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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Snow white pins and hose the fairest

IMF chief Christine Lagarde
doesn't need St Tropez spray -
she can afford the real thing
A recipe in The Guardian last week stopped Looking Our Best in her tracks:  ‘Pock-marked old woman tofu’.  I kid you not – apparently it’s a dish called after a Sichuan street vendor, but had LOB momentarily dismayed it was referencing her own wintery pins. In truth, unadorned by the customary black opaque, the LOB legs tend more to tones of raw sausage than tofu.   

But since writing a post on this subject back in 2011, it seems many of us grown-ups are now happier to bare our legs without risking gasps of horror on a level with Game of Thrones. While a quick nip out for lunch through the city streets shows there are still those who swelter in their black opaque tights -  and not only the younger fry in the denim shorts - grown-up porcelain pins are now being exposed to the elements with confidence. Glaringly obvious fake tan has had its moment in the sun - at least for those of us who recall the Tanfastic days of the 70s. LOB's pals out and about this week also confirm a drop in levels of orange concentrate. One says that during a really boring work meeting in a stuffy boardroom her attention was diverted by a femme d'un certain age who had the bare legs look down to a t.  
 "I was transfixed by this elegant woman - not in her first flush of yoof by any stretch - who had obviously kept her legs and feet well-groomed. She had painted her toenails a dusky burgundy which matched her dress. I don't think I was the only one gawp at her for all the right reasons - and not a hint of tan or tights, just glistening, smooth skin." 

A flattering hemline (on the knee, or just above) balances the exposure of the bare limbs. US news anchor Katie Couric gets this length just right, teamed with strappy sandals.  Moisturising body lotion counteracts dry skin, and canny folk have cottoned on to the benefits of budget supermarket ranges. Worth checking out is Lacura Shimmering Body Cream,  it costs less than a latte, (from Aldi), and can be lavished on generously to give legs a scented pearly sheen.  Feet, as well as legs, respond to a little maintenance, and it seems that pedicures are now as popular as the ubiquitous manicure. Plus, there is something about painting the toenails that is really relaxing no matter what our age - and a sure sign that summer has begun. 
Katie Couric-she has news of a sandal

Despite the cooling properties of going bare-legged when the temperature soars, there are still occasions when the ultra-sheer variety of leg wear is the preferred option. Marks & Spencer’s Autograph sheer open-toe tights help avoid the big style no-no of wearing tights with sandals.  
Among the slightly more expensive brands, Falke Shelina toe-less tights give the legs a natural look while helping mask tiny flaws.
Hold-ups are expected - Aristoc 5 denier ultra-sheers
Artistoc 5-denier sheer hold-ups are also quite convincingly ‘bare’. 

Perma-tanned grown-ups have no bare-leg issues of course.  Christine Lagarde - always looking suitably browned off at the IMF - comes to mind.
For the rest of us, there are an ever-growing number of  self-tanning products out there.  Capital Soleil Bronzing Milk by Vichy is suitable for sensitive skin,  looks natural and is relatively easy to apply. As a speedier alternative, LOB favours one of the tinted moisturisers such as Garnier's inexpensive Summerbody, applied twice a week.  The 24-hour instant tans which wash off easily are an another speedy option after the morning shower.  Pals swear by Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs to take away the ghostly pallor; also, and for a few dollars more,  St Tropez Total Glow and MAC Skinsheen Leg Spray come highly recommended.  
Toe be, or not toe be - Shelina 'toe-less' tights

The downside of self-tanners is that the worst possible time to apply them is first thing in the morning when you are barely human and have to stand on one leg while cross referencing the day's weather forecast. While writing this post the sun disappeared and the rain is now drizzling. Your blogger has also just been caught in a sudden shower while wearing the instant, wash-off leg tan - rain drops having mottled the 'golden' limbs splodgy white. 
So it's legs hidden under the desk for the moment.
Which is sort of where we came in ….


  1. Wow,the item is great and suitable.I love the style so much. Love these leather jackets on, mine is wonderfully made and looks extremely smart, I couldn't be happier with it.

    1. Cheers, Raleve! Our climate here is so changeable, this issue of bare legs v tights is an ongoing dilemma....!