Look of the Week: Kendall Jenner swaps trousers for tights

Written by Leah Dolan, CNN

Featuring the good, the bad and the ugly, ‘Look of the Week’ is a regular series dedicated to unpacking the most talked about outfit of the last seven days.

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

The model was this week spotted in Los Angeles leaving a photoshoot in nothing but a pair of heeled slingbacks, black Calzedonia tights and a classic navy knit crewneck. The entire look — including the exposed underwear detail — was fresh off Bottega Veneta’s Spring-Summer 2023 runway, and was completed with one of the label’s $4,200 brass-handle Sardine Bags and an armful of yellow sunflowers.

Kendall paired a $4,200 Bottega Veneta bag with a pair of opaque black tights and slingbacks.

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

While much of Bottega’s latest collection was engineered for a double take — including leather trousers designed to impersonate a pair of jeans — Jenner’s look was exactly as it seemed. And although going tights-only is undoubtedly comfortable (it’s the kind of outfit you might wear around the house while you wait for your washed-too-late black miniskirt to dry on the radiator), doing so in public ups the ante.

It is a silhouette we’ve seen before, however. There’s a chic, dancer-like quality to Jenner’s outfit, akin to a Bob Fosse chorus girl or an off-duty ballerina. 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 anything to go by. Borrowing heavily from classical dance, the aesthetic has spilled onto this season’s runways, from Sandy Liang’s satin Pointe Shoes and everyday tutus to Miu Miu’s ballet flats.

To keen-eyed fashion historians, Jenner’s outfit may also be a reference to It-girl and Andy Warhol muse, Edie Sedgewick. The American actor and model made T-shirts, tights and visible underwear her signature look in the 1960s. In fact, so notorious was Segdewick’s trouser-lessness, Life magazine published a 1965 piece about her style titled “The Girl with the Black Tights.”

Edie Sedgwick stars in "Ciao! Manhattan" (1972) directed by John Palmer and David Weisman.

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

“The cropped-mop girl with the eloquent legs is doing more for black tights than anybody since Hamlet,” read the article. “Her style may not be for everybody, but its spirited wackiness is just right for lively girls with legs like Edie’s.”

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

Trouserless trendsetters

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

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

Bella Hadid strolled around New York this September in men’s underwear and mini Uggs. Credit: Jared Siskin/GC Images/Getty Images

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

Kylie Jenner switched up her tights-only look with a pair of Loewe tighty-whities worn on top.

Kylie Jenner switched up her tights-only look with a pair of Loewe tighty-whities worn on top. Credit: MEGA/GC Images/Getty Images

It is the logical endpoint of both the Daisy Dukes of the mid-2000s and the once indomitable athleisure trend, which mandated that second-skin Lululemon and AloYoga leggings be worn in place of structured trousers for the last two years.

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

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