The Best Ways To Style Colorful Tights

Tights are one of those versatile pieces of clothing that can really elevate an outfit. While your instinct might be to pick up neutrally-colored pantyhose, colorful tights are actually more popular than you might expect this season.

As mentioned on InStyle, vibrantly-colored tights have recently brightened fashion runways, appearing in Fall 2022 shows from Giambattista Valli and Chanel. The trend doesn't seem to be disappearing soon, though, as they were also a staple of 2023 looks from Ferragamo and Victoria Beckham.

Besides their appearance on runways, the re-emergence of colorful tights can, in part, be attributed to the revival of Y2K fashion trends, which have been especially popular on platforms like TikTok (per Byrdie). Accordingly, the popularity of the Gen Z aesthetic known as "ballerina sleaze," which combines "balletcore" and "indie sleaze" styles, has also contributed to the resurrection of brightly-colored pantyhose.

However, you don't need to stick to one specific aesthetic to conquer colorful tights, as they can be styled and worn in various ways.

Accentuate your outfit with colorful tights

A simple and fun way to incorporate colorful tights into your outfit is by choosing a bright color that accentuates the existing colors of your clothing. For example, this look from Instagram user @andreea.colorfulstyle draws out the purple of her flower-printed dress using matching lilac tights, resulting in a colorful, cohesive look.

Matching your tights to another element of your outfit is something that How to Wear Fashion also recommends and can be applied to a large range of looks. For example, try this technique with a plaid piece of clothing or an abstract-patterned top.

Layer colors to maximize your look

Matching your colored tights to a pattern is a great way to style pantyhose, but you can also choose a color that doesn't match your clothing exactly but still compliments your color scheme. Social media user @how_to_be_curly_in_madagascar really demonstrates how to master this technique in their pink and purple look.

While a fuchsia shade that matched their top would've worked great for their tights, they chose to go with a deep purple color, which works well with the existing shades of pink they have going on.

Use tights to carry through an outfit color

Another option for styling colorful tights is to match them exactly to other solid-colored clothing items. @i.tze.l.p accomplishes this using a teal dress, tights, and matching sunglasses. While a monochromatic look is definitely an option, they break up their color scheme by adding a yellow coat and brown boots. In this way, they use their tights to carry through a particular color but break it up using other pieces.

You don't necessarily have to use teal to achieve this look, but try matching your colorful tights to an existing, solid-colored clothing item in your wardrobe to see what you can come up with.

Make it a monochrome moment

InStyle recommends styling your colorful tights monochromatically, which is something that @heartfelthunt opts for in this purple ensemble. Admittedly, they do use a white hat and boots to accentuate the shades of their outfit, but we love how they use purple in their dress, tights, scarf, and purse to create a complete look.

Remember, the pieces in a monochromatic outfit don't have to be the exact same color but can use varying shades of one hue. Either way, this technique is sure to produce a super cool look.

Try a peek-a-boo look with pants

Wearing colorful tights with a dress or skirt is a go-to styling option, but you can also wear your statement pantyhose with a pair of pants to create a sort of "peek-a-boo" moment of color. This is a technique that Luxury Legs recommends, specifically suggesting pairing colorful tights with a suit, and is accomplished in the outfit above from @cortneybreblog.

We love how their orangey-yellow tights pair with their plaid pants, tortoiseshell sunglasses, and beige blazer to create a sophisticated but bold look.

Tie together your tights and top

This look from @claudiaatugonza, featured on the Instagram page of @oddlemoncph, demonstrates how you can coordinate your colorful tights with a patterned top to create a cohesive look. Though this is similar to our first suggestion, this outfit, in particular, uses a denim dress to break up the coordinating colors of the pantyhose and long-sleeved blouse, creating a distinct, artsy look.

To achieve a similar style, you can use any solid-colored pinafore dress layered over a patterned top to match your tights. We love the resulting look!

Coordinate your accessories

Another method of styling tights is by matching them to your outfit's other accessories. If you choose this technique, then select a color that compliments your primary clothing item and match accordingly, as done by Instagram user @kxnn1. For this outfit, she coordinated her pastel pink tights with her cardigan and beret, layering them over a simple purple dress.

We're in love with this soft, pastel ensemble, but you can make this technique work with any style or color scheme.

Pair it with patterned tights

If you really want to take your look to the next level, try using colorful and patterned tights. Byrdie explains how patterned tights can add a splash of color to an outfit in a fun, interesting way, so it's definitely a direction to think about going with your own pantyhose.

This is exactly what @thenaaadia did with her outfit, pairing polka-dotted tights with a vintage-shaped, colorfully-patterned dress. Since both clothing pieces are patterned against black, the outfit remains grounded while staying colorful and fun.

Pretty it up in plaid

Another way to style colorful tights is by making them the only pattern in your outfit. For example, Instagram user @tenwaystowearit pairs a faux leather dress and a statement-sleeve pink blouse with matching argyle tights.

While this outfit would look cute without the tights, the added pattern brings additional depth to the entire look. Instead of overpowering the ensemble, the print balances well with the top's puffy sleeves and the dress's existing texture, creating a well-rounded outfit.

Bring pattern into an all-black look

Whether they're patterned or not, colorful tights are also a great way to bring color into a black ensemble. InStyle recommends making colorful tights the focal point of an outfit, and while you can do this with any color, this technique works well with black clothing.

This can be seen in the outfit from @jessfreda_, who pairs a classic little black dress with 70s-inspired flower-printed tights. The resulting look manages to be both super fun and stylishly cool.

Combine unexpetec patterns

While matching and coordinating colors are all good and fun, you can also combine unexpected patterns to create a truly unique look with colorful tights. We think that this look from @michelleamo_, which was featured on the Instagram page of @bettertights, is a great example of how you can achieve a fun, maximalist look using multiple patterns.

While you might not look at rainbow tights and a floral top and instantly picture them together, they're combined here with a shimmery yellow skirt to create a super playful outfit. If you're up for it, we recommend experimenting with the patterns you find in your closet, too.