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The MM Guide to Tights at Work

December 14, 2018 | Filed in: Your Closet

Chilly winter weather whittles your wardrobe down to two options: trousers or tights—unless the forecast calls for ski pants. Unlike more utilitarian clothing (sorry, socks), your hosiery can either enhance or take away from your look. Below, a senior MM stylist shares her guide for how to wear tights to work, and team member Bianca shows off a few ways to wear them. 

Read The Room

The color of your tights should directly correlate to your workplace: “For business formal, it’s really only safe to wear neutral tights in opaque or sheer tones that match back to your outfit,” says MM.LaFleur stylist Nyjerah Cunningham. Nude tights are the most traditional, according to Cunningham, and the foolproof option for any and every office. If you’re into patterned tights, save them for a casual Friday or avoid them altogether if you’re in a business-formal setting.

white outfit with nude tights

Bianca wears the Dolores top, the Logan skirt, the Commando tights in nude, the Ginger pump, and the Biltmore earrings.

Know What Not to Wear

Bypass the fishnets. “Fishnet tights are considered risqué and are almost always inappropriate for the office,” says Cunningham. If you can’t resist, put ‘em on after-hours only.

Consider the Fabric

When you’re wearing tights, you need to consider the weight of the fabric in your dress or skirt. “I like to pair sheer tights with heavier fabrics and opaque tights with lighter fabrics,” Cunningham says. “It gives me a sense of balance.” And although tights with shorter hemlines (at the knee and above) are a chic combination, pairing them with a longer skirt is a great look in a more formal office environment.

white button up and black skirt with black tights

Bianca wears the Lagarde shirt, the Crosby skirt, the Commando tights in semi-opaque, and the Ginger pump.

Pair Them Right

You can wear tights with heels (of course) but in the winter, Cunningham also loves wearing them with boots. “I am in favor of tights with booties—my all-time favorite,” she says. “It looks great in fall weather and adds warmth to your look.” Bonus: if you match the color of your tights with your booties (as in, black for both), it can make your legs look longer.

black and blue dress with black tights

Bianca wears the Etsuko dress, the Commando tights in semi-opaque, and the Lana boot.

Treat Them Kindly

So you snagged your tights on a chair and got a run. All is not lost. “Applying nail polish ensures that the run won’t get any longer,” says Cunningham. Dab clear nail polish at the edges of the tear, which will secure it in place for the rest of the day. Cunningham also recommends that, before slipping into your skirt or dress in the morning, you mist hairspray over your tights to keep static cling at bay. Finally, hand-wash your tights in cold water and lie them flat to dry. When you treat them right, they’ll last you all winter long.

Photographs by Yan Ruan. Styling by Nyjerah Cunningham.


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Deanna is a writer and editor in New York City. She enjoys reading, hiking, and not moving to the West Coast. Read more of Deanna's posts.


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