Styling tights for everyday wear is as simple as styling jeans. However, along with the range of colors you can choose, there are some extra things to think about when styling leggings. Here are 6 tights fashion tips that will help you or your man transition from jeans to tights.
These are general guidelines to get you started, not 'Rules'. Your world is yours and your fashion reflects you. Use these guidelines to be you and be comfortable. I've strayed from these guidelines on many occasions; its not science.
1. Bulge: Covered or Uncovered
In the gym or during your workout you want the most range of motion possible. You are there for function so there is no need to cover your bulge. Wear a shirt that also gives you range of motion, which means it doesn't go too far below your waistline.
Fashion depends on your personal preference, but the general rule is to cover it up a bit. Many people aren't comfortable (yet) seeing a spandex-clad bulge in public. Tempered-radicalism is the way to go here. When you are making your fashion statement make it one small (tempered) statement at a time. Wear a fitted shirt with some tails in front and back, or a tee-shirt that hangs below your waist.
2. Don't tuck in your shirt
Tights look better with smooth lines in the front, sides and back. Tucking in your shirt creates wrinkle lines all over. People will only see the wrinkles and not your fashion. The general rule is to stay un-tucked unless you are aiming for a bold look. However, if you want a clean line between your tights and shirt, you can tuck your shirt up using a Race Belt. It is very simple and creates a great look! Tights Tips - Tuck your shirt with no tuck wrinkles. It even works when you are wearing full-length singlets.
Unless your goal is to show off your ankles then you want to eliminate any distraction between your tights and your shoes. You can have great shoes and great tights together. Just be sure to style them appropriately.
Fitness: Function and comfort are the most important during your workout. Wear your best workout shoes and socks. Ignore what your tights look like at your ankles. Everything is acceptable.
Fashion: The main goal is to mute the line between your shoes and tights. That way, they will look at your footwear or your tights, not your ankles. With short shoes, wear short socks or tuck your tights around your ankle. Always tuck your tights into your shoes when wearing high-tops or boots. Don't let your sock show through, and never tuck your tights into your socks.
4. Beginner or bold
When you are just starting to wear tights as fashion, you may want to be a little more muted. Solid black has always been the safest fabric color. It hides your curves, doesn't attract the eye and allows you to detract from the fact that you are wearing tights. Believe it or not, solid tights are more bold than prints. Prints will make the eye look at the colors, rather than your curves. Here is a list of fabrics going from most muted to the boldest. With the later fabrics, people will see all your body's curves. Determine how much you want to show and choose accordingly. You may find yourself in prints and loving it!
- Black & White Prints
- Color Prints
- Matte Solids
- Shiny Solids
- Matte White
- Shiny White
5. Winter - Layers
There are three great ways to keep warm in leggings.
Thermal - These tights have a brushed fleecy thermal layer on the inside. They keep you warm and provide wicking breathe-ability.
Layering: You can easily layer two pairs of tights to keep warm. Two milliskin layers provide plenty of warmth for me in below freezing weather.
Hosiery: Pick up a pair of 'egg' hosiery from the corner store and wear them under your tights. They are cheap enough to wear as a one-time item, but you can wash them and get multiple wears out of them. Hosiery has a SURPRISING amount of heat retention. I sometimes cut a hole in the crotch to push my bulge through so I don't feel smashed by the unisex design.
6. Boxy/Bell Shirts
You may have a square, pear, 'V' or pencil body shape, but the wrong tee-shirt can be distracting. Review your tees for the bell shape. Turn your tee inside-out and flatten it on a table. if the waist is wider than the shoulders then you have a bell-shaped tee. Manufacturers make these because they fit bellies better. If you don't have a belly, avoid these tees! Hanging, draping tee shirts make a poor transition to tights. It accentuates the space between you and your tee and distracts from your fashion. If you have a belly then it is actually easier for you. Buy tees that fit against your belly and aren't too loose. You are also shooting to eliminate a draped fabric look.
Look for the word 'fitted' or 'athletic fit' when buying tees and button-down shirts. It doesn't matter what your body shape is, these aren't made exclusively for fit guys. It is just the word they use for non-boxy.