with Susan Wagner
The Working Closet is your source for the best of what's hip and fresh in fashion and beauty. Susan Wagner keeps you up-to-date on trends and offers tips and tricks for making everything in your closet truly work for you.
You can also catch Susan over at Working Closet.
Admit it: Casual wear can be a nightmare. Dressy events call for a dress, and yoga pants are a perfect go-to for days when you never leave the house, but if you work in a casual Friday office, or work at home, or work schlepping kids to and fro all day, finding the mid point between practical and chic can be overwhelming.
Which explains why so many of us spend our days in those yoga pants.
Casual seems so easy — that perfect balance of actually dressed (rather than possibly still in what you slept in) but not dressed up (an outfit that welcomes sticky post-daycare hugs and kisses). But beyond dark rinse jeans and a pretty top, what is there?
How about a dress and some footless tights? Cute! Chic! Practical!
But wait! you say, I’m too old for footless tights! Maybe, but probably not.
Footless tights are a great bridge between too casual and too dressed up. They’re the perfect compromise for spring days that aren’t quite warm enough for bare legs, and they’re a nice option if you want to wear a slightly shorter hemline. But there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to make footless tights work for you, at any age.
Length matters. Choose a pair of tights that hit just above the slimmest part of your ankle, rather than right at the ankle bone. Steer clear of tights that hit just below the knee; unless you are Gwyneth Paltrow, they’ll make your legs look short and wide, all at once.
Hem length matters, too. Keep your hemline above the knee with a footless tight; anything longer and your legs will look stumpy. But don’t go too short or you’ll look like Madonna circa 1985. And remember: If you’re over 30, the micro mini is really not a good look, no matter what your size.
Stay neutral. The idea of a footless tight is to provide coverage, and to lengthen your leg line. Stick with neutrals — black or brown or gray — for the slimmest line. A black dress with black footless tights is simple and chic, but a bright colored dress also looks great over black tights. Color will draw the eye up and away from your legs, which is what you’re shooting for if you’re wearing tights, right? And never, under any circumstances, wear white footless tights. Period.
Keep it casual. Footless tights are not for dressing up; if you’re going to a job interview or a bar mitzvah or a fancy restaurant, either go bare or wear a pair of actual tights, with toes and a heel. Footless tights are a nice alternative to yoga pants for everyday — pair them with a simple sweater dress or a long tunic and some pretty ballet flats and you’ve got a functional, casual look that’s perfect for running errands or schlepping the kids. Footless tights are also fine for a very casual office, although you want to spiff your look up a bit with dressier accessories (a very polished bag or a dramatic necklace). But don’t confuse footless tights with proper hosiery, ever.
Are you wearing footless tights? Share your favorite brand — or tell us why this is a big style no.
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