The Best Parts About Tights

2 November was “Tights Day” (タイツの日), a “holiday” imagined by the Japanese clothing manufacturer M&M Socks Co., Ltd. According to their explanation, Tights Day falls on 2/11 as the number 11 resembles a pair (of tights), as does the number 2. November is also the time when women begin wearing tights in greater frequency, although it can be argued that it is actually much sooner.

I am contrite to admit that I was unaware of this holiday until the closing hours of the 2015 occasion.

A number of artists shared their illustrations of women in tights on Twitter throughout the day using the hashtag “#タイツの日.” One of the most poignant illustrations was a diagram by ぐらんで “Grande” (Twitter: @gggrande, Pixiv) pointing out “the best parts about tights.” Originally published on 19 April 2015, it details, in Grande’s opinion, the most appealing aspects of tights and how they enhance the appearance of the legs, and by extension, the wearer. Ralen was gracious enough to provide a translation. It is republished with permission from the artist.

The Best Parts About Tights by Grande

I have written about what I find appealing in tights in the past, but I have never been able to do so with a purpose-built visual aid such as this. Many of the points above echo what I’ve written in past articles, so I would like to add new findings and amendments to those thoughts here.

Although some regions regard the terms “tights” and “pantyhose” as synonymous, the former is distinguished by the intent of drastic recoloration of the legs. The differing gradation and color accentuates the shape of the legs, giving it a wholly different appearance to the rest of the body. Thigh-high stockings also do this to a limited extent. The effect is multiplied the more the color differs from the natural color of the skin, and sheer pantyhose typically limits itself in this regard.

To this end, I have a special interest in colored tights; that is, other than black. White and black tights, as well as sheer tights that darken the skin to a deep brown, are able to compliment any outfit, but as I’ve found in past experiments, the reverse limits the possibilities—colored tights should be coordinated with white, black, neutral-colored, or otherwise matching clothing. My past experiments with colors disregarded this, and the results were mixed at best, to say nothing of the quality of the alterations themselves owing to primitive technique. This illustration by ささちん “Sasachin” (Twitter: @sasaraidann, Pixiv) shows four colors of tights against a white and brown outfit, and a matching scarf.

On a related note, some regions also refer to fishnets as tights. I am interested only in solid, waist-to-toe coverage with no breaks or prints. Fishnets, patterned, and otherwise novelty tights, as well as leggings that do not cover the feet such as yoga pants, are outside my scope.

As I’ve written in passing before, tights have a special relationship to “absolute territory”—more commonly known as zettai ryouiki—the visible skin between the hem of a skirt and the top of knee-high or thigh-high socks or stockings. As there is no uncovered skin, I had thought that the ratios could be ignored entirely, but I’ve since found this not to be the case, as Grande indicates. The length of the skirt holds its relevance even when the skin is completely covered. Research is ongoing to determine the ideal length of the skirt relative to the knee, but I find that skirts have much more distinct effects on tights than on other coverings, or none at all. The effect differs by the type of the skirt, from the loose-fitting sailor-style skirt to tight-fitting skirts in formal wear.

When the skirt is sufficiently short, the reinforced panty and/or run guard, if present, can be seen. This can make the length of the skirt appear shorter than it is. As noted in the diagram above, this can affect the perception of a character in a way comparable to shorts worn as underwear. Personally, I would prefer the thighband to be absent. The reinforced panty is optional, but preferred mostly for less opaque garments.

The three focal points on tights are the waist, thighs, and feet. All three are given extra attention when tights are worn. In my opinion, it is the feet and toes that benefit the most. Attitudes vary widely on the eroticism of the feet, and in my opinion, it is only possible when the feet are covered. Ideally, the toes should be partly visible and not wholly obscured by the fabric.

As interest in tights increases, I ponder the viability of a visual novel that indulges in it, a yuri story of two lovers of tights. There are a small number of yuri tights doujinshi that feature intimate scenes centered on contact through tights, and as these are both exceedingly rare and out of print, I would like to extend the concept with the flexibility of a visual novel. A visual novel would allow the characters’ tights to be freely adjusted as the player sees fit, including opacity, color, and features such as run guards, reinforced toes and heels, and the shape of the seams. Ren’Py 6.99.7 introduced a feature known as dynamic images, which would greatly simplify the implementation of these features. The Tights Day hashtag demonstrates the availability of artists for this endeavor, leaving only the questions of finding a willing writer and financing keeping me from pursuing the concept in earnest. I am very interested in undertaking such a project and would appreciate any wisdom for preparing to produce a visual novel independently.

Leave a Reply