Patterned tights and skirts were my uniform throughout my teens and 20s. My long legs were a blank canvas for creative expression: Why drape them in drab denim? Then I became a working mother and started dressing for my role instead of my soul. Rainbow-striped hosiery felt too frivolous for a woman who bought bulk toilet paper and rubbed elbows at chamber of commerce events. Who’d take me seriously with a kaleidoscope of butterflies flitting up my legs?

But at age 42, I’m declaring a Funky Leg Revival. When I recently discovered a pair of glittery teal tights stashed in the depths of my closet, I wore them to a grant-writing conference underneath a purple swing skirt. I felt like my best self—lively, gutsy, not too serious. Since then, I’ve traded my mom jeans for tights of all persuasions: tartan plaids, sherbet-colored stripes, lines of poetry on a field of blue. And I'm happier, head to toe.

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