How to Wear Patterned Tights

Tights used to be plain and neutral, but now they are available in an array of styles, including vivid colors and creative prints and patterns. However, it is very easy to get it wrong, and a pair of patterned tights can easily draw attention to your problem areas. So, keep on reading on how to wear patterned tights in flattering and stylish ways.

tights with sheer blouse tights with all black outfit

When purchasing patterned tights, consider the time of year you’re going to wear them. Thin, sheer patterned tights may provide a great style, but they provide no warmth. On the other hand, there are tights usually denser in color and provide warmth that are best worn during the winter and autumn months like thick, wool, or jersey style of tights. Also, there are tights made from lace and cotton fabrics to provide some style, covering, and comfort.

cute skirt with plaid top cute skirt with studded jacket

When wearing patterned tights, make sure you’re getting the right fit that flatters you. If they’re too small, they will look distorted and unflattering; if they’re too big, they will look baggy and unflattering. Even one size smaller can cause discomfort, visible lines, and bulges at the hips and waist. Tights should be smooth all the way up the leg and layers of wrinkles at the ankle or bulges at the thighs should be avoided at all costs.

patterned tights with all black outfit patterned tights with sweater and shorts patterned tights with white outfit

Sheer tights that have patterns such as polka dots or fishnets are great for adding texture to your outfit when bright colors are not appropriate. Choose smaller repeating patterns for the most subtle look and let your skin peek through to show texture. If your outfit is made up of bold colors, then tights in dark tones are likely to be the best choice to avoid looking overdone. Tone-on-tone looks like black tights with a black dress is the easiest way to wear this look. Also, consider the event you’re going to as bright patterned tights are not suited to a formal evening event, a business gathering, or even a funeral.

colorful blazer with black outfit black patterned stockings colorful outfit with patterned tights polka dots stockings with yellow outfit printed dress with cardigan

While you must tone down an outfit and wear a pair of sensible tights in formal settings, you can still be daring and bold in your casual street style. Spice up your simple outfit with colorful patterned tights if you feel quirky and adventurous. Make the outfit look intentional with studded tights, or those with small rhinestones that can be used to add glamor and sparkle. But, if you’re just into mixing prints, wear patterned tights in neutral shades with your printed outfit to create some interest and harmony.

leather jacket with navy dress red coat with patterned tights

Avoiding a very busy, chaotic appearance is wise. When wearing textured and patterned tights, do not wear a lot of textured ensembles or accessories that will just overdo your looks. Stick with the tights as being the focus of the look while playing with other colors, but maintaining a simple texture, for the rest of your look. If the dress is patterned, then patterned or embellished tights should not be worn. A fur scarf or leather jacket may look great with a pair of patterned tights, but a lace dress, fur coat, sequin skirt, and such with patterned tights will just make you look ridiculous. If there are too many strong textures in the outfit then you can easily be overwhelmed, and it’s not particular flattering if there is far too much going on.

pink skirt with black blouse neutral outfit with patterned tights graphic print dress with leather jacket combat boots with preppy outfit

When accessorizing, keep your overall look simple. Be careful wearing rough rings or an embellished purse with your patterned tights as you’ll just rip your tights after an hour. When looking for great footwear to match with your patterned tights, go for closed ones like boots, classic pumps, and such. Peep toe shoes and open sandals won’t look stylish with patterned tights so much. Also, if you have delicate tights on, then the pressure of having your feet pushed through any type of peep toe you wear will probably make them rip and look awful.


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