No hosiery wardrobe is complete without both stockings and tights, but there are different styles and uses which make each of these great for different occasions. As hosiery experts, the team at Luxury Legs have put each of these styles to the test to bring you the most definitive guide to buying tights, stockings and hold-ups for any outfit. Read on to discover which style is right for you…
What’s the Difference?
Stockings and tights appear very similar, at least on the surface, but most of us know they differ in several important ways. Both are commonly crafted from nylon and are designed to be perfectly form-fitting, but their differences are what give them the edge and benefits for wearing with certain outfits and styles.
Stockings: Coming to just above the knee or mid-thigh, stockings are traditionally worn with suspender belts to keep them from falling down. They are commonly sold alongside hold-ups which provide a suspender belt free option. Stockings are also traditionally sheer, though modern collections of stockings and hold ups now feature trendy prints, patterns and details to rival classic tights.
Tights: Unlike stockings, tights cover the legs from the toes all the way up to the waist with no interruptions. Traditionally giving more coverage than stockings, tights are available in a huge variety of deniers and opacities, with some styles even designed to mimic the aesthetic of stockings. Unlike stockings, you can also buy footless tights which make a great fashion statement or seamless tights which work with so many outfit choices.
What to Wear When
Of course, your hosiery choice will always depend on the look you’re trying to achieve, how you want to feel and where you’re going. For example, if you’re looking for an all day, every day look tights are generally considered the most comfortable option, but come date night stockings and hold ups are by far a more sexy option to leave you feeling fantastic.
Hold ups rather than stockings or tights are the ideal choice if you’re wearing something more form fitting as they generally don’t show under clothing, while tights are the obvious choice when it comes to colder days and keeping warm due to their full coverage and the bigger choice of warm tights and natural fibre tights.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Each Style
Stockings are associated with a golden era of glamorous and feminine vintage fashion. While they are practical and easy-to-wear hosiery option, they also double up as gorgeous lingerie whether you’re wearing them for someone special or your own confidence.
Here’s why we love them;
- Wearing stockings in a crowd of people and being the only one who knows about them has an empowering feeling to it (seriously, just try it and see!)
- They’re flattering to all body shapes, providing a great confidence boost
- They make you feel sexy and feminine
- They are widely considered to be more comfortable to wear than tights, due to the fact they are less restrictive and cooler to wear in hot weather or at the office
What to watch out for…
- Stockings are a little more fiddly to put on than simply pulling up a pair of tights
- Stockings with suspenders also making going to the loo a little more time-consuming
- Stockings can’t be worn with shorts or mini skirts and so are slightly more restrictive in the scope of outfit options
Tights are by far the most broad category when it comes to hosiery, spanning thick winter wool blends to sheer summer nude tights and all the printed and patterned tights in between. Brands are also now boasting a wide collection of shaping tights which double up shapewear and hosiery to give you complete confidence with every outfit.
Why we love them…
- Tights are quick, simple and easy to put on with any outfit
- Tights traditionally carry a wider variety of styles, deniers and designs than stockings
- Shapewear tights are a less restricting alternative to traditional shapewear
- Sheer tights can be worn to disguise imperfections on the legs from moles, cellulite, unshaven legs or varicose veins
- They smooth the figure to hide any bulges for an extra confidence boost
- Can be worn under shorts as well as dresses and skirts, making them a little more versatile than stockings
What to watch out for…
- Some consider tights to be too warm and too restricting due to the fact that cover the body from the toes to the waist
- Tights are sometimes considered to be less ‘sexy’ than stockings, though seamed tights and fishnet tights could always give stockings a run for their money
Still haven’t made up your mind on the style for you? Check out our huge collection of tights, stockings and hold ups ready to buy now at Luxury Legs, or let us know how you’ll be styling yours in the comments section below!