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Getting leggy with it
I come from sheep farming stock. This, paired with the fact that I’m perpetually cold, bodes well for anything wool that comes into my sight. I love wool. I scan through store after store for the best wool. Our house is full of it (odd ends, full skeins), my cupboard obese with merino, grandma knits, and tights.
Oh yes. Tights. Tights which wrap you up in cheery warmth (and tuck in your tummy seamlessly); tights that, compared to their nylon cousins, are remarkably bullet free. Liberated from the pitfalls common to pantyhose of daintier proportions, woolen tights are a reliable sister to many a winter outfit.
What’s more, the once-burgeoning New Zealand wool industry isn’t in the best of shape. It’s the story of all industries in these economic-pinched times: make it efficient and cut costs. So you have to throw your heart out to small companies that are hanging in there, navigating the burly fray, and keeping their feet determinedly on home soil.
Enter Columbine, maker of tights.
A hosiery company based in Gisborne, Columbine produces everything from the cute to the civilian, the respectable to the more outrageous. And, most importantly for us, they produce tights.
Many moons ago on a cold and not unusually wet Melbourne day, I bought my first pair of their X-Tall stockings; I wore them to bits (and, more tellingly, bed). This time round I’m equally desperate for legs that don’t long for warmth. Out come a pair of Columbine Seam Frees. Sure enough, I’m not disappointed. These babies propel your dream figure into almost plausible realities: they appear to elongate, to add definition, to offer certainty. There’s a gravity that is also tongue in cheek and entirely capable of flirtation.
Great qualities to have up your sleeve as you bundle out the door in the morning…
So I’m sold on the tights thing – and the woolen tights thing, specifically. And just in case there’s an additional need for the comforting glow of the warm and fuzzy, Columbine’s status as a Kiwi gem would make any sheep farmer proud.
You can buy Columbine tights from Farmers stores nationwide, starting from $11, with most winter tights priced around $20 - $25.
Words and images by Willow Sharp, 3 April 2012