Somewhere around the age of 21, I stopped wearing stockings. I had left college early to work in New York City in late October. There, closing in on winter, some of the women around me were still walking around with bare legs. Despite inclement weather, they even wore sandals. I now see that this may have been a way to tacitly broadcast their privilege.
Still, I held onto this, but also circumvented the strange rule by starting to collect a kind of hosiery that was neither an opaque tight nor a shiny nylon. I’d seen these black stockings laced with embroidered dots worn by French women throughout my childhood — I moved back to the U.S. in my freshman year of high school. They also appear, for example, in François Truffaut’s Mississippi Mermaid. There’s Catherine Deneuve smoking in a black bodysuit with said stockings. These pois — French for “little pea” — tights became my go-to, and I’ve been stockpiling them ever since. Funnily enough, I like wearing them most in spring, when the weather turns. With these and a pair of shorts, you can achieve the reverse of the old bare-leg rule.
Pois tights I have bought
These have a subtle grid in between the dots — almost like a web. These are my favorites, although the price might seem prohibitive. It is justified by how good they look even with a tear.
These are more reasonable, and the dots are the perfect size and well-placed. Classic French Vogue staple.
These are well-made and come in a selection of colors, including a cream hue. The black is still the best.
Another classic house’s take on the dot. There is a grid, though less refined than that on the Fogal pair.
Pois tights I would like to buy
Sweet, tiny dots and very well-priced.
These feature square spots, which, in one style, are arranged in alternating strands of cream-colored and black. On the verge of kitsch.
I love the hearts on these. They seem somehow better than polka dots of the wrong size.
I would love to have these, they require garters but that only makes them more fun.