Tights with open toe shoes?

Open-Toe Shoes & Hosiery:  Yes You Can

open toe shoes and hosiery


White sandals with suntan-color-reinforced-toe-pantyhose. Can you see it?  If the image makes you cringe, you may be old enough to have a residual memory or two from the 1980’s fashion police (it wasn’t yet a cringe-worthy look before that decade).  The flashback may have kept you from ever again considering the option of hosiery with your favorite peep-toes.

Your great-aunt who wore seam-toed pantyhose with sandals did it because it was once acceptable “style.”  And then it wasn’t.   Now, we’re given a chance for a new take on an old look.

If you want to take the trend for a test drive, here are some do’s & don’ts to help you out the door:


  •  Wear shaded, opaque tights for a fresh look with your open-toe or open-back shoes.  (Yes, it works for sling-backs, too.) It’s not only on-trend, but it’s a practical strategy when the weather cools and bare legs just aren’t comfortable.
  • Choose a color that is in the same (or lighter) value range as your shoes.  In other words, avoid black hosiery with white shoes.  There are a multitude of exceptions to this suggestion, but if you’re just starting out, low-contrast colors are a safe choice.print-shoes-shaded-hose-smaller-watermark
  • Consider tights in a color borrowed from your shoe’s print or pattern.  For a bolder statement, contrast the color (i.e. red looks fabulous with leopard print).
  • Match hosiery opacity to the “weight” of your outfit. Tights are the heaviest, often giving a completely opaque finish, so they’re best with tweed wool skirts and sweater knit dresses. Opaque pantyhose have a slight sheerness to them and are a good match for smoother materials like a leather skirt or fine wool suiting.


  • Wear standard-issue pantyhose with your peep-toe shoes. Skin-toned hosiery is for princesses and flight attendants.  More about that here and here.  Now, it’s all about color.
  • Choose color “brights” for tights unless you’re ready for a lot of attention.  Bold hues can work well, but if you’re shy, avoid the head-turning look.
  • Mistake tights, pantyhose, (or leggings, for that matter) for pants.  They’re layering pieces for wear beneath skirts, dresses, pants and tunics.
  • Buy (or DIY) toe-less shaded tights to wear with open-toe shoes. Really, don’t. Lots of instructions online telling you how to do this. Ignore them. Legs and toes are the same color in real life. “Toeless” only works for ultra-sheer (nude-toned) pantyhose.

Have a comment? Question? Let me know your thoughts in the comment box below. I read them all. (You just might be the inspiration for my next blog post.)

Want to learn more? Work with me.

Patty Buccellato Image CoachPatty Buccellato is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups.

Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls! To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

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