Lavinia, now you have confused me too. Footless tights? What exactly are we talking about here? To me both tights and leggings come in all kind of fabrics and forms, but the one thing that makes them different is whether they have feet or not. Or maybe my teminology suffered translating from English...

Just chiming in to say I would wear tights year round if they were weather appropriate. I loathe bare legs (mine at least) and love the "hug" I get from tights. I consider leggings gear or pjs and never like the look on myself. I agree with you about the extra bulk under dresses. Leggings are not pants and I do not want to see or show my bum in them without cover. Now that tunics are back in knitwear it's better, but I still see people wearing what I consider footless tights without any bottom cover over them. Regardless of your shape IMO this is reserved for the gym or home only people.

I have 2 pair (one BR and one Boden) that I wear as long johns under snowpants with tights underneath for big snow!

I think tights are mostly awful and only wear them if I absolutely have to. Therefore I rarely wear a skirt or dress in the winter. I like how they look but hate how they feel and can't wait to rip them off.

Leggings, on the other hand, are a wardrobe staple in fall and winter. They tuck into mid calf and tall boots so easily. They never fall down on me like some of my jeans do (although I've just discovered some Gap jeans that seem to stay put). With an ample middle and a job where I'm up and down like a yo-yo, bottoms, like leggings, that stay put are wardrobe perfection. I like Eddie Bauer leggings for a lighter version, Lysee and Hue. I like how they trim the tummy too. I wear them with longer tunics or sack-like dresses. I like the tops to come to mid thigh but not much longer as I'm short. To me the dress has to have some weight to it to look right with leggings and be not too dress-like, IYKWIM.

Team leggings for me. I have always disliked tights.

I answered your question initially based on the comfort question... how and what I wear them with is very different. Leggings with tunics or short dresses, and tights in the winter with dresses. However... the BR dress you are looking at, if I were wearing that at home, and thinking of it as the same PJ level of comfort as my VC skirts, I'd be probably tempted to wear leggings and socks. That can be tucked into boots if I left the house.

I like them both! I tend to wear tights more often for work and for dressing up and leggings more often (with both tunics and dresses) for casual outfits. But, if I really had to choose one or the other, I'd probably pick leggings since they're easier to put on, don't get holes in them, and never lead to that lovely segmentation issue Aziraphale discussed.

Since pants and I have a difficult relationship at best, I'm really glad my coloring and general preferences make black tights/leggings an easy option for me so I can wear skirts and dresses all winter without it being a huge effort. Although I do get sick of the constant parade of black and gray.

At heart, I'm really on Team Skirts/Dresses With Bare Legs, but that's obviously a weather-limited option.

Team wool tights and hose with skirts, dresses and boots when it's cool, and bare legs when it is warm. I don't own any leggings beyond cotton waffle winter PJ leggings.....though I do have a pair of jeggings which are somewhere between a skinny jean and a legging. They look more like a pant than leggings do, but serve the same purpose. Occasionally I wear them with a long sweater or tunic. It's not that I dislike leggings on others, oh actually I do when women wear them with tops that are too short and they don't have the figure for it, they are just not for my personal preference.

Well I should probably bench myself because it's mostly jeans for me....

On the odd occasion that I wear a skirt/dress, it's only to go out. I always default to jeans/sweats at home. If I'm in a skirt/dress in the cooler season then it's always tights. I'm clueless with leggings.

Thank you all for indulging me on this! It seems we have a really wide variety of feelings and responses, just as I had expected!

Marley, I am sorry you are feeling sick. We are sick twinnies; I have been sick all week, too. I hope you feel better very soon. And I hope I can come live with you someday so that I, too, don't ever have to learn the difference between tights and leggings!

IMO the distinction is like this:

Tights are legwear that usually covers the foot. The upper part makes it clear they are designed as "underwear" --- they usually have a cotton gusset and seams on the bum, either in the center of the bum or making a panel (like long johns). Sometimes they have a control panel; it will be thicker than the rest. You do wear underwear underneath them (well, at least, I do!!, LOL) but they are clearly a kind of undergarment in their own right. Basically, they are like thicker pantyhose. Sometimes they are fleece lined or made of wool; those ones are warmest. But they can also be made from man-made fibres of various kinds and they are more or less opaque depending on their thickness and what they are made from.

Leggings are generally thicker still and heavier weight. They don't have feet. They don't have a hose-like gusset. They may or may not have a control panel. They are designed to show, although most people do not feel they look good or appropriate with the bum showing, hence, coverage, with tunic length tops. Most of them are a bit more structured or girdling than tights.

I am beginning to wonder if I need to do some investigation into other kinds of leggings.

I will say that some of the most comfy things I own and wear in the winter are my thermal undies. I will happily wear those as "tights." I don't consider them leggings (because they are not girdling/ structured enough).

Team Tights (although I wear hose - not tights). I prefer to go barelegged in the Summer though.

I don't wear leggings at all (anymore). I did six years ago - cropped with little zippers on the side - because they reminded me of the '80s, which you know is a decade close to my heart. See exhibit A. BUT. I still wore a proper outfit with them - otherwise I feel like I'm wearing pajamas when sporting leggings.

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I feel like I should add that I wear leggings *as tights* the vast majority of the time, that is, under dresses and skirts (albeit short ones sometimes) and with the bottom tucked into boots. So, the question of not feeling adequately covered is a non issue here, as is the ankle breaking my leg line. Most of my leggings are soft and thin and definitely not pants. I dislike anything with control-anything, and most thicker material leggings are polyester-heavy anyway, which is a total dealbreaker.

With true tunics (ie butt covering tops), I generally wear jeggings or skinnies. It's warmer anyway.

Re: footless tights. I think of them as tights material (stretchy, thin), just with no feet. I actually sometimes make them myself by cutting the toes off regular tights (particularly if I had already gotten a hole in them. Microfiber tights surprisingly don't fray.

Team Tights all the way! From October - April when wearing a skirt or dress, I layer with tights. I find leggings too bulky underneath and I get too hot with that much layered fabric. And I swear by Hue tights - it's the only brand I buy.

Team tights all the way for everything except for running in really cold weather.

It may be just my imagination or maybe I'm buying the wrong kind, but leggings add just enough extra bulk that I don't like the look on myself. On others, I often think they look great! I think it can be very flattering to show a little ankle or calf below the legging, but I haven't found the right legging/shoe combo for myself.

I am late to the party here, but I have to agree that tights and leggings are different animals and serve different purposes. Tights can ONLY be worn under dresses, garments long enough to cover them entirely, even when reaching or sitting. Leggings are thicker and have no feet and play the part of pants with a tunic - long enough to cover the bum while standing, but may come up without indecency while reaching or sitting. I make a point to purchase leggings thick enough that they never get sheer and can play the part of pants with the proper outfit.

There are footless tights, but they are semi-sheer like tights tend to be and are generally used for dance IMO (at least that's what I always used them for). A person can usually tell the difference in stores because tights are usually packaged all rolled or folded up in a paper or cardboard wrapper. They often hang from a peg like socks. Leggings (at least the kind I prefer) are sold hung on hangers like pants or folded on racks like pants because they are normally too thick to be packaged as tights.

I really almost heard a "plonk" from dropping my mouth as I was reading this post. Thanx for starting it, Suz! (are you feelin'better?-I hope so:-)).

I never ever could make leggings work on my frame and my wardrobe with panache. But then, I thought I know what tights and leggings are.... Even mounching on Suz's latest definitions, I am rather like Astrid, now. Still clueless.

I know I wear kind of hose(call them nylons, sheers, opaques, patterned/lacey tights) all the way with skirts and dresses(all knee length or longer) in fall, spring and winter and when the weather doesn't allow me bare legs(which I love best, even for dressier outfits).These have mostly a nr. of denier 5-30(max 40!) DEN. Nothing thicker than that is required for my climate, or at least my everyday life, but I also consider anything thicker(and leggings usually ARE thicker) won't look appropiate with my skirts/dresses AND shoes. I guess I am on the dressier side, or just don't get it?

Then, I tried so much with the leggings for tunics. But I have balerina like muscular tighs (as I did many years of classic ballett in my youth). So, my tunic length (which for others is usually midthigh or the mini length) would be exactly the same as my skirts and dresses lengths(around the knee)- so then, why bothering with other than tights, at all. Would have the bounch on the middle, and on my apple belly it's no fun at all.

I now have a good amount of cellulite, too-which is showcasted through a regullar, body con leggings-so not fun either.

Conclusion is, my tunics just cannot end where my thighs are the widest if wearing regullar leggings-or I have to wear much thicker, and not so body con leggings-which are in the end not leggings anymore, rather some ponte skinnies or even better, some straight legs, at least.

Still, I find a leggings with a tunic/dress(call it how you'd like!) having the right length a good(even edgy and/or creative look) on other womens(like Debs, for ex). But saddly, I cannot achieve that decent look for the life of me:-(.

I have to leave now, but will return to read all the comments, so much to think and learn here. Maybe one day...:-)

This has been a very educational read for me. I am firmly on the tights side with dresses. I do have to make sure I buy them big enough. If I have to stretch them too much to get them on my toes can start to feel strangled and I get that droopy, constricted feeling in the crotch. But to me they feel simple, warm and girding and I've worn them for years.
For me I've never been able to get my brain around adding warmth to the legs but leaving the feet bare. But that could be because my feet are the first thing to get cold. Adding socks on top of leggings and then figuring out how to get the whole mess into a pair of shoes w/out looking silly always seemed like too much work to me. I do have legging and I wear them with tunics (I call a shirt that covers the bum but not much longer than that a tunic) but I mostly wear them at home on weekends as lounge wear that's just barely nice enough to run an errand if I have to. I wear them with socks around the house without worrying if they look silly or not and find them warm and cozy.

Quick answer: neither. Now I will have to go back and read through this thread! I didn't realize it had gotten so long. I'm bound to learn something!

Very useful thread, Suz. I now realize what I call my "leggings" are actually ponte skinnies. Pour me some of that hot chocolate.

Wow - do I miss a lot in 12 hours I'm the nut who has an entire large drawer full of leggings: leather trimmed, plain stretchy ones, bamboo and fleece-lined ones, black, grey, even a brown leather /knit back a million pair of athletic leggings (although for working out - oddly I refer to them as tights -even though they are leggings). I also have a drawer full of tights - Hue, DKNY, and Calvin Klein - and these I wear all winter long under a dress or skirt . I have navy, grey, black and burgundy. I can't imagine wearing actual leggings under a dress, but that's just a personal thing . I wear leggings every day in the winter - either at home after working hours, and pretty much all weekend long. Always with a top or jacket or something that appropriately covers. Working out and being in gear is part of my lifestyle, and I'm comfortable enough to wear my workout gear (workout tights and all) out in public. My legs and body are in good enough shape (or were until apparently a month ago - lol) that I am not embarrassed to be seen in them. They are all super thick Lululemon or UA or Nike running-type tights - no show through . For example, I spend a lot of time in university and high school gyms in the winter watching Jill (DD ) play basketball, and I am comfortable in a pair of Lulu tights, a long sweatshirt type-top , runners, and a ski-type puffer - .

The only fit issues I have with leggings are my one-size fleece lined ones that get too stretched out to hold their shape at the waist after a month or two. I think its because you are so petite that you are not big enough for even the smallest size -

Sorry for being so long -winded. It's your thread, not mine But something else just occurred to me, which would explain why I seem to be among the minority in thinking leggings are great: the forum seems to refer to what I call heavy knit (ponte) leggings as "ponte pants". To me, anything that pulls on with no fly or zip is a legging. That my be where i am misunderstanding this whole issue.

Lisa, IKWYM. These are the ponte leggings I mean, and they are not that different from skinnies except they pull on. Also the velvet tuxedo ones I just ordered....

Now this is a very fun topic.

I like bare legs in the summer. Okay, I adore them!

However, I do love both tights and leggings for fall/winter wardrobe. I don't generally have issues with leggings. I avoid modal - rayon bags and doesn't hold shape. Something with spandex if I can, and thicker leggings are my preferred choice. I will not wear them as pants, i.e., I must have butt coverage.

I had good luck this fall with H&M cotton-spandex leggings. They're a bit thin, but they do the trick when worn with a tunic/mini dress. Also, not quite leggings, but Old Navy's Pixie Pant is a wonderful jegging/legging. I like them in the new "long" length very much. Am checking out Lysse and Albion Fit for their leggings next...

As for tights... I adore them in beautiful colors and patterns (just bought a baroque floral patterned pair that has the design stitched in shiny black over a matte black background. They're gorgeous!) They are not as comfortable to me as leggings, but I do think they're beautiful and they make me feel more comfortable showing a bit of leg compared to bare legs. I wear tights with short dresses and maxi dresses. They feel kitschy to me worn with midi lengths, unless it's a pencil skirt.

I do have a fit issues with tights -- Sophia Loren thighs, here. Usually I have a hard time getting enough room in the upper thigh, while I have excess ease in the lower leg. Sometimes the negative ease in the thighs causes sagging/pulling in the crotch area. It also takes me longer in the loo because I readjust everything to fit just so.

Astrid, perhaps I am the one who got the termonology wrong, since I am not an English native speaker
When I refer to footless tights I mean very thick fleece-lined Ergee tights that I bought in Kik. You probably know that store, since you're German
I am not referring to them as leggings, because they have seams down the bum cheeks. But it's possible that they were sold as Thermo-Leggings, even though the do not qualify as leggings in my book.
WARNING: The picture below may not be safe for work. It is to illustrate the positioning of the seams on my fleece-lined footless tights.

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Well, I am ALSO learning like crazy. Thank you!

Angie, I love that outfit on you! I remember it very well - and in fact is one reason I keep trying to make leggings work for me! I like the 80s vibe of leggings, too.

And Lisa -- I will also happily wear my workout gear to and from the gym and don't feel bad about being caught in it (as long as the workout capsule is up to date and not all scrungy, LOL.) The workout leggings are good quality and with the right jacket/ hoodie, etc. they look just fine on me, I think. Significantly, they don't fall down like my fashion leggings, LOL.

I also own a couple of pairs of legging -like stretchy jeans and ponte pants.

And I LOVE those for tucking into boots or just for wearing at home with slippers. But I consider these actual pants. Not leggings.

Why? Well....they have an actual working zipper and actual back pockets. (In one case, the front pockets are sewn shut; the others have actual working front pockets, too.)

So to me, this makes them pants. It also means they stay up on me. I can put a belt on if I need to.

Gaylene, do yours have a zipper?

I used to own a side-zip pair of cigarette type pants from Gap or someplace. Those were some kind of ponte material. They weren't leggings even though they didn't have pockets. But they weren't as tight as leggings.

Also -- Hear ye, hear ye -- I am not that petite!! I am 5'4" and weigh between 51-53 kgs or 113-119 pounds (depending on activity levels and how much of my daughter's Halloween candy I consume, LOL). Right now I am at the higher end of my weight, and my leggings are still falling down. But maybe I need to try a different brand. I'm seriously going to investigate.

I do think it may be exactly what Lyn mentions. It may be that the darn things grab ahold of my thighs and just pull south from there. Hmmmm.

Claire -- you never need to learn this as long as you live in Arizona! Keep your beautiful head clear for more relevant matters like what kind of toppers will take you from broiling hot outdoors to freezing AC without looking or feeling ridiculous.

Gah, team leggings all the way. I am unused to anything that fits tightly at the waist (have always worn lower rise pants and leggings) so tights feel terribly uncomfortable to me. I only wear them if I absolutely must, which is basically never since I live in a very mild climate.

Lavinia, I know what kind of leggings (ha!) you mean. I get why someone would think to call them tights, but I personally think it's the wrong term. Probably because to me tights are Strumpfhosen (Strumpf=sock/stocking). If I have no socks it doesn't make much sense to call it Strumpfhose. Oh and if you want to differenciate between thick woolen tights and hose you put a Fein (=delicate) in front: Feinstrumpfhosen. Leggings are to me everything that has no feet, regardless of wearability on its own/with a tunic/whatever.

When I see leggings all I can think of is cold feet! No thank you!!

For me leggings and tights are totally different ball games. I wear tights with dresses which are around knee length and below and I wear leggings with dresses (tunics) between lower and mid thigh, anything shorter than mid-ish thigh length needs trousers in my world. Leggings for me are generally casual-er than tights. I do have exceptions to my own rule in that I will wear leggings with my work dresses when it's really cold, the leggings keep my legs warmer than tights and I can add thick socks to keep my feet warm x

Exactly what Louise said. I wear both. Tights are dressier and slightly less comfortable than leggings for me (but still manageable for home). Short dresses or tunics work with leggings, while longer dresses and skirts work better with tights for me.

I have been experimenting with gray, burgundy and brown tights to try to lighten the look vs black. It has been challenging and don't think I have hit on a winning color combo yet. I pretty much only wear black leggings.

Oh goodness, what a thread you started! I haven't even read it all yet, but here's my response.

I don't particularly like either. Other than running and cycling gear, I do not own any leggings. I have a pair of jeggings but that's it. Tights work for me with dresses and skirts in the winter, but I don't really love tunics on me, so leggings are kind of pointless. Every time I've tried a leggings look, it just seems wrong. I have always just figured it's because my legs are rather thick in relation to the rest of me, so leggings just seem to emphasize that. Jeans and even jeggings seem to give a bit more impression that what you're seeing is fabric, not the expanse of my leg.

So I suppose I default to Team Tights.