What’s The Difference Between Leggings And Tights? | Leggings VS Tights

difference between leggings and tights

Do you also get confused while buying leggings and tights? Well, if you do, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Many people get puzzled when looking for a decent set of these tight-fitted pants and truthfully, there isn’t anything to get confused over in the first place! If only you knew the difference between leggings and tights, there won’t be a day again where you’ll be mulling over which one to choose, how to choose, and why to choose them!!

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From afar, everything looks the same (or if we don’t pay attention to details). So we need to pay close attention to make sure we don’t mistake one thing for another just like your nail paint medium! Now, talking about bottoms again! Even yoga pants are confused with leggings and tights and that’s why it is necessary to know the basic difference between these to know where and how to wear them! 

From the material, fit to comfort, we can find many visible distinguishing factors between leggings and tights! However, the first difference between leggings and tights that you’ll obviously stumble across is in their “appearance”. Tights are skin-tight and if they’re in a nude shade, you won’t even be able to distinguish them from your actual skin. Whereas leggings aren’t that tight when it comes to fitting.

Another visible difference between these two is in the seams! Let’s know more of these differences moving ahead in our leggings vs tights guide and clear your puzzled mind!

Leggings And Tights: What’s The Difference Between Tights And Leggings?

difference between leggings and tights
Source: Best Leggings Daily

Leggings have a rich history where men, women, and even infants wore these as leg coverings for centuries! From military use to modern fashion, these have evolved over the times and came to be known as what we call and wear them today!

Tights too, like leggings, have a history of their evolution where they were made of silk or fine wool and were worn by men of nobility. These were made skin-tight due to reasons like “horse-riding”. However now, these are made of nylon, cotton, or lycra blend and are worn by women underneath skirts or shorts.

Jeggings, Pantyhose, yoga pants, tights, leggings, etc are easily confused yet they aren’t that hard to distinguish!

Appearance vise, people who don’t know a thing about leggings and tights will think they’re the same (especially to those who don’t wear them often). However, if there’s a person who frequently adorns these tight-fitted garments, then they would obviously know!

Now let’s look at the sheer differences between leggings and tights as noticed by a person who frequently styles them! 

Distinguishing Factors: Leggings VS Tights

MeaningLeggings are tight-fitted garments that can be worn in multiple ways and are made of thick material as compared to tights. These are worn by both men and women.Tights are skin-tight garments and cover our legs from toes to waist. They are made of sheer material as compared to leggings. 
TypesThin, Patterned, Colored, SolidSheer, opaque, absolutely opaque, and fishnet style.
MaterialCotton and Lycra blends or Cotton, polyester, and lycra blend.Cotton or nylon and lycra blends
LengthMid-calf lengthLength till toes
SeamWith seamsMostly seamless
TransparencyMostly non-transparentCan be transparent 
FitTight fitExtremely skin-tight
Comfort LevelVery comfortableDepends (most comfortable)
LaundryNo or little precautions neededNeed to be washed with extra care due to sheer material
StyleCasual Casual and professional 
How To WearCan be styled in many ways. (under long tunics or like pants)Mostly worn under skirts or shorts
Famous BrandsLululemon, Nike, Zella, etcHue, Danskin, Capezio

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How Do They Differ?

leggings vs tights difference
Source: Cosmopolitan

There are many differences in leggings and tights ranging from design, fit, length, material, etc! Below are a couple of these differences that help you to differentiate between leggings and tights. After comprehending them, you’ll never be confused between the two! 

1. Design

The first and foremost difference between leggings and tights is in their design!

Leggings are elasticized and usually made from a blend of cotton, nylon, lycra, or polyester! Unlike Tights which are from legs to toes, leggings usually only cover legs and toes. They are available in mid-calf to ankle length and can be worn like pants as they aren’t sheer like tights.

Tights, just like leggings, are made from elasticized material and blends of nylon or polyester. However, one big difference is the thickness of this material! Tights are made from thin elasticized material whereas leggings are made from thick. These are smooth and seamless and sheer (semi-transparent). Due to the latter factor, these are worn under other garments like skirts or shorts!

2. Fit

Another major difference between leggings and tights is in their fitting style.

Leggings are tightly fitted but not skin-tight like tight.

Tights are extremely tight and that’s why they are perfect for wearing under skirts or shorts.

3. Style

There exists another difference between leggings and tights and that is in their styling!

Leggings are thicker and hence can be styled the same way as pants. You can either wear them under skirts or directly under long tunics or shirts.

Tights are sheer and semi-transparent and therefore should be worn under skirts or shorts.

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4. Care

Another difference between tights and leggings is in their care.

Leggings: Unless stipulated, leggings do not need so many precautions while doing laundry. They can be washed in the same way as pants or other garments.

Tights need to be washed with extra care due to their sheer material!

5. Appearance

Appearance-wise, legging, and tights have visible differences like in colors or patterns too!

Leggings are available in various colors and patterns.

Tights aren’t available in that many colors or patterns as leggings.

Difference Between Compression Tights and Leggings

difference between compression leggings and tights
Source: TheBlackPurple

People also get confused over regular and compression tights or leggings and let me tell you, there’s no complex distinguishing factor in them but one or two!

First of all, compression tights or leggings, unlike regular ones, are used for medical or athletic purposes only! As these boost blood circulation, control body temperature, increase moisture evaporation, etc, and hence they are widely preferred.

Another difference between regular and compression ones is in their material! Compression tights and leggings are made of very light material, sheer and eco-friendly material!

Now! As compression tights and leggings are worn and designed for specific reasons only, thus, they aren’t available in many colors or patterns like regular ones are.

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There are many differences between tights and leggings and people who often wear them know what these are! However, even if you don’t know what these are, don’t worry! 

The first difference that you’ll find between any leggings or tights is that tights are till toes while legging isn’t! Another distinguishing factor between the two is their fit!

I hope this was enough to clear your confusion between these two garments! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I wear tights or leggings?

If you want a standalone garment, then you should obviously go for leggings instead of tights as the latter are more sheer, transparent, and opaque! However, if you want something to wear underneath your skirts or shorts, then tights are for you as these are thin and can go well underneath other clothing!

Can you wear tights as leggings?

The hard distinguishing line between legging and tights is the opacity and sheerness of the latter! So if you want something like leggings that can be worn as it is, tights aren’t the option as these can be worn underneath other garments only!

What’s the difference between workout tights and leggings?

Workout tights are more translucent than regular tights and are preferred for their thermal material that absorbs sweat and stays as it is! However, these need to be worn underneath other garments because of transparency! 

Coming to the difference between workout tights and leggings, it is the same as other regular tights and that is in its fit, style, sheerness, care, etc!

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