How to Wear Shorts with Tights

Extend the life of your favorite shorts into fall and winter by styling them with lightweight or heavyweight tights. You can also wear compression tights, or leggings with shorts during workouts to improve your performance.

This is a close look at a woman wearing fishnet stockings underneath her denim shorts.

When you see people out and about wearing shorts with tights underneath, you might wonder why. A plethora of reasons exists to wear this fashion trend. This article covers the how and the why of wearing shorts with tights, a practice both men and women can use to extend the life of their shorts-wearing throughout the year.

You can extend the wonderful world of shorts into the fall and winter. You only need to wear a pair of tights or leggings beneath them. These tights can range from nude footless or footed tights to brightly colored tights of the same options. The materials for these include cotton, spandex, Lycra, and modal.

You won’t find nylon among these although women may typically think of that material since most hose are made of nylon. This also does not include silk stockings, another option women typically wear with skirts and sometimes with skorts or beneath trousers. You will typically find men’s tights made of Lycra or spandex with some cotton options.

You can wear these choices beneath any set of shorts although doing so stylishly requires a little work. How you style these looks depends on the situation in which you wear them and your gender.

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Wearing Shorts with Tights at the Office

Some offices now deem it acceptable to wearing dress shorts which simply consist of a trouser style pant that cuts off at just above the knee. This is true for women and men.

For men, these shorts come as the bottom half of a men’s wear suit. That means they have a jacket to match and you still wear a dress shirt and tie with them. You could wear invisible or nude tights with these shorts to make them warm enough in the early morning for your commute. Many areas of the country experience springtime temperatures during the midday when you would leave the office for lunch until sunset.

The morning hours of the commute time though continue to remain cold and require an extra layer. You can wear this layer over your underwear and under the dress shorts of these men’s suits. An added benefit of this is that if you have scars on your legs or hairy legs and feel self-conscious about it, you can still wear the latest fashions by donning tights beneath the shorts.

This is a close look at a woman putting on a pair of black knee-length socks.

You would usually choose a footless tight and pair it with the same dress socks as normal with this outfit.

Women have an easier time with this. You can wear footed tights with dress shoes under dress shorts. Women can pair chino shorts, walking shorts, or Bermuda shorts with these tights and dress shoes. Choose from nude or patterned or a solid color but keep it in the same color family as the remainder of your outfit.

An office environment requires longer inseam shorts paired with a muted choice of tights. You can also pair these looks with boots, ankle boots, also referred to as booties, or penny loafers. Match your purse to your shoes and wear accessories in the same color family. Your belt and/or scarf should match your shoes and purse.

Wearing Shorts with Tights for a Gym Workout

When you see basketball players wearing tights beneath their shorts, they aren’t doing it for fashion purposes. They wear compression tights to enhance the blood flow in their legs, helping with their circulation. This helps them last longer during those long court battles. Compression tights are comprised of much thicker material than dress tights, also referred to as fashion tights. You can find these in essential primary colors such as navy blue and red.

You can also purchase them in grey and black and white. Pair these tights beneath jogging shorts or basketball shorts to help yourself last longer during your workout at the gym without needing long breaks. You’ll wear sweat socks or tube socks over the tights with your sneakers or athletic trainers with this look.

This is a close look at a woman wearing a pair of denim shorts with purple tights underneath.

Wearing Shorts with Tights for an Outdoor Workout

You could wear compression tights with an outdoor workout look but you can also choose fashion tights. Leggings provide another option. Choose this look when it remains chilly outside, but you need the comfort of shorts, or you just like the look. For some runners, putting on their jogging shorts provides a psychological boost that lets them tack on the mileage or speed.

Men and women can wear this look easily. Choose from footed or footless tights, stirrup pants, or footless leggings. You will wear athletic socks over the tights or leggings with your track shoes. You can pair this look well with a fanny pack to carry your phone and ID. Choose a t-shirt for your top. Women can also wear a leotard over the tights but under their shorts.

Wearing Shorts with Tights for Casual Events

This is a close look at a woman wearing black stockings under her denim shorts.

Women can repurpose their workday shorts as casual wear. Pair the walking shorts you wore to the office with a summer sweater for a fashionable casual look perfect for a beach party or bar-be-que. Try navy Bermuda shorts over white footless or footed tights with a navy and white striped nautical sweater.

When wearing this type of outfit around town or to a backyard party, pair it with a pair of navy flats. If you wear this to the beach, choose the footless tights and a pair of sandals. This lets you slip off your sandals and enjoy the sand. Accessorize these looks with a navy, white, or cream scarf.

Men can pair those nude or black office tights with Bermuda shorts or chino shorts to extend their summer casual looks into fall. Match your sweater to your tights or your shorts. You could wear a gray and white striped sweater with either white or grey shorts paired with white or nude tights. Choose no-show socks with loafers or boat shoes. You can also go sockless with espadrilles.

Fashion Rules of Shorts and Tights

This is a close look at a woman wearing shorts, stockings and knee-high boots.

Avoid trying to repurpose every look. You should not try to wear your gym look to a backyard party and definitely never to work. The methods of styling shorts with tights vary depending on the situation. You must style shorts with tights appropriately according to the situation or you could end up with bad results.

At work, you must meet a dress code. Many employers provide an office handbook that specifies their rules. You must follow this or receive demerits that go into your personnel file. If you rack up enough of these, you can be fired. Your employer expects you to do work at work and help create a distractionless environment so all the other employees and independent contractors can get their work done, too. Many employers consider inappropriate attire as a distraction.

Even though you can dress up in trouser shorts with tights, they still do not qualify as an option for business or formal events. Your office’s casual Friday is a day that you can wear these as long as the dress code says you can, but on the other days of the week, you could not. This look would also not be appropriate for events requiring formal or semi-formal attire regardless of how they are worn or styled.

If a woman wants the comfort of a pair of shorts and tights in a formal environment, wear a skort. This appears to everyone else as if you wore a skirt, but shorts are sewn underneath provide you the comfort of your favorite short trousers.

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