What are the differences between pantyhose, tights, stockings, & leggings?

What are the differences between pantyhose, tights, stockings, and leggings?

It depends on which country you live in. In America, the best answer is that pantyhose are sheer, semi-transparent, and lightweight, where tights are opaque, thicker, and heavier weight. The overall shape of both garments ave very similar otherwise.

A piece of sheer hosiery which covers your body waist down to feet. It’s completely translucent and made of nylon. Also, sometimes called tights.

Pantyhose (called “Tights” in the UK and a few other countries): Sheer, close-fitting legwear that covers the wearer from the waist to the feet.


Friends, Pantyhose first appeared in the 1960s as an alternative to control panties and nylon stockings.

Pantyhose are designed to be attractive in appearance, hide any visible imperfections, reduce visible panty lines and ease chafing between feet and footwear or between thighs.

Tights (called “Stockings” in the UK):

A cloth garment covering the wearer from the waist to the toe with a tight fit, usually knitted or made of thicker material than pantyhose.

Friends, Tights come in absolute opaque, opaque, sheer and fishnet styles or a combination.

Tights used to be worn primarily by men but nowadays, aside from in athletics or ballet, are mostly worn by women and girls.

A pair of close-fitted knitted garment which cover your body waist down to legs, worn by dancers or acrobats, usually made of nylon or silk. It looks like something has been painted on the body, no seams are visible.

Stockings (also known as “Hose”):

A close-fitting elastic garment covering the wearer from the toe to somewhere between the knee and mid-thigh, usually of a similar material as pantyhose.

Stockings are held up by elastic, but historically were kept up with a garter belt (which went around the wearer’s waist and had suspenders that clipped to the tops of the stockings), stay-ups or garters (bands that went around the tops of the stockings).

A pair of nude light socks that fit very tightly over the feet made usually from nylon or silk and are usually thigh high.


More similar to pants, a skin-tight garment made from a thicker material that covers the wearer from the waist to anywhere between the knee and the ankle, leaving the feet uncovered.

Pantyhose: Comes in control top and sheer to waist. The American way of describing what the British refer to as ‘Tights’.

Tights: Same thing as Pantyhose if you are British. If you are American then it’s totally something else. Tights in America seem to be the exclusive domain of high school girls like my friend Kristen.

Stockings: Well here we are at my favorite part of the program tonight. Let’s not waste any more time and get on with the examples.

the differences between pantyhose, tights, stockings, & leggings

In the USA, it is the difference between a sheer leg and an opaque leg. Pantyhose are sheerer, therefore being transparent.

Tights, on the other hand, are opaque, being of a heavier knit nylon or even cotton or wool, that do not permit transparency.

Because of the heavier knit of tights, they conceal most leg blemishes — scars, birthmarks, and bruises, and smooth the look of the leg, but can appear bulky… If you do not shave your legs regularly, tights will cover up those unsightly hairs.

Pantyhose, being thin knit, mostly a nylon blend of some sorts (most contain some element of spandex these days, which help hug the leg — no more baggy nylons at the ankles) are sheer or transparent.

They will show leg blemishes to a degree based on the denier. No way to hide those unsightly leg hairs. The sheerer they are the more sheen to the leg, which many a guy finds sexy and enticing.

Cross-culturally speaking, as in across the pond to jolly old England, pantyhose and tights are simply called tights.

No distinction in their reference. They can be heavy knit cotton tights for warmth or the sheerest of sheers. They are all referenced as tights.

Frankly, I like the distinction we make in the states, I wear tights for warmth and pantyhose for the more business-like leg or sexy shape of sheer nylons on my legs.

Platino Pantyhose

What are the differences between pantyhose, tights, stockings, & leggings?

  • Pantyhose – flimsy, goes all the way up to the waist, wear under skirts/dresses for a smooth appearance on legs.
  • Tights – could act as pantyhose but mostly thicker than pantyhose ( different density of the material), the feeling/appearance of having something “tight” wrap around your legs.
  • Stockings – may refer to pantyhose but up to thighs which pairs with suspenders around the waist, lingerie items.
  • Leggings – tights but in the shape of pants – they stop at the ankle or above the ankle like pants.

What are the differences between Pantyhose, tights, stockings, & leggings?

As for tights and leggings, it is really up to if it is for casual wear or more into exercise.

Regular leggings are thinner and therefore also underwear would be more visible compared to the thicker fitness tights that are still comfortable but with a focus of being squat and sweat proof.

People think the highs or stockings slip down they do but I have cum up with a solutions when the stockings wear out which is very unlikely unless I am in a hurry to take them off which is only when I go in my yard, I cut the elastic tops off the worn-out stockings and place them over the new stocking tops, this prevents sliding down and you can feel very confident you are showing off your legs, thighs down to your toes!


Tights: In the UK, legwear from the toes to the waist, no matter the denier (sheer, opaque) or style (plain, nude, black, fishnet, floral…). In the US, they’d probably call them pantyhose/nylons (sheer tights without any pattern), opaques (opaque tights), fishnets (fishnet tights), etc.
Leggings (UK): Opaque tights or stretchy trousers. Always footless. In the US, leggings are often called tights.
Hosiery (UK): includes tights, stockings, hold-ups, and socks. It’s a synonym of legwear.
Hold-ups (UK): stockings with an elastic silicone band, also called stay-ups and thigh highs(?) in the US.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *