Free for All Fridays #3: Tights as Pants and the 50 Degree Rule

Happy Friday everyone! This was a short but busy week at work for me, so I’ve been a little late on the posts. But I’m doing the best I can and thank you for sticking with me.

Ok, let’s get into the topic for today’s Free for All Friday post. I was asked two fashion or clothing related questions recently so I’m going to discuss them together here. One reader asked me – what’s up with girls wearing tights as pants? Another asked, after a particularly warm winter day here in DC, what’s up with women wearing flip flops and a suit?! Boy oh boy, you two readers are in luck because I have answers for both! 🙂

First to the “tights as pants” issue. The questioner likened wearing just tights and a top to wearing just a bra and jeans, or just a shirt and underwear. He thought of tights as undergarments, to be worn with something on top and not solo.

I happen to looove tights. I mean, really. There’s no easier outfit than tights and a long sweater or tunic top. Ooh or under a mini. Yeah, that’s wassup as far as I’m concerned. But, as with everything, there are limits. Have you ever heard the adage, “Everythang ain’t for everybody”? Well nothing could be truer than that when it comes to who can and cannot (should not, should never!) wear tights as pants. No one wants to see a muffin top popping out of tights. Also, no one wants to see a camel toe either! (Well, I know speaking for women – we don’t want to see that. Don’t know how the guys feel…)

So maybe the questioner was asking what’s really hood with tights as pants with shorter tops, not a tunic top or long sweater, because it’d be hard to tell if they were just tights and not tight pants when worn with a longer top. Maybe?

Or maybe I’m one of the “tights as pants” offenders that the reader asked about. He asked me to include his plea for the women readers to take heed and tell a friend – “Tights are not pants!”

So I’m relaying the message. But I’m also saying that I heart tights with longer sweaters or tunic tops or under a mini and I will not be deterred! 🙂

me and Pharma-T outside the Museo del Prado. in spain, they rocked tights as pants religiously.

me and Pharma-T outside the Museo del Prado. in spain, they rocked tights as pants religiously.

Moving on to question 2 re: women in flip flops and suits in midwinter in DC. I grew up on the Gulf Coast, where the high daily temperature is rarely under 60. Even it was “cold” in the morning (40s), the afternoon peak temp is almost always over 60. That said, I’d always see Anglos in shorts and flip flops no matter how cold it was in the morning. This was a way of life, even while I rocked a coat (and t-shirt, no sweater since it got too hot later on.)

After seeing this my whole life, I moved away from the beach bum life that I grew up in and went to college in Birmingham, AL, and still saw the “flip flops in the cold” phenomena. I’d always (for some reason) thought it had to do with our proximity to the water. But in Birmingham, I had to ask one of my classmates – why do you have on flip flops and shorts when it’s so cold outside?! She told me about the “50 degree rule.”

The 50 degree rule is apparently well known in the Anglo and Asian communities (since I saw some Asian people at my college rocking the flip flops in the cold too). It means that as long as the high temp is 50 or more for the day, flip flops and shorts are ok. Just that simple.

So next time you see someone in flip flops in midwinter or on a day you think is cold, just check the high temp for the day and you may have your answer. The reader, however, was also interested in the flip flops and suits combination. She thought is was just weird and why didn’t these people just wear real shoes since they were no longer in college.

I had to tell her (a good friend of mine): My name is Samee… and I wear flip flops with suits! And I love it! hahahh! I hate “real shoes”. I hate having my feet covered. I am a beach bum, stuck in the working world in DC. This is my way of self-expression. A black pant suit, a pink button down…and my pink and black flip flops! 🙂  But I follow the 70 degree rule; 50 is still cold to me. I (try to) change into real shoes once I get to the office but sometimes, if I’m at my desk…I keep them on. I rejoice in the small pleasures of life, ok? Leave me alone.

I must reiterate though, that everythang ain’t for everybody. Nobody wants to see your corns, bunions, dead toenails, or ash on your feet. And nobody wants to smell malodorous feet either, so be mindful of that. Please be considerate of others before you break out the flip flops, or the tights for that matter!

It’s still cold here (not 50) so I’ll be in tights and boots and sweaters all weekend. I’ll save the flip flops and suits for April or May when it’s a little warmer.

Have a great weekend!



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5 responses to “Free for All Fridays #3: Tights as Pants and the 50 Degree Rule

  1. La Luz

    Call me old-fashioned, but I cannot get down with flip-flops and suits on the mean streets of DC. I mean, what if I run into my co-workers, or my future employers, rockin my hot pink-bejeweled-platform flip-flops with my pinstripe joint? Why platform you ask???, how can you stand having your feet so close to the mean-grimy streets of DC? And this brings up my panyhose issue, how do you wear pantyhose with flipflops? My office is too cold not to wear pantyhose.

    As far as tights, well, do you! I’m not a judge, just a juror…and everybody is entitled to their own opinion.

  2. Nic H

    Funny post…I knew what you meant tights=leggings for Samee.

    I have to say that I have seen some dreadful (ever since I watched an episode of Housewives of Atlanta and heard the word”dreadful” used in a sentence to describe someone, I have been waiting to bust it out) Where was I? Yes, I have seen some dreadful sweaters and leggings combos, but it can be cute on the “right person”. For me…leggings take me back to the dreadful stirup pants I had back in middle school so I stay away. Those were basically leggings with elastic on the bottom..yikes! or shall I say…how dreadful! 🙂

    As for the flip flops…50 degrees is too cold for me. it needs to be at least 70 if not warmer (My toes get cold). Why not wear them as your footwear to work…sometimes your toes have to breathe and sometimes your feet hurt from wearing 4 inch heels the night before 🙂 Its better than the alternative: stark white athletic shoes worn with a black suit!

  3. Clarification needed! I say “tights” meaning the thicker, leggings version – not tights like stockings you’d wear with a dress. Yall know I have my own language! I would not be walking around with a sweater and stockings and calling it an outfit! 😦

  4. Samsonite

    Samee, I know you remember our trip to Miami Beach and the saying “there is no need”. That’s how I feel about some people and their outfit choices. What’s gone wrong with this world? Suddenly, people feel like casual is the way to go. If you’re wearing a suit, wear suit shoes. What about the person who wears tims to the beach? That’s what YOU look like in your sandals and suit. I’m all for comfort, (at home). As I stroll the streets on midtown I see tourists walking around like they just woke-up and walked outside. WTH?
    So, in conclusion, the only acceptable time to wear tights as pants is if you are playing professional football .
    Now Samee, to your point, if you want to wear a shirt as a dress, then that’s a different story. But it also falls into the “tights as pants” category.

  5. Dr. Kaitlyn

    I’m sorry, I have to disagree wholeheartedly about the tights issue. Tights are NOT pants, tights are tights!! Tights are just a thicker, more colorful version of pantyhose and are an accessory to an outfit, NOT the actual outfit. To me, its a trend that’s completely unacceptable whether you’re 15 or 35. Leggings, which tend to be thicker than tights and intended to be worn as pants, can be acceptable as pants, but, tights are not. (Though, the caution that everything isn’t for everyone certainly applies to leggings.) The response from Blair Waldorf of Gossip Girl, as she so correctly schooled one of her minions who claimed she didn’t know, sums it up, “That tights are not pants? Honestly!”

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