I received a request from Martha S. recently to write an article on how to wear tights for fall and winter. This is a very good topic so here are some of my thoughts.

Why you should show off your beautiful legs

For many women over 40 their legs are true assets. Apart from the knees they are not prone to aging so quickly and it can add a lot of sex appeal to your outfit. Therefore, the general advice for many women over 40 is to show some leg for a hip and youthful appearance.  Although this is easy in the summer, it can be challenging for women like me who easily get cold. Tights are a perfect solution, but how can you wear them and still look hip and youthful?


I really like opaque tights and you can get them in any colour these days. With the color blocking trend still going strong, you can really play with the color of your tights and make it fun. If you want a more conservative look than go with the colour of your shoes or skirt. Wolford Velvet Deluxe are good ones and so are Spanx Tight End Reversible Tights, which have a different color at the back. Great neutral colours to own would be black, grey, brown and navy. Do not wear opaques in nude and make sure you create a nice balance with the colours in your outfit.

black opaque tights

I like how Jessica Quirk from What I Wore creates a very graphical look with the colours of her clothes and black tights. You can do this with different coloured tights as well so long as they are not too see-through. Although Jessica matches her shoes to her tights on this occasion, this kind of look can look equally great with shoes in a different colour that comes back in the outfit.

wearing tights with colour

If you like to use pattern or colour, you can do so as long as your tights are in balance with the rest of your outfits. See how the tights don’t stand out in the image on the left? It blends in nicely with the rest of the outfit. Catherine from Not Dressed as Lamb also creates a colourful graphical look with this outfit and her tights fit right into it.

Sheer tights

Sheer tights look best in (bearly) black or very see through nude. I feel that this, together with fishnets, is the only way to wear nude tights if you want to create a modern look. Sheer nude tights that are frequently recommended are the Donna Karen nudes. In the below picture sheer black tights look very chic with the yellow dress. The Duchess of Cambridge has been credited for bringing nude tights back into favour.

sheer tights


If you want to up the sex appeal even more then this is always a consideration, but be sure to keep the rest of your outfit very classy. I would stick to black or nude only for fishnets.

pattern and fishnet tights

Catherine from Not Dressed as Lamb uses colour and tights to create a completely different look with this dress. the dotted tights create a quirky creative look, while the fishnets are chic for the office.


Flower patterns and printed pants are very much the trend right now and you may want to incorporate this trend with your tights. However, do so with care. Using patterned tights can very quickly look wrong or trashy or just draw too much attention on your legs and away from your face. If you like to use pattern, I would stick to a subtle pattern in one colour. Make sure that the pattern blends in with your outfit and it can look great. Here is how I wore printed tights recently.

burgundypartyoutfit (1 of 6)opt burgundypartyoutfit (3 of 6)opt

Knee highs

Knee highs can be great under trousers and some long skirts. Follow the same guidelines as for tights. Of course you should never be able to see the end of your knee-highs.

What to avoid?

  • Flesh coloured opaque tights. These are very aging and generally don’t give you a flattering look. Some designers feel that you should avoid flesh coloured tights altogether, although I believe that very thin and natural sheer tights can look very nice with the right clothes.
  • Never show your reinforced toes of tights and knee highs in shoes.
  • In fact avoid wearing tights with sandals altogether.
  • Don’t wear socks over tights. That should be left to the teenagers.
  • 2 hue tights, too bold patterns, too bright tights.
  • Any runs and holes.
  • Also be sure to shave your legs before wearing tights.

These were my guidelines on how to wear tights in a nutshell. Use them as rough guidelines only and use your own creative flair to create a great look! Below are a few tights that you can buy online now.

Below are some suggestions on what tights to buy. Good online shops include:

Did I cover everything? What are your tips for wearing tights?

Feature image by Wolford Velvet Deluxe

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