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Here’s your ultimate guide to styling black tights this fall

Don’t stash away your shorts just yet.

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There's a difference between looking cool and feeling, well, cold. But thanks to an opaque pair of black tights, chillier temperatures don't have to mean ditching dresses and skirts. As a timeless wardrobe staple, tights allow your go-to pieces—a.k.a. your capsule wardrobe—to transcend seasons.

Looking for simple ways to style your black tights this season? We chatted with Los Angeles-based stylist Erica Ball about what styles and shoes to wear with tights. Copy these outfits if you're tight on time or in need of outfit inspiration.

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Find the right pair of tights

Credit: Reviewed / Sheertex

What to wear with black tights: Shop shoes, dresses, and more.

Invest in a quality pair of black tights that will last the entire season. When we tried Sheertex tights, they stood up to the brand's "indestructible" claims. Try pairs like the Classic Semi Opaque Rip-Resist Tights, which are available in women's sizes XS to 3X.

$69 at Sheertex

"I think opaque tights are what's in style and what has been for a long time," says Ball, who cautions against wearing tights that are overly sheer or shiny. She recommends sticking to ones in neutral colors, but playing with patterns and textures to add extra excitement to your outfits.

Get cozy in a sweater dress

Credit: Reviewed / Free People

What to wear with black tights: Shop shoes, dresses, and more.

Perhaps one of the upsides to colder weather? Breaking out stylish sweaters you haven't worn since last season. Refresh your wardrobe with a chic sweater dress that goes seamlessly from the office to weekend brunch. For a design that prioritizes comfort, try the Lola Sweater Mini Dress from Free People. The style, which fits like an oversized sweater, is available in pink and green in women's sizes XS to XL.

$168 at Free People

For a slightly dressier look, try the Sculpted Knit Dress from Theory. The ribbed, V-neck design is sold in gray and black in women's sizes XS to L.

$190 at Saks Off 5th

While Ball doesn't recommend wearing over-the-knee boots if your skirt might cover them, a pair of ankle boots goes well with any dress and tights combination. Consider the Huey H2O Boots from Dolce Vita, a brand Ball suggests for boots. The trendy lug sole design is sold in nine neutral colors in women's whole and half shoe sizes 5 to 13.

$140 at Dolce Vita

Bring a summery dress into fall and winter

Credit: Reviewed / Billabong

What to wear with black tights: Shop shoes, dresses, and more.

While sweater dresses are made for winter, you don't need to pair tights with season-specific styles. Instead, wear "some of your more summery pieces year round," says Ball, who recommends trying tights with dresses that fit at or just above the knee. "I always recommend to people...to keep [their summer clothing] in their winter wardrobes because there's so many different things you can do to style those pieces and make them winter appropriate."

Consider the Billabong Heart's Desire Floral Mini Dress. The design, which features a V-neck and flowy sleeves, comes in a fashionable floral print that complements both black tights and boots. Shop it in women's sizes XS to L.

$65 at Urban Outfitters

Add a sweater and a fashion-forward boot to keep the style seasonal. "When you add an ankle boot, or even a tall over-the-knee boot, it kind of winterizes the whole look," says Ball, who's a fan of Stuart Weitzman heels. While her favorite 5050 boot has a pricetag over $700, you can also search retailers like Nordstrom Rack or second-hand sites for slightly less expensive styles from the designer. Consider the Henley Chelsea Bootie, for example, which comes in women's sizes 4 to 11.

$160 at Nordstrom Rack

Keep shorts in your wardrobe rotation

Credit: Reviewed / Levis

What to wear with black tights: Shop shoes, dresses, and more.

Even shorts don't have to have a short lifespan in your closet. Style a denim pair with tights and ankle boots, as Ball suggests. "I think that looks really cute in the fall with...a pullover sweater," she says. Try classic cut-offs such as the Levi's 501 Original High Rise Shorts. They're sold in 12 washes in women's sizes 23 to 33. "They are such a classic and are so cute and comfy," one reviewer raves of the shorts.

$70 at Levi's

Style with a sweater such as the V-Back Pullover Sweater from Banana Republic, which is classic in the front and features a low back. It's available in olive, black, white, and tan in women's sizes XXS to XL.

$70 at Banana Republic Factory

Add fall flair with skirts and heeled boots

Credit: Reviewed / Good American

What to wear with black tights: Shop shoes, dresses, and more.

Just like the right pair of jeans, a dark wash denim skirt transcends seasons. Try the Denim Mini Skirt from Good American, which is available in women's sizes 00 to 26. We've tested jeans from the brand and appreciate the fit and quality.

$110 at Good American

Add even more edge with Timberland's Lana Point 6-Inch Lace Up Boots. They're made to "repel water and stains," so you won't have to worry about splashing through puddles or stepping in snow on occasion. Shop them in black in women's shoe sizes 5.5 to 11.

$150 at Journeys

Top off the look with a sleek black bodysuit, such as the scoop back Skims Fits Everybody Square Neck Bodysuit. It has a 4.8-star rating based on over 580 reviews, with one reviewer raving writing that the "lightweight" fabric is "form fitting and flattering without feeling too tight."

$58 at Skims

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