Not so basic tights and leggings

As requested by one of our awesome Broke and Shameless followers, today I’m posting about the do’s and don’ts of colorful or patterned tights and leggings. Ironically, my sister Sarah flew in last night from San Diego wearing some awesome patterned leggings, so she’ll be helping me out with my post today!

Sarah’s First Look

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This is actually the outfit Sarah wore on the plane, but I loved it! One thing that I think is really important when wearing prints is making sure you don’t go overboard. The white tee was a perfect match for these leggings, but since they are black and white, she was able to pair a colorful printed scarf to add a pop of color. If she was wearing more colorful leggings I don’t think the scarf would have been a good choice, but here it definitely works!

Sarah’s Second Look

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In this second look Sarah decided to dress her leggings up a bit. However she still kept the color palate simple, which makes her awesome leggings the center of attention. Once you start to add too many colors and different prints everything starts to get lost in a muddled mess. So keep it simple if you’re not very confident in combining different colors! I also think the length of this top is a perfect length for leggings. You don’t want your top to be too short (leggings as pants is never a good look), but you also don’t want it to be so long that you lose the leggings completely.

Colorful Tights

First thing’s first, TIGHTS ARE NOT PANTS.



Now that that’s out of the way…

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OK, these are the most colorful tights I own… I realize they’re actually not that colorful but I still think they demonstrate my point…

Colorful tights can definitely be a tricky thing to wear. Like I said before, I highly recommend that if you’re going to wear the rainbow on your legs, you should tone it down everywhere else. Neutral tones like tans, blacks, whites, grays are definitely the way to go. If I add color, they’re usually muted tones or as I call them “muddy.” Yet there are some cool color combos you can do with bright shades like teal and mustard yellow. I don’t know why but I love those two together! Anyways, my point is, the colorful tights are going to be enough of a statement. Below I have some more pictures to help better explain my opinions on how to style tights and leggings.

The Good….


This outfit isn’t so much my style, but I still love it. Once again, the leggings are the focus point, and the accessories help to bring it all together.


Same concept as above, but I added this one in because while searching on Pinterest for pictures, I noticed a lot of rainbow leggings and brown boots. Not a good look. So I wanted to show how to wear brown boots with printed leggings.


This outfit does a good job with adding some extra color and print without it being obnoxious. And of course the tan sweater helps.


Not the biggest fan of these leggings, but I just wanted to show that if you’re going to wear something like this, go black, white, or gray. Maybe even a coral would be cool but that’s one of those things you would have to experiment with and see how you feel about it (corals and blues are another color combo that I love as well as corals and grays).


Bright color, neutral everywhere else. So simple but so cute.

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These two are a good example of “muddy” colors. I especially love the first one where she has green, blue, tan, brown, and white, but they’re all toned down and look great together.

The Bad…


First of all, this breaks my leggings/ tights are not pants rule. So this automatically gets a no in my book. But I’m also not loving the light denim with this print and I’m confused about the shoe choice.


Although there’s tan in these leggings I’m not loving the brown boots. I also appreciate the attempt to wear a longer shirt underneath but the color blocking of bright colors on top of bright colored and printed leggings is just a bit too much for me. A long white button down tunic and black heels or booties would have been a better way to rock these leggings. (once again, in my opinion…)

The Ugly…


No.  Just no.

Once again, this is my take on the subject, but everyone has a different style and is free to wear whatever they want!! Yet I hope my take on it gave you some helpful ideas. I also apologize to every woman in the bad examples!