The best women's tights you can buy

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best tights

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  • Tights are a wardrobe staple for many women, and they come in all kinds of colors and styles.
  • We've tested dozens of tights to find the best ones you can buy, and Spanx's Luxe Leg Mid-Thigh Shaping Tights are our top pick for great durability, comfort, and style.
If there's a staple in a woman's wardrobe, it's a good pair of tights. Whether they're sheer, opaque, fishnet, or bright pink, these pieces of spandex are a blessing and a curse that, alas, we just can't live without. Advertisement

While we don't have to abide by the royal British dress code of wearing tights under every dress, skirt, and pair of shorts we own, there are still plenty of occasions in which a great pair of pantyhose can save the day. And when it comes to choosing some of the best tights on the market, you'll want to keep a few things in mind.

First and foremost, a good pair of tights will be durable. Sure, they're delicate items, but that doesn't mean that you should only expect them to last through one wear. My favorite pair of tights have seen me through several years and several jobs, and that's just the way they ought to be.

Second, you'll want to keep coverage in mind. Tights can be sheer, opaque, or patterned, and different settings will call for different sets. It's probably best to keep a wide range of tights on hand so that you're never caught unprepared.

Another potential consideration may come in the amount of control your tights can exercise over your figure. With the right pair of Spanx, for example, you can prevent that much-dreaded muffin top situation, and always look your chicest.

And finally, you'll want to consider the weather in which you'll be wearing your tights. If you tend to spend most of the year in tropical climates, you probably don't need a good pair of thick, heat-tech tights. If, on the other hand, you often find yourself traipsing through the snow in heels and a skirt, you'll want a warm pair on hand. Regardless of which pair you choose from among our favorite tights, you won't go wrong.Advertisement

Here are the best tights for women you can buy:

Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

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The best tights overall

The best tights overall
Why you'll love them: For tights that will never rip, pill, or leave you hanging, the Spanx Luxe Leg Mid-Thigh Shaping Tights are the best way to go.

There's a reason Spanx has become synonymous with tights. When it comes to hosiery that is flattering and functional, I always turn to Spanx for a never-fail solution. The Luxe Leg Mid-Thigh Shaping Tights are perfect for cooler days when you need a bit of extra warmth in and around your lower body.

Capable of sculpting your figure to its most flattering potential, these Spanx are still surprisingly breathable and comfortable. Several women here on the Insider Picks team swear by Spanx.

The fabric is strong — you can run them through the wash seemingly endless times without worrying about rips or pills — and extremely black. That said, they're not so dark that you can't see your legs at all. Rather, this pair toes the line between sheer and opaque in the best way possible.

The real game-changer with these tights comes in the form of its built-in mid-thigh shaper, which helps your butt and thighs look firm and perky. Plus, with the premium power leg, these tights feel, as the name suggests, luxe, and allow for great recovery after a long night out. If you slip on a pair of these tights under a form-fitting dress or skirt, you'll truly look like your best self.

Spanx are quite form-fitting, so going one size up may not be the worst idea in the world. Plus, at just $28 a pop, you can buy plenty a pair without having to worry about breaking the bank.

Pros: Flattering and sculpting, won't pill or rip, great opacity, reasonable price point

Cons: You may have to size up

Buy Spanx Luxe Leg Mid-Thigh Shaping Tights at Spanx for $28 and at Nordstrom

The best opaque tights

The best opaque tights
Why you'll love them: If you judge your tights by their color, then DKNY's Opaque Control Top Tights are the way to go.

What sets DKNY's Opaque Control Top Tights apart from the competition is the Lycra Living Lights technology, which means that your tights will be the color they're meant to be. And when it comes to black tights, I find that to be absolutely essential.

DKNY's opaque tights are some of the best out there, and they have the unique ability to seem particularly black without being especially shiny — all in all, this makes your legs seems longer, more shapely, and just generally more like you want them to look.

But color aside, the best thing about DKNY's tights is their comfort level. While these, like Spanx, are meant to shape and sculpt your middle to help you slip into that slinky dress, I've found that they're far more breathable and far less constricting than the competition. So even though you may look like you're wearing a corset, you won't feel like it.

I've also found that DKNY's tights are able to stand up to several wears and several washes — even months after I made my purchase, I was able to don the same pair without worrying about rips or tears or rends. They're supremely comfortable and available in three staple colors — black, navy, and white — because yes, you do need white tights in the winter.

Guides editor Malarie Gokey wears these tights multiple times a week during the fall and winter months, and she loves them.

While they're slightly pricier than your most basic pair of hose, they're still extremely affordable at just $16 a pair.

Pros: Great opacity, extremely comfortable, affordable, available in three classic colors

Cons: Some customers have complained about the lack of a gusset

Buy DKNY Opaque Control Top Tights at Nordstrom for $16

The best nude tights

The best nude tights
Why you'll love them: Heist recognizes that there are many different definitions of nude, and the brand has tights for all of them.

Heist may be a relative newcomer to the tights scene, but that hasn't stopped it from becoming a fast favorite. Heist is hugely popular here at Business Insider, thanks to its incredibly soft material, its comfortable fit, and its high-quality craftsmanship.

One of my favorite aspects about Heist is the degree of personalization it offers wearers — not only can you choose between a high and a low waistband — which is so necessary and so rare in a pair of tights — but you can also choose among several different shades of nude. Because your nude is not everyone else's nude.

These tights are available in an impressive seven shades, all of which both look and feel barely there. Thanks to its double-covered yarn construction, each pair is incredibly soft and durable, and also warm enough to withstand the weather.

Heist has also rethought the overall design of a pair of tights. Not only is its waistband available in both high and low-rise options, but it's also designed to avoid rolling, twisting, and otherwise digging into your skin.

I also love that there's no gusset to speak of — there aren't any seams where there shouldn't be, which makes for a more comfortable, longer-lasting wear.

Heist tights also do a remarkably good job of staying up throughout the day thanks to the 5,000 spirals per inch on its yarn. And when they do stay up, they help smooth the appearance of your midsection without doing any serious sculpting.

So if you're looking for a pair of tights that no one — including you — will know you're wearing, look to Heist.

Pros: Soft, durable construction, no gusset, low or high waistband, several different shades of nude

Cons: When taking shipping into consideration, these tights can set you back more than $50

Buy Heist Nude tights for $32

The best tights for cold weather

The best tights for cold weather
Why you'll love them: You're probably most likely to wear tights in the winter, so it makes sense to have a pair like UNIQLO HeatTech Tights that can stand up to the cold temperatures.

$10 is all it takes to keep your legs warm and cozy when the weather turns harsh — that is, if you take your $10 to Uniqlo. The fast fashion brand has quickly made its way into both my heart and my wardrobe with its HeatTech Tights, which do a shockingly stand-up job in helping me withstand the winter chill.

These tights are made of a slightly thicker material than most, but somehow, that doesn't make them or you appear chunky. They're certainly less sheer than other tights in the category, but are quite unparalleled when it comes to offering protection from both dry atmospheres and chilly temperatures.

In fact, Uniqlo incorporates argan oil into its hosiery so these tights feel supple and luxe. Uniqlo explains that these tights feature bio-warming, insulating, and moisture-wicking properties, all of which I have found to be surprisingly true. Other members of the Insider Picks team also love them.

There's also just enough compression to create a slimming effect, but not enough to make you uncomfortable. In fact, with tights this warm and this wearable, it's hard to take them off when the temperatures drop.

Pros: Great in cold weather, super affordable, available in four colors

Cons: Some customers have remarked on sizing issues

Buy UNIQLO HeatTech Tights for $9.90

The best patterned tights

The best patterned tights
Why you'll love them: When a solid color just won't cut it for you anymore, you'll want to check out the Commando Floral Faux Thigh High Fishnets.

Commando always makes great tights, and its Ultimate Opaque Control Top Tights are a great favorite here at Business Insider. But I'm also a particular fan of the fun, flirty Floral Faux Thigh High Fishnets, which are perfect for adding just a little extra something to an otherwise humdrum outfit.

Going a step beyond your standard fishnet hosiery, this pair incorporates a beautiful climbing pattern along the lower leg and thigh before transitioning into your more standard fishnet pattern. They look effortless, chic, and luxurious, and are fantastic under your staple little black dress.

While I'm always afraid that fishnet will be impossibly uncomfortable, I've been impressed by how wearable these tights really are. Thanks to Commando's signature raw-cut and dig-free microfiber waistband, you won't be itching to get out of these at the end of the day.

The Insider Picks team recommends them for their durability and style in multiple reviews.

Commando also pays attention to the details, including a cotton-lined gusset that makes this pair particularly comfortable. The tights are constructed with a mix of nylon and spandex, but be warned — with a pattern this delicate, you can't run them through the laundry. They're only fit to be washed by hand.

Pros: Beautiful pattern, surprisingly comfortable, fits true to size

Cons: Hand-wash only

Buy Commando Floral Faux Thigh High Fishnets at Bloomingdale's for $36 Shop more Commando Tights at Nordstrom for $34 to $40 Read our full review on Commando's tights