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How To Wear Colored Tights With Style

Welcome!  This post is over a 1.5 years old and still one of my most popular (yay!).  Feel free to hit me up with any additional questions about colored tights or any other fashion advice that you might need help with–I’m no expert but I probably know how to steer you in the right direction 🙂 When you’re done reading this, check out part 2 with even more ideas for wearing colored tights.

Hosiery, leggings, and tights are a HUGE trend this fall/winter and I have had quite a few requests from friends wanting to learn how to coordinate their tights with outfits.  I’ve never really thought about “rules” (just tried on outfit after outfit until I liked what I saw) but after further research, I have determined some strategies to help you work colored tights into your wardrobe.

This post is just in reference to opaque tights and I’ll cover patterned tights and leggings later in this “Legwear Series”.

As always, keep your body type in mind when choosing a strategy to embrace.  However, I beg you not to be intimidated by colored tights! Here’s why:

  1. Tights are an inexpensive way to dramatically expand your wardrobe. I pay an average of $4-6 for a pair and now I can throw on an old summer dresses with a sweater and VOILA!–new chic outfit.
  2. Tights are figure friendly. Tights smooth places that otherwise wouldn’t be and tighten places that jiggle when you move (yay!).
  3. Tights are a modest way to show some leg. This is one of my favorite things about tights, they enable you to get away with shorter hemlines (and not look like a big ‘ole hoochie).
  4. Tights keep you warm. You know how when you wear jeans in the cold and sit down and then wince because your jeans are freezing?  That doesn’t happen with tights…nope.  Lately I’ve been wearing tights under maxi dresses and soon I will be sporting them under jeans.

Stylish strategies to coordinate your colored tights.

Tights matching dress color.

Photo Credit Meggstatus

This will work with a dress, skirt, shorts (yes, shorts and tights are “in” this season), or whatever type of bottom you may be wearing.  This is a good strategy to try for neutrally-colored bottoms/tights. This is a great look if you’re easing your way into this trend because it’s not too bold and it’s really hard to do this and NOT look super chic.

Tights matching shoe color.

Photo Credit: WSJ

This look was featured in Saturday’s WSJ because it’s high-impact, low-maintenance, and very elongating.  The shades do not have to be an exact match but the closer, the better.

Tights matching accessories.

Photo Credit: Sally McGraw

See how Sally’s skinny belt matches her lavender tights?  This is a great way to pull a look together and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a belt that you match your tights to, you could try this with a cardigan, undershirt, necklace, scarf, etc.  It just requires a little more effort because it’s not so “easy” like the previous strategies.

Photo Credit: Torrid

Shoes and dress can match/coordinate with contrasting tights.

Photo Credi: Sally McGraw

Black and white plus any bold color is tres chic or you could simply match the colors of your shoes and outift then wear a complementary color tight.

With jeans.

Photo Credit HaikuAmbulance
I wore this look here.

Colored tights also look great when peeking out behind jeans.  Show little flash of tights with distressed (hole-y) jeans or rolled up jeans with ballet flats or pumps.

Keep in mind:

  • DON’T pair colorful tights with colorful dresses that have a big print
  • DON’T wear white or light pink (those are reserved for little girls and ballerinas)
  • Matte tights make legs appear slimmer
  • Shiny tights are very glam
  • It’s really difficult to go wrong with neutral and black colored tights

Further required reading:

Working those Colorful Tights

Do’s and Don’ts of Wearing Tights

These strategies are just guidelines to ease you in and I always encourage you to make up your own rules to suit YOUR personal style.  What are your favorite ways to wear colored tights?  Do you dare? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Valerie Rowekamp

Valerie Rowekamp

Valerie Rowekamp desires to live a stylish, soulful, charmed life while inspiring you to do the same. She's exceptionally resourceful, creative, passionate, and has been known to bust a move in the aisle of the grocery store.
Valerie Rowekamp

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  1. […] am a very passionate supporter of colored tights.  If you need guidance check this out. Share and […]

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