Kendall Jenner swaps pants for tights

Written by Leah Dolan, CNN

Showcasing the good, the bad, and the ugly, Look of the Week is a regular series dedicated to unboxing the most talked about outfits over the last seven days.

Kendall Jenner’s latest street style snap is a masterclass in minimalism, with one notable element missing: pants.

The model was spotted leaving a photoshoot in Los Angeles this week in nothing but a pair of heeled slingback pumps, black Calzedonia tights and a classic navy blue knit crew neck. The entire look – including the exposed underwear details – was fresh off Bottega Veneta’s Spring/Summer 2023 runway and was completed with one of the label’s $4,200 sardine bags with brass handles and an armful of yellow sunflowers.

Kendall paired a $4,200 Bottega Veneta bag with a pair of opaque black tights and slingbacks. Recognition: Alix Newman/Shutterstock

While much of Bottega’s latest collection was designed for a double take — including leather pants meant to mimic jeans — Jenner’s look was exactly as it appeared. And while going out in just tights is undoubtedly comfortable (it’s the kind of outfit you might wear around the house while waiting for your late-washed black miniskirt to dry on the radiator), it elevates when you’re out in public the use.

However, it’s a silhouette we’ve seen before. Jenner’s outfit has a chic, dance-like quality, akin to a Bob Fosse chorus girl or a ballerina at leisure. The latter is right on trend if the meteoric rise of “Balletcore” – a TikTok-centric fashion trend with more than 142.6 million views – is to be believed. The aesthetic, heavily influenced by classical dance, has spread to this season’s runways, from Sandy Liang’s satin pointe shoes and everyday tutus to Miu Miu’s ballet flats.

For keen-eyed fashion historians, Jenner’s outfit could also be a nod to Andy Warhol’s It girl and muse, Edie Sedgwick. The American actress and model made T-shirts, tights and visible underwear her trademark in the 1960s. In fact, Segdwick’s pantslessness was so notorious that Life magazine published an article about her style in 1965 called “The Girl in Black Tights.”

Edie Sedgwick stars

Edie Sedgwick stars in Ciao! Manhattan (1972) directed by John Palmer and David Weisman. Recognition: Court Prods/Kobal/Shutterstock

“The short-haired girl with the eloquent legs does more for black tights than anyone since Hamlet,” reads the article. “Her style might not be for everyone, but her spirited weirdness is just right for vivacious girls with legs like Edie’s.”

Sedgwick’s dislike of trousers helped, at least in part, to make her a fashion icon. When Sienna Miller played the muse in a 2006 film adaptation of her life, Factory Girl, she donned a pair of signature opaque tights (and not much else) on screen.

Pantsless trendsetters

Jenner is by no means the first celebrity to champion the burgeoning pantsless trend this season.

Bella Hadid strolled through New York this September in men's underwear and mini Uggs.

Bella Hadid strolled through New York this September in men’s underwear and mini Uggs. Recognition: Jared Siskin/GC Pictures/Getty Pictures

In September, her sister Kylie attended Loewe’s Spring-Summer 2023 show in Paris wearing a gray coat, white vest and a pair of the Spanish label’s Y-front underwear, worn over her tights in Superman style. That same month, Bella Hadid was pictured grabbing a slice of Dollar Pizza in New York City while wearing mini Uggs, a motorcycle jacket and a pair of white briefs.

Kylie Jenner switched up her sheer tights look with a pair of Loewe Tighty whiteties worn over them.

Kylie Jenner switched up her sheer tights look with a pair of Loewe Tighty whiteties worn over them. Recognition: MEGA/GC Pictures/Getty Images

It’s the logical culmination of both the Daisy Dukes of the mid-2000s and the once indomitable athleisure trend that dictated that second-skin Lululemon and AloYoga leggings had to be worn in place of structured pants for the past two years.

Despite playful speculation from social media users that Kendall Jenner had a brief memory lapse when leaving the house, the look was entirely calculated and one we’re likely to see replicated again.

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