The Very Best Tights for Work

the-best-tights-for-work

2017 Update: We still stand by this roundup of the best tights for work, and links have been updated below. You may also want to check out our more recent discussion of sleek, strappy heels to wear with tights to the office.

Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

As cold weather sets in, I thought we’d do a roundup of some of the best tights for work out there. Ladies, which are your favorites — which are your favorite everyday tights, your favorite superwarm tights, favorite opaque tights, and favorite shaping tights? For me, my favorites for everyday are my Spanx shaping tights, for warmth, my fleece tights from Plush, and for opacity — which is lower on the list for me than comfort and durability, but I know is key for a lot of other women — are my Commando tights. I can’t wait to hear what your favorites are!

First, some general categories — and do note that we’ve talked in the past about how to care for tights, as well as hunted for the best thigh-high stockings for work.

bestselling-tights

Above: a few Hall of Famers, pictured: one / two / three / four

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The Hunt: Strappy Pumps

strappy pumps to wear with tights to work

2017 Update: We still love these strappy pumps to wear with tights to work, but you may want to check out our new roundup of sleek strappy pumps for the office!

Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

If you’ve got narrow heels like I do, tights can be a problem with classic pumps — shoes I was fine with while barefoot always seem extra hard to walk in while wearing pantyhose or tights.  Still, after a certain point in autumn, bare legs just look silly, no matter how warm your body runs. My solution for a conservative office has always been to wear pumps with straps for most of the winter.  Now, of course, booties are so popular you may be able to wear those instead for all but your biggest days (know your office!) — we’ve rounded up some of the sleeker bootie/pump hybrids in bullet points below. Still, for those of you who prefer the sleeker look of strappy pumps, I thought we’d feature a few best selling styles and some current picks.  Readers, what shoes do you wear with tights in the winter? Are you on Team Bootie or Team Strappy Pump (or both? or neither?) Bought any great ones recently?

Some special interest categories (and those bootie/pump hybrids we mentioned):

Some of the best selling styles (we mentioned above include):

strappy-heels-for-work-bestsellers

Bestsellers row 1: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4
Bestsellers row 2: 56 / 7 /

* If you have wide feet, check out our roundup of workwear brands making heels for wide feet. Curious about previous roundups for strappy flats? Here are our favorites from 2015, 2014, and 2012.

In addition to the best-selling styles pictured above, some of our favorites that are new to shelves include:

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The Best Tights and Half-Slips for Work

Nordstrom 'Everyday' Opaque Tights | CorporetteWhich are the best tights for work, and where can you find them? What about half-slips for underneath workwear? Reader K wonders…

I work in a very casual office, but with winter upon us, I would like to change up my typical pants/sweater wardrobe to add more tights. Can you do a post on the best tights out there? The best opaque, the best durability, the best for patterns/textures, and best quality for price. I’m a bit overwhelmed by all the offerings, and without knowing which brand seems to have the greatest appeal, it’s hard to invest $20 (or more) for what amounts to a pair of tall socks. Along with that, where on earth do we find half-slips anymore?

Great question, Reader K. We haven’t talked about tights in a while (and it’s been eons since we talked slips!), so let’s discuss.

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The Hunt: Strappy Pumps for Work

strappy heels for work2017 Update: We still think these are really cute strappy pumps for work, but you may want to check out our latest roundup of Sleek Strappy Pumps for the Office.

Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I find classic pumps challenging in tights (damn my narrow heels!). As the weather gets colder, though — particularly if you’re commuting in rain boots or snow boots — tights become more practical. My way of dealing with this has always been to keep strappy pumps at the office. They’ve become some of my favorite shoes over the years because I find them much easier to walk in. We haven’t talked about strappy pumps in almost a while, though, so let’s discuss… Readers, what shoes do you wear with tights in the winter? Are you a fan of strappy pumps for this purpose — or do you prefer to wear booties and shooties? Bought any great ones recently?

First, a round up of some broad categories (most links, unless otherwise obvious, go to Nordstrom or Zappos):

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The Guide to Pantyhose for Work

Guide to Wearing Pantyhose For Work

2017 Update: We still stand by this advice for how and when to wear pantyhose to work — links have been updated below. 

If you were to write someone a guide to pantyhose for work, what would you say? Reader H wonders, and since pantyhose is one of the biggest topics we’ve talked about through the years, I thought I’d give it a go.  Here’s H’s question:

Hi! I know you write a lot about pantyhose/tights/stockings–sorry to bring it up again–but I am so confused about them. I grew up in Southern California where no one wears pantyhose, ever, and tights only as a fashion statement or on very rare cold days. I know you’re supposed to wear nude pantyhose to an interview and in very formal situations like court, but on a regular day in the office, is it okay to wear sheer or opaque black tights in the office? How about with a suit in the office? Or with a pencil skirt? Are there color rules e.g. no black tights with a black suit? I suppose what I really need is a Dummy’s Guide to Wearing Stockings. Thanks so much for any sort of information that could help sort me out

We have talked about this a lot, but I still see a lot of confusion about it.  So let’s get into it — I’m curious to hear what readers say. (Pictured: readers have always sung the praises of Donna Karan’s The Nudes pantyhose in the past; they’re $20-$25 at Nordstrom.) 

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When Is It Time to Stop Wearing Tights and Boots?

stop-wearing-tights

2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on when is it time to stop wearing tights to work — links have also been updated below. You may also want to check out our most recent roundup of Sleek Strappy Pumps for the Office if you are searching for the perfect shoes to wear with tights.

When is it time to stop wearing tights to work? What about ankle boots or knee-high boots? Is it determined by date (e.g., Memorial Day), weather, both, or something else? What do you do in the interim? Reader A wonders:

Will I begin to look ridiculous/weather inappropriate for wearing ankle boots to work? Same questions for tights/stockings with dresses and skirts?

I noted a similar conundrum on last weekend’s Open Thread: it’s almost May! It’s 60-70 degrees outside! So: it feels too warm for boots and tights — but it’s too cold for bare legs and peep toes. We’ve talked about summer tweed just recently, as well as bare legs in winter, but that was a while ago.

(Pictured: DKNY has these Light Opaque Control Top Tights in a number of different shades — I’ve pictured the chocolate, but I also like the flannel gray and the light beige “caramel.”) 

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