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Would You Wear… Laddered Tights?


Laddered Tights Trend
Torn tights seen on Rodarte and Alexander Wang’s runways, as well as for sale at ASOS. Credit: 1, 2, 3

Just a few days ago, I had one of those gut-wrenching encounters with a chair, where I swung my legs the wrong way and snagged my hosiery on a sharp edge.  As my favorite pair of tights ripped, I felt them transform from chic to Ke$ha in a second flat. It may be my classically feminine sense of style, but I’m personally not a fan of laddered tights (the professional term for ripped tights).

But Alexander Wang and Rodarte, top designers of our generation, beg to differ. They are not strangers to sending ripped hosiery down the runways. Other stylish trendsetters like Erin Wasson and Kate Moss have been rocking them for years. And the look is trendier than ever for winter 2011.

So who’s right? It all comes down to your personal style. As a girl who wears hosiery at least three times a week, I wouldn’t go through nearly as many pairs if I rocked ripped tights. But at the end of the day, I just think they’re too Taylor Momsen for my sense of style.

Ke$ha, LiLo, and Miley Cyrus in torn tights
Ke$ha, LiLo, and Miley Cyrus all wearing laddered tights. Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3

Would You Wear Laddered Tights?

Do you wear torn stockings, or do you opt for unsnagged? Would you buy them pre-torn or rip them yourself? Does this trend look trashy or stylish to you? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss!

Posted on on December 20, 2011 / Filed Under: Would You Wear? / Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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39 Responses to “Would You Wear… Laddered Tights?”

  1. 1
    December 20th, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I guess you can say that I “tried” this trend. I ripped one of my tights recently and was unable to immediately change. I agree with the writer that I don’t like wearing ripped tights, and even though I walked around with my tights for a while, I felt unkempt.

  2. 2
    December 20th, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Absolutely not. I do not understand why people keep on paying good money for ripped and “destroyed” jeans, tees and now stockings? Call me old fashioned but I rather my clothes rip from good use, not before they even leave the store.

  3. 3
    December 20th, 2011 at 11:49 am

    haha, I just took a look at the celebs featured, ripped tights are not gonna find their way into my wardrobe anytime time!

  4. 4
    December 20th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I actually think this is a fun look…I wouldn’t buy them pre-ripped, but when my cheap stockings from CVS start to run I think it’s fun to rock them in a sort of punk-meets-dumpster-chic style. It’s badass when it looks purposeful! Layering torn tights or leggings over bright or jewel toned ones looks really cool too, if you’re into it.

  5. 5
    December 20th, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I couldn’t handle torn jeans because I felt too exposed and untidy. I cannot wear torn stocking or tights. If I get a tear in my tights I take them off, I cannot even walk around in them. Clothes are perfectly wonderful without being ripped, cut, or otherwise destroyed.

  6. 6
    December 20th, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    I’m quite clumsy, so occasionally I rip my own tights by accident and end up rocking this trend. I try to be confident when that happens, but I like my tights whole.

  7. 7
    December 20th, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Definitely not. Unless I was going to be a rocker or something for Halloween. And, I don’t think Ke$ha, Lilo, or Miley are the celebrities to convince me otherwise…

  8. 8
    December 20th, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I’m not really a fan of the ripped tights look; I definitely think it looks trashy.
    That being said, I do occasionally rock it, anyway. When I rip my dance tights, I keep them for practice, and just put some shorts on top or a really long shirt before and after practice.
    However, to avoid spending SO much money on new tights so often, I keep my old ripped tights, and just cut off the leg I’ve snagged. Then, when I rip the pair I’ve bought to replace them, I can cut off the second pair’s ripped leg, and then wear both pairs together. I have a whole slew of one-legged tights now, but I don’t have to buy new pairs EVERY time I rip tights–and I can rock the half-and-half tight trend without having to buy tights that are two different colors.

  9. 9
    December 20th, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I accidentally rock these too and I think it can look cute as long as the rest of your outfit isn’t over-the-top destroyed or too punky. I just try to be confident when it happens to my tights. And it’s always my fancy tights that get ripped, so I definitely never want to let those go.

  10. 10
    December 20th, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I think that ripped tights can work if you do them right. I think paired with a cute gathered skirt and a cozy sweater it could look good without being too trashy.

    Also, I’m a big fan of colored tights, and those are harder to replace, especially if you’ve had them for a few seasons. If I rip a favorite pair of colored tights and I can’t find a new pair, I’ll layer them over a neutral pair so I don’t feel exposed, but I can keep wearing them.

  11. 11
    December 20th, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Haha, I completely agree with Samantha. The fact that they’re wearing them is reason enough not to.

  12. 12
    December 20th, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I also had an unfortunate mishap where I ended up snagging my favorite pair of tights in two places. I would love to find a way to still wear them rather than just throw them a way! I’d love to see a follow-up “How to Wear Laddered Tights” post so my “tattered” pair doesn’t go to waste.

  13. 13
    December 20th, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    That’s a popular look in my city. But i think it looks kind of like you’re homeless. (especially because they wear it with oversized shirts and shoes that look like they need to be repaired)

  14. 14
    December 20th, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    hmm..I don’t like it, no matter how fashionable it is…

  15. 15
    December 20th, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    No, just no. Ripped tights look bad and the celebrities shown are just not the best role models.

  16. 16
    December 20th, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I love this look. Maybe it’s my old middle school goth self trying to speak through me, but I’ve always favored a more punkette look, and I love Tyler Momset’s style, though she takes it a little over the top on occasion.

    Trashcan chic is adorable to me, and I like looking carefully unkempt on occasion. Ripped tights are definitely one of those.

    Worn with a lace tank, black shorts, and a leather jacket, I think it’s the perfect mix of punky and feminine. Or with a nice shirt dress that’s not too loud, to keep them the focus of your outfit.

    Then again, I love combat boots, too. Maybe it’s some sort of an empowering thing for me.

    Who doesn’t like smudging their eyeliner every now and then?

    Be brave, girls!

    That being said, I think if you’re uncomfortable with what you’re wearing, you shouldn’t wear it just because it’s in fashion right now. So don’t force yourself too far outside of your comfort zone- but still try to take a few risks.

  17. 17
    December 20th, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    On that note- I rip all my tights myself. I would never pay for a professionally ripped pair when it’s so easy to do yourself, and there are always an abundance of tights ready for the seam ripper at my house.

  18. 18
    December 20th, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I rarely wear tights so I don’t see myself buying pre ripped tights. However, i do have a pair of ripped jeans, but that is due to clumsiness and picking at the tears :p

  19. 19
    December 20th, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    I actually dont mind wearing ripped tights, i think you can find a way to make them really stylish and it can look great! i wear them with jean shorts and a nice a tiny bit oversized top and i think it looks awesome! my mom hates it though. oh well, we dont agree very often on style! haha

  20. 20
    December 20th, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    I don’t like the look with huge holes in the tights, but I think the more “faded” look is nice, where the rips aren’t totally holes. It’s almost like a pattern that way.

  21. 21
    December 20th, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    If the rip is in a hard-to-see spot like the bottom of the foot or really high up on the legs, I’ll keep wearing the tights, but in general, I favor a more classic style too, so if it’s an obvious rip, the tights are going into the trash.

  22. 22
    December 20th, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    I tend to lean towards a more street urchin, grungy, alternative look to begin with, so these align really well with my style. So long as I am wearing the right clothes with them, they look fine.
    Although right now is not the season for them.

  23. 23
    December 20th, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    I think laddered tights makes you look kind of homeless . I just think it makes you look like you just threw on some tights without even looking at them and didn’t care what they looked like. :(

  24. 24
    December 20th, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I’m not opposed to this look. It sort of fits with a lot of the clothing I wear, but I would never purchase tights that have been pre-ripped. I’m just too cheap to replace my tights regularly so I end up with a lot of tears and holes, but wear them out of necessity.

  25. 25
    December 20th, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    I personally don’t like it, I think it looks sloppy

  26. 26
    December 20th, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    I accidentally ripped one of my tights months back and I’ve been hiding them in my closet ’cause it pained me to throw them away. I guess I can take them out of the closet for WInter 2011. :))

    I wonder if I could pull it off…

  27. 27
    December 20th, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    I mean, I wouldn’t buy tights ripped or rip them before wearing them, but my five dollar target tights rip after the first wear or two, especially if they’re at a party or a concert–and I prefer to wear the ripped ones to parties or concerts. They’re still comfy, they look fine, and I’m saving loads of cash. Sometimes they even give off a really cool vibe. I can’t even imagine being so uptight about ripped clothing (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), but then, I’m from Portland so I own more things that are destroyed than most people, I guess, just because they’re socially acceptable to wear. Miley’s tights look intentional but Kesha and Lilo just look like they do what I do–wear them, let them rip when clumsy, keep on wearing.

  28. 28
    December 20th, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    I don’t think I will be trying this trend. I think it is cute on some people, but I do not think I could pull it off!

  29. 29
    December 21st, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Noooo way!!!!

  30. 30
    December 21st, 2011 at 1:51 am

    Hahaha I think the fact that they have a “professional” term for them is a little outrageous. I just don’t think they work. Either way, it looks messy or it looks overdone on purpose. It’s best to stick with classy, fully functional tights.

  31. 31
    December 21st, 2011 at 2:02 am

    I would not wear laddered tights and personally, I think they look completely unkempt. I like a little rip in my jeans but when they expose a lot of skin… I am not comfortable. I actually bought a pair of white ripped jeans in 2010 and I have only worn them twice. I guess it is fair to say that I am not a fan!

  32. 32
    December 21st, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I’ve worn this look because I just can’t be bothered to care when I get (unavoidable) runs in my tights or stockings. I’ve no problem wearing laddered tights during my every day life, but I opt for my best not torn tights if I’m going to something more formal… or, try my best to hide the tears. I like this look, but think it’s silly to buy pre-torn tights or anything, because I’ll end up making the holes or tears even bigger on accident, and then they just look totaled and ugly in my opinion.

  33. 33
    December 21st, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    No way! I’d never wear ripped thights, they look so trashy and…so wrong! I mean, I love to wear well kept clothes…not broken ones…
    Although, I have to say that ripped thights do work with a punkish look…but this kind of look simply isn’t mine -I’m more on the preppy side-…
    so definitely I won’t wear laddered thights!

  34. 34
    December 21st, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I wouldn’t buy them like this. I would wear them because I’m too cheap to buy new tights when they rip :P

  35. 35
    December 21st, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    I often patch up holes with clear nail polish to keep them small and then I just keep wearing the tights. It’s not stylish, in my opinion, but rather born out of frugality. They tend to be worn around campus, or other times when I could get away with just my pajamas.

  36. 36
    December 21st, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    I personally don’t like the look because it seems too unkempt and trashy, but I can see certain people being able to pull it off. It all depends on the person, I guess.

  37. 37
    December 21st, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    I honestly like the juxtaposition of it at times. For example, on the runway, the tights that are paired with the chic leather skirt? I think that looks amazing.
    When the ripped tights are paired with ripped denim shorts, vests or plaids? I could definitely do without. To me, that’s not even fashionable grunge, you just end up looking homeless.

  38. 38
    December 22nd, 2011 at 3:43 am

    I would not wear them….once i ripped my tights in an accident but I loved them so much that I sewed them up and stored in the back of my closet without wearing them. I also dont like rugged or torn jeans too cuz like one of my above posters I feel too exposed and that is not my style.

  39. 39
    December 27th, 2011 at 12:53 am

    I find that very few people can coordinate them so that they actually look good–not just okay, but good. Most people I’ve seen who can rock them tend to wear the Japanese punk style, though, and often have a girly take on it (wear bows in their hair, floofy miniskirts, etc.). Somehow some of them just make it work (I honestly don’t think that the celebrities posted do at all).

    I have a few pairs of ripped tights that I wear, but only because I can cover the hole with my shorts/another pair of tights/etc. I just don’t feel comfortable wearing them. :/

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