Fab Friday style tip: how to wear tights this winter

Nikki Parkinson Fashion 33 Comments

I still remember as a 12 year old living through an English winter to experience those first rays of sunshine on the one day that spring decided to arrive.  Everyone literally stripped off and went outside to bask in a deck chair.  I think it was 19 degrees!

Queenslanders in winter are like Pommies in summer – but in reverse.

At the first hint of a touch of cold weather we drag out the boots, tights, coats and scarves.  Even if it it just for one hour in the morning on the way to work.

Now, I know my southern readers are scoffing at me right now but we DO actually get cold nights and mornings.  It’s just that we’re blessed with sunshine in the middle of the day that allows you to thaw out.

These extremes in temperature can, however, play havoc with your wardrobe planning unless you become the master of layering.  And layering, for me, starts with tights.



Key styling tips

Ok, so I'm not suggesting you adopt this outside the home but Gwyneth is sure rocking a sexy fishnet look. Photo: Pinterest via whyfame.com

Ok, so I'm not suggesting you adopt this outside the home but Gwyneth is sure rocking a sexy fishnet look. Photo: Pinterest via whyfame.com

1.  A pair of tights in any colour or design will complete an outfit, keep your legs warm and hide the forest you may or may not be cultivating over the winter months (sorry, if that’s just me).

2.  If you have a wardrobe of neutral colours (sorry, if that’s just me again), then a pair of coloured, patterned or textured tights can add just the lift a winter outfit needs.

3.  For a sexy, sophisticated look, opt for patterned sheers or fishnets. (Warning:  you won’t get away with the leg forest in these.  I know, I tried.)

4.  Buy tights in your correct size.  The size guide on the back of the pack is there for a very good reason.  Buy too small and the crotch will be hanging down around your knees.  Buy too big and you’ll have more rolls of fabric than the skin on those cute puppies in toilet paper commercials.

5.  Ask any grooming and deportment teacher about wearing tights with open-toed shoes and you’ll get a very firm, “it’s not on”, response.  HOWEVER.  It’s a tricky trend that’s persisting in fashion land.  I say tricky because if you’re 22 and have a sassy attitude you can pretty well wear whatever you like.  When you get to a more *mature* age then approach this one with caution.  To work it on the safe side stick with black opaques with a black peep toe bootie.

6.  Spend as much as your budget allows so that you get tights that last more than one wear.  And as a rule of thumb, the higher the denier (like a sheet’s thread count), the more opaque they are and the less chance you have of putting your fingers through them on a drunken visit to the bathroom on a night out (oops, just me again).

Shopping suggestions
I’ve always got a pair or two of Leona Edmiston Pins in my tights drawer.  Yes, they’ll set you back $25 each but the quality is there.  I have to take more care with the sheer styles but the opaques continue to serve me well – often more than one season.  My favourite from the range this season are Juliette – black opaques highlighted by small red hearts.  A gorgeous take on polka dots.

Leona Edmiston Pins $24.95 each. From left, Portia, Juliette and Audrey

Leona Edmiston Pins $24.95 each. From left, Portia, Juliette and Audrey. Available at Myer and Leona Edmiston boutiques

Voodoo continues to set new benchmarks in the hosiery game.    This season I’m really impressed with its Voluptuous range, featuring fashion tights options for sizes 18-24.  The quality of the extra thick opaques is fantastic, offering a great comfort + style option.  The Voodoo boot tights have also got my tick of approval.  These are a sock/tight hybrid.  Up to the calf or ankle, it’s more like a sock so will sit well in a boot without slipping.  The rest of the tights are, well, tights.


Voodoo's collection offers a solution to all your "tights" needs. From left, Firm Control Opaque tights; Voluptuous Totally Opaque Tight; and Boot Tights. Stockists: 1800 810 449

Voodoo's collection offers a solution to all your "tights" needs. From left, Firm Control Opaque tights; Voluptuous Totally Opaque Tight; and Boot Tights. Stockists: 1800 810 449

Have you found some great new tights this winter?  Do you have a tights style questions or any style question you’d like answered in a Fab Friday post?  Leave a comment below.


  • I wear tights almost every day of winter – maybe almost every of the year even. Love them.

    I wear opaque black stockings a lot. I also like layering pretty lace tights/fishnets over nudes. And I like coloured/ribbed/patterned ones too.

    I wear leggings with my knee high boots.

    • Hi Carly, I love that idea of layering the pretty tights over nude. Thank-you!

  • Natasha andrews

    You are such a wealth of information Nicki, so good for expanding my wardrobe. I bought the love heart pins today and a pair of voodoo tights with white dots! I normally only wear opaques but after reading your post I decided it was time to branch out and Myer has 30% off so I just had to buy 🙂

    • How great is the 30% off at Myer – was shopping with a client today and she cleaned up! Well done!!

  • Oooo! I am going to look for those boot tights! Thanks for sharing these tips. I just love Winter…sounds shallow but loving the fact that I can wear my boots, layer up, wear the different tights…:) And yes, love the scarves, hats, just the range of accessories that comes with Winter!

    • Pleasure, Norlin … and I can’t wait to visit Melbourne to fully embrace the winter look! My new coat arrived today from ASOS. I’m ready!!

  • I am a fan of the footless tights, but I’m interested in those Boot Tights….

    Not a fan of fishnet, unless you have skinny legs or below knee skirt. The diamonds just keep wider at the top!

    • Hahaha, yes with any patterned tight, the pattern does get larger … very wise words indeed!

  • I live in tights & leggings in Winter! Actually I wear my footless all year round too 🙂 I purchased a pair of fleecy-lined leggings from Woolworths, out of all places, for my Winter wardrobe. I also love my footless slimming leggings from Forever New. They are designed to suck in and lift!

    • Great tips, Britt and I’m intrigued by fleecy-lined leggings. Are they a trackpant/legging hybrid?

      • They’re more like a stocking and are about 200 denier with a thin layer of fleece. For the life of me I cannot remember which brand they are???

        • Oh my, they sound incredible. Will hunt down for my Melbourne trip!

          • Julie

            They are Razza Matazz, I love them too!

  • Karen

    Nikki I was wondering if you have to follow the same rule for wearing leggings as you do for tights (ie. black leggings and black up top somewhere)?

    • Not strictly, although it’s difficult for most of us to get our head around NOT matching parts of our outfit. I DO like to bring in the black somewhere else but if I’m wearing, say a purple, I’ll leave the tights as a pop of colour in the otherwise neutral outfit.

  • I LOVE WeLoveColors!!! http://www.welovecolors.com

    They’re great for plus sizes as well as regular. As the name suggest they come in a range of colours, styles and makes. I’ve actually just ordered a few more online. They have free shipping to NZ & AUS using this code: “WELOVENZAUS”… you’re welcome 🙂

    • Love your work, Dani – love how this blog post has got better with the comments. Lots of great shopping tips for everyone.

  • Voodoo have long been a favourite of mine.

    And while they are not stockings/tights, I bought a pair of voodoo leggings from the chemist near work a few weeks back and they are the best ones ever for cold cold winter. They are fluffy on the inside, fit snugly for under skirts and inside boots.

    They just may have got a hole in the seam on the first wear, but it is in the bum, not noticeable (I hope) and have still managed to be worn a whole stack since.

    I did grab a heap of Alannah Hill tights in the sale last winter, included some vanilla coloured fishnet style ones, still yet to wear them though…maybe not such a bargain.

    • The Voodoo jeggings are great too – not worn as pants!

      Those vanilla fishnets – see Kim-Marie’s comment below. She wears hers in summer. I’m thinking the races.

      Oh, and I’m giggling at the bum hole comment …

  • Vanessa

    I bought 5 pairs of Leona Edmiston High Tea tights last year. So far I have only only opened two packets, they’re my favourites, I always get lots of compliments when I wear them. The two pairs have been through the wash so many times, but they’re still going. To top it off, I only paid $5 a pair as they were on sale – money very well spent!

    • That’s what I’ve found too – how great is that? And what a bargain!

  • Acacia

    Love Leona Edmiston tights! They are my favourite 🙂
    Will have to check out the Voodoo Boot Tights. I usually always wear a thin sock over my tights when wearing boots because my feet get too cold otherwise. Not a great look when you are shopping and decide to try on some shoes though! These Boot Tights could be the answer!

    • Ah, a fellow fan! And yes, do check out the boot tights. I’ve been in that situation where I’ve taken off my boots to reveal socks – not pretty!

  • Eva

    Ambra 200 denier black opaques are my life. That’s right, TWO HUNDRED denier. So thick, so warm, so slinky – sorta shiny, and definitely not dumpy. Get ’em at Myer. You’ll be glad you did. (Hmm, they might be a bit warm for a Qld day, but for Qld nights they should be ok, and they’re the only way I survive here in Melborune – day or night!)

    • Wowsers … at what point does the denier become a legging? LOL. They might be too warm for our days but when I come to Melbourne next month I think I’ll stock up!

  • Robyn S

    I’ve been obsessed with tights for the past two winters and trialling a few brands – really like Ambra 70 denier hipster tights (which are sooo comfortable and don’t create any extra line), also loving Razza matazz (from supermarket and Big W – got to love that) and I find they last really well. Once I cottoned on to the idea that you have to be a little careful about crossing legs whilst wearing boots, I’ve found that I can get many wears out of each pair. Must note also that hubby is a BIG fan!! HE can’t believe that I wore pants/jeans all those previous winters. Thinks all his Christmases have come at once. Great post Nikki (as always).

    • Haha, my husband is a tights fan too – even wrote about it on my blog here last week. Ambra’s got the tick from Eva above too. And yes, a supermarket buy is always welcome. Remember the Uh, Oh Razzamatazz ads of the 70s/80s?

      • Robyn S

        Uh ha sure do…and “this goes with that at Sussan” – really showing my age now.

  • Great tips as always, Nikki!

  • I’m on a mission today and that is to get some of those boot tights! Fabulous! I usually wear opaque footless tights and socks with my boots.

    I adore Leona’s tights. Amazing range of colours. Some of mine are literally years old. I heart the heart tights. I get compliments every time I wear them!

    I also adore Mimco tights. On sale at the moment. Sussan also do good tights.

    In the warmer months, I wear fishnets with peeptoes. Can’t do bare legs for work. Showing my age now! I like nude fishnets for summer.

    Most important thing to remember about tights is that just like leggings are not pants, tights are not leggings! Have seen some shockers!

    • Kim-Marie, you are a fountain of information. I love the sound of nude fishnets – would work a treat for me too! And yes, tights are not leggings or pants!!