Leggings vs Tights: What’s The Difference? How To Choose?

Leggings vs Tights: What's The Difference? How To Choose?

Tights and leggings are an important part of the wardrobes of many women around the world.

It’s hard to find a woman who has not come across these two garments and, fortunately, we live in a time where the options are endless when it comes to styles, patterns and colors. It’s easier than ever to find exactly the style you like best without having to settle.

Tights and leggings, however, are not the same thing and should not be treated as such. Not just when we refer to them in our conversations, but also when it comes to wearing them. This is an important thing to know as, sometimes, online stores will falsely call them by each other’s name and that’s a mistake.

While to some it might seem that there isn’t much difference between the two, seeing how they are both skin-tight garments for the lower body, in actuality they differ quite a bit from each other.

With that being said, we bid you welcome to another comparison piece, the focus of today’s being tights versus leggings. We will learn more about them, their use, their differences and how to make the right choices when wearing them.

Let’s take a look!

1. Leggings

Leggings: Bella Hadid

Image: www.pinterest.com

1.1 What Are Leggings And Where Did They Come From?

Leggings, as you may already know, are a type of bottom wear, typically worn by women. They come in a variety of different materials and designs, nowadays, and some are even made to resemble pants.

Jeggings, for example, a mix of jeans and leggings, are leggings that look like jeans but have the comfort and feel of leggings.

Leggings, in regards to their cut and style, usually end at the ankles and can be either high or low waist. The materials most commonly used when making leggings are Polyester, Nylon, Lycra and Cotton.

Lycra, also known as spandex or elastane, is always part of this type of trousers as it helps to give them elasticity and it also makes them fit and wear much better.

However, they were originally worn by men and were usually made by either leather or cloth. Men wore them when riding horses, for example, because they were comfortable and fit snuggly, not running the risk of getting caught in the stirrup or other parts of the saddle.

David Gandy in Equestrian Style

Image: www.pinterest.com

Nowadays the trends have changed not just in regards to who wears them, which is women, as we mentioned previously, but also in material, cut, length and designs available.

There is no one type of leggings in the modern era. Prints are numerous, colorful and fashionable. You can find mid-calf lengths, styles that have a distinct waist and even some that have pockets. The options are endless and personally we are all for it!

1.2 When To Wear Leggings And Styling Tips

Styling leggings is not too difficult, but there are certain tips to keep in mind so that your outfit will look its best.

The best thing about leggings is that they are quite versatile and can be worn in a variety of occasions, not limited solely to the gym or yoga class.

Leggings: Dakota Johnson

Image: www.pinterest.com

Being opaque and made of thicker fabric helps in this regard, because there will not be an issue with having too much skin exposed or looking like you are dressed for a burlesque show. Nothing wrong with either of those, but there is a time and a place for everything!

When should you wear leggings?

In regards to weather, they can be worn year-round because there are different thicknesses available and designs suitable for both warm and cold weather.

You might also like: The 9 Best Warm Women’s Leggings For Winter

They work perfectly as insulation pieces, also. Those of you who live in really cold areas can really make use of them, by layering them underneath pants. Best of all, you can wear them to work under your suit, too, if needed.

As for occasions, leggings are great for casual wear, preferably combining them with a long top or tunic. However, keep in mind that not all styles work, so keep an eye on thickness and cut. Some designs are made specifically for working out, while others are more casual.

When it comes to footwear, they can be worn with a number of shoes, including boots, especially riding or ankle boots.

You might also like: 8 Best Riding Boots For Women To Try This Year

Leggings are not to be worn with dresses. Yes, they are comfortable and that pattern you picked is to die for, but worn under a dress is a big no-no. There are tights for that, which we will discuss next.

2. Tights

Tights: Selena Gomez

Image: www.pinterest.com

2.1 What Are Tights And Where Did They Come From?

Ah, tights! Who doesn’t love a cute pair of tights. They are versatile and can be styled in numerous ways.

To get a bit technical, tights are a type of bottom wear made out of thin fabric, which can be either nylon, polyester or cotton. They can be in several types, some being high-waist, others low-waist and some end at the thigh, also known as “thigh highs”.

Another feature, which is also a difference between tights and leggings is the foot coverage. Tights typically cover the entire foot, but there are variations here as well Some cover part of the foot, leaving the toes out, and other cuts end at the ankles.

Tights: Katie Holmes

Image: www.pinterest.com

These are not leggings, however, and the reason why is in the thickness of the fabric, which brings us to the key difference between the two.

Leggings are made of thick fabric, that might be a little see through even in instances when “fully opaque” is printed on the label. Even in those instances, leggings are still much more thicker and opaque than tights.

Tights are made of sheer and translucent materials that is light, thin and, unfortunately, can rip quite easily if it is caught by something.

2.2 When To Wear Tights And Styling Tips

There is just one thing to bear in mind when it comes to thing you should not do with tights. Do not, under any circumstances, wear them as a standalone garment. They are too translucent and everything will be nearly fully exposed, so beware of that.

However, that translucency is also their greatest feature. Unlike leggings, tights go great under dresses, skirts and shorts. They can also be worn in professional settings and sometimes are even preferred when the work attire includes a skirt.

You can also wear them casually, of course, under a number of dresses, skirts and shorts and another great quality is that they come in numerous colors and prints, so there is a suitable pair to wear with that floral dress you bought for summer.

When it comes to weather, tights can potentially be worn year-round but they might not be the best choice for winter because they are so thin. There are some slightly thicker designs available for colder days. They are, however, perfect for spring and summer.

3. Caring for Leggings VS. Caring for Tights

With their key differences out of the way, there is one last thing to mention before we bid you goodbye for today.

When it comes to caring for tights, you should use a mesh bag or preferably wash them by hand. They have a tendency to rip and thus require a bit more caution.

Leggings, on the other hand, can be laundered without much concern and usually the tag they come with will let you know the proper steps to take.

That’s it for this piece ladies! We will see you in the next one!

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