How to Choose Patterned Tights


I was recently asked by a reader to do a post on choosing patterend tights, so here is my take.

Large patterns and sparse patterns make your legs appear curvier and heavier.

Dense curved patterns can be more slimming and elongating.

Geometric patterns like fishnets will emphasise curves, so large fishnets will make your legs appear curvier whilst smaller dense ones will not draw attention to your legs in the same way.

Vertical Stripes when on a curvy surface like legs, will add extra curve, a great way to make very slim legs more balanced.

Shorter legs are better in small, dense patterns, long slim legs and take lots of different patterned tight styles.

Remember, the more dense the pattern, the harder it is to focus anywhere particularly, so are generally more flattering than sparser patterns.


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  • Very helpful! I love small fishnets and just started getting into colored and patterned tights last fall. Tights are tough waters to navigate when you don't have skinny legs!

  • Does anyone else have problems with fishnets digging into their toes? The first time I wore a pair, I was in agony. A friend told me she wears socks under hers, but of course, that only really works under boots 🙂

  • Thanks Imogen, that is just the sort of analysis that I find really useful, and very well explained as always.
    I'm glad I haven't bought any tights with large patterns!

  • Hi Struggler,
    Re the fishnet problem: the solution is to wear all large open weave tights with a pair of sheers underneath. Nude is the obvious colour choice, but you can get a gorgeous effect by selecting a coloured sheer that picks up another colour in your outfit.
    However if you want to stay cool, wear some "footies" underneath (available at hosiery departments). Most shoe shops sell pretty nude lace ones, and some footies have just an elastic heel strap at the back, so they are less obvious with sandals.

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