Tights for Petites

Ditch the Saran wrap and use a pair of tights to line plaster moulds

Tights really qualify as an essential part of any woman's wardrobe. Although most women don't wear stockings anymore, tights remain on the must-have list of fashion accessories because not are they one of the 10 most slimming fashion styles but also because they're so handy to wear in cool weather.

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Find Tights That Fit

Ditch the Saran wrap and use a pair of tights to line plaster moulds

Petite women have shorter legs than women who fit in misses' sizes, but even so, much of the time there is no need to search for specially sized short tights because the material tights are made of is quite stretchy. Following the manufacturer's size charts, which account for both height and weight, for tights usually results in a good fit. However, it's easy to tell when tights are too long because they will wrinkle or bunch around the ankles. If this happens, try tights from a different manufacturer, or look for brands that have petites' sizing, such as Hanes Silk Reflections.

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Wear Tights as Shapewear

Tights can double as shapewear. Control-top tights (Compare Prices) are widely available and handy because they help slim the hips and waist. Control-top tights with high waists (Compare Prices)are also available to slim the midriff.

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Avoid Textured, Bulky, or Patterned Tights

Loafers and fishnet stockings
Timur Emek/Getty Images

To create a long, lean look, choose opaque tights in a solid color, rather than a pattern. Wearing patterned tights can make a short woman look even shorter. Also it's a good idea to avoid tights made of sweater knits, ribbing, or any bulky or textured materials because wearing any type of bulky fashion, whether it's a garment or a fashion accessory, can make a short woman look a bit bigger and shorter too.

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Create a Monochromatic Look with Tights

Petite women can wear tights as part of a monochromatic ensemble with a dress or skirt. Dressing in monochromatic fashion can be a way for a short woman to look a bit taller by creating the effect of a vertical line. Normally the best colors that work well for creating a monochromatic effect are dark colors. If all monochrome seems just too much, a short woman can liven up an otherwise monochromatic outfit with a pop of color.

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Keep Tights Separated in Dresser Drawers

Photo © 2012 by Paula Darnell

Most of us store our tights in dresser drawers, and it's very easy to mistake one dark color for another in the early morning hours when we're rushing to dress for work. Once I wore a black dress, jacket, and shoes and pulled on what I thought were black tights only to discover (luckily before leaving the house) that I had donned navy tights. To avoid confusion, store tights in labeled baggies that are labeled by color.

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Avoid Snagging Tights

Unfortunately, tights, which are usually made of knit nylon, can snag. It's all too easy to snag tights or poke a hole in them when pulling them on. There's nothing more irritating than not being able to wear a pair of brand new tights because they have a hole in them before first wear. To avoid such problems, use unlined gloves to pull on tights. I use unlined vintage kid gloves because although the leather is soft, it grips well. I recommend unlined gloves because using unlined gloves makes it easier to feel and manipulate the tights when we're pulling them on.

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Wash Tights by Hand

Washing tights by hand usually preserves them better than washing them in an automatic washing machine. Hand washing is a much gentler method that avoids the twists and tangles that can result from machine washing. However, if you are going to machine wash tights, place them in a lingerie bag and use only the delicate cycle. In any case, air dry tights, rather than drying them in an automatic washer.