “whitie tighties” trend became popular somewhere in the mid-to-late 1980s. My online research failed to pinpoint the actual originator of the trend, but I’m pretty sure this look worn by Princess Diana could have started it all. The photo on the right is from a 1986 Harper’s Bazaar spread, when the equally offensive “prairie” look was in full effect. In 1988, the movie Heathers came out and white-out legs were everywhere.



Recently, I found this photo of my best friend Missy and I in high school at the state drama competition. There I am, rocking those whitie tighties, along with some epic eighties hair. The look must have worked, because we won the drama competition. And I’m proud to say that to this day, Missy is still my BFF. She’s stuck by me through many years of bad fashion choices (and bad boyfriend choices, too.)

James Dean is wondering what’s up with those white tights. And that hair.

Obviously, we all grew out of this trend, thank god. I don’t think I’ve worn a pair of pantyhose since I moved to New York in 2000. Growing up in the south, wearing a dress or skirt without pantyhose was a high-level offense in the same category as not sending out a proper thank-you card. It would drive my poor Mom insane to see my bare legs and she would constantly state that it was not “proper” for a Southern lady to go without pantyhose.

I will admit, however, that as a New Yorker, I wear black opaque tights religiously during the fall and winter months. They’re one of those fashion items I tend to buy in bulk. (I really should own stock in Spanx. I cannot tell you how many pairs of their tight-end tights I own.)

All fashion trends tend to recycle themselves, and I’m certain that whitie tighties will resurface. But I won’t be hopping on that bandwagon again. That’s a trend I can’t win.

Check out my 80s Trends Board on Pinterest to see more of what inspired my bad fashion choices.


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