Like many city dwellers, opaque black tights are one of my winter wardrobe staples. They provide a little bit of warmth and enhance the look of tall boots and heels. They also permit me to skip shaving my legs for a day or two without shame (call it a bonus). But here are a couple of tips to help your tights look chic, not childish.
First off, choose the thickest, darkest tights you can find. Thinner tights spread out across the thicker parts of your legs and draw attention where you don’t want it directed. The darker, thicker tights are more slimming, and sleeker looking. Thus, I recommend buying a tight with 70 denier (a measure of threads per inch) or higher.
Second, I advocate something I call the two-out-of-three rule for wearing tights, which helps keep the tights looking classy instead of frumpy. Essentially the “rule” dictates that your tights must either match the color of your shoes or the color of your dress/skirt. Is it all-knowing? No, but it’s a great place to start when putting together an outfit that includes tights.
Wearing a gray skirt with black tights? Wear black shoes. Pairing a burgundy pump with navy tights? Wear a navy skirt or dress. And while you might think that the rule permits you to pair a black shoe with gray tights and a black skirt, you will achieve a more sophisticated look if the matching items are touching.
Here are three pairs of tights in different price points that give you the right level of darkness and thickness.
If you don’t mind spending a bit more to get a better-known brand, I also like the Hanes Blackout tights for $12.
Plus-size: Asos Curve 120 Denier Tights ($15)
This post first appeared on Forbes.com’s Style File, a source for professional fashion advice for women.