What Color Tights Should I Wear With a Sweater Dress?

Nicole Richie wears basic black tights with her sweater dress at her Barnes & Noble book signing.

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

A sweater dress can keep your upper body toasty; a pair of tights can keep your gams equally warm. Of course, this leads into a pretty common fashion conundrum -- matching your tights with your dress. When it comes to the color of tights to sport with your sweater dress, you have a few options, depending on whether you want to stay low key or let your legs get funky.

Neutrals

If you don't want a potential clothing controversy, sport the safest option: Basic black tights. Black goes with pretty much any color, and it's a totally neutral backdrop that'll let your sweater dress be the star of the show. If black tights feel too goth, try another neutral color, like gray or dark navy. Taking the neutral route means you don't have to worry about clashing, and it's an especially safe bet if your sweater dress is super-busy and patterned.

Get Monochromatic

If neutral tights are too obvious, then make sweet harmony with your sweater dress by choosing a pair of tights from the same branch on the color family tree. You don't have to pick the exact same matchy-matchy color -- instead, just go for the same basic hue and you'll be good to go. For example, if your sweater dress is red, wear dark maroon tights. If your dress is violet, wear eggplant-colored tights.

Patterned Tights

Want to punch up a solid-color sweater dress? Then get busy down below with some patterned tights, like plaid or striped tights. It's a less subtle, more youthful look that can add a little pizazz to a stuffy, boxy sweater dress. Choose a neutral black or gray-based pattern to anchor a colored sweater dress. If your sweater dress is neutral-colored, then you're free to sport whatever patterned color combination your heart desires.

Go Color Crazy

If you want to get super-whimsical, forget you even know the word "neutral" and go all out with colors from different families. The trick to making this look sharp is to consult a good 'ol color wheel. Locate the color of your sweater dress on the wheel, then look at the color that's directly opposite on the wheel -- that's the color your tights should be. This trick uses complementary colors -- colors so opposite they're made for each other.

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