Stay sleek, stylish (& warm) with Tights

Stay sleek, stylish (& warm) with Tights

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Winter Fashion Report: Accessorize with Tights

On the east coast (and all across the country, I hear) it is COLD. Mother Nature has ushered in some seriously chilly weather. It seems like I’m always bundled up in my wool coat, hat and gloves.

But, just because it’s super cold doesn’t mean I want to be stuck wearing pants all winter. All those cute dresses and skirts need some winter wear and love too. That’s why I have built up a very stylish wardrobe of colored and patterned tights.

Of course, most everyone already knows about the wonders of black tights.

Want to ground a wild pattern like a floral or strong graphic print? Add black tights -they go with everything.

Want to make your legs look longer? Add black tights – pairing black tights and black shoes will help elongate your leg line.

We know all about that, but why do we always have to do basic black? One of the most popular posts I wrote on my blog Art of Accessories was about how to accessories with tights so I thought I’d update that theme with the gals at we heart this.

Believe it or not I own at least 24 pairs of tights. I’ve got my basic black, navy and chocolate brown but what about purples, pinks, greens and even plaids? How do I fit patterns and colors into a professional wardrobe?

photos: dana for we heart this

I use colorful tights (intro image and above left) to help perk up my wardrobe neutrals. This camel dress is a basic wool shift that I picked up at Target (every woman needs a classic and simple shaped dress in their closet because you can dress it up or down and it can go with anything). The camel is a great neutral and I have my favorite camel cut out shoes with a snakeskin heel from Chinese Laundry. I decided to play up the colors in my scarf and wear a magenta cardigan and purple tights. It gives it a bit more punch than just black or chocolate brown tights and the contrast with the purple and the camel really plays up the cutouts in the shoes. Using colored tights can be great to accentuate a cutout detail or peep toe in a shoe.

A leopard print tight sounds wild I know, but they are oh so versatile. A basic work outfit – a fave teal sweater and pencil skirt gets a sexier alternative with these leopard print tights (at left) and a pair of chocolate brown oxfords. The not-too-busy pattern adds another layer of texture to what had been a pretty clean (sort of boring) outfit.

Not ready just yet for leopard? Try a great plaid, metallic or even a lace tight to add a graphic pattern to basic colors. Play with the colors in the tights and match them to your outfit (the leopard print tights are grey, green and brown just like my outfit).

Match Your Tights To Your Shoes
Just like a nude shoe can elongate your leg line, so can matching your tights to your shoes. For a weekend outfit I pair shades of gray together to help make a cleaner line between my leg and shoes. Matching my tights to my oxfords has the same effect as wearing black tights and black shoes together.

For me, tights are a necessary winter accessory. They not only keep me warm but they also add a bit of punch to my outfit when bare legs or thin pantyhose just aren’t appropriate. Best of all, with some shopping hunting powers, you can find all sorts of great deals on this fashionable must-have.

My three favorite places to find tights are Marshalls, and online at and We Love Colors. Marshalls (and similar stores like TJ Maxx, Ross, etc) always have designer brand tights at a significant discount. has a wonderful assortment of patterned and colored tights. They will range all the way up to $30 but you can find a great metallic, lace or plaid tight on their website. Finally, over at We Love Colors you’ll find largest selection of solid colors I’ve ever seen. With 51 solid colors to choose from (including fishnets) and tie dye tights, you can match your tights to every mood and outfit in your closet.

we heartsters, are you rocking the tights this winter? And tell me, what’s the boldest color tight you’ve ever worn?

DWJ (Dana) is an accessories and beauty blogger for The Art of Accessories and is also sharing her love of cooking on Crumbs & Creativity.

19 thoughts on “Stay sleek, stylish (& warm) with Tights”

  1. @dwj1, as another East Coast girl, I’m getting mighty bored with the pants I’ve been wearing to work all winter, so I really, really love this post! I especially appreciate the photos you provided to illustrate how to incorporate tights while staying professional. I never would have dreamed leopard could work for the office, but it clearly does, and that alone makes me so happy!

  2. I love tights. That is all I have been wearing lately since my pants are all tight right now. haha

    I have been sticking to the plain colors though, black, gray, purple.

    I want to get some patterned ones now.

    Great post @dwj1

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  4. I am pretty conservative with the tights – black and dark gray. I need to amp it up some! Those gray leopard may be my gateway tights to a more exciting wardrobe of legwear! :)

  5. I love the look of tights, but do not feel comfortable wearing them. I have chub rub & the SWISH! SWISH! sound that the tights make when I walk leave me embarrassed. Does anyone know of *quiet* tights??

  6. @jacquelyn I actually have some thick thighs myself and have the chub rub but don’t notice it in the We Love Colors tights. They are the softest tights and their material isn’t like others. You might want to try those ;)

  7. @dwj1 – chub rub, tee hee.

    @jacquelyn – I’m with you, I hate that sound. I always notice it more with panty hose (aka hot dog suits) So I wonder if it’s tights with a higher nylon content (versus cotton) that make more of racket?

    I love me some Hue tights! Holy heck, me and @tyna lived in them when we lived in Philly. We were proper lil’ grunge girls, hue tights, cut off jean shorts and big ol’ boots. I haven’t had a pair in a while though. @dwj1 thanks for reminding me I need to get some pronto!

  8. @dwj1 – your pics look so cute!!! You really rock the tights!!!

    I’ve been feeling kind of lazy with the winter clothing lately–I’ve been doing jeans and sweaters, which I know can get boring. I think I’m going to try to mix it up a little bit.

    Btw, I am now in search of some cute sweater tights—do y’all who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s remember those? They were a thicker tight that had a sweater knit to them? They were THE balls…

  9. @djw1 – This is a great article. I love tights! They help keep me warm and conceal my pale legs. My favorite brands that I tend to gravitate to are Spanx and DKNY. They both have been very durable and stood the test of time. In fact, I even throw them in the washing machine with my other delicates. However, I do hang them up to dry.

    All of my tights are in basic colors like grey, chocolate and black. I have some patterned ones and one pair that is reversible. There is nothing like a multi tasker that has black on one side and brown on the other for travel.

  10. I LIVE in tights, I even wear then under my work pants in the winter, because I live in the truly arctic city of Minneapolis. You know, the town were our high is suppose to be 5 degrees tomorrow. I wear them a lot in the summer too, because I have mega pale legs and don’t want to get sunburns (yet another affect of living on a mostly frozen tundra).

  11. Lovely post @dwj1! When I wear tights in the winter, I always double them. One thin pair with one thick pair is my favorite combination. I found a thick pair at a store called LF that has fleece lining! It’s pretty genius. My favorite opaque tights so far are from Express. I rarely wear colored tights, only because the rest of my outfit is usually colorful. I stick with black and sometimes gray!

  12. Your outfits are ADORABLE! I’m a huge fan of tights, especially tights with boots or booties :) I usually stick to the boring neutrals (gray, dark blue, black and brown), but maybe I’ll buy a plum or dark green pair to mix it up! I own some hot pink ones but gave them away because I was too chicken to wear them.

  13. First, I am so loving that action photo (and the rainbow tights) Amanda @mandalemm – that looks like so much fun!

    As @stef mentioned, I’ve loved tights for years. I never stopped wearing black tights during the winter, especially patterned ones. But I am guilty of only wearing solid blacks.

    Thanks for this post @dwj1 and for helping me remember what a great accessory tights can be. I needs a few bold colors and patterns – and with this guide figure out how to wear them as an adult, not looking like I raided my nieces closet.

  14. Great article – thanks @dwj1! I just got a pair of Hue argyle tights for Christmas (black, gray, and cranberry). I’m super excited to wear them after reading this! Now I just need to get a good skirt to go with them – I only have long skirts since having my baby and that just won’t do…but I can’t wear mini’s either…hmmm.

  15. Aw, @dwj1, you look great in these photos! I am a tights addict myself–sparkles to leopard to brights to cable to sweater to herringbone to chevron striped to argyle–I got ’em all. The best thing about them is that they make a plain black dress or khaki safari dress or ANY dress absolutely unique. My current fave outfit? My simple lightweight cream cotton shirtdress with olive sweater tights, a wool “ski-type” sweater vest and over-the-knee brown riding boots.

  16. Cuuuuute!

    I love tights but have yet to really jump into patterned tights. I just started experimenting with brighter colors last year like fuschia and I love it. Love the leoparad print!

  17. @jacquelyn I wear fleece-lined tights from Harriet Carter and they have not yet exhibited chub rub. They’re not too expensive either but only come in black.

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