We all want to know which are the best dresses to wear with tights in winter when planning our wardrobes for the colder months. However, it can be a little tricky to find what types of dresses pair best with tights, which is why I have created a guide to cover as many style ideas as possible to keep you inspired during the chilly season.
Here is a lookbook of dress and tights combinations, along with frequently asked style questions to help you out this winter.
Best dresses to wear with tights in winter:
The best dresses to wear with tights in winter are sweater dresses, as they are versatile, available in a range of styles and are warm. Sweater dresses and tights are a classic winter pairing, for a stylish and put-together outfit.
Sweater dress are an easy option to pair with tights in winter for cosy yet cute outfits. When styled correctly the sweater dress and tights combination is suitable for a range of situations.
- Style a sweater dress and tights with smart shoes and a tailored jacket to create a cosy and stylish office wear look.
- Alternatively match a dark sweater dress with tights and heels for an evening at a trendy bar.
- You can also pair a sweater dress and tights with ankle boots for a more casual look on the weekends.
But sweater dress aren’t the only style of dress that pair well with tights. In fact there are loads of dress styles that look great with tights in winter, for many different occasions. Here are some examples…
Other dresses to wear with tights in winter are:
- Long sleeved dresses
- Floral dresses that incorporate black in their pattern to match your tights
- Dresses you can layer
- Shift dresses and a jacket for the office in winter
- Bodycon dresses
- Summer dresses that transition between the seasons
Everyone should have at least one of the above types of dresses to work with and pair with tights for a winter look. I love making the most out of my wardrobe, by styling my dresses throughout the seasons!
If you need some inspiration, here is how I style six of my dresses with tights in winter:
In the above image I styled a dark green velvet dress with tights and ankle boots, for a cute evening look. I paired a burnt orange fitted long sleeved dress for a warm yet stylish outfit. I matched black tights to a floral summery dress to transition it between the seasons – this worked well as the floral pattern incorporates black. I would add a coat on top of all of these dresses, when heading outdoors.
Here are three more ways to style dresses with tights in winter:
On the left I paired a long black bodycon dress with ‘tan tights’ and a long coat, for a sleek day or night time look. In the middle I matched a red shift dress with tights and a tweed jacket for a business casual, office appropriate look. On the right I transitioned a summer wrap dress into winter wear with black tights and a black turtleneck underneath.
There are lots of ways you can pair your dresses with tights to make the most out of your wardrobe. I like to wear my dresses in both summer and winter, to make my clothing stretch further.
When buying dresses I always ask myself if they will look good throughout the seasons, and how much use I can get out of them. I always find versatile dresses are the best to wear with tights in winter, as you are making the most of your money. This is my top tip!
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Now we’ve covered the basics, let’s get into some more questions about dresses and tights in winter…
Should you wear tights with a dress in winter?
You should wear tights with a dress in winter if you need to warm up your outfit. In colder climates a dress can sometimes look odd without tights, and the outfit won’t seem as put-together. If you live in a warmer climate, there is no need to wear tights with your dress if you don’t want to.
Alternatively if you don’t want to wear tights with your dress in winter you can wear leggings instead, or leave your legs bare and wear tall boots to stay warm. Knee-high or thigh-thigh closely fitted boots are a great option for fighting the winter chill when paired with a long sweater dress and a coat.
You could also choose to wear thigh-high socks instead of tights, and pair them with a knee length dress to stay warm. Some people don’t like the feel of traditional tights and would prefer legging or long socks, which are perfectly fine options to pair with a dress.
In terms of style sometimes a dress can look odd in winter with bare legs, as the outfit looks unfinished, or more suitable for summer. From a fashion perspective it’s better to pair your dress with some sort of coverings for your legs, to look more polished and well-styled in winter.
There are plenty of options of tights to pair with your dresses if you are tired of plain black. Try a patterned pair of tights, or a different colour of tights you wouldn’t usually choose, for example burgundy or bright red. Wool tights are a great option if you want to mix things up and they look particularly stylish in grey.
How do you wear tights with a dress?
The easiest way to wear tights with a dress is to match the colour of the tights to an element of the dress, for example a colour in the dresses pattern. Then finish off the outfit with a pair of ankle boots that match the colour of your tights.
It can sometimes be tricky to wear tights with a dress if the colours contrast. For example if you are trying to wear black tights with a white floral sundress, the combination can look a little odd. It’s best to pick a dress that matches to the colour of your tights, for example if you have a hounds tooth patterned dress pair it with either black or white tights.
Here is an example of how I style a floral patterned dress in winter with tights:
I matched black tights to the dress as there is black present in the floral pattern. Then I paired black ankle boots with the tights, to create a seamless look.
If you follow these colour matching rules when pairing tights with your dresses, you’ll have no trouble at all putting outfits together.
Should tights match your dress or boots?
When wearing a dress with tights and boots match the tights to the boots for a seamless and put together look. Colour matching the tights and boots creates the illusion of longer legs and balances out the outfit.
It’s best to match your tights with your boots, as contrasting tights and boots can chop the outfit up and make your legs look shorter. A seamless colour pallatte creates the illusion of a more balanced silhouette and is an easy fashion rule to follow.
Although, if you are trying to pair statement boots with a dress and tights it can be fun to pair the tights to the dress instead, and let the boots draw the eye.
Do you wear tights with a sweater dress?
A sweater dress looks best when worn with tights for a cosy and stylish look. Alternatively tall boots or thigh-high socks pair well with a sweater dress for a sexy yet warm outfit. Leaving your legs bare when wearing a sweater dress can look a little odd, especially in colder climates.
It’s best to wear tights with your sweater dress in winter, so the outfit doesn’t look unfinished. On the other hand it’s perfectly acceptable to wear a sweater dress without tights in the fall or spring when it’s a little warmer. It all depends on the climate of your country and the time of year.
If you would prefer not to wear tights you can pair your sweater dress with leggings, long socks or knee-high boots to keep your legs warm instead.
Thank you for reading this dress and tights style guide – I hope you now feel inspired to head to your wardrobe and put some outfits together!
For more fashion tips check out…
Lorna is a footwear geek and the founder of Wearably Weird. She created a YouTube channel in 2021 for fellow footwear fanatics, dedicated to detail-rich footwear reviews and info. She has a fashion media qualification (awarded in 2011).