The New Rules of Hosiery

From tights to leggings, hoisery is hotter than ever! But what are the fashion guidelines for rocking legwear in a classy, age-appropriate way?

Fashion Consultant and co-founder of Shabby Apple, Emily McCormick, breaks down the new rules of hosiery.

Leggings, tights – even nylons! Hosiery is everywhere right now. There are so many patterns, colors and styling options. So – why are they such a big trend?

1. They are a relatively inexpensive way to change the entire look of an outfit. You can have a moss green dress with mustard heels, but if you throw on black fishnets? It looks like a totally different outfit.

2. Great for covering imperfections…especially darker colored tights.

3. It’s winter, it’s freezing and they can be warm!

But, I will caution: tights are not a free for all. Not all tights go with all outfits. Here are some basic fashion guidelines, when it comes to hosiery.

A shear nylon is a kick back to the 80s, that is back in a big way! This is appropriate for all ages…young and old. It’s sophisticated and sexy. It adds a little something, but not overstated…doesn’t look like you’re trying too hard.

o Wear nylons! The look of the nylon is classy, dressy and appropriate.

o Wear them with dress suits.

o Pair them with that little black dress in your closet. It is a recipe for style success!

o Right now you’re seeing a variety of fabrics. Nylons look good with everything from lace to taffeta, from sequins to a refined wool.

o Keep the shoe fairly basic.

o Don’t wear with open-toed shoes. This is a pretty hard and fast rule for most tights. Although I have seen some fishnets with open toes and it can be okay if the shoe is the same color. But, if it’s a question, don’t do it!

o Don’t go casual. These create a dressy look. If you’re wearing a casual jersey knit dress, consider a colored tight.

Tights are very popular right now! They are funkier than the nylon, and are great for hiding blemishes.

o Embrace color! A brightly colored tight (like mustard goes well with a variety of fabrics and patterns.

o Wear a lighter colored dress with darker colored tights.

o Wear with delicate fabrics or materials like lace and satin – that is to be left for the more formal nylons. These are too funky for that style. You can make it work sometimes.

o Wear tights if you can also wear a sheer nylon with the same outfit. In most cases, that means it is not the right look! It’s always a good rule of thumb.

o Pair loud shoes with a patterned tight. This can be overstimulating. So avoid multi-colored or patterned shoes. This look, however, can be really cute with a brightly colored solid tight.

Leggings can act as a really tight pant. Typically, they are thicker than tights…but not as thick as denim.

o Wear with big, chunky sweaters.

o Wear with denim shirts – a great look!

o Wear with an oversized or bulky top, to balance out the meagerness of your bottom-half.

o Wear leggings with skirts. Wear tights instead.

o Wear three-quarter length leggings. They are OUT. Ankle leggings are in.

o Wear shirts that are too short. Ideally, when paired with leggings, a shirt would cover your bottom. This is much more flattering – and no one wants to see the detail!

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