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Tights Vs Stockings: What’s The Difference?

A hosiery wardrobe is only complete when it has both tights and stockings.

However, each style is best for different occasions, and in order to figure out on which occasion you should use them, you need to know what is the difference between tights and stockings.

Overall, tights cover your legs from the toes to the waist without any interruption. Stockings, on the other hand, will only cover your legs from your toes till above the knee or mid-thigh.

Even though it looks simple enough to understand which is which, there are some details that make it easier to understand. If you want to learn more about these items and how to use them properly, keep on reading to see the actual difference between stockings and tights.

The Real Difference Between Tights And Stockings

Let’s discuss both pieces of clothing and learn the main differences between the two.



As you may figure from the name, tights cover your legs from the toe to your waist tightly. Don’t worry, they don’t squeeze you, but they are tight enough to not fall down by themselves over time.

There are an incredible variety of opacities and deniers of tights. And some even mimic stockings’ aesthetic. Also, you can find tights in pretty much any color and design these days. They have a denier of 40 to 100.

Some of the most known different styles of tights are the “footless tights”, that does not have the foot part, so it looks a lot like a legging, and the “seamless tights”, which are not see-through, so they don’t show much.

Tights are great on many occasions, and the best thing about them is that you can wear them at any season. During the winter, you can wear thick winter wool tights. There are some models that look see-through but are as warmer as the wool models. During the summer you can wear the nude tights with all the different patterns.

They are quick to put on and can look awesome with pretty much any outfit. Traditionally, tights have a wider variety of styles than stockings.

They can smooth your figure if you need an extra confidence boost. The best part? You can wear them under shorts, dresses, and skirts. So, they are more versatile than stockings in this aspect.



The stockings go from your toes to above your knees or your mid-thigh. And you can wear them with suspender belts so they won’t fall down. However, most stockings come with hold-ups that allow you to use them without the suspender belt.

They are traditionally sheer, but nowadays there are an immense variety of patterns, prints, designs, and more. They are seen as an option for the days in which you want to see and feel sexy, but that is up to you.

Overall, you can wear stockings on date nights and other similar events because they are elegant and glamorous. So, they will be an instantaneous glow-up to any outfit.

Stockings are flattering to any body shape. They can feel more comfortable than tights since you don’t need to wear them at your waist. They are also cooler, so they can feel better in hot weather.

Tights Vs Stockings: Comparison Chart

Tight can also be used to refer to the stretchy leg-wear worn by acrobats and dancers, that is commonly used under a tutu, leotard, and more.

You can use tights during physical workouts to keep your legs warm during cold days. Many people use it to do yoga, for example.

They also provide comfort and much better freedom of movement, so you can be totally flexible without it restraining your movements.

Tights Vs Stockings: Comparison Chart

Now, let’s summarize some of the differences between tights and stockings for a better understanding.

Tights Stockings
  • A denier of 40 to 100;
  • They commonly cover your legs from the toe to the waist;
  • Incredible range of patterns, fabrics, and designs;
  • Great in any season;
  • You can wear them under any clothing;
  • It also means the stretchy leg-wear worn by acrobats and dancers;
  • They cover your legs from your toes to above your knees or to your mid-thighs;
  • You can secure them with suspenders and a garter belt. Or hold-ups;
  • It can also be used to refer to the tight bandages for legs in medical treatments;
  • A great range of fabrics, patterns, and styles;

What’s The Difference Between Tights, Stockings, And Pantyhose?

A pantyhose is very similar to a tight, but it is different in some aspects.

First of all, there are no pantyhose in the UK and some European countries. This is a word from the US used to describe the replacement and successor of stockings.

Pantyhose is thinner than tights, with a range of 8 to 30 denier.

Also, because of this, pantyhose cannot be worn on their own since they are too thin. But some types of tights can be worn alone as legwear.

Pantyhose is used the most as lingerie and on formal occasions, and they can be torn apart easily, so they are not as durable as tights are.

Tights are much older, existing since the 19th century, while pantyhose were created in 1959.

When Did Tights Take Over From Stockings?

Tights took over from stockings in the 70s because of the modern methods of printing that have become available in the past few decades.

Tights were controversial. They allowed people to see more of the legs than was “appropriated” when it was first invented. However, after the Second World War, this legwear started to be truly accepted since it was a much more comfortable option.

Tights provide flexibility, warmth, and they made it much easier for women to get dressed up in the mornings.

They were much easier to produce than stockings as well. However, since many clothing machines were used to produce the soldiers’ uniforms, women had to make their own clothes with limited resources.

The nylon stockings became pretty popular in the 40s since it was more resistant than the other materials.

James Smith

James is a passionate explorer and the creative mind behind, a platform dedicated to unraveling captivating distinctions. With an insatiable curiosity, he uncovers hidden nuances in various aspects of life, from cultural traditions to scientific phenomena. James believes that appreciating differences fosters personal growth and societal empathy.