As discussed, over on Instagram, I asked what festive style conundrums were bothering people in this party-heavy portion of the year. And one of the main concerns was whether you CAN wear tights with heeled sandals – and if so, how?!
Now I’m not a huge fan of style rules (I prefer people finding their own style that makes THEM happy), but there are a few guidelines that I personally stick to when it comes to hosiery and heels – so I thought I’d share.
YOU CAN WEAR OPEN TOE SHOES WITH TIGHTS:
Yes! You can! In fact, this is my personal favourite.
Seventies-style platforms, such as the ones above, work brilliantly with contrast coloured opaque tights.
I LOVE Falke’s 50-denier coloured opaques. They’re matte, but have an intensity of colour that makes pattern matching easy. Great choices for alternatives to black are the Barolo (maroon), Marine (navy) and Military (khaki). They cost £19 per pair and you can buy them online here, or at selected department stores (although department stores only tend to have a limited colour choice).
BRIGHT TIGHTS WILL NOT MAKE YOU LOOK LIKE A CHILDREN’S TV PRESENTER:
You may have a fear that in choosing brightly coloured tights, you will look a little like a CBeebies presenter, or someone appearing in a pantomine. But honestly, don’t worry.
A good tip is to choose your colour by EITHER matching it to your shoe, OR picking it out of your outfit.
Choose the base colour of your skirt or dress, or a predominant shade within the print of that item. That way, the eye connects the two shades and the whole look is seamless.
This is why it can appear a bit jarring if you wear a dark opaque tight with a lighter shoe, because the eye can’t connect the colours anywhere and the contrast is too stark.
MATCH YOUR TIGHTS COLOUR TO YOUR SHOES:
In the vast majority of cases, matching the colour of your tights to the colour of your shoe is a great ‘rule’ to follow.
The most popular choice of tights is black – and thick, black opaque tights work best with a black, closed-toe shoe or boot (UNLESS you want to wear with a Seventies style platform sandal, which pretty much go with most styles of tight).
So if, for example, you’re wearing a classic black court shoe, go for a black tight.
Noteable mention has to go to Falke’s Seidenglatt 80-denier opaque tight, which has a slightly shiner finish. They are a brilliant tight – I used to stock up on these when I was working in an office, rather than now, when I mainly wear loungewear as a freelancer at home!
One thing to note is that I haven’t included a specific section on shaping tights on this post. I personally don’t like heavy shaping underwear, but have tried these from M&S (AFFILIATE LINK) and would recommend.
PATTERNED TIGHTS WILL ADD WARMTH AND PERSONALITY TO A SIMPLE OUTFIT:
And, they’re REALLY cool! Katie Holmes (above right) wore classic sheer polka dots with a Saint Laurent dress recently – and they’re the hosiery item I always buy an extra pair of if I spot them (SORRY) when out shopping.
If you can get your head around their slightly Eighties vibe, sheer tights like these are a really great option.
Because they are sheer, they work well with most shoe styles – from strappy stilettos (perfect if you don’t want to go bare-legged to a party, but neither do you want to wear heavy opaques), lace up brogues, through to chunkier boots teamed with dresses.
I would say that black sheers do tend to work better with black or dark hued shoes, simply because the contrast is quite so stark. However, there are myriad coloured sheers available out there. The Falke spot tights I have recommended below are a brand with lots of different colourways in the style.
For maternity options, check out this pair of sheer spots from ASOS.
If your shoe colour is lighter, say for example, a neutral beige, choose a skin-coloured sheer – either plain or with a slight pattern on it.
I LOVE Heist Studio’s ‘Nude’ tights, which come in seven representative shades.
They’re consistently raved about as the best tights out there, thanks to a high thread count (5000 yards rather than the more usual 500), they’re soft and they keep their shape. Also there isn’t a central seam (it’s under the foot), so they don’t snag against your toenails. More expensive, but look after them and they’re a great investment.
AND DON’T JUST STICK TO TIGHTS, HAVE FUN WITH SOCKS TOO:
Trouser lovers can obviously stick a cool pair of tights on underneath your trousers, either for warmth, or for those all important couple of inches flashed at ankle-level. But there is also the option – if you want to make a real style statement – to opt for the disco sock.
The disco sock is generally ankle height, contains a smattering of lurex thread, or fishnet and can be worn with flat shoes – and if you’re feeing party-ready – heels (see above inspiration shots).
It’s a marmite trend – you’ll either love it or hate it – but, you could start off with something simple, such as teaming a pair with a trouser suit and lace-up brogue for the office, or jeans, sweatshirt and trainers for a casual look. Starting off small builds up your confidence – and then one day you may well think ‘tonight’s the night for the heels and the disco socks!’
Your outfit, your rules.