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Here’s How to Match Your Tights to Your Shoes

When the air starts to get cool and crisp, that’s the signal to start pulling your coats and sweaters out of storage. Investing in quality pieces with classic cuts will keep them in vogue for years to come, so you don’t need to worry about purchasing new ones every season. That said, there’s no reason why your outfits should look stale and boring.

One great way to break the monotony of your outfits is to throw on a pair of tights. You can shop tights in many different styles and colors, which is a lot more budget-friendly than upgrading your entire wardrobe. They’re perfect for showing off your shapely gams without exposing too much skin, and you can wear short items like dresses and skirts without having to bear the cold. 

Contrary to what you might think, tights pair well with many different shoe types, including designs that aren’t close-toed. Follow these principles to come up with pairings that express your style.

A Casual Upgrade

You may already be wearing compression tights for your workouts, but there’s a lot more you can do with this pairing. Sneakers make it easy to move around while providing one’s feet with appropriate support, making them a popular footwear option. With that in mind, adding tights to your favorite pair of sneaks can make them look more fashion-forward without sacrificing comfort. 

White sneakers go well with solid color tights as well as printed ones. To maintain a white theme, opt for footless or sheer tights to let a bit of skin peek through. Black tights and fishnets are great for complementing the active designs and mesh elements frequently used in athletic sneakers. If you prefer the look of sheer tights, choose a style with a black undertone or a subtle pattern to keep the look fresh and fun.

Take It to Work

Brogues, oxfords, and loafers are workwear staples for many wardrobes. The low heels keep this type of footwear comfortable, while the leather material lends a bit of formality. As such, these styles are appropriate for business casual attire.

When it comes to pairing leather footwear with tights, the delicate quality and subtle sheen of sheer tights compliment the hide. You can also pair these shoes with opaque tights in neutral colors or bright ones if your office has a more relaxed dress code. Additionally, tights offer a layer of protection when wearing new leather shoes, which can initially feel stiff and cause chafing on your ankles.

Choose Chunky

Think you can’t match tights to open-toed sandals? Platforms keep the look modern rather than seeming more like a throwback to the ’80s.

Platform shoes
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Though they may look intimidating, the chunky heels and thick soles ensure that your weight is more evenly distributed on the feet. Because of this, you’ll have an easier time maintaining your balance, making platform sandals more stable to move around in compared to normal heels. This also means you can retain the added height without sacrificing comfort. Additionally, the more level insole can keep you from slipping through the open toe. 

If you’re dressing up for a fun night out, a pair of strappy platforms will go well with fishnets, which you can get in floral and lace-like patterns. The thin webs of the tights contrast against the heaviness of the shoe design, resulting in a combination that is both bold and feminine.

Pop Some Color

Supposedly inspired by Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, color-blocking is the art concept of using colors on opposite sides of the color wheel. When applied to fashion, this means using two or three complementary colors in your clothing. That being said, this concept is also achievable with footwear and tights.

Tighats/leggings
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While colored shoes are most often worn with opaque black tights, you can go Avante-garde and pair them with bright-colored tights instead. For example, cherry red pumps would go well with cyan or mint-green tights, while blue sneakers look more energized with mustard yellow tights. If your shoes have a plain finish, you can also opt for an openwork tight design, as this can add textural contrast to your look.

March to Your Own Beat

Available in a wide variety of styles and lengths, boots are among the most versatile of footwear. They also go well with many different outfits, and they can even be paired with cute summer dresses and frilly frocks. Boots are designed to protect your feet from rain, snow, and cold. That’s why when the weather turns chilly, they’re a natural choice.

Whether you opt for punk-style combat boots with laces or sleek booties that just graze the ankle, boots are also the ultimate, fail-safe choice for matching with tights. You can also wear them with any kind of tights style, including opaque white ones and crazy prints, without ever looking dated. 

Stay on Point

They may be pinchy but oh so pretty! Pointed-toe pumps with matching stiletto heels add polish even to the most casual of outfits. The shoe shape creates a visual illusion that elongates your legs, and who wouldn’t want that?

Sheer black tights can add to the sexiness of your footwear; they show just enough skin without actually making your legs look too bare. Wearing tights also adds to the comfort of putting on this kind of heel. The fabric gathers your toes together and helps them to fit better into the narrow toe box of this style.

A Big Vogue No-no

So, are there any shoes that you should avoid pairing with tights? American Vogue certainly thinks so. Pairing nude tights with open-toe shoes are considered a fashion faux pas. This can look especially unsightly when the toe portions of the tights appear as a solid color. Additionally, pairing tights with open-toe sandals that feature a wide front can cause your feet to slip through the opening, which is uncomfortable and can make it difficult to walk around. 

Apart from that one prohibition, you can match almost any kind of shoe with your tights. For best results, choose a shoe and tights pairing that you truly love. After all, your confidence is key to making your entire outfit work for you.

Featured Photo by Thiébaud Faix on Unsplash