First of all, black opaques are a girl's best friend if you live above the freeze line - they elongate your legs, keep you warm, and they're utterly chic. Stock up on these (I like Hue or Nine West for everyday wear), along with a few other shades like deep brown, navy, plum, burgundy and charcoal gray - all of these colors are interesting alternatives to black.
Of course, basic opaques are far from being your sole legwear option - fun patterns and textures are excellent way to jazz up an otherwise neutral outfit, introduce a pop of color, or add depth to a layered ensemble. I'm liking herringbone styles like these Jonathan Aston tights (at right). This delicately dotted pair is a more subtle choice (left).
Classic fishnets are also a good option for less chilly days, or when worn layered over another pair of tights (for example, I have some black crocheted tights that I wear over sheer black hose for an interesting textured appearance). Fishnets in a fine mesh and a color that's close to your skin tone is best if you want an elegant but still sexy look - and it goes without saying that ripped fishnets are best left to the...professionals (take that as you will). Having trouble finding the perfect pair? We Love Colors is an excellent source of fishnets and opaque tights in all sorts of shades, weaves, and sizes.
No discussion of fabulous legwear is complete with a mention of Wolford, which makes some of the most luxurious, covetable tights around. Just look at this "Kaleidescope" pair - all you need is a black sheath and heels and you'll look utterly chic.
A girl can dream, can't she?
Shop for more cool tights here