Leggings vs Tights: Difference and Comparison

While leggings are made with thicker materials that make them look opaque, tights are made of almost sheer, taut materials that produce an extremely snug appearance.

The fit offered by each of these articles of clothing is also affected by the opacity and sheerness of the material used to manufacture them.

Key Takeaways

  1. Leggings are thick, stretchy pants worn for exercise or as a fashion statement, while tights are sheer, stretchy pantyhose worn for warmth or fashion.
  2. Leggings can be worn as standalone pants, while tights are worn under skirts or dresses.
  3. Leggings have a wide waistband, while tights have a narrow waistband and a crotch panel.

Leggings vs. Tights

Leggings are thicker, stretchy and can be worn alone or with a longer top. They are worn for comfort and fashion and come in various colors, patterns, and styles. Tights are made of thinner, stretchy material and are designed to be worn underneath clothing.

Leggings vs Tights

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonLeggingsTights
FitLeggings offer a moderately tight fit.Tights offer an extremely taut, body-hugging fit.
SheernessGenerally, leggings are not sheer. They are opaque.Generally, tights are sheer or at least semi-transparent.
Materials Used to Manufacture EachLeggings are manufactured using thick materials like cotton, polyesters, and other synthetic fibers.Tights are manufactured using thinner materials like nets and fishnets. Cotton blends cannot be used in the manufacturing of tights.
LengthLeggings often extend from the waist to the calf or ankle.Tights extend from the waist to the feet. Some tights may be ankle length, but the ones that cover the toes are much more common.
Appropriate UseLeggings can be worn as a separate garment. They are suited for casual settings.Tights are appropriate as undergarments and not standalone garments. They are considered bottom wear for formal dresses and skirts at various corporate events.

What are Leggings?

Leggings are tight garments that are often referred to as tight pants. Leggings are made with thick materials that offer a taut look when paired with tunics and T-shirts. Leggings can be worn as separate garments on casual occasions.


Fashion Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to fashion

1 / 10

What type of clothing is typically worn in winter to keep warm and is made from heavy fabrics such as wool or fur?

2 / 10

What type of clothing is characterized by its long, flowy fit and often made of chiffon or silk?

3 / 10

What does LBD stand for?

4 / 10

Which of the following is a lifestyle and fashion magazine?

5 / 10

What is the term for the process of cutting and sewing fabric to create a garment?

6 / 10

What is a collection of images from a designer's upcoming collection called?

7 / 10

Lyocell is a:

8 / 10

------------------------refers to the amount of roominess in a garment.

9 / 10

Which luxury brand is known for its interlocking "GG" logo?

10 / 10

What is the name of the type of clothing that women typically wear as a one-piece garment covering the torso and legs?

Your score is


Their popularity rests in the level of comfort these pants have to offer. The material’s elasticity allows for contouring one’s lower body while avoiding complete sheerness.  

Usually, the length of a pair of leggings extends from the waist to the ankle. Leggings are available in various colors, patterns, and designs. The thick material- cotton or polyester– makes the pants opaque.

They are a favored choice for workout sessions as well as casual occasions. However, leggings may not be the best choice for more formal attire.

The thickness of a pair of leggings may vary along a given spectrum, given the manufacturing brand and the price range of the product. However, they are never as sheer as tights.


What are Tights?

Tights are very similar to leggings as both are bottom-wear options for women. However, tights are made with sheer material like fishnets that produce the classic semi-transparent look tights offer.

They are much tighter than leggings, offering a body-hugging look. Unlike leggings, most tights begin from the waist and extend beyond the feet.

However, there are some ankle-length tights available in the market.

Much like leggings, tights come in different colors and styles with varying degrees of sheerness. However, the notable factor remains that they can never be as opaque as leggings. They can be a little uncomfortable on especially hot days.

Moreover, tights are suitable underwear for corporate settings, often worn under formal dresses and skirts. They can never be worn as separate articles of clothing.

Their usage is limited to casual settings. Leggings are preferred under such circumstances.


Main Differences Between Leggings and Tights

  1. The main difference between leggings and tights is the fit each offers. While leggings are tight that they are not as snug as tights. Tights offer a much more body-hugging look than leggings.
  2. The second difference is in terms of the sheerness each offers. Leggings are thicker than tights and, thus, opaque. Tights are sheer and almost semi-transparent.
  3. While leggings can be used as separate garments, tights are worn as undergarments. Skirts are paired with tights. They are often not worn as separate garments.
  4. The materials used for each are also different. While leggings are made with thicker materials like cotton, polyester, or other synthetic materials, tights are manufactured using thin, sheer materials like fishnet.
  5. The length of each of these articles of clothing is also different. Leggings start from the waist and extend to the ankle or calf of the leg. Tights can be ankle-length, or they can also commonly extend beyond the ankle to cover the foot.
  6. Leggings are deemed more appropriate for casual occasions, while tights are often considered appropriate undergarments for corporate and formal occasions. Tights are preferred as bottoms for formal dresses and skirts than leggings.
Difference Between Leggings and Tights
  1. https://arxiv.org/abs/1703.01386

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