You asked for it, and you got it! How to make your tights work for work.
Styling your look from the waist down, there are three elements: dress/skirt, tights, shoes. Two of these three elements should always be the same color, and those two elements should touch. Here are some examples.
shoes and tights match // dress and tights match
I prefer when the shoes and tights match. I think it’s an incredibly sleek look that slims, lengthens the leg, and looks more professional. And whether you’re 18 or 45, you can make this look work during the winter months.
The Best Tights.
Your tights need to be as dark and opaque as possible. For a whole explanation on denier and opacity, as well as a plethora of recommendations, see this post from last month. The short version of the story is that these 100 denier Spanx Luxe Tights are my favorite. They’re thick enough, dark enough, and gosh darnit people like them!
The Shoes You Need.
As I mentioned, my favorite ensemble for work is black tights with black shoes. Period. There are three types of shoes that work best with this look: pumps, ankle boots, and tall boots.
Notice I didn’t say flats? I think flats and tights can look very juvenile, especially round-toed flats. So if you must wear flats, I recommend pointed or almond toe flats. Ankle straps, suede, and embellishments need not apply. Thinks super basic, like these Sam Edelman flats.
As for the pumps, round toe or pointed toe, dealer’s choice. But much like the flats, simpler is better for work. You almost want the tights to blend in with the shoes like they’re an extension of your body.
These Trotters Gigi heels are the ultimate basic round toe. They remind me of my beloved J.Crew Mira Pumps, which they no longer make and I own four pairs of for safety.
For a pointed toe, these Kate Spade Licorice Pumps are the ultimate classic. If you need a more affordable shoe, these Nine West Flax Pumps are a good choice. Prefer a lower heel? These Michael Kors Flex heels are simple and comfortable.
In the market for boots? If you work in a casual office, you can get away with these gorgeous Frye flat, riding boots. For an unembellished, classic tall boot, these Nine West Fallon boots are the clear winner. They’re the sleekest option you could hope for in an affordable price.
If you prefer ankle boots, these Kate Spade kitten boots are a lot of fun and they’ll blend seamlessly with your tights. These Dune black suede boots give a similar look for half the price. This Marks and Spencer leather stiletto boot also caught my eye.
The key to making tights work for work is making them look as unobtrusive as possible. You want it to look like your cloaked your legs in black by creating a seamless look. So get the darkest tights and the simplest shoes and add other pieces as needed.
There’s a bit of confusion that I want to clear up. Just because I used black tights as an example doesn’t mean you can only wear black tights. Black are the most professional option and the easiest, but that doesn’t mean other colors aren’t perfectly appropriate. Navy, grey, dark brown, all great options. In my younger years, I used to wear a dark purple dress and dark purple tights.
Navy, grey, dark brown, all great options. In my younger years, I used to wear a dark purple dress and dark purple tights. If you do navy tights, navy shoes. Grey tights, grey shoes. It’s just tougher to get a good color match as the shade of your shoes will vary from the tights (most of the time), so just get as close as you can.