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10 Tips All Tights Wearers Must Know

Whether you go for sheer, opaque, ribbed, dotted, or metallic, this tight wearer's guide will keep your tights on-trend and snag-free.

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Don’t be afraid of color

Brightly colored tights can add a pop of color to any outfit, according to the fashion blog manrepeller. However, if you wear tights that aren’t black, make sure the rest of your look is neutral—like army green tights with a black dress—or wear the same color as your tights for a head-to-toe monochromatic look.  Keep in mind that if you go bold with your tights color, all eyes will be drawn to your legs. (These are more secrets fashion stylists won’t tell you for free.)

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Know when to wear opaque

The shorter your hemline, the more opaque your tights need to be. “By wearing thicker tights, you’ll not only visually elongate your gams but also minimize the risk of showing an inevitable run,” says fashion editor Kasey Rowe on the Rue Now blog. Few people know that there’s an industry term for the opaqueness of tights, called a “denier” number. The higher the number, the more opaque the tights are. Generally, opaque tights have a denier of 40 or more; a denier of less than 30 is likely to be sheer. Sheer tights are fine when you’re wearing knee-high boots and showing only a sliver of leg. These fashion hacks can make you look expensive.

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Check for damages

To ensure that your outfit looks sophisticated, do a once-over to check that your tights are in good shape. Before put them on, examine them closely for any unsightly runs or holes. If you see even the tiniest snag, don’t kid yourself that it won’t become a shredded mess before the end of the day. The safer choice: Choose a fresh pair.

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Make them match

If you’re not going for that isolated pop of color on the legs and you’re not sure how to coordinate, here’s a good rule to remember: Match your tights to the color of your shoes, or to the predominant color of the outfit you’re wearing to ensure that you look put-together. Here’s how to accessorize your outfit like a boss.

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Know how to stop a run

If you’re out and about and notice that your tights have a run, break out some clear nail polish or hairspray. According to rockettes.com, a blog dedicated to dancers who high-kick in tights on a nightly basis, applying these products will stop the hole from getting any bigger. Here are more fast fixes for frustrating winter fashion problems.

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Wash them wisely

Of course, hand washing is the best way to wash your tights. The more wear and tear you put on the fibers, the more likely they are to run. However, if you don’t have time to do a dedicated hand wash at the sink, put your tights in a mesh laundry bag and wash them the delicate cycle so they don’t develop snags in the washing machine. (Here’s how to decode all those mysterious laundry symbols.)

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Never put them in the dryer

Rockettes.com also notes “hot dryers can damage the elasticity of your tights and weaken the fibers that prevent runs.” Make sure to always air-dry your tights instead. Here are other common laundry mistakes to avoid.

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Buy a size up

The smaller your tights are, the more pressure you place on the fibers and the more likely they are to snag and rip. Instead, get a size up from the one you typically wear. And if it makes sense for your body type, consider control-top tights, like Spanx. They’ll act as a body shaper and also tend to hide underwear lines. Need to ditch a pair of old, worn out tights? Here are 23 bizarre uses for pantyhose.

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Try freezing your tights

This sounds like an odd tip, but wait till you try it. According to refinery29.com, freezing your tights before wearing them for the first time may extend their lifespan. “When you buy a new pair of tights, run them under water for a few seconds, squeeze out the excess, then freeze them overnight in a plastic bag,” writes Leann Duggan. Let them gradually unfreeze before wearing. Don’t miss these other tricks of the trade to make your clothes last longer.

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You can go toeless

If you’re aching to wear open-toe booties or sandals but still want the look of tights on your legs, there’s a solution for that—open toe tights. According to an article on BeautyXpose, they are regular tights that typically stop mid foot or ankle, to allow your toes to emerge without the weird seam of tights over them. Just make sure if you’re baring your tootsies that they’re ready for prime time. Here’s how to pretty up your feet without a pedicure.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest