Tights As Pants - The TAP Phenomenon

on Friday, 16 August 2013. Posted in Passion for Fashion, Vanilla Thoughts

Tights As Pants - The TAP Phenomenon

As we dwindlers of the southern hemisphere approach the end of winter, or for us living in more... shall we say, robust? destinations, are nearing the middle of winter, I wanted to take a moment to address a much discussed and scrutinised topic of the fashion community... tights, or more specifically tights as pants.

Yep that's right, it's popped up as often as a new addition to the Jolie-Pitt clan, so with everyone else expressing an opinion on whether or not this fashion... trend(?) is appropriate, and if it is, what the rules are, I thought it was time I got in my two cents.

To begin, let me firstly specify exactly what clothing garment I refer to when I say 'tights'. I'm talking about leggings, those jersey fabric tight pants that grip to your ass and thighs like a tub of Ben and Jerry's. Not included within this category is what I call stockings (and maybe you call these tights), which is effectively panty hose, and while I have encountered scenarios whereby stockings have also been worn as pants, I think we can all agree with some level of confidence, there is no debate as to whether that is appropriate.

Anyway, the reason I really call these items Tights, is because they provide me with a great fashion acronym for describing this craze that has flooded the fashion scene and created huge debate. Yep, Tights as Pants, also known as... TAP. Why have an acronym? Because my man and I often play a game of pointing out TAP in public, and using this sneaky acronym allows us to do this rather discretely and in close proximity to the TAP culprit. Yes, yes, I realise I have officially shared this acronym on a global scale and thus, have probably created the next "totes amazeballs", meaning TAP will no longer be so discreet, but nonetheless, I share because I care.

The other fun aspect of TAP is the variations one can have with it. For example, the Double Tap - it's exactly what it sounds like, two people both sporting their own TAP. Of course you can go even higher than this and my hubby and I have encountered so far as a complete Group or Mob TAP - normally consisting of tweens or early teens, so it's hard to critique too much.

Okay, now we've established terminology, now it's time to get in my two cents, what do I really think? Does it offend me? To be honest, It's a tricky one and in true Shaz-style, I'm going to sit on the fence and say sometimes it's okay and sometimes it's just plain wrong. Let me give you an example, I've seen some stylish chicks wearing tights that are of a thicker material with a patterned design or print, and a floaty top, and they look fabulous. Then I have seen some girls wearing paper-thin tights, some even see-through to the point of being able to recognise the brand of underwear they're wearing, and regardless of your size, it's just not a good look. Which leaves me with the same conclusion that everyone else also comes to, TAP can be okay, but there are rules to getting it right.

Shaz's TAP rules:

Rule Number One: Camel Toe is an Instant No

I'm not sure I even need to explain this, but if your tights are so tight you can see the definition of your... ahem, girly bits, then you are well and truly barking up the wrong tree. However, if you follow Rule Number Two, then this one is workable.

Rule Number Two: Adequate Coverage

If your tights are super tight (as above) or have some level of transparency, then to stay within the appropriate fashion boundaries one should don 'adequate coverage'. No that doesn't mean you have to wear a skirt over the top, it just means you should wear a top long enough to cover the crotch of the front and ass-cheeks of the back. You achieve the style you're seeking without flashing your behind all over town.

Rule Number Three: Gym TAP

This version of TAP is one most people tend to agree on. Gym TAP is allowed... if you're going to the gym or doing some form of exercise. To 'cover your ass', excuse the pun, then maintain the style throughout your whole look by pairing with gym shoes and workout tops. This will give you a TAP-out if you do happen to wander around a bit with no intention of exercise - yeah, that's right, I'm onto you!

Rule Number Four: Know your Garments

How do we define what's TAP and what's just tight pants? It's quite simple really. If it has a button, zip, buckle, or basically any sort of fastening that requires you to undo it, to get into it, then chances are you can claim it as pants, and by definition, you're in the TAP clear. Anything 'forgiving' that fits you even after a binge of fast food, cookies and ice cream, is likely to require TAP rules, or if it's sweat pants then the rules are quite simple... Don't wear them outside of your home!


So there we have it, my thoughts and rules, on the TAP phenomenon. And you heard it hear first, so next time when you are walking down the street and you hear someone whisper to their companion, "TAP!", you will see first-hand my mark on the fashion world. Kapeesh!


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