In praise of woolly tights


Despite my best efforts, winter does not sing to my soul. Waking up to wind and rain battering on the window in stark contrast to a warm bed. Dark evenings and too much time inside. I am not a fan. Biblical rain fall is doing nothing to help winter’s case.

Grim weather does serve as a variance to appreciate the good times. Winter sunshine strengthens the value of blue skies, the trees maybe bare but the grass seems more green and the mud a satisfying shade of dark brown glistening in the low winter sunlight.

I’m trying. So, things I like about winter:

Planning summer
Looking forward to spring
Roast root vegetables
Sunday dinners
Hot Ribena
Belgium cop drama (Salamander)
Curling my hands around a mug of hot tea
Baking on a rainy afternoon
Extra blankets
Pyjama days
Clothing warmed on a radiator
Woolly tights.

Woolly tights are one of the best things about winter. Stylish, probably not. Practical, big fat tick. Magazines rarely seem to feature ‘woolly tights worn on the front row’. Possibly they are so far of the chic world’s radar, woolly tights are in effect completely obsolete in fashion conscious circles. The item that fashion forgot. The fashion conscious are missing a trick.

There is great comfort in slipping into a pair of woolly tights on a freezing morning. They hide a multitude of slackness (unshaved legs, so people tell me), sit snuggly over the belly and give your muffin tops a warm hug of approval. More faithful and reliable that opaques, less likely to bobble on the heel or develop a hole in the toe. Woolly tights are a dependable friend.

Mine are purchased from that reassuring Auntie on the high street; M&S. Pulled out from the back of a drawer for a cold morning emergency and warmed on the radiator to ramp the cosy factor right up. An extra layer of warmth under a skirt and snug with a pair of boots. Clearly, nothing holds back gale force storms but boots and woolly tights make it more bearable and allow me to stride through puddles, instead of awkwardly navigating waterlogged pavements. One small victory, flicking the ‘V’s at yet more rain. No love for winter, but much love a nice pair of woolly tights.

Can anyone sell winter to me?


  1. Anya from Older Single Mum and The Healer

    I only ever wear boots in the winter.  I’m a sandals or boots girls with perhaps some naked feet loafers in between.  Can’t carry off the flat shoes and tights thing – sends me right into a spin and you’re so right about those woolly tights not being featured in magazines. They look good on you and I will them some consideration should the need to not be in jeans ever present itself. *note to self, must get out more*

    As for Winter – hot chocolate? 

  2. Katie

    I am a big wooly tights fan here too. In fact i wear much more tights in the winter because of them!
    I will have to try the warming on the radiator trick though.
    Another good thing about Winter is definitely custard 🙂

      1. Bibsey Mama

        Oh, I had quite forgotten about Wolfords living up a mountain. The Rolls Royce of tights. The nuclear weapon in the arsenal of legwear.

        Gemma, I think that you have quite rightly identified the best thing about winter. Tights. Wooly ones. Hurry up Spring!

  3. Thinly Spread

    You know how I feel about woolly tights, you know I am determined to track them down post Christmas when the shops are full of bikinis and sarongs. I am wearing them now. They are brown. Tucked under a crocheted blanket with a cup of tea at my side and a fire burning in the woodburner. Last days of lovely winter. I hope.

  4. Emma

    Gosh how I miss M&S.   It’s one of the places I look forward to visiting most on the high street when I am at home… I have been known to nearly cry at the choice in the food aisles (which anyone from outside of the UK just cannot understand! :D)   My sis bought me some thermal woolly tights from there this year.  Best invention ever! 😀   

    1. rachel

      I miss M&S too. My early winter binge on a selection of woolly tights and a few patterned opaque ones for special occasions. I am yet to find anywhere comparable in the US they don’t seem to get the woolly tights thing.

  5. rachel

    In 1987 I bought a pair of wide ribbed woolly tights from Warehouse – they were extremely fashionable at the time and allowed my 16 year old skinny self to wear the shortest skirts without indecency. It’s hard to give them up although I feel that in my 40’s my short skirts should take a hike.

  6. Narrowboat Wife

    Oh. I thought wooly tights were cool! I wear them with Dr Marten boots. But then fashion is not something I know much about! Ha ha! I love your list of winter things. I don’t mind winter so long as I am indoors with cosy food, and warm drinks. But the school-run in a hail storm? Not so good!

  7. 3yearsandhome

    Are you feeling any better now the sun’s out a bit more? I’ve been having a long love affair with M&S woolly tights. I tend go buy in bulk so have several unopened pairs in the drawer too. I quite like winter. I don’t mind a bit of cold moodiness.

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