On Trying To Figure Out How To Wear Colored Tights

Now that winter is slowly but surely coming to a close, I'm sure that many of us are ready to get rid of our blacks and grays and jump straight into brights. But while we impatiently wait for that to happen, we can dabble with colored tights in the meantime. Not that that's an easy feat or anything. While the idea of wearing tights might sound simple enough — just pop 'em under a dress! Or pair 'em with a skirt! — wearing colored tights can prove to be quite the mathematical formula.

There's so much to consider in order to not end up looking like someone's New Age aunt. While display windows in stores and Instagram bloggers make it look like it's as easy as slipping into a pair of mustard tights in the morning, you actually have to consider dress styles, shoes, lipstick choices, skirt accent hues — the damn works. And when just one of those elements is off, the whole operation will probably go down in flames.

This is why there will be a couple of emotional stages involved when wearing colored tights — everything from happiness to perplexing confusion to dismay. Below are 11 thoughts you'll very likely have while trying to figure out how to wear colored pantyhose.

1. "I'm going to perk my seasonably depressed wardrobe up right now!"

After what probably feels like half a year of wearing nothing but black, white, and gray, getting your hands on a pair of fire hydrant-red tights might feel like the answer to all of your prayers. Finally, a spot of color! It'll be like standing in a tiny ray of sunshine as winter beats on around you.

2. "Wait... Do my legs look like Crayons right now?"

But that feeling can disappear almost as quickly as you put the tights on. You wiggle into them, pop down into that weird second-squat to get them in the right place on your butt, and then face the mirror.

And watch your legs be transformed into Crayons underneath a dress. Perfect. Just what you were after.

3. "OK, I definitely look like an extra out of Beetlejuice"

What is it about a pair of purple tights paired with stripes that makes you want to go dry shampoo the crap out of your hair and haunt people?

4. "What kind of shoes does a human wear with these?"

If you think choosing a pair of shoes while you're wearing jeans is hard, just imagine the turmoil you'll go through in the morning when you have a pair of bright orange tights or mustard pantyhose. Let work know a day before that you're going to be late — the mountain of shoes scattered around your room will be inevitable.

5. "I look nothing like the Anthropologie store window mannequin."

How is it that Anthropologie mannequins and models can pull off jade blue tights like it's nothing, but when you wear it you look like a pre-schooler who escaped from class while Ms. K. wasn't looking? How, I ask, how?!

6. "No, you know what I look like? Like my old fourth grade art teacher."

Trying to figure out who your outfit reminds you of will probably bug you for a full day. You were mentally going through your rolodex of bloggers, street style posts, Pinterest saves.... when it hit you. You look like Ms. Frizzle if she was an art teacher and about to teach you how to sculpt a pencil holder for your mom. That's who you're channeling today.

And you kind of... dig it.

7. "Does this 'accenting' thing feel right?"

Hmm, you read somewhere that colored tights are great for accenting during winter. That they'll add a pop of color and highlight other hues in your outfit... but you're not completely sure. You like the look, but you hate it. But... you like it? And you kind of think the whole ensemble would look better if you just went with the black tights. Then the next second you're not entirely sure if that's true. And it's all just driving you mental.

8. "I seriously don't know if I love this or hate this."

You think you look equally fabulous and like a hot mess. You love that abrasive pop of color, but also wish you had just gone with the usual black. You think the blue pantyhose give your look some personality, but then you're not sure if you want to be walking around with personality in the gloom and doom that is February. This is all so confusing.

9. "But that one girl pulled it off so flawlessly."

This is the way it usually starts: You see one chick rocking the bejeebus out of a trend, and you get inspired to try it yourself. The only thing is, it almost always works out like a Pinterest fail: She looks fabulous, and you look like the version of the DIY Elmo cake where Elmo looks like he just walked out of a house fire.

What steps have you missed?!

10. "It's a real shame I went nuts and bought four other colors."

You got excited at the department store and decided to bring the rainbow home with you. So here's to figuring out how to pull the rest of these shades off — it'll be fun!

11. "Should I go all-in and wear all the color?"

Ok, you're doing this. You're walking around with color pencil legs so you might as well embrace the rainbow explosion. As in, just deck yourself out in head to toe color. Even if it's not your usual style, it'll be fun letting your creativity run wild.

And that's what fashion is all about, isn't it?

Image: Marie Southard Ospina (1)