How to: Wear Tights

Every so often, a fashion trend emerges so versatile that it does not come with a set of rules. Over time, through trail and serious errors in judgement, an unwritten rule book begins to form. The trouble is, not everyone seems to get a copy of the book. I don’t know if it’s that the people committing fashion atrocities with tights are set in their ways, particularly oblivious to fashion media or perhaps, simply don’t own a full length mirror and their friends are too polite to say anything. Sometimes, it seems that fashion messages get lost in transition, but not to fret, for I am here to help.

The first rule

The first and most important rule for wearing tights is: tights are not a substitute for pants. Whether you are wearing a long top or a short dress, it must be long enough to cover your fun bits. When you leave the house wearing tights with a shirt that comes only to your waist, you might as well be walking around naked from the waist down because tights literally leave nothing to the imagination. Tights are meant to make an outfit that might be a little too risqué for a location or season, appear more refined, not to make a trendy outfit look tacky.

tights as tights

Tights worn right - as tights

The second rule for tights is: what was designed to be opaque, should remain opaque. As I have yet to meet one person whom ‘one size fits all’ actually fits correctly, I am aware that this is easier said than done. On a recent trip to IKEA, I saw a woman wearing only tights and a hooded sweat shirt that was not nearly long enough. I could tell that she was wearing only tights, with no underwear, because her tights had gone see-through and I could see – everything. Don’t let this poor woman’s fate befall you too.

Tights opaque when they should be

Tights remaining opaque

The third rule is: not every trend is for every body. I adamantly believe that everyone can be beautiful if you look hard enough, but that doesn’t mean everyone looks good in every trend. Before you go out on the town in your new tights, make sure you can pull them off. Look in the mirror, ask a friend you can trend for an honest opinion and try wearing them under different outfits if your first attempts don’t pan out so well. If you can wear tights with elegance and ease, don’t assume you can work any crazy colour or pattern.

pulling off the fad of tights

Correct with confidence

Rule the forth: don’t be a unitard. This rule is adapted from the rule that states you shouldn’t show off too many goods at once. If you are wearing a short skirt or shorts, you shouldn’t wear a revealing top and vice versa. This rule applies to tights, however, in that if you are wearing something tighter on bottom you should wear something looser on top. Forgo this rule and risk looking as if you have donned a leotard for your upcoming gymnastics routine.

no unitards or leotards here

Smarty no-pants

As with any fashion trend, the keys to wearing it well are, don’t over do it and know when it’s done. Fads come, go and evolve. Know when to let go, and know when to adapt. Fashion is fluid and really, there are no rules when it comes down to it, just tips for you to avoid looking back at your pictures 20 years from now and saying to yourself, what was I thinking?