Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shorts & Tights: Rules & Thoughts

Jackie asked, "What are the rules and thoughts for tights with shorts?"

(My) Rules:
  • The shorts should cover your rear sufficiently.
  • The shorts should hit no lower than your mid-thigh or directly under your thigh (i.e. Bermuda shorts are not ideal. Teehee). Keep the hem at least few inches above the knee.
  • Don't use just any shorts -- they should be made of material that's cold weather appropriate, like tweed, denim, flannel, wool, etc. Linen and even chino shorts aren't ideal (if they're dark chinos, you might just be able to get away with them, if you style them correctly).
  • The tights can be opaque or sheer -- as long as your behind is covered well!
  • If your tights are patterned or colored, opt for a neutral pair of shorts and a solid or subtly patterned top.
  • Because shorts with tights (or leggings) could easily track toward more juvenile depending on the shorts and the style/color of the tights, I recommend keeping your color scheme fairly tame. My preference is darker tights with neutral shorts. 
  • For shoes, I recommend flats, heels/wedges, or nice leather boots. Pretty much any type of boot would work well... riding, suede, ankle, or wedge, as long as they're matched with the right type of shorts/top.
  • If fun colored tights are your thing, just be sure to keep the rest of the outfit more mature: match them with a nicer top, and definitely pair with heels or leather boots.
  • If you have a concern about keeping warm, wear your shorts with a thick sweater or a cardigan. If you plan to wear taller boots, you can also layer knee socks on top of the leggings or tights for an extra pop of cute (just make sure your color scheme doesn't get too out of hand... again, keep a good portion of your outfit neutral if you plan to add more elements, like boot socks). 
1: Atlantic-Pacific  //  2: Pinterest  //  3: Kendi Everyday

1: Pinterest  //  2: Twenties Girl Style  //  3: To Brighten My Day

I personally love this look... it's one of my favorites for Fall/Winter. Actually, just last night I paired a nice blouse with cuffed denim cut-offs, black tights, and my black wedge booties. It was comfortable, a little unexpected, and kind of artsy. I also love chunky sweaters with tights, socks, and boots. It's a fun alternative to a skirt/tights, and, depending on how you style it, can have a very classic vibe (tweed shorts, sweet blouse, high heels) or a rocker vibe (cut offs, flannel shirt, a hoodie, black lace up boots).

Have you given this look a try? Do you have a go-to winter shorts outfit?


  1. I've been wanting to try this but been a little scared. Can suburban moms with 2 kids make this work? I will find out! Thanks for the tips. :)

    1. Oh Traci, you could totally pull this off amazingly. And absolutely! I actually think this is an easy, chic, and comfortable outfit for moms :D

  2. Love the thoughts and suggestions! I am now going to see what old sale appropriate shorts I can find to try this! Thank you for the answer and insight!

    1. Glad it helped, Jackie! I've seen some good stuff out there (wool and tweed especially). Happy hunting!