This close. Photo by Vickie Chang
This close. Photo by Vickie Chang


I'd like to call this one an "almost." A very, very, very close almost, mind you. So close I kind of feel bad writing this. But this very familiar trend of footless tights needs to be addressed. The dress is actually really adorable and has so much potential. The purple and teal plaid print (a great color combination) and the drape of the fabric on the skirt? Awesome; wrap dresses always compliment the torso/midsection while accentuating the waist, just like here. But this is a great example of leggings overturning a potentially great outfit.

Leggings are tricky, and the footless tights explosion that has been thrown up all over the mall doesn't help things either. Blame it on the '80s renaissance of six years ago—and whoever decided off-shoulder tops, sweat bands and knit leg warmers were somehow cool again on everyone ages six through 40. (Older if you live in LA.) Fantastic.

After the Flashdance redux came leggings—and just like every other trend, it was cool at first, when we saw them on the high-fashion runways of everyone from Stella McCartney and Marc Jacobs to Prada. Then it hit Urban Outfitters, when it was still kind of cool (and those of us in on the craze years before still wore them, but not without rolling our eyes at ourselves). But then tween magnet stores like Limited Too and Charlotte Russe finally caught up and started pairing leggings and denim miniskirts together. And it was not so good.

I still like footless tights, but this is a good example of where they just don't work: the length of the dress just doesn't work with the ankle-length leggings. If the dress was somewhere around knee-length, perhaps. But the hem and the fabric's billowing make the leggings a no-go for this outfit. All they do is shorten her, and she really isn't a short girl at all.

A good rule of thumb for footless tights? The longer the hemline of your dress or skirt, the smaller the chance of your outfit looking good with leggings. I'd argue that longer dresses shouldn't be paired with tights or stockings at all.

You'll risk looking matronly at best. Or worse, like Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle—and no one wants that.


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