Lately, it's been all outfits all the time for me. What do I mean? Well, for one of my clients, I create outfits using anything she owns, take photos and then she can scroll those pictures every morning to ensure that getting dressed takes less than 5 minutes. My husband often refers to this as, "the secret sauce."
This time of year, the inevitable question comes up when I'm chatting with clients about their outfits: "and so, with what? Tights?" Whether you are rocking ankle boots, mid calf, heels, over the knee boots, you name it; you're going to face this question. Here's the thing, your hosiery serves a purpose and communicates your style. So, let's break that down to help you look like the very best version of you everyday. Start by imagining wearing one dress and one pair of shoes. Now that you have that image, picture wearing these different hosiery options with that outfit as I describe the pros and cons. This should help you get a clear view of the effect of various options. Also, these photos are from a site I adore: Celebrity Hosiery Daily. It's a dream. Make sense? Off we go!
Your Legs, Your Style
1. Rock opaque tights.
If they are 100% cotton, they are more likely to cling to your skirt or dress. Black is great, but I'm a sucker for navy tights. As it turns out, they go with a wide array of outfits and are more unexpected than black. It's likely that you have more navy in your wardrobe now than you did a couple of years ago, thanks to the resurgence of this color.
Style message: Opaque tights are generally casual. If you are wearing a monochromatic outfit or something that feels very high end (leather skirt) and sophisticated (heels), they can feel more sophisticated.
2. Embrace black sheer hose.
It sounds super crazy town, but black sheer hosiery (nylons) are back. Feel like mixing it up? Give a nod to the 40's and try a pair with a black seem down the back. Or, if you are feeling particularly edgy, black fishnets work, too. Another advantage to rocking hosiery rather than the bare leg- control top. Yes!
Style message: Sheer black (or navy) hosiery are sexier and more sophisticated than opaque tights or a simple bare leg. This is when you are owning the fact that you are at least one of the adults in the room.
3. Textured hosiery is an option, too.
We're talking about black (or navy) textured hosiery that feels dressier than tights. I tend to vote for black in this situation. You've likely considered this option. These are a fun way to express yourself while still being work appropriate. The struggle with these bold options is that they can make your legs a focal point. A wider or bolder pattern draws more attention to your legs than a more discrete texture. Sometimes that's great. Sometimes, not so much. If you carry your weight on your bottom half, you'll want to balance that out by wearing an a-line skirt or drawing attention up near your face with colors or print up top.
Or, if your outfit already has plenty going on and you don't want to break things up visually any more than you already are, but you really love the idea of textured hosiery, go for nude fishnets.
Style message: If you stick with sheer black with a print that is true to your style, you'll communicate that you are sophisticated and fun. The crazier the colors and/or prints, the more fun, less sophisticated your message. It's all about finding the balance that is right for you.
4. Okay, here it is: Nude.
The lovely Kate Middleton started rocking nude nylons pre-baby. So, it's out there. But, I wouldn't say it's particularly stylish right now. If you wore nude nylons the first time around, you might be better off sticking with black. This is one of the times that wearing a trend you've already worn might not work very well. Nude hosiery is more of a nod to the 80's that is best done by folks who don't remember that decade very well. However, if you are feeling daring/ fashion forward/ you are a contrarian and so on, rock what you love. For those of you who have yet to wear them, be sure not to go with "tan."
If you are attracted to nude, but want something a little different, nude fishnets or nude textured nylons are the way to go. They are subtle compared with black or colored hose but are a little less grandma than the traditional nude.
Style message: Your fashion forward as in you are comfortable as an early adopter.
5. Bare Legs, Please and Thank You.
With in between weather, you are still free to rock a bare leg. A fashion forward option includes a mid thigh or mid calf winter coat, ankle or calf high boots and no hosiery. If that feels too bold for you, just go for a dress sans hosiery and ankle or calf high boots. If you are wearing over the knee boots, make sure to wear something long enough to cover the top portion of your thigh when you sit down. If that isn't happening, you'll probably be happier with tights, leggings or sheer hosiery underneath. It's all about your comfort level and what you are trying to communicate.
Style message: Bare legs are a casual option, to be sure. If you'd like be especially dressy or sophisticated, go for sheer black or navy. If that's too dressy, try a bare leg or opaque tight. Your shoe style will have a big impact on the final result.
And, while we're on the subject, I feel compelled to let you know that stirrup tights and toeless hosiery exist. I'd recommend these on very rare occasions and for the over the top ironic fashionista. Otherwise, don't be afraid to wear tights or sheer black (or navy) hosiery with open-toed ankle boots. As long as you don't see a seam or a reinforced toe, you are good to go.
Thoughts? Questions? Concerns? Let me know!
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