Photos: Slaven Vlasic, Getty Images I Jemal Countess, Getty Images for IMG

Sure, tights are practical for keeping warm in the winter, and this year is all about the patterned tight.

But next fall, get out the ThighMaster, because if the Fall 2010 Fashion Week runways are any indication, you may want to trade your tights for opaque thigh highs, their cousins leg-warmers and some very short skirts. Lots of designers showed this look at New York Fashion Week, and not just as a sexy-just-for-your-lover thing.

Alexander Wang paired the 2/3 leg-coverings with tweedy suits, and Cythia Steffe with a prim school-girl dress. At Vera Wang and Tibi they came out with cocktail dresses.(See them all left to right above.)

It's obviously not a look that's easy to pull off -- even muscular thighs risk looking fat, and there is always the will-they-fall-down? worry. I am not expecting to see too many thigh-highs around American offices. But I bet the look will catch on for cool young girls haunting flea markets on brisk fall days, when they aren't ready for winter tights and boots just yet, but don't want to put away tiny summer skirts, either.

Me, I'm going with arm warmers -- also a cousin -- like Tracy Reese showed. Far less risky and just as practical when a chill comes to the air.