Outfit Formula: Fun Tights

Tights with skirts, dresses and shorts in colder weather can be a fab look if you don’t mind wearing thick hosiery. Keeping the tights neutral, non-neutral, solid, patterned, low-contrast, or high-contrast is up to you. Choose the option that works with your sartorial preferences and makes you feel pulled together. 

Here are some potential outfit combinations for Team Tights.

1. Solid Sweater with Tights

This is the easiest combination to pull together. Combine a sweater with a pair of tights in the same colour so that they match. Here it’s a shade of olive. Finish off the look with a skirt and shoes in the same colour. Here it’s black, and matches the hair of the model. Throw a jacket or coat over the top and you’re done.

Solid Sweater with Tights

2. Pattern-Mixed Sweater with Tights

This is harder to achieve because you’ll need a pair of patterned tights that work with a patterned vest or pullover. Here the teal geometric pattern of the tights works well with the teal, pink and black geometric floral of the vest. The teal and geometric nature of the patterns pulls them together. The white shirt works well with the white soles of the shoes, while the black portion of the shoes works well with the black in the pattern of the vest. The cinnamon skirt matches the earthy centre of the floral pattern. A much more maximal combination, yet precisely matched in great detail.

Pattern Mixed Sweater with Tights

3. Neutrals with Patterned Tights

This is an easy way to wear an outfit with patterned tights if you like to wear black. Combine a black dress with black shoes. Black booties are a good way to go. Throw in a pair of black patterned tights and Bob’s your uncle. These tights are dark navy, which works well too. A denim topper is an easy addition, but throw in any type of coat or jacket that works with the outfit and weather.

Neutrals with Patterned Tights

4. Shorts with Statement Tights

If you like to wear wintery shorts, by all means combine them with wintery tights. This outfit combines earth tones in high and low contrast and has a fab ‘60s vibe to it. The argyle tights make a statement as the only patterned component of the outfit. They perfectly match the palette, thereby adding polish to the look. The vertical pattern of the argyle accentuates the leg line and draws the eye up and down. Fun look! Add jewellery, watch and eyewear as desired.

Shorts with Statement Tights

Link Love: Clothing Care Tips

Refinery29 tests whether ‘washable silk’ can really withstand the laundry machine.

The Guardian shares tips for how to keep swimwear in great condition.

They also have advice for what to do with clothes that have been caught in the rain.

Fab Links from Our Members

Runcarla wanted to share this article about how Fashion Week street style has been affected as international types stay home and ‘locals’ exert more influence at the venues.

She also thought these street style photos from Milan’s Men’s Fall/Winter 2022 shows were fun eye candy, and inspiration.

Roberta is very sad that André Leon Talley has died, and wanted to share these great remembrances of him, and this wonderful visual tribute. She adds: “His last book, The Chiffon Trenches, was absoultely wonderful. I’m very hopeful there will be an exhibit of his amazing personal fashion, from couture suits to caftans.”

Nemosmom enjoyed this Vanity Fair article about the intriguing thought process and consideration when designing on-screen wardrobes for recent hits. 

Nikki enjoyed reading about puffer cases for the iPhone.

Why the ‘ugly’ clog is the style statement of our times.” Nuancedream says: “I don’t think clogs have ever gone out of style. In my opinion, they are classic footwear. I have fond memories of my first (floral!) pair and wish my feet could still tolerate them.”

This caught Jaime’s attention: “New York Could Make History With a Fashion Sustainability Act“.

Stagiaire Fash directs us to this article about fashion and fairness.

As a non-traditional modest dresser, Vildy loved this video tour of Orthodox Jewish street fashion. She adds: “I do come from this background generations back, and have extended family in some of these neighborhoods. As the video says, none of them are just dressed in black. It’s a You Do You modest style.”

UmmLila came across this article about how the pandemic has changed people’s dressing habits.

Iris Apfel celebrated her 100th birthday last year! She’s known for saying, “more is more, and less is a bore”. Whether you believe that or not, Angie found this list of Apfel’s forthright quotes fascinating, thought-provoking, and hilarious. Well worth a quick read and cerebral sink-in!

Learning From a Shopping Mistake

I’ve made many shopping mistakes in the past, but I learn from them and make fewer over time. When I do make one, it’s almost always with footwear. That held true in 2021 with a pair of sneaker oxford hybrids from Cole Haan. 

I got these metallic darlings with crisp white soles to wear with a dressy Hugo Boss pants suit, or with white jeans. When I tried them on, they looked and felt good, although a little wide. Adding an insole solved the width problem. I tried them on again, and they fit even better. I threw the box away and sprayed them with weatherproofing protectant. I was excited to wear them.

But when I put them through their paces walking the doggies and running errands on foot, they starting feeling too short. My long toes curled up, cramped up, and went a little numb. The shoes were not comfortable at all. I tried removing the insole to see if that would help, but it didn’t. I have no idea why these shoes suddenly feel too short. I’ve re-fitted them on several times at home since I got them in August last year, and the result is the same. Too short, and unhappy feet.

I paid full price and they weren’t inexpensive. I was pretty sure they would be a slam dunk for my high maintenance feet, so it’s disappointing and annoying. What a waste of money. Despite trying to make the best informed decision about a new pair of shoes before committing to them, they didn’t work out. Road-testing them is the ultimate test, and unfortunately you usually can’t return shoes after you’ve worn them outside.

I’m not in the habit of consigning wardrobe items, or selling them on eBay. So my choices are to keep them and wear them for short periods of time with discomfort (which I doubt I will do). Or to pass them on to someone who will wear them with joy. In the meantime, I’ve learned that my long toes need more room than I think they do, and especially in the length. I need to be even pickier about shoes that earn a place in my wardrobe because when you commute on foot like I do, shoes have to go the distance, and you expect more of them. Onward to a more comfortable pair of shoes with ample length for my long toes.

Roundups

Simpler Items

This week's list of top picks list is about basic pieces.

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Assorted Items

Items for Summer, both in and out of air conditioning.

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Casual Summer Vibes

This week's top picks are good for a casual Summer vibe.

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Summery Earth Tones

These items are for those who like to wear casual earth tones in warm and hot weather.

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Hints of Spring

Some tried-and-tested winning items to refresh your style for Spring.

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Dressier Items

An assortment of dressier top picks might be just what the doctor ordered.

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Editing My Knitwear Capsule

One of my style goals this year is to re-evaluate my tired capsule of knitwear and replace items as needed. This used to be a simpler process, but has become complicated because of inconsistent quality and sustainability concerns. 

I wear a lot of knitwear because I run cold and live in a four-season climate. It is by far my largest capsule of tops, and likely to stay that way. Fabrics range from wool and cashmere, to cotton and blends with synthetic fibres. As much as I try to buy great quality knitwear and look after it so that it does not pill, shrink or stretch out — there are few guarantees. Knitwear quality is a crapshoot these days.

Pilling

I loathe the look of pilled knitwear. Years ago, as soon as knitwear pilled — which could be after one season — I’d pass on the items if the cleaners couldn’t fix the problem. I don’t pass on knitwear as swiftly these days because it’s more sustainable to keep wardrobe items for longer.

These days I de-pill my own knitwear to the best of my ability, which keeps items going for more seasons. Knitwear thins the more I de-pill it, so it’s a trade-off. De-pilling does not make my knitwear look perfect, and I can damage sweaters by de-pilling too vigorously. But generally, there is enough of a visual improvement that it allows me to wear de-pilled knitwear for longer.

When pilling looks bad and I cannot improve it, items are passed on. This is by far the main reason I pass on knitwear.

Shrinking and Stretching

Knitwear that has shrunk a little at the cleaners or after I’ve laundered it, is usually blocked back into a perfect fit after pressing with a steam iron. If items have shrunk too much, I pass them on. I am very careful when I launder, and this seldom happens.

Knitwear that stretches out of shape and becomes too big is passed on immediately because there is nothing that I can do about it. I am a stickler for perfect fit and will not wear an item that fits poorly, so there is no sense in keeping it. Sometimes I try tumble-drying the item to shrink it, but this seldom works.

Holes

Knitwear with holes is passed on. I’ve tried mending the holes, and have had them professionally mended, both with unsatisfactory results. I’ve considered covering the holes with decorative patches, badges, and embroideries, but so far, the aesthetic does not tickle my fancy. That might change in future and I’m keeping an open mind.

Dysfunctional Fabric and Design

I am very sensitive to itchy fabric, and I make sure that new items pass the skin test before I commit to them. But every so often, knitwear items are more itchy than I remember them to be, and when that happens they are passed on right away.

Very occasionally, a knitwear silhouette does not work after I’ve put it through its paces. I can’t return it or alter it, but I can’t keep on wearing it either. I learn from the mistake and pass it on.

Fading and Discolouration

Sometimes, my bright or navy knitwear item loses its vibrancy. Or white knitwear goes grey and yellow. I don’t re-dye items, so I tend to pass them on. It takes a while for that to happen though. Knitwear is much more likely to be passed on because of out of control pilling than anything else.

Dated

I don’t pass on knitwear because it might look dated to someone else. First, my knitwear is on the classic and trendy classic side, so to my eye it has a high longevity factor. I don’t tire of the types of silhouettes, colours, and patterns I wear which is a big plus. If knitwear is in great condition, but I’m not feeling the colour for a season or two, I keep the item. This happened with my burgundy pullover, which I didn’t wear for two years. My affection for burgundy was rekindled and I happily wear the fab turtleneck again.

With all of this in mind, I’ll soon be thoroughly editing my knitwear capsule (see the collection below). Knitwear with holes, and itchy knitwear has been passed on already. I’ll make thoughtful additions and replacements, and refresh with some new solids too. I’ll also continue to wear some items until they are replaced — like my old white cotton pullovers and citron knitwear — because it’s hard to find a replacement for those workhorses.

Boden
Muriel Sweater
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Top Pick
24
Boden
Cashmere Crew Sweater
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Top Pick
16
Zara
Geometric Jacquard Top
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Top Pick
8
COS
Cashmere jumper
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Top Pick
13
COS
Roll-neck merino jumper
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Top Pick
22
Boden
Bella Cashmere Hoodie
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Top Pick
27
COS
Silk-cotton Polo Shirt
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Top Pick
12
Boden
Antonia Sweater
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Top Pick
18
Boden
Estella Sweater
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Top Pick
13
Boden
Westmoreland Sweater
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Top Pick
10
Boden
Westmoreland Sweater
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Top Pick
6
Everlane
The Cashmere Crew
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Top Pick
6

Create a List Of Your Brands

I mentioned in my style goals for 2022 that I’m prioritizing clothing, footwear, and accessory brands that generally work well for my sartorial preferences, body type, budget, quality expectations, and conscience. That way my style stays focussed, shopping time is reduced, items are more easily replenished and replaced, and I’m set up for success when shopping online

Instead of keeping a running list in my head of the brands, I’ve typed them out so that important ones don’t fall off my radar when I haven’t bought from them for a while. That way I can easily refer to the list, and add new brands as I find them through my shopping adventures.

To get the list of my brands, I went to my wardrobe page in YLF Finds, where apart from wardrobe basics like undies, loungewear, socks and workout wear, my current wardrobe is accurately recorded and updated. I listed the brands of the items in my wardrobe and popped them into Clothing, Footwear, Accessory and Basics categories. I also added brands that have worked well for me in the past, but aren’t currently represented in my wardrobe.

Of course, brands that work well for me now can change their fits, commitments to quality assurance, ethical values, and handwriting, making them unsuitable in future. While I prioritize and am loyal to the brands that generally generate joy and give me the biggest bang for my fashion buck, I am very open to looking at new brands. I will carefully but happily add them to my list if the items make the cut.

Maybe you’ve created a list of your brands, or have another way of remembering brands that tend to work for you. Or you might prefer to leave things up to chance as you replenish and update your wardrobe. Maybe you just enjoy trying new-to-you brands more than I do. Let us know in the comments below.