Wearing sandals and other open-toed shoes with hosiery is newly stylish, gaining popularity over the past several years. When I first saw it in my mags, I thought, “OH NO. Not for me, thanks.” But within a few months, my eye had adjusted to the look. And since it allows me to utilize more of my shoe collection for more of the year, I’m now fully in favor.
As with anything in fashion – especially a developing look or trend – there are no hard and fast rules. But here are my personal guidelines for pairing tights and open-toed footwear:
- Flat sandals or gladiators with any kind of hosiery
- Super delicate and/or strappy shoes and heavy opaques
- Sandal boots with any kind of hosiery
- Other styles that hit above the ankle with any kind of hosiery
- Heavy socks and sandals
- Heeled sandals
- Sandals with fairly chunky/substantial straps and construction
Much of the rest is up to you. I gravitate toward opaque tights with my sandals, just because a lot of pattern on your arch PLUS whatever strappy-ness your sandals contribute can get a bit busy. But I’ve seen many women do patterned hosiery with open-toed shoes to great effect. So if you’re interested in this look, carve out some time for experimentation in front of the mirror. See what works best from your own wardrobe.
1. Hosiery is more likely to snag on sandals than on boots, since there’s more detailing, stitching, and hardware touching the fiber. This is another argument for utilizing durable opaques in this look.
2. While contrasting colored tights and shoes look fun and funky, like-colored shoes and tights are EXTREMELY flattering. Nude pumps make your legs look long and lean because your legs and shoes are in the same color family. Same goes for shoes and tights.
3. This is not, generally, the place to explore pattern mixing. Snakeskin sandals and tie-dyed tights are just gonna look odd.
4. Skirts and dresses are best. You can certainly try this look with long slacks, but it is much cuter when more of your leg is visible.
Many people still abhor the look of tights worn with sandals, and I can understand that. It takes a while to get used to a look that may be trendy now, but was considered positively doofy for ages. When and if you embrace it, though, you’ll transform your spring and summer shoes to year-rounders. So perhaps consider it an investment in footwear efficiency.