Though every woman likely has at least one pair of tights in their wardrobe, few know how to maximize this garment’s potential. It’s common to see rookie mistakes being made when one is wearing tights, as these are seldom the wearer’s priority. But if you pay attention to the way you wear your tights, you could unlock major style upgrades for several of your outfits. You could also stand to be more comfortable overall, and raise your level of confidence when you’re trying out new clothes.

To that end, here are six cardinal rules for rocking a pair of tights. These tips should help you style up and maintain a pair of tights:

Never Wear a Pair of Tights Like a Pair of Pants

The golden rule of wearing tights is to never wear them like you would a pair of leggings or pants. They are meant to be worn like stockings and should always be worn with other garments, more specifically with a layer of clothing above them. If your top is only as long as your waist, you should opt for a pair of pants or leggings instead. For top layers that hit below the butt area, a pair of tights are suitable. 

Tights Are Best Paired with Skirts and Dresses

Tights are a great way to make you feel warm and covered up while wearing a skirt or dress. It’s also an added benefit that tights do look best when paired with these garments. Whether you’re wearing them to work or want to keep wearing them as the weather gets colder, always reach for a pair of tights. While this isn’t a hard rule, opaque tights are better at keeping your legs warm and protecting you from any fashion faux pas. Hence, it’s best to wear opaque tights during the fall and winter.

Sometimes the Bare-Legged Look is Best

Photo by Kinkazoid

There are times when sheer and nude tights are better with certain outfits, especially when you want to achieve a seamless, understated, and natural bare-legged look. Have a few pairs of nude and sheer tights on hand for clothes with bolder, louder prints, especially when you wear tights to work or have a formal event to attend. This way, you can enjoy the warmth and comfort from a pair of tights without having them clash with the rest of your outfit! 

You Can Make Your Outfit Pop with a Pair of Tights

Tights are both a functional and fashionable type of garment. If your outfits are beginning to get stale for you, just add adventurously patterned tights to spice them up. Sometimes, all your outfit needs is a pair of bold tights to look amazing. Get creative and play with different colors, prints, and levels of opacity and see how these changes can transform your everyday outfits. 

A Pair of Control Top Tights Will Serve You Well

Shapewear is a pretty useful thing to have in your wardrobe, no matter what your body type may be. If you want to improve the way your tummy and legs look under certain ensembles, there are tights out there with compression abilities that make them function like shapewear. A good pair will not only make you look slimmer but also support your stomach and increase healthy blood circulation. The result is a more even-looking fit, which can help you feel less conscious about rocking different kinds of clothes. 

Wash Your Tights with Care

Tights are thinner and more delicate than other types of bottoms, so they must be washed carefully. That being said, hand-washing is the best approach to cleaning your tights. But if you don’t have the time, you can also put them in a laundry bag and machine-wash them, provided you use the gentlest setting. Dry your tights outside on a clothes rack and never in the washing machine dryer. The amount of care that you put into maintaining them can make them last a long time.

These are the basic rules that you can follow. But there’s also a lot of room for you to get creative. Base your choices on your own fashion preferences, and don’t let anyone else’s style overpower your own. This is a foolproof, no-nonsense way to look great in a pair of tights!