The Sartorial Observer

One doesn’t need to thumb through designer fashion magazines to notice that tights and leggings are all the rage this year. Just take a look around campus and you’ll notice that girls are mixing and matching tights with all sorts of different tops and accessories. While fashion-conscious Ephs should definitely be excited by the prospects of adding tights to their wardrobe, they should also be warned: There are some ways one can go wrong with tights (and students on campus quite often do so). The trick is to learn the ways to sport this hot trend and flatter your body at the same time.
First it is necessary to cover how tights should never be worn. The biggest no-no: wearing tights or leggings around as though they are normal pants. While some skinny pants are just as form fitting as tights, tights (and leggings) are made of much thinner, less supportive material that reveals every single contour of one’s legs and behind. Quite a few people on campus are culpable of this fashion crime. And I’m not talking about people dressed in their workout attires; I’m addressing those who go about their daily lives in cute tops (not tunics but tops of a normal length), artsy vintage boots and a pair of semi-sheer grey tights. Steer clear from this mistake or correct yourself if you’re a culprit.
So besides avoiding these faux pas, how can one rock the tights look? Pairing the tights with an appropriate shirt and/or skirt is key. If you want to wear tights without a skirt, try pairing them with a long top that covers the rear end, like a long button down blouse with the sleeves rolled up, a tunic, a long sweater or a short dress. Belting baggy tops around the waist can also give the tops a more tailored look so your figure won’t get lost. Skinny belts often add a nice touch of feminine contrast to blouses, especially to loose boyfriend-styled ones. Wide belts go nicely with heavier sweater material. This long top and tights look is particularly slenderizing, as one’s legs look slim in comparison to the bigger top.
Tights are obviously also designed to be paired with skirts, but to achieve a chic trendy look rather than a traditionally formal look, one must combine the two carefully. For daily wear, steer clear of longer skirts, which do not show off the actual tights very well and tend to come across as rather frumpy. Full, high waisted skirts that are shorter create the illusion of added height by shifting up the typical hip-hugger waistline and by exposing just enough leg. Tucking a t-shirt or tank top into such a high wasted skirt and then belting the skirt also helps to break up long torsos.
Finally, one should always remember to accessorize! Boots balance out the tapered bottom of tights really well. Any boots work – slouch boots, ankle boots, Uggs, cowboy boots, rain boots – as long as they match the mood of your outfit. Flats are cute too, though perhaps less realistic for regular use in Williamstown winters. Pairing long scarves or long necklaces with a long or oversized top also adds a cool artsy feel to the tights look.
Whether you’re the fashionista who knows all about the latest ways to wear tights or the inquisitive reader who would just like to put together a few new trendy outfits, you must always remember first and foremost not to fall into the potential pitfalls that that the realm of tights open. And don’t always strictly follow these suggested trends – be creative and tailor them to your own personality or different moods.

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