Last week, Bag Lady asked a fabulously stylish friend’s advice on how to finish off an outfit for an upcoming formal event.

Black dress and black heels, so plain black nylons, right?

The friend’s reply over email read like a decorative dagger through the heart.

“Black nylons and/or tights could tilt toward Italian grandma territory.”

Said with love, but oof, that g-word. Not here, not now, not yet.

There’s no better shopping inspiration than proving you don’t have grandma legs* and with that formal event coming up, no time like the present.

* Totally fine if you’re actually a grandma. Less fine if you’re not.

This week, Bag Lady and Shopping Siren scoured the local racks for the most-2018, least-AARP in legwear. Animal stripes to spice things up. Flower prints for kicking back. Sparkles for pizzazz.

Happily, great gam potential abounds.

And if you’re a gram who wants to showcase her already-great gams? Even better.

• Mixit sparkly metallic tights, JCPenney, $4.89

The tights equivalent of a disco ball and just as glorious as that sounds. Only two pair were left on the clearance rack, so run don’t walk.

• Super soft leggings, EllieAnna Gift Shop, $11.50

In full-length or capris, from size 0 to size 24. These leggings come in so many colors and patterns (Horses! Flowers! Red swooshy things that might be lightning!) that it’s easy to find something to pair with a skirt for the office and something else to pair with a long jersey for the ballpark.

As a side note, if you haven’t been to EllieAnna on Main Street in Lewiston lately, you are most definitely missing out. It’s dramatically expanded within the same location and now carries a wide variety of clothes up to 3X (super soft, sometimes quirky), candles, pottery, beard balm, retro socks and ironic oven mitts, among other things. It has some of the old World Over Imports vibe, except — great news — EllieAnna is still here, so there’s that.

• Red Hot Spanx, Kohl’s, $16-$18

Though not outwardly decorative, we’re giving these a shout-out for their behind-the-scenes work. Choose from shaping sheers or high-waist shaping sheers in nude or black. The high-waist version starts just under the bra, which sounds so potentially uncomfortable that we can’t fathom wearing them to a formal event and being able to pay attention to anything other than our inability to breathe. But, hey, we could be wrong! We’d love to hear from anyone who’s worn them for any length of time — like more than 10 minutes.

• Apt. 9 ribbed sweater tights, Kohl’s, $14

Normally we’d say it’s a little late in the season for these thick knit tights. But this is the winter that will never die, so you might want to wear these with a wool skirt and your down parka. Huzzah, spring.

• Merona animal-striped black tights, Marden’s, $1

Tossed in the sale bin, these were the only pair of Merona animal-striped tights we could see. So if you’re a small/medium and want to look fierce, you’ve got a deal here. The only question is what print, exactly, are they? Maybe zebra. Maybe tiger. Maybe okapi. Who knows! “Name my leg stripes” will be a fun conversation starter at your cousin’s second wedding later this year, though.

Think twice: Xhilaration nylon anklet, two-pack, Marden’s, $1

They’re sheer like nylons but short like socks. Really, it’s the worst of both worlds. Run away as fast as your awesome legs will carry you.

Best find: Mixit tights, JCPenney, $9.99

We struck the mother lode here. Mixit has black or tan sheer tights patterned with chevrons, flowers or geometric shapes, in sizes small to 1X. Go old school and grab a pair of fishnets. Go trendy and opt for some zigzags.

The world is yours! Don’t be afraid to kick it up a notch.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who are more than ready for mud season) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].


Mixit tights from JCPenney for $9.99. Fabulous patterns for fabulous legs.