Tights may not be the most exciting things in your wardrobe, but damn if they aren’t some of the most important. At their best, they should feel like a second skin—skimming your legs, holding you in in all the right places, making everything from the waist down silky and smooth to the touch.
But in reality, most fall short of this promise; either they’re majorly itchy, rip in a single wear, sag at the crotch, or dig into your waist, leaving angry red marks when you take them off. Sometimes all of the above. Plus, they can get expensive—and only some of the spendier ones are worth the added cost. I’ve held on to pairs I hate for years because I figure it’s better than finding myself with nothing to put on my legs while all the good ones are in the wash (this is a habit I’m trying to break in the name of self-care).
Back to those good ones, though: once you find them, it’s glorious. You want to have them on all the time—even to bed, sometimes (when it’s really cold and the thought of taking them off—even to put on PJs—is truly unappealing). Because I’m always on the hunt for hosiery that doesn’t suck, I asked my colleagues for their faves—found, in certain cases, after years of trial and error.
Below, see the tights—opaque, thermal, fishnet, and more—that seven STYLECASTER editors are most loyal to.
“In a perfect world I’d never have to wear tights (I don’t enjoy the cold at all and try to stay bare-legged as much as possible) but I live in New York City so sadly, that’s not realistic. My aversion to winter has resulted in a years-long refusal to spend more than $10 on tights, but I’m only making the season worse for myself because those pairs are rarely comfortable and tend to rip pretty easily. This year, I’ll be buying tights from Wolford. My sister swears by them and I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews from friends. They’re pricey, but they look so luxe. Fingers crossed they’ll make winter a bit more bearable.”—Leah Faye Cooper, editorial producer
Individual 50 Leg Support, $61; at Wolford
“These fleece-lined tights are pretty much the only reason I wear dresses and skirts in the winter, otherwise I’d be living in pants from late-November through March. They are super soft and insulated—it feels like pulling a warm blanket over your legs. Plus, you can pick them up at most drugstores, which is aces in my book.”—Cristina Velocci, managing editor
Fleece Tights; at Kushyfoot
“I’m really not much of a shapewear girl, but the control top on these sucks me in without making me feel like I’m wearing a corset. They pair especially well with form-fitting dresses so everything looks a little bit smoother, and I don’t have to sacrifice comfort or range of motion. Win!”—Cristina Velocci, managing editor
Luxe Leg Tights, $28; at Spanx
“I ordered these oversized fishnets from ASOS a few weeks back and just ordered another pair before they sell out because I love them so much—the fishnet pattern gets a little tighter in the toes, but because they don’t have that ugly reinforcement strip, I can wear them with open-toes shoes (before it gets too cold).”—Lauren Caruso, site director
Oversized Fishnet Tights, $9.02; at ASOS
“These tights are beyond soft and mine have lasted me for years. They’re also totally opaque (like, you could wear them as pants if you were so inclined, though maybe don't do that out of the house) and they don’t dig into your waist at all—my ultimate pet peeve.”—Hilary George-Parkin, fashion editor
Donna Karan Hosiery Signature Perfect Opaque Tights, $20; at Bare Necessities
“Ah yes, the holy grail of opaque tights. These are pretty close to perfect as far as hosiery goes, and while, yes, the price is about equivalent to a pair of jeans, the cost-per-wear ends up being pennies, since they’re basically indestructible. Plus, they're warm enough to stand up to New York winters, which is nice when I'm feeling too stubborn to just put on some damn pants instead.”—Hilary George-Parkin, fashion editor
Ind. 100 Leg Support Tights, $85; at Wolford
“There’s a reason why these are top-rated on Amazon: they’re perfectly soft and just the right amount of sheer without feeling like you’re wearing air. Plus, they’re long enough for my insanely long, 36” inseam, which is hard to find. Tall ladies (on a budget), buy these!”—Chloe Metzger, beauty editor
Hue Women’s Opaque Sheer-to-Waist Tight, $7.50; at Amazon
“My friend in London swears by these, and I bought a pair at her suggestion when I was in town a few years ago. They check off every box I look for in tights: warm, comfortable at the waist, and completely opaque. Favorite tights ever.”—Bibi Deitz, news editor
Autograph 60 Denier Velvet Touch Opaque Tights, $12; at Marks & Spencer London
“Uniqlo’s Heattech is amazing for winter. I always layer their leggings and tights under jeans when it gets frigid outside—and these tights can also stand up to the cold solo, even on the chilliest days.”—Bibi Deitz, news editor
Heattech Tights, $7.90 (was $9.90); at Uniqlo
“The Gap is another great go-to for opaque black tights that are warm but also comfy—and they stand the test of time.”—Bibi Deitz, news editor
Super Opaque Tights, $14.95; at Gap
“I like Calvin Klein’s silky seam-free ones! So soft, never itchy.”—Hannah Hickok, lifestyle editor
Calvin Klein Opaque Essentials Seam-Free Tights, $16; at Bare Necessities