Tights have been around ever since humans first started wearing clothing. These very thin garments were used primarily for warmth but were later developed for functional and fashionable wear. Tights are simply a type of cloth garment, typically sheathed by the leg with a strong elastic fit, thus the name. They usually come in sheer, opaque and fishnet styles or some combination, including the original idea of the American word pantyhose, which is simply an elasticized pants made of thin, breathable material. Today’s tights have become a stylish staple wardrobe piece that can be worn year round. Let’s explore some of the top trends in tights.
Tank tights are worn with almost any type of clothing. They are worn beneath slacks, dresses, suits and just about every type of casual, everyday clothing. The tank style of tights is usually made of a thicker and softer material than typical tights, such as nylon. The tank style of tights is great for people who want to have a little more coverage underneath their clothing because it is generally stretchy and gives a slimming effect to the lower body. They can also be worn in a “boy” cut to create a more boyish figure.
Like tank tights, leggings are a type of compression garment that generally have a thin flexible upper layer and a much thinner lower layer. Leggings are typically worn on a tighter range of tummy control clothing like denim skirts or low cuts pants. Leggings generally do not have the coverage of a pair of high quality tights, but they are comfortable and allow for movement. One of the best features about leggings is that they do not have to be worn under another garment to keep their look separate from your clothing.
Ankle tights or stockings are typically found in sports fashion or college style clothing. These types of leggings offer some coverage of the foot, but most are open so that a wide variety of foot patterns can be seen. Ankle tights are typically worn underneath skirts and pants or on skinny jeans. Some people who like the leggings can wear them with sandals and other fun footwear, or even mix and match with other types of footwear.
Typical tights are found in the form of hosiery or stocking-foot. They are typically made of a cotton/spandex blend that is breathable and allow for easy mobility and are not constricting. They are not known for having a great deal of coverage, so they are great for wear with just about anything. They are generally worn underneath heavier clothing, like sweaters and dresses, and can even be worn over pants or jeans when another type of shoe is not wanted.
Other forms of footless tights include fishnet stockings, which provide more coverage than leggings, and satin or silk tights, which are not as warm and comfortable as leggings, but are more elegant and attractive than stockings or hosiery. They can be worn with almost any type of outfit, but must be washed carefully so they do not become damaged. They are available in a wide range of colors and patterns, so they can match just about any outfit. Some people even have leggings mixed with shorts or other styles of pants to make a fun and interesting look.
Footless tights can be worn as stand alone footless tights or with leg warmers. They can be used for exercising or doing housework, but are not recommended for wearing beneath your knees while working, since they do not offer protection and usually do not breathe well. They are worn for warmth underneath skirts, dresses, and tight pants, since they are worn very close to the skin. This gives them a great deal of support without constricting the legs, which can be a problem for some women who have more naturally large thighs. They are also worn by some professional dancers, who wear them under their uniforms.
Tights can be worn year round, although they are often seen and worn at the coldest times of the year, because of their ability to keep the body warm while damp or wet. Since they do not trap body heat, they are better for keeping an individual’s body thermo-regulated, even in extremely cold weather. The variety and amount of styles, colors, patterns and materials that can be found to make them easier to find and purchase than any other type of undergarment.