Tights get a bad rap. Indeed, they're regularly associated with prudish women of a certain age, but they can also be surprisingly fun and experimental. If someone time-warped to only a few years ago I would've vehemently proclaimed that tights could never be cool. But here we are, on the tail end of 2020 when anything could happen, and I'm eating my words.
The first time I hopped onto the patterned tights wave, I wore them with a floral midi dress and received compliments the entire day. In all of my outfit's simplicity—literally just a dress and tights—it looked liked I spent much more time meticulously styling myself. And that's the beauty of this trend; slip them underneath a dress, pants, or shorts if your feeling fancy, and you have an instantly cool outfit that does the heavy lifting for you.
Lately, I've been throwing on patterned tights to jazz up cropped jeans in place of socks, or with sandals as a way to get more wear out of my summer shoes. Now that you're privy to my incognito obsession with pattern tights, it's about time you check out what all the fuss is about for yourself. Keep scrolling to shop all of the best ones to buy now.
Black and Sheer
Here's a good place to start if you're a bit timid to take patterned tights head-on (it's perfectly okay to wade the waters before deciding if a trend works for you!). Black on black print is a nice beginner-friendly piece that will be much easier to style than bold colors straight out of the gate.
When you're ready to amp it up a little bit, try these which have a more contrasted sheer effect.
It turns out matching tights and dresses are a perfect pair. So much so that it was a major trend on Copenhagen's S/S 21 runways. While these from Rodebjer are technically leggings, there's nothing stopping you from taking a cue and trying the same outfit combo with regular tie-dye stockings.
Floral tights are also another cool alternative when trying out the matching dress and tights trend. Last year, Ganni and Swedish Stockings teamed up for a sustainably made, zero waste collection of printed stockings. Unfortunately, the matching dress is sold out (you gotta act fast with these things!), but you can still get your hands on a few pairs of the eco-conscious range of tights.
Unapologetically bold tights are easier to pull than you might think. If you're still mulling over how to incorporate them into your wardrobe, when it doubt, try color-blocking or mismatching prints. Your audaciousness will be appreciated.
As far as we're concerned, animal prints are neutral. They look especially amazing with a sleek leather dress or a Matrix-style trench. Remember, there are varying degrees of animal print like Junya Watanabe's opaque leopard tights to Commando's black sheer versions, pick how intensely you want to go, and don't be afraid to have fun with it!