The new black

"Nude" tights are something of a holy grail. There are times when bare legs just aren't appropriate, so the perfect nude tights are the ones that make it look like you're not wearing any at all. This has always presented me with something of a style dilemma. "Flesh"-coloured tights are not for my colour flesh, so do I wear black shades, which look terrible with a summer wardrobe, or do I dare to go bare and feel self-conscious for the whole day, not to mention cold, given British summers?

Not any more. Aristoc (stockists, 01773 525520) has come to the rescue by launching a new summer range, Soleil, which has five shades, including one for darker skins: Ebony Glow. I tried them, and guess what? They are a perfect match. Fantastic. No more making do with "barely black", which is actually grey; no more "natural", which is for those with the same skin tone as Barbie. These tights for dark skins really do look great on dark skins, and, best of all, they made it look like I didn't have tights on at all. Mission accomplished.

You can also get the Ebony Glow shade in a natural sheen style. These gave my legs a "just-oiled" look - so it was obvious I had tights on, but they were still much more flattering than normal black tights. The sheen tights were initially developed for tanned legs, at which point some bright spark at Aristoc remarked that if they made them in a darker shade, they'd be great for those with naturally darker skin. Whoever you are, thank you.

Of course, "flesh" or "natural" coloured tights are not the only culprits. If I want plasters that don't look hideous against my skin, I have to go to America, which seems a bit of a long way for a paper cut. In defiance, I usually opt for the brightest, silliest plasters, on the basis that the "natural" ones look so bad. Leopard print, polka dot, even Barbie, anything as long as it's not that awful, dirty "flesh"colour.

Still, now I've got tights that make my legs look great, all I need is for someone to invent a miniskirt that actually covers my bum (contradiction in terms?) so I can be happy and stylish this summer.

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