… gray tights.
Many of my style consult clients struggle with hosiery and ask me where they should start when it comes to tights. Black opaques have become the standard somehow, but I always recommend playing with gray. Gray can be tricky because it will have warm or cool undertones, but it’s still more versatile than black in many cases. Here’s why:
Gray is not as heavy as black
Although black is a great choice if you’ve got black elsewhere in your outfit or if you’re doing black shoes/boots, black can seem heavy and severe as the default neutral for tights. Here’s a funky little outfit with some wintry layers that uses black opaques. They weigh everything down. Charcoal or dark gray would work better, allowing the eye to flow over the whole ensemble instead of heading right for the darkest element.
Gray plays nicely with colors
Above you see navy, purple, and teal. Adding black tights would suck all the life out of these colors, but adding yet another color to this mix might seem like overload. Gray tights are subtle, don’t interfere with the mix, and allow the colors in the outfit to shine through. Gray tights will definitely work better in warm color mixes, but they do nicely with cooler colors like these, too.
If a relatively uninterrupted leg line is a figure-flattery priority for you, gray tights can be a great option. While black tights create hard breaks at the foot, ankle, knee, and hemline with all but more black, gray is lighter and softer, so it blends. It even blends fairly well with black!
Gray is a reliable three-season option
Many of us opt for black as a year-round color, and black tights can certainly be worn in transition during autumn and spring. But gray? It looks less weighty, allows for a broader palette, and can tie together outfits worn in the dead of winter as well as the outer edges of the warmer surrounding seasons.
Gray is versatile and ageless
Well, so is black, of course. But if you’re tiring of it and looking for an equally versatile and ageless alternative, try gray. And don’t feel like it has to be light gray! A heathered charcoal is a great place to start, and is frequently less undertone-y than straight grays of any kind. Start with charcoal and see how you do.
Anyone else a devotee of gray tights? Do you feel like it has all the good qualities of black and then some? (To ask a leading question!) How do you wear yours? Got a favorite shade? Anyone NOT a fan? What trips you up about gray tights?