It’s officially fall, and with the crisp air comes cozy sweaters, buttery leathers and suedes, and this season, an incredible variety of hosiery. These fall and winter necessities are available in what seems like every color, texture, and pattern possible, so the question is: how does a discerning fashionista incorporate stylish, interesting tights into her wardrobe without looking like a slave to trends or just ridiculous?
Basic black, brown, navy, and gray opaque tights are more popular than ever, but these standards are only the tip of the iceberg. These perennial classics should be paired with patterned or bright pieces – they work best in the background. If you want to take a step up from simple black, get a pair with subtle striping, such as this slightly sheer pair by Faulke (available at mytights.com.) If you’re looking for something a little more daring, try a new texture or tone on tone pattern, such as this herringbone pair, also by Faulke. Also, you can try a lighter neutral like dove gray instead of black for a softer appearance.
Stylish hosiery can be an appealing addition to your evening wardrobe as well. Sheer stockings with a back seam or a subtle dot pattern (try these by Le Bourget), or the always popular fishnet will liven up a little black dress. Despite the bad (read: trashy) name that fishnet tights have, a very fine fishnet in a shade that matches your skin closely is a sexy alternative to nude hose. A subtle lace pattern would also work well in black, but only if you keep the rest of your look relatively simple. You can also go the rocker chick route with leopard print or something equally wild, but again, you want the tights to be the standout accessory, so let your legs be the sole focus.
An interesting pattern can be used to liven up a dull outfit or update last year’s pieces. For instance, try a complex stripe like this pair by Falke (from mytights.com) â€” they are fabulous in any shade, but Bordeaux would be particularly elegant with all of fall’s subdued gray tones. These diamond patterned Trasparenze tights would also offset a simple ensemble nicely. A pair of crocheted wool tights is a stylish way to keep warm during the harsh Chicago winter and the texture of the wool will add some visual interest. Pair these with knee boots and you’ll be stylishly toasty.
What should you wear with your tights? Pretty much anything! They’re a bit more grown-up than leggings (and they also lack that trendy stigma), and more flattering as well, because there is no break in the line of the leg. Footless tights are a tricky proposition, but they can work well with this season’s popular ankle boots; however, steer very clear of anything trimmed with lace or god forbid, with stirrups. As long as you heed these warnings, a good pair of tights is perfect for adding yet another dimension to this fall’s layered look, whether you pick a simple neutral or a wild print. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a variety of tones and textures â€” different legwear can completely change the look of an outfit.