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Tights are back in town - how to make a statement with hosiery

Now we're well and truly into autumn, the chances are you've got your knitwear ready to wear again and your tights out to keep your legs warm when you fancy wearing dresses and skirts.

Most of us tend to see hosiery in this functional way - but this season, it's time to bring tights and leggings to the fore and see them as a key part of a high-fashion look in their own right.

It's been a while since tights really made a splash like this - we'd probably have to go all the way back to 2008, when they flooded the catwalks and made it onto the legs of stars including The Saturdays (remember the jewel colours in the Up video?).

Now, though, all the biggest names are bringing them back. On the AW17 runways, Nina Ricci showed off lacy white tights with a nod to the 1980s, while Balenciaga showcased almost every type of hosiery you can imagine. Mulberry also demonstrated geek chic with thick woolly tights in bright tones teamed with chunky loafers.

As you can see, tights are about so much more than just black opaques for warmth. They come in so many styles and this is a great, affordable way to completely transform a look, as well as freshening up things you already own.

So, if you're new to tights as a fashion item, what can you try? The easiest way in is with a subtle pattern on a black sheer. Put these against an evening dress and patent shoes for a really classy feel for date night.

Alternatively, use hosiery for daytime and put really bright tights with neutrals a la Gucci. Dare you try cerise with creams and khaki beiges?

Other ideas include opaques with trainers (so athleisure) and fishnets under ankle grazers to extend their wearability. Don't miss polka dots either - they look pleasingly 1980s (Think Kim Cattrall in Mannequin) and have recently been championed by the ever-gorgeous Julia Roberts.

Once you've got your tights and your outfit sorted, you just need to accessorise - and you can do this by picking out the key look from your hosiery in your jewellery. If you're trying the sheer patterns for date night mentioned above, try a lace-look choker like this Gothic-inspired one.

Alternatively, bright tights will look fab picked out with colourful necklaces, especially against black dresses or tops. 

You can even polish off a look with something for your hair, such as a classic slide for a really Art Deco feel teamed with fishnets or sheers.

Try giving hosiery a chance this season and see if you feel instantly more 'finished off' - not to mention warmer.