Which Type of Tights are Best for You? An Easy Guide to Styling Them

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If you thought you could only wear jeans and trousers as fall is upon us, think again.

Tights enable you to wear your favourite dresses and skirts, even in cold weather. In fact, they’re a cost-effective way to transition your summer wardrobe into fall by combining different type of tights. Not only is this a fashionable way to approach colder temperatures, but it’s exciting too. Let’s take a look at how to easily style each type of tights.

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Different Type of Tights to Try Today

We’ve researched the many different type of tights, and narrowed down the long list to a selective few.

1. ​Fishnet Tights

type of tights

Credit: Desira

One of the most popular type of tights are fishnets. These tights are unique as they conceal and reveal at the same time. Unlike a pair of thick, black tights, they don’t necessarily serve practicality. Instead, they present sexual attention and fashion.

This type of material was in use by the early 1880’s. Up until the end of the Victorian era, women didn’t expose their legs at all in public, but wore fishnets. Fishnet-style garments were worn many years prior to this type of tights. In 1500-1520 A.D., an art museum shows women wearing calf-high stockings which are similar to today’s fishnet tights.

Around the 1970’s, women wore fishnets in a different way to fashion in earlier years. The small diamond-net styles we were used to modified to punk culture. Rips within the holes were designed with purpose and became more extreme. Vivienne Westwood blurred the gender likes with accessories such as fishnets.

There are plenty of ways to wear fishnets and still look classy. Keep in mind your dress/skirt’s length. Knee-length skirts are perfect with a pair of fishnets tights and are practical and not too revealing for all day. However, if you do intend to go above the knee with your skirt/dress, ensure it’s not too tight. To stylishly venture into the fishnet world, we recommend teaming them with a simple ensemble. Choose solid fabrics to keep you looking professional. Also, consider the length of your hem to keep it right on trend. Finally, another way to stylishly wear fishnets is to mix them with a pop of colour. Add new dimensions to your outfit, and mix small holes with solid fabrics.

2. Stockings

type of tights

Credit: It's all about the legs II

Originally worn by men in the 16th century, these type of tights were made for purpose. However, it wasn’t until after 1920 that stockings were used to cover exposed legs as skirts became shorter and more revealing. They became so popular amongst women during the Second World War that nylon became in shortage. The recent decline in sales of stockings is purely down to women wearing trousers and jeans more than skirts and dresses. But, one of the main reasons we love stockings is because of their sex appeal. More often than not, sexy lingerie includes stockings and a suspender belt. Also, they still carry a vintage feel- particularly in the lingerie department.

We highly recommend choosing a high-end brand for your stockings. This will achieve better results as they’ll fit perfectly around your calves and thighs. Also, they’ll also be the correct length for your leg. In particular, the best stockings are made from silk or nylon. You may wish to purchase vintage stockings, though these can be very delicate. When purchasing stockings to wear with a suspender belt, ensure you look for a wider welt. This is the top part of the stocking where you’ll fasten to your suspender belt clips. This means your stockings will last longer and make it less likely to puncture a hole or cause a ladder.

3. ​Support Tights

type of tights

A lack of movement in your legs can cause blood to stay around the ankles instead of circulating around the body. Support tights are designed to apply pressure to the veins and muscles in your legs. This provides gradual compression from the ankle all the way up to your leg. With a constant pressure, this supports the movement of your calf muscle and the veins to encourage blood flow and circulation to other parts of the body. As a result, this reduces swelling and any pain you may experience in the lower legs.

These type of tights are particularly useful to wear for a long day at the office or to support your body in your troubled areas. They’re also a must-have item if you’re on your feet for long periods of time. Support tights feature a graduated compression heavier at the ankle which gets tighter further up the leg. Consequently, this provides a healthy blood circulation. There are different levels of support tights depending on your needs, with the lower number providing a light support. Many support tights are specially designed to help ease swollen ankles and aid blood flow up and down the legs. A 30-denier specification provides a semi-opaque look, and they’re great to wear to help your legs look and feel healthier.

4. ​Sheer Tights

type of tights

Sheer tights provide a natural look from the waist, right down to your toes. They’re a popular basic item and stand for naturalness. Their natural look and soft feel make them perfect to wear for every occasion. You can even store a spare in your handbag. These particular type of tights work best with long legs and a pair of high heels. If you choose to purchase sheer tights, you’ll get the best value for your money if you opt for more expensive brands. This is because they’re smoother and silkier than less expensive brands.

In particular, sheer tights are ideal if you don’t feel comfortable with bare legs, or that you’re too pale to go bare. If you consider yourself a ‘classic’ girl, then a sheer pantyhose might be your choice. The lighter weight fabrics for sheer tights work best for a polished finish.

5. ​Opaque Tights

type of tights

Credit: Picryl

Another of the type of tights are opaque. There are a variety of materials and designs to choose from. Many are fleece-lined to keep your legs cozy on cold days. With a smooth outer layer, they’re not constricting whilst providing a snug fit. These are ideal for keeping warm, and they’re also durable to wear for hours on end. 70 denier tights are the perfect balance between opaque and lightweight so they won’t leave you swearing. You can also purchase opaque tights in a high-waist band so they don’t roll down. Opaque tights come in a range of colours – typically including black, navy, red, mocha, beige and more.

Opaque tights made out of nylon and spandex are great for taller individuals. If you’re six-feet tall, finding a pair of great-quality tights can be a challenge. Therefore, we suggest opting for a pair with a supportive elastic so they’re not too constricting. For daily wear, you’ll require a pair of tights which don’t dig into your skin. A microfiber waistband is one of the best choices. Tights with this feature are soft and comfortable, although often require hand-washing. Avoid wearing opaque tights before around October. The thicker the tights, the less likely you are to experience rips and pulls. Look for a pair with 90 percent nylon or more. Always remove your jewelry and make sure your hands and nails are smooth before putting on your tights.

6. ​Running Tights

type of tights

Credit: Paul Holloway

We recommend trying your running tights on before purchasing them. Avoid running tights with seams which don’t follow the muscle as this can lead to irritation and chaffing. Instead, opt for training tights which seams which comfortably flow against your normal muscle movement. They’re designed with a snug fit, although should be so tight that they restrict your circulation. You should feel as though you have complete freedom of freedom which feeling comfortable. Most running tights come in a set length, so always check the size guide before purchasing them. Your tights might look opaque, but you may wish to check that you’re not revealing when you stretch and bend in the sunshine. Opt for running tights you can easily stretch in and feel comfortable wearing in public.

Whilst running, the last thing you want to worry about is your tights falling down. This can be annoying, distracting and uncomfortable. Choose running tights with a secure fastening system for added security and peace of mind. Looking for ones with an adjustable waist will keep them secure. You may wish to plan if you need pockets in your running tights. Keep your valuables snug and safe with pockets. Some tights have a hidden pocket large enough to discreetly hold your valuables.

7. ​Coloured Tights

type of tights

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Another popular type of tights is coloured ones. Although they might be intimidating at first, once you start wearing them, you’ll find that you can have a lot of fun with your overall ensemble. One of the benefits of this type of tights is that they’re perfect for any kind of weather. Neon tights have become popular in recent years and work well when opting for oversized and minimalist silhouettes. Alternatively, if you opt for bright tights, you can switch your outfit to soft neutral shades such as cream, white or gray. As a result, your tights will really stand out. Take tips from top designers by coordinating with sandals to match the hue.

On the other hand, you can mix up your coloured tights with denim for an unexpected look. By layering your tights under a pair of jeans with a soft touch of colour, the overall look is great for a casual look. Finish the look with a pair of pumps and roll up your jeans to show more colour. Finally, you can purchase coloured tights with detailed patterns on them. Although this may be a daring look, it works particularly well for a retro trend. Complete this look with a mash-up of textures, patterns, florals and more. This look requires more confidence than the previous ones.


What Are Your Favourite Type of Tights?

Tights are practical, but also completely fashionable. We hope you enjoyed reading about the different type of tights available, as well as ways to style and wear them. Now, we’d love to hear about your fashion tips. Do you have any go-to accessories to team your tights with? Or, perhaps you have a favourite type of tights. Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments to keep this discussion going.

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