chanel runway

A look from Chanel Spring 2010. Photo: Getty Images

Fall's new legwear has taken the conservative looks of seasons past and splashed them with stripes, dots, checks, and color blocks for gaze-at-me gams.

From the runway (think everyone from Balenciaga to Betsey Johnson) to retail, open weaves, jewel tone hues and embellished sheer styles have legs making serious statements as the temps turn cool.

"Patterned and textured legwear was all over the runways this year," says Maggie Adams, trend expert and spokesperson for Spanx. "I think women love it because it's a fun, easy and affordable way to update existing outfits in your closet."

"Nothing screams fall like tights and sweater dresses for women's fashion," says Jana O'Leary, spokesperson for Target. "Textured and patterned tights can instantly change a look, adding a personal touch to any fall ensemble."

Here are some tips from hosiery pros on how to wear the patterned tight trend. It's time to show your spots...And stripes...And lace...And plaids...And ....
  • Bob and Weave: "Open weave styles in vertical patterns elongate the leg and are popular this fall," says Spanx's Adams. "Also, classic and vintage-inspired patterns like houndstooth, diamond, Swiss dot and back seams have been top picks for Spanx fans. They are chic, sexy and still totally appropriate for the office."
  • Easy Update: ""Patterned hosiery adds a little something extra to your overall look," says Adam Sakara of La Fée Verte. "It's the easiest way to update your wardrobe for the season and make a statement without having to redo your closet for fall."
  • Added Edge: "Patterned tights add instant edge to a LBD and are perfect for extra coverage in a mini," Adams says. "As far as footwear goes, patterned tights with peep-toe booties are perfect for ladies who want to be on top of the latest trends. But, a classic platform pump is always a safe bet."
  • Make a Statement: "For the fashion-forward, opt for legwear that makes a statement and mix and match it with other patterns, colors and textures," Adams says. "For example, pair a diamond-patterned tight with a floral print dress or a Swiss dot sheer with a tartan pencil skirt."
  • Or Keep it Simple: "Top stylists like Pat Field and designers like Marni do a great job of mixing and matching patterns," says Hessert. "It's best to mind the following rule of thumb: the busier the pattern, the simpler the outfit. A great way to wear patterns is to match the rest of your outfit to one of the colors in your tights."
  • Shine On: "Be confident in your choice (of tights) and use them as your statement piece," says Donna Karan's Cathy Volker. "Metallics and lace are a great wardrobe addition. Adding a few pairs this season will help update your holiday wardrobe without breaking the bank on party dresses."
  • That's hot: HUE's Hessert says the hottest prints and textures in legwear and sheers for fall include geometric designs, dots, plaids, houndstooth, color block, ombre, florals and lace.

Lesley Kennedy is the editor of Denveralamode.com, an online magazine devoted to fashion, beauty and trends in the Mile High City.