Business & Economy Science & Technology Education & Society Sports & Fashion Arts & Entertainment
Top Picks Back Numbers Search

Resurgence of Tights Takes Japan by Storm

February 6, 2001
Many women are adding flair to their business outfits with fashionable tights.

Up until last winter, women had two major fashion choices for their legs: brave the cold with bare legs or wear platform boots that make it difficult to walk. But now, classic trends and 1980s fashion have returned with a vengeance, fueling a boom in tights that can only be described as explosive.

Fishnet Tights Lead the Way
Fishnet tights burst upon the fashion scene in autumn 2000, following collection shows in Paris that spring and autumn. The first sign of the impending boom was the fact that many famous brands featured their logos conspicuously on tights, showing women that elegant fashion can extend to their legs as well. Once worn only for parties and other special occasions, fishnet tights are now being worn at work and while shopping. Many women seem to be enjoying coordinating their tights with their pumps, mules, and boots. As the weather turns colder, many have now begun the unique style of wearing fishnet stockings over their regular, color tights.

Adding to this trend, which spans the fashion world from casual to elegant, is the resurgence of "new traditional," a back-to-basics style popular with young women in the 1980s. As for the tights, variety is the word of the day. Fishnet mesh ranges from fine to coarse. A number of patterns are popular for color tights, including argyle, zigzag, and paisley; there are even tights with glitter on them.

Sales Brisk as Variety Increases
As sales of these tights have been booming, many department stores and other fashion outlets have been taking advantage of the trend by setting up corners filled with over 100 varieties of stockings and tights. Some stores have recorded sales of fishnet tights at levels seven times higher than those of a year before. As black fishnet tights are often being purchased by young women on their way home from work, many stores sell out their stock the same day it goes on sale.

Since autumn 2000, even Moschino, Celine, and other famous brands have been selling wave after wave of color tights with patterns and glitter. They have easily been able to increase their sales as they produce more colors and patterns. In normal times, tights with patterns generally account for less than 10% of total sales of all stockings and tights. In winter 2000-2001, however, they are selling at more than twice the usual pace. Even with increased production, makers are finding that sales continue to exceed their expectations, leading many to run short of stock. As some store clerks are saying, matching last year's clothes with new fishnet tights gives the clothes a fresh look. With no end in sight to the economic hard times, new tights that cost between several hundred and a few thousand yen are an affordable way for women to spice up their wardrobe without buying new clothes.

The hottest look this winter is boots with fishnet tights. Clothes, particularly outerwear, should be casual, but not overly cute. Balance is the key.

Back to Main Index

Trends in JapanCopyright (c) 2001 Japan Information Network. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.