How To Wear Striped Tights Or Stockings (Without Looking Like A Mall-Rat Baby Bat)

Some Don'ts:
  • Don't wear them with black Converse All-Stars
  • Don't wear them with a tutu
  • Don't wear them with a hoodie
  • Don't wear them with eyeliner on the inner rim of your eye
  • Don't wear them if they are laddered or have holes in them
  • Don't buy them from the supermarket or cheap accessories store at Halloween, get a pair from a decent brand
  • Don't wear a pair that have orange, purple or green stripes with any clothes in the other colours (e.g. if you're wearing purple and black striped tights do not wear orange or green as well) unless you want to look like the embodiment of Halloween.
At this point I must confess that I have in the past worn my black and purple striped tights with black Converse All-Stars, with eyeliner on the inner rim of my eye, and that they have a mini-ladder by the right toes and were bought from a cheap accessories store by my sister, the original owner.

The first two sins were committed on Halloween 2005, which was before I really learnt how to dress myself, the third is covered by shoes, and the fourth can't be helped now. They are slightly see through so I sometimes wear them with black tights underneath for best results. However, they are slightly too big width ways and I have to keep pulling them up so the stripes stay even.

I am actually currently wearing them with a skirt that has a layer of netting underneath the top layer of black cotton. However, since I am otherwise perfectly neat, tidy, and hopefully elegant, it looks okay.

I also slightly spoiled my all-purple-and-black outfit when I went out today by taking along a carrier bag with orange on it. I suddenly realised I was channelling Halloween and was not happy to say the least!

Now for the Dos!

  • If your striped tights or stockings are black and one other colour, do wear (cute) shoes that match perfectly the colour that is not black. If they are stripes without black, match them to one of the colours.
An example is on the right. In reality, the purple of the shoes is the exact same shade as that of the tights. I'm just a bad photographer.
  • Do wear them with more dressy/formal clothes. This will prevent you from being mistaken under any circumstances for a teenager.
  • Do wear them with cats-eye eyeliner, it looks elegant and again will prevent you from being mistaken for a teenager.
  • Do wear them with co-ordinating colours. Again, it will make you look grown-up.
Here are a couple of outfits I created on Polyvore based around striped tights or stockings. Unfortunately, Polyvore is extremely lacking in decent pictures of striped tights or stockings, so I could only do black and white stripes and black and red stripes, and no purple outfits! There are quite a few pictures of one leg in stripes, which is odd and pretty useless when trying to give a good idea of what it will really look like! Seriously, WTF?

In this I aimed to make the look softer and gently colourful. I love this outfit. I wish I had it! It would be perfect for so many occasions.

I love red and blue worn together and I decided to see what they would look like with some little black dresses. This is an example of me putting the "Dos" from above into serious practice! Ohhh, I wish I had these clothes...


  1. I am guilty of the 'Do not wear them with black Converse All-Stars' sin (on two counts...oh the shame!), but other than that I am relatively blame free.
    But otherwise, those are some really great suggestions, most of which hadn't crossed my mind before(except the concept of colour coordination. That's just an innate trait, and I don't understand why some people think clashing colours is the way to go).

  2. I've really enjoyed reading your blog. Keep updating :-)

  3. striped tights, what a minefield! although, i'm now loving my vertical striped ones

  4. I love stripe stockings but never know what to wear with them. I do like it when people wear stockings with runs/ladders sometimes though. Awesome blog!

  5. I love wearing striped tights/socks with boots and a skirt or dress so that only a teeny, playful sliver of stripiness is seen. You can take the girl out of the goth (clothes) but you just can't take the goth out of the girl..

  6. nevina - I feel the same way about colour co-ordination, unless the clashing colours are kind of co-ordinated, like if you were wearing two colours that clashed in your outfit, but every object in each colour was perfectly matched. But I don't like outfits made up of clothes that don't co-ordinate at all.

    anonymous - Thank you very much!

    selinaoolala - vertical striped tights seem to be really in where I live at the moment, I see a lot of people wearing a particular pair from Marks and Spencer, I own them myself and so does my sister!

    mandy - Thank you! :) I think stockings with ladders can look interesting, I saw this pair of tights that was made to look like it had loads of ladders in it and thought it was pretty cool. But I think to have ladders on tights/stockings that are also striped is just a bit too much! It's just personal preference though.

    dahl - WORD! I like to wear my striped tights and socks with long skirts so that you only see the stripes if I sit down with my skirt ruched up a bit.

    kit - Thank you :)

  7. I really fail to keep up to date with your blog... is there any way I can get it as a feed in my livejournal?

    I noticed you make no reference to mad people like me who like to wear seven-colour stripes... rainbows are so joyful! Most of my garish hosiery is more in the line of long socks than tights though.

    I have some green and black striped tights that I once wore in 2005 with an all black outfit that had a (discreet, at least) skull on the skirt... it was not halloween... I wasn't wearing converse but I was wearing scruffy black trainers.. I may have been wearing eyeliner on my inner rims... Forgive me for I have sinned!

    Nowadays I wear them underneath a pair of really holey jeans so the stripes peek in random places, but that's just because I'm a weird punk.

  8. claire - That's because people like you don't want saving from the sins of stripy tights and are hopeless cases anyway! ;)

    I actually think stripes under holey jeans would look good. I saw someone doing that with fishnets once, but stripes would be even better.

    I don't think you can get a livejournal feed (I do have a new livejournal account though so at some point I'll link to all the posts here there) but you can subscribe through e-mail, the link's on the blog sidebar :)

  9. I love it! thanks for posting, I have a pair of black and white tights and I have absolutely no idea how to wear them, but this definitely helped


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