5 Tips for Wearing Stockings If You're Over 60, According to a Stylist
They're the ultimate finishing touch.
If you're like us, you have a complicated relationship with stockings. While we adore how they elevate every outfit and keep our legs toasty warm, they're often tricky to style (and sometimes tear at the most inopportune times). If you've ever spent hours rummaging through your hosiery drawer to find a stylish and practical pair of tights, you'll want to keep reading to hear from personal stylists about the dos and don'ts of wearing stockings in your 60s. Memorize these outfit formulas, tips, and tricks, and you'll never struggle to get dressed again.
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Try a monochromatic look.
The easiest way to pair your tights to your outfit is also the most classic: go monochrome. "Matching tights to outfit color is a great way to lengthen and strengthen your silhouette," says Elizabeth Kosich, personal stylist at Elizabeth Kosich Styling. "Black on black is the ultimate iconic pairing, as popularized by Donna Karan in 1985. Every combination of her 'Seven Easy Pieces' was styled with black tights—skirt, trouser, bodysuit, white shirt, cashmere sweater, jacket, and trench coat."
However, Kosich notes you can apply this rule to other colors. For example, you might pair a red dress with red tights and metallic accessories for a festive party look. (Kosich advises matching the tights to your clothing color, not shoes.)
Another way you can experiment is with opacity. The more opaque the stockings, the more coverage. If you choose a vibrant hue, an opaque stocking will make a major statement, while a sheerer option will draw less attention.
Play with prints.
Tights come in all sorts of varieties, but prints are one of the most fun. "Sublimation printed tights have grown in popularity in recent years thanks to innovative printing methods and new machinery," says Kosich. "Shop Burberry-style plaids, smart stripes, and traditional paisley prints for a pop of fun, then pair with understated, simple pieces with clean lines that don't compete or add noise to the print." It's an easy way to level up that LBD in an instant, age-appropriate way.
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Opt for texture.
If you prefer something a tad more subtle, try tights with texture. "Keep a one-color theme but try tone-on-tone textured tights to lighten the look—dots, chevron stripes, lace, or micro-fishnets add both interest and airiness," says Kosich. "Still match tights to clothing color to elongate, but add an overcoat in a neutral if the outfit is in a statement color—or a statement color if the outfit is in a neutral—to balance the color palette." Et voila, your outfit is now 10 times more interesting thanks to a handy pair of stockings.
Invest in the classics.
Rounding out your wardrobe with the basics is a great way to ensure you always have something to wear. "Stockings are the ultimate outfit finisher that polish and elevate on-demand," says Kosich. "Stick with the classics to dress up any daytime look for evening—sheer nude, ecru or black hose, or opaque black for an urban, high-style look." Nylon, elastane, wool, and spandex are all materials to look for in a quality pair.
While classic colors are a must, you shouldn't be afraid to push boundaries in your seventh decade. "Try deep, muted tones like burgundy, garnet, hunter green, chocolate, or raspberry, leaving the neons and trend-driven hues for the younger set," Kosich says. With confidence, you can pull anything off.
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Consider them an accessory.
You might think tights are purely functional. However, Kosich suggests using them like any other accessory. "Like jewelry, they can be the statement piece that the rest of the outfit revolves around." If you style them properly, they'll elevate even the most basic outfit into one that wows. Add a few colored, patterned, or printed options to your wardrobe, and have fun styling the endless outfit opportunities.