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How to Choose the Right Size of Tights, and Other Things to Keep in Mind When Buying Them

Wrongly chosen tights can bring on a lot of inconveniences. It’s important to take into account their size, density, and model in order to be comfortable.

We at 5-Minute Crafts want to make sure you cover all your bases when it comes to choosing this wardrobe item.

How to choose the size of tights

The upper part of the diagram shows the weight in kg, and the left part shows the height in cm. In order to make the right choice, check at which indicator these lines cross.

Numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are universal for hosiery, while the signs XS, S, M, L, and XL are used for indicating women’s sizes. XL for weights that measure above 90 kg (200 lb) is nominal because the size of tights will be the maximum for each manufacturer for such parameters.

The fabric the tights are made from is elastic, and that’s why there are double sizes in the chart. For example, if you are 155 cm (5’8’’) tall and weigh 100 lb, you can choose the first or second size (XS — S).

Tights should fit the body perfectly. That’s the reason why choosing the correct size is the key to comfort. When in doubt, go for the larger option.

How to understand the density of the item

Denier (the short word, den, comes from Latin denarius) is a term used in textile production and stands for the density of the yarn.

  • 1 den = 1 g (0.03 oz) for 9,000 m (29,500 feet) of yarn. Therefore, the less denier, the finer and more transparent the item will be. And vice versa, the more denier the item has, the denser it will be.

But it’s not that simple. Apart from the thread itself, it is also important to consider the process of the tights’ creation. Some manufacturers wrap the yarn with polyamides to provide better resistance to damage.

When choosing hosiery, take into account those factors that can affect their wearability, such as weather, the season, and mainly what look you want to eventually get. For example, tights with a higher density are good for winter. And thinner products will be appropriate for wearing at work but are not suitable for walking in frost.

Types of tights

1. Classic opaque tights that will fit you just fine regardless of your size — no rolling down or bagginess at the ankles — it’s a perfect choice for cold weather.

🖤 70 denier
💙 Durable and warm
👍 1,856 global ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars

💌 Promising review: “I absolutely love these tights. I really wanted a pair that I could wear with a dress as the weather is getting colder and these are perfect. They fit perfectly stay up and have a lovely sheen to them. I would definitely recommend!” © Sarah Hatcher / Amazon

🎁 Buy the MANZI Classic Opaque Control-Top Tights with Comfort Stretch on Amazon now.

2. Footless tights for dance or everyday wear — they’re comfortable, not too tight, and fit really well.

🖤 70 denier
💙 Seamless for a smooth fit
👍 600 global ratings: 4.4 out of 5 stars

💌 Promising review: “Comfortable waistband, really thick feel denier footless tights. Could almost be worn as leggings but would have to be a long top and darker around the gusset as with tights. They feel like they have some control without being too tight. They feel breathable and the material feels strong enough that it shouldn’t rip as easily as some tights.” © SuccubasHeat / Amazon

🎁 Buy MANZI Women’s Footless Tights on Amazon now.

3. Fishnet tights — this is a forever classic that is available in various colors and designs. The soft and stretchy material won’t cut into your skin, even after hours of wear.

🖤 Great value
💙 Won’t break easily
👍 2,740 global ratings: 4.4 out of 5 stars

💌 Promising review: “Once I ordered, I read some of the reviews that expressed concern over ease of ripping. When they arrived I was surprised at how easily I was able to put them on without getting ripped. I’m 5’9” too, so I thought that they’d be too small. You also get 4 other pairs — all for $10! Definitely would recommend for people my height and below. I don’t think it’s one size fits all though, as I can see how one would struggle to put them on if they held more weight in their legs." © Tara Wright / Amazon

🎁 Buy the FLORA GUARD High Waist Tights Fishnet Stockings on Amazon to add a bit of spice to your look.

4. Compression tights — they can improve blood circulation, prevent swelling, and relieve fatigue in the leg muscles. But if you have health issues, make sure to consult your doctor before using them.

🖤 For women and men
💙 Suitable for long-haul flights
👍 284 global ratings: 4.1 out of 5 stars

💌 Promising review: “Very good product! True to size, works really good. Make sure you follow the instructions of use. The beige color is awful but as a medical professional doesn’t really matter to me. It’s a bit transparent. Hard to put on so compression is high. I really like them and definitely will buy more.” © Óscar / Amazon

🎁 Buy the Beister Medical Compression Tights on Amazon to get healthy support for your legs.

5. Seamless tights — they’re made using special technology, thanks to which the seams are not visible. And since there are no seams that can rub or irritate the skin, there is no discomfort during wear.

🖤 Available in various colors
💙 Plain or with polka dots
👍 1,250 global ratings: 4.3 out of 5 stars

💌 Promising review: “These tights fit nicely and have a comfortable wide waste band that seems to stay in place even without silicone bands. The toes do have seams, but everything else is seamless. I love the softness and look of these 15 denier tights!” © Kind Soul / Amazon

🎁 Buy CALZITALY Seamless Sheer Tights on Amazon now.

6. Ultra-thin tights — if you work in an office with a strict corporate dress code, then you may need these 12 denier tights. However, take into account that it’s easy to tear this type of hosiery.

🖤 Available in black and in a range of tan colors
💙 From the UK, size 10 to 24
👍 950 global ratings: 4.2 out of 5 stars

💌 Promising review: “Natural-looking tights that fit well and are comfortable. I have had many compliments as people thought that I had lovely lightly tanned legs. People just can’t tell that tights are being worn. This is my second purchase. Although they’re expensive, they’re worth it. Can be washed if very careful.” © Lisa / Amazon

🎁 Buy FALKE Women’s Shelina Tights on Amazon now and combine them with an elegant outfit.

7. Control top tights — they’re great for tightening the belly, buttocks, and upper legs. These tights are comfortable to wear, but it’s very important to choose the right size.

🖤 Enhanced toes
💙 72-hour replace for free
👍 75 global ratings: 4.1 out of 5 stars

💌 Promising review: “I’ll start with the sizing, which is accurate. I ordered a medium, which I normally wear being 5’4” and about 125 lb. The tights fit well around my belly and thighs and offered good support. The tights are mid/high-waisted and comfortable to wear. The sheer effects look attractive, especially for office wear. They don’t seem to break or pull easily and they are elastic. I certainly recommend them, you get a pack of 3 good quality tights for a good price." © Mersa & Sean / Amazon

🎁 Buy the WAJIAFAR 3-Pack of Women’s Sheer High-Waist Tights on Amazon now.

5-Minute Crafts gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Please note: This article was updated in September 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
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