The 8 Hosiery Commandments: How To Look good In Tights


Tights and leggings are some of the hottest fashion trends for fall. Celebrities like Taylor Swift, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Anne Hathaway all love tights and Kate Middleton, the new Duchess of Cambridge, is even bringing back traditional pantyhose. These celebrities know how to rock this look and make it seem effortless. However, if you’re not lucky enough to have a celebrity stylist at your disposal to help you with the dos and don’ts of wearing hosiery, consider these your hosiery commandments.

Commandment #1: Use Tights To Add A Pop Of Color

If your outfit is primarily one color, a fun pair of tights can add some visual interest and ensure your look isn’t monochromatic. If you’re wearing a brown dress with brown knee-length boots, consider adding a pair of olive-green tights. If you’re looking for a fun and youthful look, consider a berry colored tight with a matching belt with a low ankle boot. By changing just the color of your tights, your shoes and adding a belt, you can create a completely different look, doubling the usefulness of that brown dress.

Commandment #2: Monochromatic Looks Should Be Neutral

A monochromatic look that includes tights can look stunning, if it’s done right. Dressing in head to toe black, including black tights can create a long, lean look for a number of body types. A monochromatic look in red, however, might make you look like a giant strawberry, while head to toe charcoal grey can look sleek and chic. If you’re concerned that a one tone look is too severe, consider pairing a black skirt, tights and heels with a bright top. You’ll get that long, lean look from the waist down, yet have a pop of color to brighten up your face.

Commandment #3: Choose Shoes That Compliment Instead Of Contrast

You don’t have to be matchy matchy when choosing shoes with your tights. A monochromatic look can work, but you’re not limited to simply wearing black shoes with black tights. The key is to choose shoes that compliment your tights and your overall outfit. If you’re wearing a plain black dress, consider adding in bright red heels and some fun, funky, chunky jewelry. Tying in the same colors will pull the shoes into the outfit and make your pop of color seem intentional, not accidental and awkward.

Commandment #4: Match Tights To Your Shirt

Another great hosiery look is to match the tights you’re wearing to your shirt. For instance, if you’re wearing a black shirt under a colorful blazer with a printed skirt, black tights can help create a pulled together look. When putting this look together, imagine that your shirt and your tights form a bodysuit that you’re accessorizing with other garments. Shoes can either be the same color as your tights or pull a color in from the skirt — it just depends on whether you’re going for a fun and whimsical look or a more somber one.

Commandment #5: White Tights Can Work If You Wear Them Correctly

Women used to think that unless you were a bride or under 8, white tights should be avoided. While it’s true that it takes a special kind of attitude and outfit to carry off white tights, you can wear them successfully. White tights work best with neutral colors like tan, brown and beige and textured tights can conjure up warm and cozy feelings as the weather gets cooler. It can be tricky to choose the right shoes — blacks are often too heavy so try to stick to lighter colors like tan, light brown, grey, or even muted metallics.

Commandment #6: Tights Are NOT Pants

Some women seem to think that a great pair of tights can replace a pair of pants. This is definitely not the case. There’s a simple rule of thumb – if it has feet (like a pair of tights), you need a skirt, shorts or a dress to go with it. Leggings and jeggings can be worn with or without skirts, shorts or dresses, but if you choose to go without, you should wear tunics or tops that cover your behind. Shorter tops with leggings are a definite fashion don’t and should be avoided.

Commandment #7: Patterned Or Textured Tights Can Add Visual Interest And Excitement

Many women shy away from patterned tights, but there’s no reason to. A patterned tight is easy to wear – just make sure it compliments a simple outfit instead of competing with another print. Choose a simple camel colored sheath and spice it up with leopard patterned tights, or pair a black pair of patterned tights with a pair of grey dressy shorts and a neutral top. If you’re concerned that patterned tights might make your legs look heavier, wear a shorter skirt with a pair of knee high boots so that just a few inches of the tights are showing. This will add interest to your outfit, yet keep you feeling confident and secure.

Commandment #8: Nudes Are Back

One of the newest style icons, Duchess Kate Middleton, caused a style uproar when she stepped out over the summer wearing nude stockings. Although nude stockings previously were considered something that went out with the 80s, they’re back in a big way. After Kate Middleton and her sister Pippa were spotted in shimmering, sheer stockings, sales skyrocketed by 85% in the United Kingdom. It’s expected that it’s only a matter of time before this trend appears on the U.S. side of the ocean.

There are a number of ways to look and feel beautiful in tights and with the right attitude, nearly everyone can take advantage of this hot fashion trend. If you’re wondering how to look stylish and pulled together while wearing tights, consider these commandments a great place to start.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with fashion. If you’re unsure, which look is best for you, grab a couple girlfriends and put on a fashion show with your favorite fall looks that include tights. You’ll be able to get honest answers about what works for your body and bounce ideas off each other to ensure you’re looking your absolute best.

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