Style Panel: How to wear patterned tights

Style Panel How To Wear Patterned Tights
Style Panel How To Wear Patterned Tights

Let’s face it: it’s November, the temperatures are dropping here in Canada and unless we want to get sick, we can’t continue to bare our legs to the world everyday like we did back in the summer. Thus, our legs need a warm friend to keep them company on these chilly days. Whether you call them nylons, pantyhose, stockings or tights, chances are we’ve all got a big drawer full of plain black ones to wear when the seasons start to get cold. This week, our Style Panel threw out the idea of only wearing boring plain tights and spruced things up by showing us how they wear patterned versions.

If you’re wary of pattern mixing, then let this be your chance to go bold. Even if there is no pattern in the rest of your outfit, the girls of our Style Panel show how easy it is to incorporate fall’s trends into your wardrobe even if it’s just on your gams. Polka dots seemed to be the go-to style for many members like Kassandra Camponi and Christina Cravero, while Vickie Laliotis showed off her legs that were covered in the ever-classic houndstooth pattern. So even if you’re not sure if you can pull off patterns elsewhere on your body, then just let those legs do the work for you.

Question 26: How have you mastered the patterned tights look? Read the answers now! »


How To Wear Patterned Tights: Kassandra Camponi, Kastles

Kassandra Camponi, 26
Edmonton | Kastles

Adding patterned tights to your winter wardrobe is easy and inexpensive. It helps add more fun and detail to any outfit. In my look, I choose a bolder pattern with large polka dots. This way I could mix my tights with my striped top. If you are uneasy about the large dots, try a smaller dot in sheer black. Lots of stores seem to be carrying patterned tights this season, so just shop around till you find that perfect pair! Or if you are like me, you might end up with a stock pile of patterned tights.

How To Wear Patterned Tights: Vickie Laliotis, Adventures in Fashion

Vickie Laliotis, 28
Edmonton | Adventures in Fashion

Women of all shapes and sizes can pull off patterned tights, so long as they choose the right pair for their body type. I find that dark varieties are the most universally flattering, while bold, colorful prints are generally better suited to more svelte figures. I myself chose these black houndstooth tights from Joe Fresh because they elongate the leg while still allowing for some pattern play. A polka dot or vertical stripe will also yield a slimmed-down appearance, whereas anything with a horizontal emphasis tends to add the illusion of bulk. Regardless of which print you choose, however, the beauty of patterned tights is that they can breathe new life into your wardrobe with very little investment, so don’t be afraid to branch out and try different styles — You never know which could be your perfect fit.

Vickie’s wearing: Top, Ralph Lauren. Skirt, Joe Fresh. Necklace, Zara. Tights, Joe Fresh. Pumps, Zara.

How To Wear Patterned Tights: Christina Cravero, The Style Mogul

Christina Cravero, 27
Toronto | The Style Mogul

If you’re a first time buyer on printed tights you need to make sure you buy a print that you will actually wear and that would go with the majority of your wardrobe, whether it be houndstooth, polka dots, or even a subtle leopard print, you would need something that would be easy for you to wear.  Since my polka dot print is bold and to me a little daring, I wanted to make sure the rest of my outfit was basic black, making my legs the major focal point. Pairing a basic skirt, leather top, and keeping accessories to a minimum, I feel that this is the easiest transition from basic black tights to printed. Although, I’m brave enough to mix prints throughout most of my attire, I am still a bit hesitant when it comes to the tights! However, I have broken free from black and have quickly fallen in love with the printed tight, which I’m sure all of you will when you do the leap as well.

Christina’s wearing: Top, Danier Leather. Skirt, Forever 21. Blazer, Pucci. Tights, H&M. Necklace, Winners. Boots, Steve Madden. Rings, Vintage. Lipstick, M.A.C. “Something New”.

How To Wear Patterned Tights: Barbara Ann Solomon
Photography by Trevor Negin

Barbara Ann Solomon, 25
Toronto | Barbara Ann’s Style Blog

Patterns are amazing and can add pop to an outfit easily. But when trying this trend on your legs, one must tone it down a bit to ensure not being over the top. I picked out a pumpkin colour from the pattern on my tights and paired it with an ombre silk dress and matching varsity sweatshirt. Even though I have a lot going on, it all stays within the same colour story and only using one accent material (metals in this case). I think that this look can be a lot of fun, but a key trick when rocking a pattern on your legs is to keep the rest of your look rather simple.

Barbara’s wearing: Sweatshirt, Forever 21. Dress, Club Monaco. Belt, Urban Outfitters. Tights, Gift. Shoes, Topshop. Jewellery, Vintage. Watch, Michael Kors.

How To Wear Patterned Tights: Kristin MacDonald, Doll Parade

Kristin MacDonald, 27
Fredericton, NB | Doll Parade

Textured tights. Both the nemesis and holy grail of a girl like myself. I don’t exactly have chicken legs, and I’m definitely on the short end of the spectrum, so when it comes to the adorned tights trend, ladies on the petite side like I should choose patterns that are small and subtle. I also try to focus on keeping the rest simple when I’m wearing a cable knit, fishnet, or coloured tight, in hopes that I don’t look like a test pattern if things get to busy. Here I went with a simple vintage shift in a bright & seasonal color layered over a reliable and warm turtle neck. I wore a high boot in order to offset the amount of leg exposure that was going on (and, hey, it was pretty chilly), but, in retrospect, I should have paired these tights with a sky high black pump or my orange Mary Jane wedge in order to elongate myself more. C’est la vie.

How To Wear Patterned Tights: Alexandra Nikolajev, I'm a Little

Alexandra Nikolajev, 27
Toronto | I’m A Little

As a pint-sized fashion lady, I can promise you that patterned tights can be tamed for a petite frame! To complement these burgundy houndstooth nylons, I used a black asymmetrical skirt to elongate my short stems. Partnered with a simple chambray shirt and a few funky (and furry) accessories, patterned tights can be easily worn by those a who are a little less leggy.

Alexandra’s wearing: Shirt, Tommy Hilfiger. Skirt, Zara. Nylons, Winners. Shoes, Zara.

How To Wear Patterned Tights: Kayla Short, Short Presents

Kayla Short, 26
Halifax | Short Presents

Patterned tights can be a nice change from traditional black, but when wearing these bold patterns you might feel like there is more you can do wrong than you can do right. If you want to bust out of your shell and experiment with patterns just keep the following guidelines in mind:

Sub in geometric designs for traditional black. I love wearing black printed panty hose with a lovely cocktail dress to events instead of traditional black panty hose (as seen above). Typically I sub in geometric designs like argyle, polka dot, plaid, or houndstooth. The smaller the print the less bold the statement, so if you are concerned about being too bold choose a smaller print for a more blended seamless look.

The busier the pattern the simpler the outfit—Always remember the busier the pattern, the simpler the outfit. A great way to wear pattern tights is to match your tights to one of the colors in your outfit, so there is some fluidity to your ensemble.

Layer neutrals with neutrals. Solid colored tights like burgundy, navy, smoky grey, forest green or wine coloured tights are another way to deviate from the norm, and usually can easily be combined with other neutral colored knee socks for a nice layered look.

Kayla’s wearing: Jacket and dress, BlackSheep Clothing. Boots, Vince Camuto. Bag, Christpher Kon. Tights, Dynamite.

How To Wear Patterned Tights: Marta Tryshak, With Love Gabrielle

Marta Tryshak, 24
Toronto/Montreal | With Love Gabrielle

Tights are my favorite accessory when the temperatures drop! In particular, I adore polka-dot tights and bow details as they add a much needed feminine touch to what can often be blah cold weather outfits. The key to wearing pattern tights is to proportion the print to your body size. If prints intimidate you then of course, there are the universally flattering opaque tights. There is no such thing as looking bad while wearing a pair of black opaque tights with black footwear, the lines are lean and always accentuate the best of your legs.

Marta’s wearing: Vest, Marc by Marc Jacobs. Sweater, Club Monaco. Skirt, BCBG Max Azria. Pantyhose, Fogal. Boots, Manolo Blahnik. Satchel, Coach.