Red tights have emerged as the latest micro-trend to make a comeback in the ever-revolving fashion cycle. The runways of the 2023 fall/winter collections were ablaze with vibrant shades of red, setting the tone for the season.
My Fashion Phases
Throughout high school and college, I went through a lot of fashion phases.
There was the classic 2016 phase of chokers, cropped tees, the fake glasses worn by several serial killers, and we can’t forget the dog filter. What’s more attractive than a normal selfie? One with dog ears and a dog nose. I don’t know why that filter had a chokehold over everyone. At this time, another iconic marker of fashion was making noise. Those happen to be space buns, the most iconic hairstyle of the late 2000s.
While in my senior year of high school, I decided I’d do a style 360. I was NOT going to be like other girls. By that, I mean I was going to dress exactly how most girls my age were dressing. Of course, this was an attempt at being alternative without going all the way. Baggy t-shirts, ripped jeans, Dr. Martens, oh so rebellious. Although, I stand by Dr. Martens to this day. Come on, what a versatile shoe. I do not stand by the TikTok “alt-girl” style. To each their own, but I’ve personally phased out of beanies and chunky chain belts. Could I be swayed to try them again? Perhaps.
While I hate to share this, but I did go through a VSCO girl era. I bought an ungodly amount of scrunchies. I also wore Crocs for an entire summer. It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. It was the time I bought a forty-dollar Hydro flask. Yes, I wore hundreds of beaded bracelets. Yes, I wore Airforce sneakers with everything. While some may cringe when thinking about the fashion of the 2000s, I’m not ashamed of it.
Developing a Personal Style
Between then and now, I developed a personal style. I attribute some of it to my many phases of fashion. In some ways, fashion is like trying new foods; sometimes, you look at something and think yes, I want it. No, I need it. Other times, you aren’t too sure. Hmm, maybe yes, maybe no. Maybe I’ll try it. Then you either love it or hate it. In other cases, you might look at something and be disgusted and think to yourself, that’s a no from me.
In my twenties, I can say that I’m more confident in my style than I’ve ever been. I know what I like, and I know what looks good. I’ve got a nice baseline when it comes to purchasing new clothes. I wear a lot of neutrals. As a borderline shopaholic, limiting myself to mainly neutrals has prevented quite a few bad purchases.
Despite this, I’ll scroll through TikTok or Pinterest and sometimes see something I’d like to try. I’m not completely innocent when it comes to buying into trends, but I do pride myself in avoiding fast fashion. I avoid buying anything that I can’t see myself wearing for a long time. However, every once in a while, a piece of clothing or an accessory comes back around in the cycle of trends, and I want to give it a go.
Don’t be Afraid to Try Something New
I don’t believe clothes are always a reflection of how we feel on the inside. I think fashion is a canvas for how we want the world to see us. That’s why I’m pretty picky when choosing what I want to wear or what pieces I want to invest in.
One of the trends I’ve noticed recently that I thought I’d introduce into my wardrobe is red tights. My initial thoughts on red tights are that they’re tacky. Is it supposed to be giving 80s popstar or Peter Pan? I wasn’t sure.
Now, I’m not easily influenced, but I can be influenced. When I saw @linda.szaa wearing red tights on her TikTok, I was convinced.
It was giving Clueless or Gossip Girl. Everything from the blazer to the Mary Janes was screaming my style. I ran to the mall to find red tights. Unfortunately, red tights aren’t as common on store shelves as they are on Pinterest.
I was on the verge of giving up and succumbing to an Amazon order when I ventured into Zara’s kid section. And there they were, a gorgeous knitted red beacon amid the florescent lighting and blaring pop music.
Now I know shopping in the Zara kid’s section isn’t feasible for everyone. So, of course, there are quite a few options available on Amazon.
I want to inspire you to try a new accessory this winter. Fashion should not function as a box. Sometimes, we put walls around our style, and as a result, stop trying new looks. The right accessory might completely change your outfit. You never know when a piece is going to become a new favorite in your wardrobe.
How to Style Red Tights
I’ve decided to style red tights in four different ways to show you just how versatile an accessory can be.
Red Tights When Going for a Latte
Red tights are the perfect accessory for any outfit for a quick coffee run or a walk. The red tights are the star of the show beneath a pleated denim mini skirt from Mango. I’ve paired this with a classic black turtleneck from H&M and a black leather jacket. Leather jackets add edge and warmth. In addition, the Mango ankle boots tie in with the hardware on the leather jacket. For everyday looks, ankle boots are comfortable and practical.
I feel like black is a safe color when styling red tights. If you’re feeling bold, you could easily alternate the black jumper for a red one. Although red on red can be a little tricky, it can be fun if done right.
These pieces could all be swapped around. For example, you could do a denim jacket with a leather skirt and vice versa. Once you’ve established a color palette for an outfit, it’s easy to switch things around.
If you’re not into the boots, just switch to black or white sneakers. I have been loving flats instead of heels recently. It’s Lily Rose Depp core, for sure. You could even dress this up with a kitten heel.
Red Tights for a Night Out
I’ve been loving the micro miniskirts for a night out. This sparkly mini skirt is from Motel Rocks. This is also a great brand if you’re looking for a statement piece. Red tights make the outfit a little less basic in this case. I’ve styled the skirt and tights with a Mango tank top and Mango heels with jewel detailing. I added a red leather jacket from Motel Rocks. It’s the little details that make an outfit iconic.
I know tank tops aren’t for everyone, especially in the winter. I saw a girl on Pinterest style a similar look and do an open-back black long-sleeve. I think the overall goal is elevated elegance.
I would even be tempted to switch the red jacket for a fur one. I’m a sucker for a fur jacket. Recently, all over social media, there was the trend of Slavic fashion, and I’m all for it. As someone with a Slavic bestie, their fashion is top tier. A little bit of influence here and there never hurt anyone. It’s great to be inspired when it comes to clothes.
A Chilly Day Out
I’ve gone a bit overboard with this look because I’m a cold girl at heart. You’ll always catch me layering in the winter. If it’s not the middle of summer, I’m going to be chilly. But you know what they say: cold hands equal a warm heart.
For this look, I’ve chosen to style a tartan skirt from Motel Rocks. Tartan skirts are the pattern of winter. In addition, I paired this with a red jumper from River Island and a black jacket with a nineties-style fur detail from Motel Rocks. For some added warmth, knee-high boots from Zara keep your legs cozy. Why not wear earmuffs from Zara? Even better than a beanie are earmuffs, which will keep you warm, minus the hat hair.
This look can be changed up to fit a multitude of styles. If you’re more of a beanie person, switch the earmuffs for a beanie. Don’t like fur? Try a black trench. I just feel the red and black color palette is extremely versatile.
I will say this: layering is always going to be in style. If you’re in your layering phase, you’re in your fashion phase. I always look at the icons. Not to be repetitive, but when I think of layering, I think of Cher and Dion from Clueless.
The nineties have returned in terms of the trend cycle, which makes it the perfect time to play around with all of the iconic fashions of the time.
Wearing Red Tights Out for Lunch
I wish we could all treat every lunch date like a fashion show. I think it’s such a vibe to get all dressed up just to go out to eat. Of course, the process of choosing an outfit is never a dull one.
Rocking the timeless 501 Levi’s, these cropped jeans let the tights peek out from underneath. For a touch of sophistication, I’ve styled a Ralph Lauren jumper, the go-to for achieving that effortlessly preppy vibe. With an Oxford white collared shirt from H&M as a base layer, this outfit is stylish and cold-weather-approved. Mary Janes are making a comeback, and my top pick is a glossy pair from Princess Polly. I’ve paired this look with a Houndstooth blazer, a classic print for every winter.
Of course, Ralph Lauren isn’t super affordable. As a queen of the thrift myself, I will say that I’ve had some luck locating Ralph Lauren pieces on Vinted. If you’re not familiar with Vinted, it’s an app/website where you can buy and sell clothes. It’s like thrifting but in browsing mode.
If you’re not into thrifting, I know a lot of high-street brands make similar jumpers. You just need something with a logo. Another option can be your college sweatshirt or a jumper from a trip. All it needs to have is a logo, and it needs to be red to achieve this particular look.
Should You Try the Red Tights Trend?
I think it’s so important to avoid fast fashion like the plague. When we start to think about how much of our clothing ends up in landfills, we’re forced to be more realistic about purchases.
Fashion doesn’t mean always having the new and latest things. After all, it’s okay to try a new trend. It can also be fun and inspire unique looks within your wardrobe. However, to avoid a bad fashion phase, I wouldn’t recommend buying into every microtrend that comes around. You may be left with tons of chunky chain belts and scrunchies.
Sometimes, it’s better to wait for something to no longer be the hottest new thing to give it a go. That way, you know you genuinely like the piece before committing to it.
I think red tights and colored tights, in general, are one of those classic accessories that are always going to be in fashion. Before buying red tights, you might want to have a look on Pinterest. Do some research and see if red tights are compatible with your wardrobe and style. Although, if you’d have to make additional purchases to make red tights fit into your look, it might be best to hang tight. However, if you’re feeling brave and bold about color this winter, red tights might be for you.