How to wear colored tights

Bright tights make me happy.

In lieu of my last post, which featured two girls in cheerful colors—one in bright pink tights—I received an email from a reader wondering how to pull off such vibrant leg wear, without resembling a clown…

Dear SP,

I love color, and I loved the picture of the two girls in your last post wearing such daring and bright colors. The pink tights are fantastic! It actually inspired me to purchase a pair of autumn-inspired rust-colored tights in hope I would be able to incorporate some pops of color into my mostly gray and black winter wardrobe. However, once I got them home I realized I had no clue how to wear them! I tried them on under a black skirt, which just didn’t look right. Then, I slipped them on under a jean skirt…much cuter, but then the dilemma of what shoes to wear arose. Help! I really want to get some wear out of these fun tights and would love your help on how to do so!



Dear AL~

Colored tights are tricky, especially when it comes to hues that are a little less obvious in their boldness, such as rust, dark cranberry or dark turquoise but are not at as straightforward as black or gray. So, my advice would be this:

  • Pair these tights with more neutral colors such as denim, like the skirt you mentioned, or my favorite option, gray skirts and dresses. By opting for a neutral color as your main article of clothing, it allows you to show off more of your brightly-colored legs without overwhelming the whole outfit.
  • For shoes, I would opt for brown, camel or tan boots. Depending on the look you are going for, try a Frye-type boot for more casual look, and high-heeled boots for dressier occasions. If you are not into boots or heels, jump on the “flats” bandwagon and slip on these cuties from Urban Outfitters to create a low-key look.

Great example from Paul Smith on how to neutralize bright tights.

If you decide you want to be a bit more daring and edgy, try donning bold fuchsia or purple tights to amp up a plain black dress. Complete the look with knee high black boots, round-toe black pumps or flats. Give these ideas a try and let me know how it goes! Good luck and remember, have fun! SPxx

I love this dress. And, those tights…gorgeous!

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