May 31 Day Fashion Blogger Challenge: Day 2 - I have the most...

This post is three days late, it's true. I was ill when I posted the first one and then got more ill. But I'm getting better now so today I took some photos and hopefully I'll get caught up, double-posting over the next few days if I have to.

When I read the title of this challenge, I immediately thought: TIGHTS! But when I saw Selina's post I was reminded that I actually have more nail varnish.

To be fair, lots of these are more than half used up. I only buy a couple of bottles a year, but I've been a fan of nail varnish for over ten years now and won't throw any away until the bottle's empty.
Over fifty bottles. Also pictured: nail varnish thinner, tubes of glitter, my backup bag mirror (which I rarely use, I usually keep the same one that I've carried for probably 10+ years now in my bag), and a bottle of hand soak.

With the ice cream tub stacked on top of the box and the gift set tucked behind, they fit easily on to a third of a shelf in my cupboard. My tights take up much more room. Also, I have several pairs that I haven't actually worn yet. Shameful, I know.

Thing is, I love tights. I really love tights. I don't like most prints so most of my clothes are just one colour, and therefore I rely on tights for colour coordination. You know how so many style guides say things like 'don't be too matchy-matchy'? I laugh in their faces and stomp on their words. I love matching. I feel great when I'm wearing, say, a black skirt with a purple top that is the same purple as my tights, and probably purple nail varnish and eyeshadow too.

Another reason to love tights is that buying a pair of tights is much cheaper than buying a dress or a top and skirt, even bearing in mind that I buy most of my clothes in charity shops. Also I think that there's almost a subculture of hosiery fans. Most people prefer trousers and those that do wear tights often stick to plain black or navy opaques or sheer tights that match their skin colour, so when I meet someone else wearing colourful or patterned tights, I often start a conversation about how wonderful tights are!

My box of coloured opaques! It looks like there's five pairs but that's just the top layer! On the top right is my fishnets box and bottom right a box of various lace tights. I've also got a box just for black opaques but it just looks like a black box filled with black fabric so I'm not posting a picture.
I got into coloured opaques in 2006 when they first started becoming fashionable. The pairs I've had the longest were found in fairly obscure locations - a pink pair that I think were picked up in Allders of Croydon, and a couple of lilacy pairs that I think my mum found in BHS. I still have all three though they are a bit battered from being worn to so many students' union club nights when I was an undergraduate! I also got a pair of purple opaques, though I don't remember where from, that I wore everywhere - club nights, lectures, family dinners - and so often that I wore through the toes and had to sew up the holes because I didn't think I'd find another pair! I still have them, mostly for sentimental reasons because I have a few other pairs in similar shades of purple that are much more comfortable and less worn out, but occasionally I'll find that all my other purple opaques are in the wash and put them on!

The next few pairs of tights I got came from Accessorize during a sale. I got a pair of fishnets with a back seam, which are really sexy but really fragile, made worse by the fact that they're 'one size' and therefore too small for me. It's also really hard to pick shoes that they look good with. At the same time I bought two pairs of mesh tights with embroidery-style sections, and I think I've only worn one of the pairs, and only once, because the summers have been cold and short since and again it's hard to pick shoes that they'll look good with. However, I also got my second pair of purple opaques, which meant that I didn't have to worry about wrecking my original pair any more!

In 2007, the first series of Mary, Queen of Shops went on the air, and Mary Portas wore coloured opaques virtually all the time. Then Marks and Spencer started selling them, and the rest is history. Almost every time M&S produce a new colour of opaque I end up buying it! I've also bought several pairs of fishnets, lace tights, thermal tights, fleece lined tights (amazing!) and both versions of the amazing woolly polka dot tights they sold last winter. Unfortunately, I have yet to actually wear some of the lace tights because last summer wasn't warm enough, so they languish in their packaging. I just can't resist lovely lace tights, as impractical as they are 90% of the time.

Oh dear...
That's seven pairs still in their packaging. Two of them are actually the same as pairs I already owned but I couldn't resist the bargain prices on offer at the M&S outlet in Lewisham! The mesh flowery ones at the back are casualties of the crap summers we've had the last few years. I don't really have an excuse for not wearing the grey with black polka dot pair, I need to get to it! The bright blue ones I love and they were a must-buy as soon as I saw them but I've yet to get them into an outfit. I really want to wear them clubbing as part of an outfit that's at least vaguely reminiscent of the outfits I used to wear to club nights in 2006 but almost every time I've been clubbing since I bought them I've either gone straight from work (where bright blue tights have never been appropriate - purple and teal are pushing it) or from what I expected to be a casual evening in a pub wearing my jeggings!

Almost all of my tights are from M&S because until very recently, most other retailers only sold one size. I'm over 5ft 9in and have size nine and a half feet, so I'm too big for 'one size'. M&S make every style in at least two sizes. Most come in four sizes - small, medium, large, and extra large - but some of the 'fashion' tights have two options,  small/medium and large/extra large. Other companies have started to cater for different sizes more recently too which is great but basically means I can't go shopping because I find it so difficult to stop myself buying hosiery! I know I have to try to wear out some pairs enough to throw them away before I buy more because I just can't store any more, so I banned myself from checking the M&S website.

Unfortunately the ban now has to be over because yesterday I tore a tiny hole in the thigh of a pink pair of opaques that I absolutely love. Stupid bag buckles! I'm sure I can still get several more wears out of that pair by wearing longer skirts, but I'll be eagerly checking the M&S website again in the hope that they'll bring it back. Also, M&S have started making lots of their tights in a UK factory and it would be great to support that...;)

Even more tights! The lilacy pair at the top is one of the pairs I got in 2006. Six years of style! The pink ones are the ones I made a hole in yesterday. Sad.
The theme for the tenth day of the challenge is 'cute tights', so then I'll be taking close-up photos of my prettiest pairs. If there's anything I've described that you'd like to see, leave me a comment!

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