8 Pairs of Tights You Need to Buy Right Now

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Winter is here, and you still just aren’t ready to let go of your closet full of playful dresses and adorable skater skirts (because, who would be?!). It’s every girl’s winter fashion dilemma: You want to look cute with short hemlines and flouncy fabrics, but you don’t want to be that girl who bares her legs to the elements in sub-zero temperatures. The solution? Tights! You’ve been wearing them for as long as you can remember, but ladies... it’s time to switch things up. Check out these fun, fresh and totally unique tights that you should be adding into your everyday wardrobe—and what dresses to wear them with!

1. Fleece-lined tights
 



 


Plaid t shirt
choies.com

 

 


Plush brown tight
zappos.com

 

 


Plush tight
shopbop.com

 

 


Black pantyhose
urbanoutfitters.com

 

Although they are often a little pricier than your average pair of tights, fleece-lined tights are a great investment for the cold winter months. These tights will keep you warm, but they’re still significantly thinner than a pair of leggings, which means you can wear them under a skirt or dress without looking too bulky. Just remember: Fleece-lined tights are NOT the same thing as leggings and should not be worn as pants!

Because fleece-lined tights and regular tights have the same overall look, there really are no rules you should adhere to that are out of the ordinary when planning your perfect outfit. Throw on an oversized cardigan dress or a sweater dress if you want to look cute and cuddly for class, or play around with prints with a three-quarter sleeve, cut-out back, printed A-line dress. A knitted, striped rugby dress is a great go-to for a cute winter outfit, and would go perfectly with a pair of boots and light jewelry. ?

If dresses aren’t your thing, pair an oversized T-shirt, sweater or plaid flannel with some shorts layered over your tights (this is just one more way to make the most out of your summer closet!).

Lindsey Thompson, a junior at Drexel University, shares her favorite layered look. “One of my favorite things to do in the winter is to wear shorts over my tights, then pair it with a chunky, solid colored sweater,” Lindsey says. “It allows me to wear all the new shorts I got at ‘end-of-season’ sales without having to wait a whole year.” Because she’s short, Lindsey loves to pair her look with some similar colored ankle boots to extend the length of her leg. “This really only works with the wool or fleece-lined tights,” she says. “It's a fun alternative to wearing a skirt out during winter!”

2. Thermal tights
 



 


 


Madam Rage pink dress
$23 - newlook.com

 

 


Linea black pantyhose
$15 - houseoffraser.co.uk

 

 


Fleece-lined tights aren’t for everyone. So what other options do you have if you are so over wearing leggings but you still want to be warm? “While fleece-lined tights are great, they sometimes get bunchy or look too thick,” says Sara Beth Kaye, a senior at Rutgers University. “Basic thermal tights are made with a synthetic material that makes them warmer without bunching and they still have the shiny look of tights.” She continues, “Thermal tights are the best way to take a dress from fall/spring to the depths of winter.”

Similar to fleece-lined tights, simple black or colored thermal tights can be worn with a variety of dresses (although they do also come in a variety of designs and patterns!). This winter, play around with some super fun dresses like a vintage-inspired microprint short-sleeve dress, a cute three-quarter sleeve tunic dress, or a velvet dress (a wintertime favorite!). You definitely won’t regret leaving behind those super-thin, barely there polyester tights and instead going for a much warmer look that’s still adorable!

3. Ombré tights
 



 


 


DKNY white hosiery
nordstrom.com

 

 


 


DKNY tight
macys.com

 

Ombré has been hitting it big the past few years, whether it’s DIY ombré nails, ombré hair or, yes, you guessed it, ombré tights. These unique, eye-catching tights are sure to make a statement. With that being said, make sure the dress you wear with them is simple and doesn’t make your look totally over-the-top.

When choosing a dress to wear with your tights, try to match the top ombré color (the color that goes from around your knees to up past your thighs) with the dress. This is often easiest if the color is black, simply because of how easy it is to match black with black (as long as they are the same shade!).

To get the gradual tones flowing in your outfit, play around with dresses such as a black, cap-sleeved, skater-style LBD. Worn with a pair of ankle booties, this will give you a unique night-out look. Want a more low-key, outfit to pair with your ombré tights? Throw on a grayish-black or neutral-colored oversized T-shirt dress, a beanie and some cool kicks!

Overall, make sure you keep this outfit loose and minimal in color; a more structured, tight and overly colorful outfit will take your ensemble from fashion-forward and fun to regressive and overdone.

4. Over-the-knee sock tights
 



Closet pink dress
$76 - newlook.com

 

 


 


 


Black jumpsuit
yoins.com

 

 


Pretty Polly opaque tight
barenecessities.com

 

 


 


Opaque tight
unique-vintage.com

 

Love the knee-high sock look but don’t want to bare your thighs during the winter? Why not get the best of both worlds?

Sometimes called two-tone tights, these flirty tights are a great addition to a Friday night outfit or a cute layered look on campus. You can stay classic with a standard pair, or put a bit of whimsy into you look with a fun patterned set (see the NYC skyline and cat knee-high tights—so cute!). These tights are great if the outfit you want to wear would look better with just knee-high socks, but you don’t want to freeze outside. Make sure to look for a pair that matches your skin tone.

Skater and babydoll dresses go great with tights like these. Throw on a pair of riding boots, a scarf and a cardigan and you have a chic layered look for winter. Remember to keep the hem of the dress at thigh length so you don’t cover up the sock, but don’t go too short—you want to be able to wear this look to class!

Need an outfit for a fancy night out? “Knee-highs are awesome to pair with dark-colored rompers for the winter,” says Sabrina Galiney, a junior at University of Rhode Island. Throw on a pair of heels, a dressy romper and look the part for your night out on the town!

5. Patterned tights
 



Fancy short dress
modcloth.com

 

 


Long sleeve dress
choies.com

 

 


Boohoo shift dress
boohoo.com

 

 


 


Patterned hosiery
modcloth.com

 

 


 


We all love the printed pant fad that is still going strong today. Why not bring the same concept into your tights? Patterned tights are a great way to take your outfit to the next level. Whether you’re into simple patterns like stars, stripes and polka dots or more intricate and abstract designs like florals or galaxy prints, you’re sure to find a pair you’ll love.

What you have to keep in mind when putting together your outfit for these tights is that, like with many other tight styles on this list, simplicity is key. You definitely don’t want to overdo the clothes, jewelry or accessories and wind up looking like a mismatched mess (although pattern blocking, like color blocking has been hitting the runways hard, it is very difficult to accomplish).

A classic graphic T-shirt dress is a great option to highlight your fun patterned tights. By keeping the dress simple, you have the option to accessorize (lightly) with jewelry. A Peter Pan-collared dress is another great go-to, and can be paired beautifully with a pair of polka dot tights for a cute throwback look. A hoodie shift dress is a comfy yet adorable option, as is a front button, flouncy A-line dress.

Patterned tights can be a fun and cheap way to spice up your winter wardrobe this year; try them out!

6. Knit tights
 



 


River Island turtleneck top
$34 - riverisland.com

 

 


Missguided tartan top
missguidedus.com

 

 


Green stocking
modcloth.com

 

 


 


There is nothing better than a pair of knit tights or leggings in the chilly wintertime. You can find these tights in a variety of textures and patterns and they go with many of the dresses you likely already have in your closet (a plus for all us collegiettes on a budget!).

While knitwear is big this winter (we all know that girl who wears a different scarf every single day of the week), you should be careful not to overdo it while wearing knitted tights. Usually throwing on a scarf to your outfit is pretty necessary, but add your sweater dress, wool hat and knitted UGG boots, and you have gone way, way too far.

Instead, try out a turtleneck tunic, oversized flannel or chambray shirt dress (great with knitted leggings!). These outfit choices will keep you stylishly textured and are a great way to add a subtle change to a simple pair of tights or leggings.

7. Tights with a wow-factor
 



Scoop dress
pinkice.com

 

 


High low dress
$35 - newlook.com

 

 


 


Pretty polly stocking
nordstrom.com

 

 


Nordstrom hosiery
nordstrom.com

 

 


Cat print tight
modcloth.com

 

Looking for a pair of tights that are subtle but still dramatic? Many tights are now available with cute messages or patterns written up the back legs or with a simple and small design on a certain location, such as the cat face on the knees of the tights above.

“In the winter, I absolutely love wearing designs with cool patterns on the back [of my tights],” says Aja Frost, a junior at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. “They add an unexpected twist to my outfit! My favorite way to wear them is with ankle boots (so my shoes don't hide the fun design), flowy high-waisted shorts in a classy fabric, and a simple, tucked-in top. Then I add LOTS of layers so I can stay warm, like a coat, gloves, a scarf and a hat.”

Great options for dresses include a simple scoop-neck bodycon dress or a sleeveless empire-line dress with a deep V-neck (both super cute first date outfits or dresses for a sorority formal!). If you’re looking to keep things more casual, go for a khaki roll sleeve dip hem shirt dress and pair it with a pair of cute booties, as Aja suggests!

8. Fishnet
 



 


River Island high neck black dress
$46 - riverisland.com

 

 


River Island long sleeve turtleneck
$49 - riverisland.com

 

 


DKNY fishnet hosiery
barenecessities.com

 

 


Fishnet hosiery
modcloth.com

 

 


Ah, fishnets. They’ve often been branded as something you don’t want to be caught on campus in, but maybe it is time to rethink that.

First of all, realize that not all fishnets are the Halloween costume-looking ones that your mother would never let you out of the house in. For example, diamond-patterned fishnets look great with a cut-out swing dress for a night out. There are also more detailed and intricately-patterned fishnet tights that can give you a more toned-down and unique look.

Picking out the perfect dress to pair with fishnet tights can be tricky; try to avoid those with minuscule details so as to not make your outfit too busy. Some great examples include a simple colored textured knit dress, a midi bodycon dress or a long-sleeve trapeze dress. All will have you looking flirty, fun and totally tasteful on campus!
 


Tights can be difficult to wear, especially if you don’t know how to style them. Thankfully, there are so many styles of tights to experiment with that you can have a completely new wardrobe and winter look this season!
 

About The Author

Malone Ryan is a junior at John Carroll University where she is majoring in IMC and PR and still trying to find a way to minor in memes and/or the study of Sephora. In addition to Her Campus, she has been published in several other print and online publications including USA TODAY College, The Village, Capital Style and more. An avid traveler, Malone has completed global intern and work experience in cities including Columbus, Cleveland, London and Rome. Learn more about Malone by following her Twitter @dylanmaloneryan or Instagram @maloneryan13