Explaining what you need to know about leggings vs. tights

Leggings vs tights

I get all kinds of questions about leggings, tights, the difference between the two, how to style them all… the list goes on. I’m aware that many of you probably already know these things, but it’s still good to have a little refresher every now and then! I explain the difference between the two, how to style them and some other useful tips (including the best brands) for you below…

Layered jumper, Erin Busbee of Busbee style with a brown Brochu Walker layered jumper, Spanx leggings in faux leather, See by Chloe combat boots and black Chanel boys bag in Telluride, Coloradochanel look on a budget, chanel look for less, how to get the chanel look for less, erin busbee, & other stories contrast collar long sleeve mini dress, black schutz bette boots, patterned tights, seville spain The differences between leggings and tights

Leggings, often referred to as yoga pants, are form-fitting, can be worn uncovered, are a casual alternative to traditional pants and are not see-through.
Tights, commonly referred to as tights or stockings, are usually sheer, cannot be worn without something over them and add a stylish design detail to your outfit.

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Leggings

If you’re concerned about showing your behind, make sure you wear something long enough to cover it. Note the volume control. If you’re wearing something SO fitted to the bottom, you should aim for a looser fitting top or sweater. Avoid tight tops over your tight-fitting leggings. Once you find a brand of leggings you love, buy several pairs! I love the Spanx leggings and have several options!

For more of my tips on wearing leggings over 40 (and outfit inspiration), be sure to check out this post.

pantyhose

You can wear tights under skirts and dresses of any length, but they look most stylish with a shorter hemline (above the knee). As footwear, you can wear ankle boots, knee-high boots, pointed-toe pumps, ballerinas, etc. The most important thing is to avoid open-toed shoes when wearing tights. Classic sheer tights are the most classic, but you can always add some chic to a look with patterned tights like polka dot, fishnet, chevron, etc.

Layered jumper, Erin Busbee of Busbee style with a brown Brochu Walker layered jumper, Spanx leggings in faux leather, See by Chloe combat boots and black Chanel boys bag in Telluride, Colorado

Best brands for leggings and tights

Best Leggings Brands: Spanx, Commando, Zella, Lululemon, Beyond Yoga, Alo
The Faux Leather Spanx Leggings (above) have been a favorite (mine and my subscribers) for years. They’re the perfect way to wear leggings, but it’s a notch up from regular workout leggings!

Best Tights Brands: Spanx, Commando, Sheertex, Natori, Express
If you’re looking for tummy control tights, go for Spanx or Commando. Natori is also super high quality. Express has some wonderful, affordable options, but I personally love their patterned tights. Kaitlyn, our Creative Director, swears by the Sheertex tights because whatever you do, they won’t tear… there’s some special technology they use that makes them impossible to destroy!

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Other FAQs Can I wear nude tights? – Nude tights are usually just for function and to cover your legs. I personally don’t like nude tights, but if I had to wear them, I’d make sure to buy a pair that matches my skin tone perfectly so you can’t see you’re wearing them. Can I wear tights that are not see-through? – Yes, that’s possible. My biggest tip is to wear what you feel most comfortable in. The sheer tights add a little “sexy” to an outfit, but if opaque tights are more your style, that’s fine too! Just make sure not to cover your legs with a sleeveless blouse or V-neck dress. It’s all about balance. Is it okay to wear printed tights? – 100% YES! When can I start wearing tights? – I’d say you can start wearing tights as soon as it gets cold wherever you live. And if it doesn’t get very cold where you live, the fall-winter months are a safe choice. Can I wear leggings without covering my buttocks? – That is absolutely possible if you feel comfortable with it! Can I wear leggings over 40? – It can be difficult, but YES! As long as you feel comfortable and confident… make sure you read this post with more of my thoughts on wearing leggings over 40. Can I wear heels with leggings? – Since leggings are generally a more casual piece of clothing, I’d stick with wearing sneakers, athletic shoes, and booties rather than more dressy shoes like heels or ballet flats. But with more chic leggings (such as the Spanx faux leather leggings or some patent leather leggings) you can pair them with booties, knee-high boots, over-the-knee boots, etc.

What other questions do you have about tights or leggings? Let me know in the comments below!

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Thanks for stopping by!

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