Thursday, November 11, 2010

Funky Legs

Currently, the Midwest is overly warm for November, but next week temperatures will return to normal and tights season will truly be upon us. Opaque black tights (or brown or navy) are a godsend. They instantly make legs slim, long, warm, and chic. But what about all that brightly colored and patterned legwear available? How do you incorporate funky legs into an outfit?

I follow the same color rules for tights as I do for other garments.

1. Punch it up – add a pop of color to a neutral outfit
2. Opposites attract – create interest with an opposing color
3. Watch your saturation – pair brights with brights and pastels with pastels
4. Be matchy-matchy (or not) – match the tights to the rest of your outfit or use them to bring intentional disharmony.
5. Break color taboos – mix black and brown or even red and purple (that combo isn't just for Red Hatters!)

Check out my Color Yourself Happy post for my color mantras.

Patterned tights can be the trickiest to wear. They can create interest or distraction. They can lengthen the leg line or stumpify. In general, vertical patterns are the easiest to wear. Beware horizontal stripes and argyle.

Small or subtle (like lace or herringbone) patterns are a great place to start.

My number one footwear choice for eye-catching tights is a tall boot. Even on the slimmest of legs, bright or patterned tights can create an optical illusion of wide calves (and thighs). By wearing a tall boot and choosing your hemline carefully, you can indulge in funky hosiery while flattering your figure.

If you’d like to show a little more leg, you aren't restricted to boots. I like booties, clogs, peeptoes, mary janes, and strappy shoes with tights. Even ballet flats are ok (although I don’t choose that look for myself).

However, I vehemently dislike the look of a regular pump (or court shoe) with bright or patterned tights. It’s a little too ‘80s for my taste.

I usually buy my solid tights from We Love Colors* but I'll pick up patterned pairs anywhere I can find them: Urban Outfitters, JC Penny, Claire's Boutique, TJ Maxx, Target.

Solid dark tights are the safe and slimming choice but a bright or patterned (or bright AND patterned) pair can bring new life to an old outfit.

Stay tuned for a post on layering legwear (as I've done in the above photo).

*UK readers: We Love Colors is offering free shipping to the UK on orders over $30, from now through November 20, 2010 (ending at 11:59 PM EST on that day). Enter gift code WELOVEUK at checkout to receive the discount. We Love Colors is not responsible for customs fees with this offer.


Mrs_L said...

Nice tutorial, and just in time for me :) I live in Northern Europe, first snow arrived today and tights (warm ones!) are must, not only funky fashion option.
I tried red & purple today, quite happy with this combo. With darker colour tights I dare to wear diff. kinds of shoes, but with lighter and monstered ones I agree with you: tall shoes are the best solution.

Sheila said...

Some great basic tips here! I'm a huge fan of layering legwear!

Ali Hval said...

This is such a great post! And I agree-- plain pumps with plain tights is just strange sometimes. I like to wear patterned tights with the rest of an outfit that is rather plain and paternless. :)

De Facto Redhead said...

You are so right about super-bright and/or patterned tights causing sudden and unfortunate calf-widening!

Unknown said...

Super funky, love the patterns best!

Brittney said...

I love your different colored/patterned tights! It makes me want to break out my bright purple ones too! But you are right, it has been rather warm in Cinci lately...(not complaining though! :))

Nina B. said...

Great post! I love tights season, and can never have enough pairs. Now I need a couple good pairs of booties because, like you, I don't like pairing tights with pumps or flats and sometimes I just don't feel like wearing boots.

ReaderRita said...

My most recent layering combo was bright red solid tights with a dark turquoise patterned tight over that.
I somewhat resembled a video test pattern. Me likee.

Charlotte said...

Super helpful post! I just barely bought tights for the first time this year and an still experimenting with them. This will help tons!

Yelena said...

I adore colored tights, and patterned and anything out of the ordinary. There's nothing like the classic black opaque tights, but a fun color always spices up any outfit! great tutorial ;)

Unknown said...

All these tights are so fun, I need more colors!

Londyn said...

This is one of my favorite posts of yours ever!!! I LOVE all the combos you show here. It makes me only want to wear fun tights forever!!