Tights vs. Pantyhose - What's the Difference?
Welcome to our featured fashion extravaganza! We have quite a display lined up for you today. In this corner, all-time featherweight champion, weighing in less than forty denier, give it up for PANTYHOSE! And in our other corner, weighing in at more than forty denier, the patron of opacity, let’s hear it for TIGHTS!
Without further introduction, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, the nuts and bolts, the cream filling - and the name of the game, is hosiery. So when it comes to the battle of pantyhose versus tights, who’s the heavy hitter? Well, it depends who you ask. If we’re to have a leg to stand on, we should have a basic understanding of where this duo comes from; and with that, let’s travel back in time for a brief history lesson.
Fourscore and seven years ago, the men who came before us (yes, men), wore tights for practical reasons, such as horseback riding, and later became a fashion statement and sign of nobility by historic figures by the likes of King Henry VIII. In fact, what we call pantyhose today is an evolved form of two separate stockings of fine silk or wool, woven together to a panty covering the lower torso and waist. This integration eliminated the need for garters (I know what you’re thinking, “Who would want to get rid of a sexy accessory like garter belts?" We wholeheartedly agree). Fast forward to the 1920’s, a point in history when it was considered inappropriate for a woman to show her bare legs. And voila! The transition from a male clothing accessory has taken place and pantyhose are repurposed to censor the wiles of feminine legs. With credit being lended where credit is due, it's incredible that the core principle of covering of a woman’s legs with hosiery is still required as dress code in certain establishments to this day. Now, we may all breathe a sigh of relief and put our hands in the air in celebration that the use of both, pantyhose and tights, have taken on a much more lighthearted, and let’s face it, downright sexy, persona. Right about now you may be saying to yourself, “Okay, she still didn’t tell us the difference between the two". Before we go getting our pantyhose in a twist, allow me to shed some light with some straightforward bullet points:
- Less than forty denier (Denier: The weight of material used and tightness of weaving to which a garment is knitted)
- Typically made of nylon or nylon blend, like these darling rhinestone-encrusted beige fishnet pantyhose
- More often than not, pantyhose tend to be more on the sheer side, thus, providing a little more Peek for your Boo. Take these Black Sheer Crotchless Pantyhose with Bow Backseams, for example (Whew! Is it getting hot in here, or what?!)
- Customarily worn beneath another article of clothing when in a public setting
- More than forty denier
- Commonly made from spandex or cotton
- Tendency to lean toward the opaque end of the spectrum, such as these quintessential black opaque tights
- More apt to be worn with an outfit as a “statement” item, as they are widely available with a fun pattern or design, bringing out your inner diva. We dare you to don these rose gold shimmer tight and resist the urge to shout, “YAS, Queen!”, at your own sassy reflection.
In essence, the smoking gun in differentiating between pantyhose and and tights comes down to the garment’s denier. But whether you’re in the market for a cheeky pair of fishnet stockings or perfectly opaque tights, the wearer makes all the difference. Whatever your choice may be, strut your stuff in unabashed confidence! Dare to be fierce. Be foxy and fearless. Be fabulous, flawless, YOU.