Colgate Couture – Euro Hose

Katie Zarrella

Ciao fashionistas! This semester, I have left our Polo and Northface clad campus for a land far, far away; a land where the streets are paved with Prada, the piazzas are filled with Fendi, and Gucci gear is more common than a cappuccino. Yes, my fashionable friends, I am writing from the chic city of Rome in hopes that I can send a taste of European style to the ever-evolving Colgate fashion scene.

After recovering from a severe case of jetlag and the immense shock of discovering that Italians feel the need to line-dry all their clothes, I gathered up enough courage to leave my quaint apartment in Trastevere and explore the streets of Rome. Not five steps into my journey was I attacked by my first Italian trend: crazy calze. Commonly known by Americans as “stockings,” calze are seemingly essential to every Roman ragazza’s wardrobe. These dazzling Donnas don’t restrict themselves to typical black tights, and with Euro hose in more hues, prints, textures and fabrics than you can imagine, why would they? From simple stripes sliding out from sassy shorts to red spider web lace screaming from beneath a Mod mini-dress, the right Euro hose are the perfect accent to any ordinary outfit.

At first glance, some of these bold stockings can be alarming, so let’s start with something simple: the solid opaque tight. Opaque tights in dark, neutral solids were all the rage this fall and, in the past months, they’ve proven to have a bright future. Bold oranges, violets, greens and plums have stormed onto the stocking scene. Colored opaques look great when worn with mini-dresses or short skirts, but be sure not to mix too many shades. Stick to one color for your outfit and shoes; colored tights should add a pop to a quiet outfit, not the final blinding touch to a loud one.

If solid tights are too tame for your taste, stretch your style with printed opaques. Thick, printed tights are often overwhelming, so stay with stripes, paisleys and geometric shapes. Geo-tights make for a swingin’ 60’s look, and paisleys add an artistic, retro accent. For an air of elegance, slip into Stockingirl.com’s Black Versace print tights. The black background brings certain sophistication to these multi-colored, paisley print tights. Pair these opaques with your favorite LBD and classic pumps for a refined, but playful ensemble. Printed tights make for a funky yet heavy look, so if you’re searching for something that’s soft and sassy, sheer printed stockings are the hose for you. Get wild with a pair of sheer animal print stockings. Prints like leopard, zebra, and purple python will make your outfit roar, but the thin material of sheer hose mutes the pattern. This rumble in the jungle style adds the perfect purr to a dressier outfit.

Floral sheers will bring a sweet scent to your solid outfits. Keep your clothes all one color and try to match your shoes to a shade in the print. This tactic will elongate your legs and help to bring out the colors in the print.

Euro prints and colors can be a little shocking, so for stand-out stockings that are a bit more subdued, try a black print. By wearing swishing swirls, zig-zags, and other geometric patterns, you can add a punch to your outfit without going color-crazy. Diamonds, circles and checkerboard patterns are choice, as defined lines emphasize the contrast between the black print and the sheer stocking. Wolford has been known to make some of the world’s best tights and stockings, and this season is no exception. Wolford’s Fuji Poetry stockings are a sharp take on a black print. A bold black zig-zag pattern spikes all the way down the sheer nude background of these Wolford stockings and is divided into sections by a thick black line.

Sprinkled with clusters of polka dots, these sensational stockings are right on point.

Risqu?e and ravishing, lace stockings are the final stop on this Euro trip. Netted and lace stockings are the new fishnets and create a sophisticated, sexy look. Fildoro Fashion’s Ricamo net stockings combine circles and diamonds for an intricate spider web effect. Stockings like these are flashy and sexy but wear with caution. Throw these on with an outfit that’s too busy or shows too much skin, and you’ll quickly go from euro-fab to Euro-trash. Lace and netted stockings with a tight, close weave highlight the pattern and create the illusion of more leg-coverage, while stockings with a wide, lose weave show too much skin, so unless you’re going for a Pretty Woman vibe, don’t wear them.

Euro hose aren’t easy to wear. Be careful when mixing patterns and proceed with caution when playing with colors. Wearing these stockings may take some skill, but if you simply abide by the rules they can make your outfit unique and alla moda. So don’t be timid. Slip into some Euro excitement with some crazy calze!