Legwear for Fall/Winter – Do This, Not That

Faithful reader Emily asked the following:

With cooler weather here (or so it seems) – what’s your expert opinion on tights? Bare legs just seem so wrong (or brave) as the temperature drops. Inquiring minds want to know. . .

Well, my expert opinion is to go with what your body needs.  There is nothing stylish about frostbite on the legs!

In general, if legwear is not nude, it should match either your shoe or whatever color dominates the skirted section of your outfit for the tallest look.

Let’s look at examples of legwear that works and doesn’t work.

Note: Forgive me…it has been challenging finding dresses and skirts with legwear, let alone on normal sized woman.

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The right choice of legwear can make all the difference as a compliment to your skirt or dress. In all of these cases, it’s about pairing the right weight of the tight with the fabric of the dress.

  • A – A medium-sheer tight paired with a heeled shoe works great with a medium-weight knit jersey dress.
  • B – A sheer nylon works well for a dressier dress or skirted outfit, along with a dressy pump.  This particular dress could also be paired with a nude nylon.
  • C – Similar to look A, this medium-sheer tight works well with the dress.  By dressing in all one color, the model looks tall and slender.
  • D – An opaque tight works great paired with a more casual sweater dress and casual footwear.
  • E – A medium-sheer or a darker tight can work with this casual dress and boot outfit.

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And now, a few examples of what to avoid.

  • A – This dark opaque tight is a strange match for what looks to be a dress with a pretty sheen.  I would rather see this dress paired with a sheer nylon and dressy pumps for an elegant and sophisticated look.
  • B – While the dress is casual, this dark tight doesn’t work because the weight of the dress fabric is too light and flowy.  I would opt for a dark, sheer tight with a casual heel.
  • C – Technically this casual sweater dress should work with casual opaque tights.  But instead this looks like two posts sticking out of a tent.  If you have a plain loose-fitting knit number, this might be an opportunity to dress it up with a medium grey striped tight and dark grey casual boots.  Or you could leave this dress in the pajama drawer and move along…
  • D – What’s wrong with this picture?  An off-black tight with a weird sheen.  It could be all about the photography in this particular case, but you know when you pull those black nylons out of the package and they look weird?  Stop buying them.  This dress would be great with a medium-sheer true black or charcoal grey tight and pumps.

Lastly, some notes on legwear that I could not find good examples of and other miscellaneous thoughts.

  • Fishnets. I love a fishnet tight as long as it’s a fine (a.k.a. small) fishnet.  The larger it gets, the closer to the Playboy mansion you look.  I think they work in black, brown, grey or nude shades.  Unless you’re at a costume party or you’re paying homage to Betsey Johnson, steer clear of neon.
  • Multi-colored tights. Don’t fall victim to this trend.  I don’t think it’s “in” right now but it never needs to be in your drawer.
  • Patterned tights. I like the idea of patterned tights – especially with a heavier knit.  Opt for ones that provide vertical lines as these will slim and elongate (I almost typed “slimongate”) your legs.
  • Chunky tights. Chunky tights WILL make your legs look heavier.  Wear with caution.
  • Trouser socks. I love them.  They should generally match your pants or your shoes.  A pattern along the outside of the leg is perfectly acceptable.  Stock up and wear them with shoes that have a higher vamp (the opening you put your foot into sits further up on the top of your foot) or with shoes that have a strap.
  • Legwear care. If you’re not big on hand-washing your legwear, put them in a lingerie bag and wash them on delicate.  I wash mine each time I wear them, like socks.

If you’re feeling lost with your legwear options, Fabuliss can help!

{ Fabuliss helps women and men learn how to create and shop for outfits that align with their personal brand.  Color, fit, closets and shopping.  Fabuliss.com or 612-554-4629 }


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8 Responses to “Legwear for Fall/Winter – Do This, Not That”

  1. Emily Schroeder Orvik Says:

    Thank you – and wow – I’m so happy as I don’t think there is much I’ll need to get rid of from the “sock and stocking” drawer this fall!

  2. Paul Says:

    Great site. hopefully it will get more women to wears pantyhose and tights. its a shame women stopped wearing them.

  3. Jen Says:

    So basically, the more opaque a stocking is, the more casual an outfit it goes with. That is something I never thought about. Good to know!

  4. Polly Says:

    I love the patterned tights advice – I’m shopping for a pair to match a new dress that I wasn’t sure what to pair with. Great advice & blog.

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