Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

November 13, 2007

You Asked For It: Shoes for Tights

Internet Friend Brittany writes:

I’ve never been a tights girl. I’m from Texas, it’s just unnecessary. But now I live in place with an actual winter so I’m intrigued by this whole tights thing. I understand that a good way to wear them is with tall boots. I do not own tall boots because I have big thick tree-trunk legs and as much as people insist that boots exist for me, I am also without the budget for such a purchase as we approach the holiday season. So, what are the other shoe options for tights? Black pumps seem boring and pumps of another color seem too Minnie Mouse. Flats perhaps? See, I need help!

Brittany. Do not panic. We know you’ve been kidnapped. If you’re reading this, you have access to the internet, so let’s walk through this together. I want you to open a new window and type in Are you there? Good. Now click on that button that says “Directions” it’s got a little blue car underneath. Excellent. Now click that and when the next screen comes up, I want you to type in where you currently are being held. No, you don’t need to know the zip code. Okay, now where it says destination, you just type in TX. Don’t worry about where, the important thing is we get you back into the state and away from those godforsaken places where people need things like “coats” and “heaters” and “toboggans” (which is TOTALLY a made up word and does not fool anybody)

There are a few keys to mixing tights and shoes. If you’re going with a statement shoe, keep the skirt on the short side to give the eye enough space to rest between objects of interest.

The shoe itself ought to be substantial –no frippy little sandals- and closed-toed. If you want to get really “editorial” I suppose technically you could wear a peep-toe, but I’ve rarely seen it pulled off with much success, so unless you’re positive it works, I’d avoid it.

Flats are an option if you’re not worried about the enstumpening (I love the idea of a prosh tartan skimmer with poms on the toe!) t-straps are great because they lend an architectural element and if you must wear ankle boots, pairing them with a contrasting tight shows makes a definite statement. For my money though, you cannot beat a nice suede maryjane. My current faves, by Charles Nolan, can be purchased for 40% off, perfect for the girl on the budget. Let’s see them again, shall we?
Here’s the green:

and here’s the plum:

Here are some more helpful visuals, courtesy of alberta-feretti.jpg
Above is a t-strap by Alberta Ferretti, I love the way the strap lengthens the leg, a great way to wear metallics for day.


Some molto expensive ankle boots from Jimmy Choo. They give a strappy look, but have the bulk you’d need for a winter weight tight.

A green pump from Chloe. I particularly like the platform. It anchors the line and balances out the skirt.


  1. These are all very cute shoes, but what about those of us who can’t wear heels? I’m 5’9″ and have very bad ankles – heels like these are out of the question for me. I can go 1″ at most, but generally prefer flats. Got any nice suggestions for those of us who can’t rock these shoes for safety reasons?

    Comment by Hel — November 13, 2007 @ 4:07 pm

  2. I love the Charles Nolan mary janes, but really – $170 is NOT perfect for a girl on a budget (like me), even if it IS 40% off.

    Here are a few cute choices to wear with tights that are a bit more in line with a real budget (although even these aren’t Payless-priced.) – love these – they come in a beautiful dark teal (they call it Spruce) that would look fab with all black.

    Comment by Esther — November 13, 2007 @ 5:19 pm

  3. OK, my initial comment doesn’t seem to have been saved. I don’t have all the original links open anymore, but the gist of it is – $170 is NOT realistic for someone on a budget, 40% off or not.

    Here’s a beautiful pair of suede Mary Janes that are on sale (price differs by color; the gorgeous spruce shade is $49):

    Comment by Esther — November 13, 2007 @ 5:22 pm

  4. I’ve been resisting buying T-straps because I have rather thick ankles. I’d love to indulge in several pairs, but can we thick-anklers get away with it?

    Comment by Wol — November 13, 2007 @ 5:26 pm

  5. *Wol* I don’t see why not, as long as it’s elegantly cut and has a bit of a heel. In fact, a t-strap is much less enstumpening than a regular ankle strap (which I tend to avoid) because the T lengthens the leg line.

    Comment by Plumcake — November 13, 2007 @ 5:37 pm

  6. Well, of course, the Chloe ones are MY PERFECT TIGHTS SHOE IN EVERY RESPECT and no I do not have that kind of dosh. Damn it.

    Comment by Violet — November 13, 2007 @ 7:03 pm

  7. Sadly, the Chloe doesn’t come in my 12WW size.

    Comment by Idalin — November 13, 2007 @ 7:08 pm

  8. Sorry, I meant the Charles Nolan.

    Comment by Idalin — November 13, 2007 @ 7:11 pm

  9. YAY!!!! Come home to Texas. Seriously, if you want that sort of winter, just travel up to the Panhandle, or hell, Austin in the winter is cold (or at least it is to my subtropical Houston blood.) Sorry…I swear this is some sort of brainwashing thing we all get in seventh grade when everyone else is studying some other history class…

    Comment by megaera — November 14, 2007 @ 4:12 am

  10. Hee! “Winter” in Houston is awesome. At the first sign of a cold snap (defined here as anything below 65 degrees), all the fancy ladies break out the fur coats and the career girls go marching around downtown in their tweed skirts, tights, boots and leather jackets.

    Good on Brittany for braving a real winter in style!

    Comment by K — November 14, 2007 @ 12:16 pm

  11. Brava for your shoe suggestions.

    Naturalizer also has some surprisingly stylish t-straps, excellent with the tights.

    And of course there are the high boots, ankle boots and “shoeties” to rock with the hose as well…

    Comment by Dowdydiva — November 14, 2007 @ 3:27 pm

  12. Ou je suis, the shoes sont fantastiques. Please to be e-mailing, les addresses sont perdu!

    Comment by A — November 14, 2007 @ 7:58 pm

  13. But… the boots question, that never got answered. I am DYING for some good boots and my 16.5 inch calves won’t fit into the standard 15 inch circ. boot, which is killing me. Suggestions?

    Comment by sarah — November 20, 2007 @ 3:34 am

  14. What standard 15-inch boot? They’re 14″ or even 12″ most of the time. Mumble. FWIW, though, I approximated those Chloes with Cole Haan’s “Ambrose” from the Nike Air line in black patent. They look kind of crap in all the photos on the Internet but they’re amazing IRL. Unfortunately no green leather option.

    Comment by Violet — November 20, 2007 @ 3:06 pm

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