How to Wear Tights With Different Styles of Shoes and Boots

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Tights With High Heel Shoes

Actors Owen Wilson (L) and Jennifer Aniston (R) attend the Paris photocall for Marley & Me at the Hotel Bristol. February 26, 2009 - Paris, France. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Wearing dark tights with just a bit of shimmer, Jennifer Aniston has pulled together a look that's feminine, breezy, and perfect for day-to-evening wear. But my favorite thing about this look is that she's finished off her outfit with gray shoes, whereas most women wear black shoes with tights. The fact that they're gorgeous Christian Louboutin t-straps doesn't hurt her case any either.

As a general rule, tights look best with shoes that are the same color or darker, but you should always try a specific combination before ruling it out based on any preconceived notions.

In Jennifer's case, the tights are a nearly perfect match, and the fact that they're so close — and that they go so well with her dress — makes this a winning combination, despite the fact that they are a tad darker than her shoes.

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Tights With Mary Jane Shoes

Kaya Scodelario (L) and Hannah Murray, in tights and mary janes, pose with the Philips Audience Award for 'Skins' at the BAFTA Television Awards 2009 at the Royal Festival Hall. April 26, 2009 - London, England. Tim Whitby/Getty Images

In this photo, Kaya Scodelario and Hannah Murray could be textbook examples on how to wear tights with shoes for a formal occasion.

Both are wearing tights, evening dresses, and Mary Jane shoes — and both have got it spot on, but the similarities end there.

Kaya's higher heeled black Mary Jane shoes and black tights provide a nice contrast to her shimmery, pale gold dress; while Hannah's silver, gray, and white outfit is a lesson in dressing somewhat monochromatically without being boring.

If I could only change one thing, it would be Hannah's shoes. They're gorgeous, and actually not a bad fit for her ensemble. But I can't help but think I would prefer a black heel with silver accents, or a dark, matte gray pair of Mary Jane heels.

Not that it matters terribly — both girls look great.

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Tights With Open Toe Shoes

Amanda Peet
Actress Amanda Peet, in tights and open-toed shoes, attends the 'Please Give' Premiere during day six of the 60th Berlin International Film Festival at the Berlinale Palast. February 16, 2010 - Berlin, Germany. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

If you thought that you couldn't wear tights with open-toed shoes, then this photo of Amanda Peet should help convince you otherwise.

Yes, the open toe, high heel, black Mary Janes are gorgeous, and the dark matte tights are lovely, but what really strikes me about this combination is that she's paired these two items with a white pastel print dress — and it works wonderfully.

I think most of us are a bit inclined to only pair dark tights and black shoes with similarly-colored dresses, but this serves as proof that we should try shaking things up every once in a while. Let's face it, you wouldn't dream of only wearing a black shirt with black pants, and a denim shirt with jeans might even look a little bit silly… so why not a light colored dress with darker tights and shoes?

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Tights With Ankle Boots

Model Claudia Schiffer looks fab in tights and ankle boots, as she attends the British Fashion Awards at Royal Courts of Justice, Strand. December 9, 2009 - London, England. Stuart Wilson/Getty Images

Claudia Schiffer certainly doesn't have to worry about her legs looking shorter and heavier in ankle boots, but for a lot of women, pairing ankle boots with dresses makes for a very unflattering combination.

The solution? Wear those same ankle boots with a pair of same-colored tights for a look that's actually leg-slimming and lengthening. If you've managed to notice anything beyond Ms. Schiffer's mile-long legs, you've probably noticed that she's paired her ankle boots and tights with a bold, red and black print dress — and therein lies the second lesson this photo holds for you. In addition to being more leg-friendly, black ankle boots and tights are the ideal way to really accentuate a colorful little dress, like the one Claudia's wearing. For maximum effect, and to really make the colors pop, try looking for a vivid dress with black accents, then top the whole look off with more black accessories.

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Tights With Pumps

Pixie Geldof walks down the catwalk in tights and pumps during the Vivienne Westwood Red Label fashion show during London Fashion Week. February 21, 2010 - London, England. Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

You might have already figured out that you could pair tights with boots and booties, but what about wearing tights with other shoe styles, like pumps?

Well, Pixie Geldof and Vivienne Westwood have been kind enough to provide that answer for you via the photo shown here, in which black tights are successfully and stunningly paired with gray, multi-strap pumps. The matte black tights really make the scoop neck mini-dress stand out, while the shoes are dynamic enough to not fade into the background.

The whole look is perfect for day or night, although personally, I'd skip the hat. Then again, if Vivienne Westwood asked me to, I'd probably wear a flower pot on my head.

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Tights With Boots

Actress Selma Blair working tights and boots as she attends the Proenza Schouler Fall 2010 Fashion Show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Milk Studios. February 17, 2010 - New York City. Rob Loud/Getty Images

I can't say enough good things about the outfit Selma Blair pulled together in this photo. Not only does she serve as a fine example of how to wear boots with tights, but she also shows how to do it in a manner that's as ideal for daytime.

While the sleeveless v-neck would also be great with bare legs or sheer hose, the black tights and high heel ankle boots really send the outfit off the charts.

Another noteworthy element to this ensemble is the design of the ankle boots. If you look closely, you'll notice that the shafts are looser around the ankles than they are on a lot of other short boots. This is a great style for women who would like their calves to look a little bit thinner, but still want to wear ankle boots. Adding matte black tights only emphasizes the slimming effects.

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Tights With Booties

Wearing tights and booties, Tinsley Mortimer attends the after party for the Opening of the first Hermes Men's Store on Madison Avenue at NY State Armory. February 9, 2010 - New York City. Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Hermes

While putting this article together, I came across more images of Tinsley Mortimer wearing tights than I did just about any other celebrity. In fact, it seems as though she's a veritable expert on successfully pulling together outfits that include tights with boots and different styles of shoes.

Some of the combinations were gorgeous, but I chose to feature this one because it is a little bit different from the others.

Most of you probably won't be attending a lot of red carpet premieres this year, and if you're like a lot of women, you may not even have that many evening shoe kind of occasions.

In this image though, Tinsley has paired black tights and booties with an outfit that you could actually wear to work. And the best part is, it looks fantastic.

The white vertical stripes keep this otherwise black outfit from totally blurring together, and the black tights and booties have a very leg-slimming effect.