Ice cream here. I wear both. I wear tights under skirts (I do not own a dress) and leggings under my tunics. My tunics are long and could be considered mini dresses and I find leggings much thicker. I really like the Lysse leggings also. In fact, they are almost like skinny ponte pants on me because my legs are thin in relationship to my hips. I also like tucking the leggings into my boots. Very sleek looking.

Team Leggings. Nodding in agreement with DIana. Tights are constricting and having a bit of a tummy they roll down and cut in. Ouch. I've never found tights other than sweater knits to be very warm either. Plus they get RUNS! Leggings are stretchier and much more comfortable, and are formal enough for my casual life. (I got married bare legged in the summer, guess I really hate tights/nylons )

Lol Suz, if you don't know what the "segmented" syndrome is, you don't have it! It's what happens when your tights are too tight and all the extra skin/squidge (in many cases, left over from pregnancies) gets squished inwards. You get a sharp indentation right in the middle of your belly, separating you into segments, much like the thorax and abdomen of an insect.

I don't own any leggings right now (as per my thread the other day about looking for leggings with longer inseams). When I did, they were tights-like in thickness, and I would sometimes wear them in the winter with dresses or skirts instead of tights if I were wearing boots, and the 'seam' between legging and sock wouldn't be visible. That was because I did find leggings a bit less constricting in the midsection than tights, which seem to need to be more snug in order to stay put and not move.

The problems you list with leggings, I have with tights - at least with all of them that I've tried. I probably need to try Tall tights or something. And so far I haven't tried leggings under dresses (at least, not in the recent past). But I suspect I would prefer them, due to my problems with tights... Hmmm.
(Now going back to read other responses)

If you put a gun to my head, I would have to say team tights. But then you'd have to put a gun to my head to get me to put them on! I hate anything tight - I would rather go on a diet that stuff myself into anything tight!

I have all the same problems Diana has with tights, with the bonus of not managing to wear them more than a few times before I get a run somewhere. I have large thighs for my frame, so I always have to size up in tights and then they slowly creep down. Leggings seem to fit my shape better and I find them infinitely warmer and comfier.

I like both and wear both at home..

Ah!! Aziriphale, thank you for enlightening me! My squidgy bits are mostly on other parts of my anatomy, it would seem. (Don't get me started on my knees. Yes, knees. Who knew knees could be squidgy? Well, if they are mine, they can be.)

So it's like muffin top. But worse.

I'm still curious, though, because I would have thought that leggings would do the same thing! But maybe it has to do with the type of elastic they use in the waistband, or how the top is constructed.

Amy, I'll bet you do need tall tights. I have occasionally had tights that were not the right size for me, and I will admit that those times I felt ready strangle myself with the darn things by the time I could rip them off. Worst of ALL worlds. Constricted toes (waving at Diana). Twisty seam cutting into crotch (at first) then quickly sliding sliding sliding down until crotch feels like it is at the knees. Meanwhile, segmented middle.

If I had to wear tights that fit like that, I would be on Team Don't Let's Discuss This.

Since I'm a dress and skirt person, it is nice hose, micro-fishnets, and tights for me. Secret for the first two, and I got some DKNY tights at Winners that are going into their third winter looking like new!

Leggings - 3 pair, but very gear specific (winter running/x-country skiing) and not appropriate for anything else.

FWIW, it has turned cold this past week and I am seeing black and grey tights EVERYWHERE in Toronto! With boots, booties, shooties, and shoes. Lots of black clothes and neutrals like grey and brown. A few hits of red and yellow. Not much navy blue or other colours on the street...but I'm in the financial district for the most part, and my 'street style' is Union Station' and Front St.!

Carla, that's TO in the winter for you. Black, grey, black, grey. I didn't know tights came in any other colours.

Tights with dresses, and leggings with long tops.

Tights. Unless leggings are worn as gear, I feel undressed in them. Even as gear, I have to wear a longer top/jacket so I don't feel over exposed.

Maybe I have been buying my leggings too large because I have the same issue with slippage. Proportionally, my thighs are the largest part of my body and I usually buy leggings so that the fit is not indecently tight there. Perhaps they are too large every where else and therefor slipping down? Hmmm. I will have to think about this...

Well, I don't really own any leggings, so maybe I should try some. But it's more that I don't do typical tunics well. With my long torso they'd have to be looking, and then have to be full enough over the hip , but fit in the shoulders.
I do have one temptation that's only just occurred to me, and that is whether I could wear a short dress with leggings more " appropriately" than with tights and hence get to wear some types of winter dresses ( sweatery types) that way since almost all dresses are too short on me.
Second, the oversized and poncho trend has changed the landscape a bit because they're not long and sleek and so make way for hippage room with a new expectation for top proportions and fit.

greycat6, it is a mystery, is it not? Maybe it is to do with thighs. Mine are certainly on the more muscular side (as compared to other parts of me).

I would be more willing to experiment with leggings if 1). I felt properly dressed in them; 2). I thought the leggings/ with tunic top flattered me. I wish it did --- but I haven't found the combo that looks good, feels structured enough to me, and stays on.

unfrumped, this was exactly my thinking, except I plan to do it with opaque tights -- but the idea being, I can wear a shorter, knit dress if my legs are covered up.

Tights to me are hose, to be worn with dresses and skirts. Leggings are pants, to be worn with long tops. So I wear both. But for comfort, leggings win hands down. Most of my winter lounge capsule is leggings with long sweaters or sweatshirts. I never wear leggings with dresses. And I never wear tights or hose at home.

This is such an interesting discussion! Had to pop back:)

Una shared that she felt leggings were gear or casual wear but I respectfully differ in opinion here. Leggings can be worn in very dressy ensembles and really add to the overall look of an outfit. I have worn a silky sack style dress with shimmery footless leggings and open toe booties and there was nothing casual about that look

Suz, you are funny. You comment about your "advanced age" made me smile. I am not sure it's an age issue. I wore a new Metalicus dress the other week sans tights/leggings and was horrified at how short it was lol. Yes, they may think it's a dress, but for me that is a tunic. Tunics do come in varying shapes. I think the reason why I wasn't crazy about the tights and the dress in your case was not age related, it was more about you having what I consider to be a 'grown up' style. There is modern, there is classic and there is sophistication to your looks. The dress with the tights just wasn't sending me that message. I just felt that the tights made the outfit look a little unfinished (sorry it's hard to explain... I'm quite visual and have strong reactions to what I see). I am very sensitive to wearing short dresses and skirts. They make me feel very uncomfortable:(

Just came back to add, having given it some more thought. It's a proportion thing for me. I need to see a more substantial leg covering to 'balance' the overall look. If you were wearing bare legs and a high vamp sandal or ankle boot (for example) and scrunched your sleeves, that would probably look fantastic. Great balance of proportion between skin showing and coverage.

Deborah, it is fascinating indeed. I wonder also if some of our perceptions are not based on geographical/ cultural differences and even what the stores in our different areas sell.

I wonder if the association to opaque tights is to little girls' leotards? (What we called them in Canada when I was a kid -- not a true ballet leotard but the tights part). I think I can see that.

The thing is, I do actually wear opaque tights a lot in winter. And have been wearing them for years (though obviously with different dresses than the new one.) Basically, I wear them whenever I wear a non-formal dress. Because I have to, or else I will freeze.

This makes me wonder, too, if someone living in my climate would tend to read them differently due to constant exposure. As Carla said, in Toronto (where I grew up) the city is a veritable sea of black and grey opaque legs as soon as the temperatures dip. Montreal is pretty much the same.

And these legs are all clad in tights -- not leggings (except worn as pants substitutes with long sweaters.)

I'm not saying this is a good fashion look, necessarily. It's seldom worn with intention. It's worn because it's what is available and what is practical, and nobody really thinks twice about it. I hope I won't wear it that way...but at the same time, I know that in my environment, it "blends." If that makes sense.

Meanwhile, I have a feeling that people in Oz may be more practiced at wearing leggings. This is based on crazed conjecture and no real data!

Yes...I see that...I mean I see how bare legs would improve things, LOL, assuming I'd wear a dress that short (which I wouldn't, except maybe at the beach.)

So you would like to see more opaque than opaque tights? There may be darker ones I can try as an experiment. I can look.

When I've visited London (England, not Ontario!) I saw lots of women of all ages wearing black tights with all sorts of dresses and skirts. Some of them looked weird to me in the sense that you'd see a very summery floral dress with black tights, a combination that you'd never see here in California. I wonder if it was the same sort of thing that you're talking about happening in Toronto, Suz. It's a practical adaptation to the local environment.

Team Una ... I always wear tights and dress/skirt if I want to feel dressy ... Outside the house. In the house I too, much prefer leggings and tunics (or anything in the pant/top category) I don't wear dresses for the house. Especially if I have to wear tights, I rather not wear a dress!

So does that mean I am benched?

Neel, you are beautifully, fashionably benched!

Laura -- I think in the UK the light floral dresses with black tights is a more intentional thing -- there was a recent vogue for it. I always find it seasonally confused, myself, but get that it is a look. In Toronto (and in the UK worn with wools or heavier fabric skirts/ dresses) it is more what you said -- adaptation to the environment.

What happens is that people who are dressing consciously at all dress from the tights out. Or the footwear/ tights up. And since opaques are easiest to find (and arguably, more sophisticated looking) in dark neutrals, you see a preponderance not only of grey and black LEGS but also of grey and black outfits -- because grey and black go really well with grey and black.

And this in turn leads to the whole dark and gloomy fashion landscape that I so abhor in my native country in winter.

It makes sense, it's practical. I get that. But it is so soul-sucking as the months wear on.


Suz, crazed conjecture works for me! I agree totally that geography, cultural differences and what is available in our stores has an impact. BTW, I do wear opaque tights too. I didn't mean to leave that info out:) But I wear 40 denier opaques so no hint of skin at all. I have some dresses that cry out for sheer hose, others can carry something heavier. It has a lot to do with the style of the dress, the weight of the dress etc.

In Melbourne where I am from, black is de rigeuer (hope I got that right) and on any given winter's day the city can be a sea of black opaques, so it's a look that I am used and I do love in most instances.

Where I live now, our winters are cold. Now they are not Canadian cold, but it's all relative isn't it. For me our cold is cold and since moving to Bendigo the lure of warm leggings has been quite strong.

What thickness are the opaques you are wearing. Maybe something heavier would make me happy lol.... of course it's all about me... just kidding. I haven't had to time to comment on your outfit post today but the dress and tights look fabulous!

I voted tights. I definitely find them comfortable! But I have to say that good quality ones make a difference. It was difficult to spend so much money on tights and I still have the cheap ones mixed in, but it's definitely worth the money, fit and quality wise. The only pair of leggings I have are merino wool to layer under jeans. That said, I was thinking of getting a pair like these here:

They would be great on a day I'm wearing boots because I could wear thick socks without the fabric of the tights in between foot and sock. Makes for more comfortable feet I guess.

Deborah, for me leggings are gear or casual, but I don't think that is always the case. I'm thinking of ordering velvet tuxedo leggings which I would consider dressy!

Umm . . . what is the difference between the two? Seriously - I don't know. I've been sick for almost a week now and so have been very sparse on the forum, so perhaps the definitions of the two have already been clarified, so I apologize if I'm "behind!" Would someone please give me a brief summary of the differences between leggings and tights?

Marley - tights have feet, leggings don't.

Una! They sound fabulous:). Apologies, misunderstood what you were saying. I wonder now how leggings originated? Was their first incarnation as hear or gym wear?

I have only one pair of leggings and they were recently demoted to sleepwear, because they bag out too much. But I do love and often wear my liquid leggings!
Regarding tights, I have two pairs of footless fleece-lined tights that are very substantial and look like leggings, however they have seams across the bum, indicating that they are not meant to be worn as pants (i.e. leggings)
I find them very comfy, they lie flat and do not give me the dissected worm syndrom :)) For warmth, I will layer tights OVER these fleece-lined tights and then don a skirt/dress or even my thin liquid leggings.
I don't find it uncomfortable
I also love these footless tights beacuse my feet tend to sweat and I can quickly change my socks if needed.