I stopped wearing pants when I was 14, and ever since, cold weather dressing has been a special conundrum since it involves figuring out myriad ways to keep my legs warm under dresses and skirts.
On a practical level, it requires learning how to layer without bulking myself up to look like the Michelin man. Style-wise, it’s pretty difficult to not feel like I’m in a rut or look like I’m repeating the same outfit over and over again (even if DVF says it okay) because all anyone can see are my black tights and winter coat. Recently a slew of well-dressed strangers on New York City sidewalks showed me the solution—patterned tights.
As the temps have finally dipped, I’ve started to notice that every outfit that stops me in my tracks involves a pair of bold, patterned, and textured tights. And TBH, I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of this sooner—a pair of bold tights might actually solve 80 percent of my winter wardrobe issues.
That’s because they do three things: 1. Add an interesting element to an otherwise everyday coat. 2. Make you look put together with minimal effort. 3. Keep your legs warm, duh!
So last week when I walked by an Urban Outfitters mannequin wearing plaid blue tights, I bit the fashion bullet and bought a pair. Once I got over my fear of bold prints and finally convinced myself that I could pull them off, I wore them with a plain black outfit (the majority of my wardrobe at this point) and left to meet a friend at the bookstore. The entire time we were out I kept my jacket on (hello, it’s cold) and was gassed up not only by my friend but a slew of strangers who mistook my colorful tights for an entire outfit.
So this season, in lieu of spending loads on layers that won’t be seen by anyone but my co-workers, I’m going to be thigh deep in a rotating cast of ornate tights. And because picking patterns always feels somewhat daunting, I’ve rounded up some of my favorites that range from approachable (black textured and lacey patterns) to bold and courageous (colorful plaids).
13 pairs of patterned tights to shop this season
For the rest of your winter wardrobe needs, here are comfortable bralettes for the season of hygge and everything you should know about pulling off leopard print.
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