How to Choose Stocking Color

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A model for Vivienne Westwood Red Label rocks a matching look during London Fashion Week in February 2014.
A model for Vivienne Westwood Red Label rocks a matching look during London Fashion Week in February 2014. (Image: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

Stockings and tights never really go "out" -- fashion statement or not, they're often a necessary part of a winter wardrobe. While that's good news for those who like their sleek fit -- and those who are just plain cold -- there are a few guidelines for looking good. The focus is on a streamlined appearance: You don't want to jar the eye with sudden color changes.

Go Natural or Match Your Outfit

When going the natural or nude stocking route, be sure the pair you choose is close to your skin tone; don't choose hosiery that is too shiny -- it doesn't reflect well. Another option is to match the stockings to your dress or your shoes. For example, a brown print skirt with a black border works well with black shoes and black stockings. It's a trickier look to pull off, but comedian Tina Fey got rave reviews when she posed in a white blouse, black skirt, black stockings and red shoes.

What Not to Do

Wearing peep-toe shoes or strappy sandals with hosiery can be controversial: Some fashion experts say it's okay, but others say it's a clear "don't." If you do opt for tights with open-toe shoes, be sure to choose the seamless variety. White stockings don't complement many looks; bright colored shoes and black tights might end up making you look like Minnie Mouse, stylist Bridgette Raes snarks. Some, including "Harper's Bazaar," say you should keep the tights on the shelf until October 1. The ultimate "don't," of course, is wearing stockings with runs and snags.

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