In praise of tights

dress with tights and bootiesLate fall and the weather is getting crisp. After a summer of wearing bright dresses, must I now exchange them for dull, drab trousers?


While trousers have a role in a fall/winter wardrobe, the evolution of tights has made wearing dresses year-round easy. When I was in Paris recently, I noticed that many French women wear dresses and skirts to work, paired with chic tights and ankle booties or pumps. As the weather gets colder, tall boots come into play as a very sophisticated addition to the wardrobe.

Some tips for wearing tights:opaque tights

  • Black tights are always stylish. Many come in semi-opaque so they’re not too heavy.
  • If you’re wearing pattered tights, make sure you account for the pattern when selecting your dress or skirt. A safe option is to wear a solid skirt with patterned tights so the overall effect is easy on the eyes.
  • Coloured tights are also a great fashion statement. Again, consider your overall look when choosing coloured tights. Your legs are long so balance is key!
  • Tights are not pants, nor are they leggings! If they have a gusset and feet, they’re tights and must be worn in the same way as pantyhose…with a dress or skirt.patterned tights
  • Tights and open-toed shoes? While some fashion-forward young women may be able to get away with this, for mature women, it doesn’t work. Stick to pumps or boots.

Enjoy the changing seasons!


True French Style

Having spent 10 days in Paris, I obeiffel towerserved a lot of very stylish women. And men. And kids. Style, it seems, is in the French DNA.

Or is it?

Or is it just that it’s part of the French culture to pay attention to what they wear. To get dressed “on purpose,” which is also my mission statement.

Despite all the books you read about the mysterious French je ne sais quois, my observation is that the French follow a few simple guidelines.

Here’s what I saw:

  • Women wear scarvesclassic burberry scarf
  • Men wear scarves
  • Kids wear scarves
  • Major fashion labels are in France, but Parisiens don’t seem to wear them. Not a lot of Chanel, Hermes or others flaunted – except some Burberry scarves. Michael Kors was the most obvious handbag. Many carried handbags without labels.
  • Contrary to the books, French women do get fat. Not in the same numbers as North Americans, but there are some.
  • Contrary to style books, French women do wear running shoes.
  • French women don’t wear makeup. And look stunning.

Here is a snapshot of the real street style in Paris:

Street style – women: Typically monochromatic with a pop of colour, usually in a scarf or shoes. Everyone wears scarves – they complete a look. Not always dressed to the nines, but always dressed in an “outfit.” Low heeled boots or shoes are common. Black tights with skirts and dresses. Occasionally a hat, not often. Handbags carried at the elbow in a very ladylike manner. Not a lot of designer labels, but always well put together.

Street style – men: suits with skinny pants, scarves over suits/ties. Older men carry traditional briefcases, as do younger men “on the rise.” Others carry backpacks. Trench coats very popular.

What style tips can you take from this? I’d love to hear from you