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In the chilly weather that passes for spring in Chicago, they're actually very practical when you want to break out the lighter skirts and thick wool tights just look too heavy. Wear them over lighter tights if you don't feel like going bare.
They look most modern in a thinner gauge knit and worn over the knees—chunky versions scrunched around the calves are a little too true an homage to Jennifer Beals. Unless you're under 25, go basic—avoid styles with cutesy buttons and bows. Best of all, they're affordable—from just a few dollars up to about $40.