Tuesday, June 12, 2012

So you want to wear stockings...


I've seen lots of summery things in the blogosphere lately. I know what most of you are probably thinking. Why is she writing a post about stockings in summer? You probably all think I live in a constant state of air-conditioning. nope. I just live in Australia. (It is winter here at the moment)

I asked a good friend of mine what she would like me to do some posts about. And she said stockings. It had never really occurred to me before now that there isn't really an education about how to wear tights in most fashion magazines. So I thought "Why not?"

One thing I found a little difficult when drafting this was deciding whether to categorise the guidelines for wearing tights under the type of stockings or the item the guideline referred to. I decided to go with the latter. Otherwise I think I'd repeat myself too much.

I think this is one of the biggest dilemmas I have when I want to wear stockings. Finding shoes that match the outfit and work well with stockings can be difficult. So I thought I'd include some tips on what colours and textures work together.

-Black opaque stockings (Not-see-through) should be worn with black shoes.
I can't lie, I have seen them worn with other colours, but when your stockings are a block colour wearing another block colour (That isn't the same as the other one)shoe can be a bit scary looking. Note that this rule only applies to opaque stockings. If you've got a pair of black sheer tights or shimmer tights you can get away with a large range of colours, because the black isn't so harsh. Also, this only applies to full length tights. Footless tights can be worn with other colours because of the patch of skin visible between the shoes and the stockings.

-Shimmer stockings suit Shiny shoes
Shimmer stockings can look a bit OTT if you don't pair them with something equally shiny. Patent Leather, Metallic colours or shoes dowsed in glitter/fake gems look great with shimmer stockings. Velvet and suede just don't seem to look right...

-Coloured Tights Should be Worn with black, brown or metallic.

-When in doubt wear skin tone
 Skin coloured tights can be worn with most colours of shoes because they're... well they're skin colour.

Another common problem as far as stockings (and shoes are concerned is whether or not you need to wear socks.

-Cable/knitted tights shouldn't need socks.

-Most stockings worn with lace-up shoes or boots will need socks
The exception: Brogues/oxfords may not need it depending on how well they fit.

-Be careful that the colours actually work together
Some tights especially bright coloured ones can be difficult to pair with socks

-Tunics and Over sized Tees/Sweaters should be worn with leggings
Leggings are a pretty good coverage. The are opaque and are thicker than most brands of tights, which means that they don't show off your bulges as much as tights do. There's nothing I hate more than seeing someone who is wearing a tunic that doesn't completely cover their bottom and the shape of everything showing because they aren't wearing proper leggings.

-Leggings are only for those hems that sit above the knees
The only time I have seen them worn with skirts that were longer, that looked OK was in a magazine and the skirt had cut-outs around the middle.

It's a bit of an issue in winter; trying to manage all those layers and do so without looking busy. To top it off, there now seems to be a bit of a market in patterned stockings.

-Pattern +Plain
Try and keep the number of patterns (and textures) in your outfit to a minimum. If you've got patterned tights, go for an outfit of block coloured garments and plain shoes. If you've got a patterned dress stick to block coloured tights.

-Don't add too many colours.
You don't want to wear a rainbow, trust me. It can get scary.

This is a tricky one. Some people find it acceptable, while others think it looks silly. Really it's up to you. I think black footless tights, look best under shorts.


-Invest in something called 'Anti-static' spray if you have problems with your stockings sticking to your skirt
Denim, chiffon and tulle are usually fine, but other fabrics can "ride up" or bunch up when you wear stockings

Stockings can irritate your skin, so moisturizing definitely helps prevent that.

-Check that you Skin-tone stockings aren't too orange
It's the stocking equivalent of a bad spray tan.

-Don't get too theatrical
There are some looks that might seem like a whole heap of fun to try, that may end up looking a little bit try-hard if you can't get them right.
 Things like red shoes, white stockings and a blue dress. Hello Dorothy!
Or, White socks with black tights. Hello Minnie!
And I don't mean this in a good way....

(The asterisks below each picture are the link to the image source.)


You can do some pretty cool things with tights. If you've got an old pair that's gone a bit ratty, you can use it for many different things. Things like art and craft, hair ties, fairy wings....

If you've got a plain pair and some craft supplies, and think yourself to be creative, have a little looksy on google for tutorials on embellished or tie-dyed tights. There are heaps out there.

Hope you enjoyed my post.

Your Favourite Blogger,


Anna said...

interesting post.
i'm a bit of a fashion flop really. i break quite a few of those rules, but i find that they usually look ok. well, at least in my opinion.
the one rule i often don't follow is you one about black shoes with black opaque tights. i quite often end up wearing black tights with my blue sequin high top converse. when i do this i usually wear a pretty plain outfit.

Natalie_vintage_girl said...

They really are more like guide lines. i have seen people wear different coloured shoes with black tights. I've probably even done it myself, but I wanted to make a guide for people who really weren't too sure. What's kind of safe. And, what my mother wouldn't point at and say "That's weird" at. lol. It's only the "opaque" black tights that I was warning against.

Lisa said...

This is really helpful. It is really hot here so I'm not much in the tight/legging phase right now, but I'll have to keep this in mind for when it gets cooler.