‘Tis the season for coating your nether limbs in the artist formerly known as pantyhose but now more frequently referred to as “tights” or “stockings,” depending on the opaqueness — or your country of origin. Like anything that is worn frequently, tears easily and can cause discomfort based on your sensitivity to tight waistbands and itchy material, tights are the subject of much discussion. A good pair is hard to find, which is why when you do find them, it’s practically illegal for you to keep that info to yourself. To that note, the members of Team Man Repeller have shared their favorite brands and styles below. Drop yours in the comments if you happen to possess this particular breed of coveted knowledge, too.
Recommender: Leandra, Founder
Why: I like opaque tights only when I am wearing tights as pants, which I do on occasion, but for the most part I prefer a sheer enough blend that you can see my legs through the tights but not to the extent that I’m practically bare legged, or liable to rip my tights by simply looking at them. These do that job pretty well. They’re elastic, but still compression-oriented enough to keep me warm. They’re durable (I’ve worn them ~10 times and still no rips!) but they’re also well-priced (and if you buy two pair, you get a third free), so if you want to deliberately skid your knees, go right ahead.
What to wear them with: Blue denim cut offs, a white button down shirt with a peter pan collar, a velvet black ribbon tied into the collar like a bow tie, a tuxedo blazer and silver flat mary janes. Fun!
Recommender: Elizabeth, Market and Affiliate Strategist
Why: While these aren’t necessarily the WARMEST of tights, I love how they’re more than just a thin layer to shield your shins from the cold — they’re also a statement.
Recommender: Also Elizabeth
Why: For the days when I am going for a “just please keep me warm” tights vibe, Uniqlo’s heattech tights are really good — especially when it comes to blocking out wind chill. They’re also $9.90, so if I get a pull in them (my dog really likes jumping up on me when I walk through the door), it’s not the end of the world.
Recommender: Amalie, Social Media Manager
Why: I bought these tights almost a year ago and they’re still as great as ever. I can wash them in a garment bag, and they have the perfect sheerness and hold. If you’re gawking at the price, think of how often you’ve tossed your CVS tights after a run or put nail polish on a tear in an attempt to save them.
Recommender: Jasmin, Director of Partnerships
Why: They’re really reliable with a nice, thick waistband, they’re not too thin but not exactly opaque, they wear well and you can even get away with putting them in the wash.
Recommender: Harling, Fashion Editor
Why: I’m a grown-ass woman and I refuse to wear any tights that aren’t fleece-lined — if I can help it. This conviction stems from a longstanding hatred of tights that began in my childhood and stayed with me through my adult life UNTIIL (!) I discovered the glory that is fleece-lined tights on a whim when I picked up a pair at my local Duane Reade. They’re so much more comfortable, don’t dig into my waist, feel more like leggings than tights and don’t tear as easily. I’m not picky about tights now as long as they’re fleece-lined, but I recently purchased this pair on Amazon and can confirm they live up to their 507 mostly glowing reviews.
What to wear them with: Leandra might be singlehandedly convincing me to wear them with a pair of shorts this winter. I’m powerless in the face of good outfit evidence. Will report back.
Recommender: Emma, Associate Editor
Why: I didn’t know what “den” was until these tights came into my life and boy am I glad they did. I love them because they are perfect: not opaque but not tissue paper-thin so they don’t rip too easily and even better, they’re shiny — not matte!!!! — so I can wear them with black dresses/skirts without feeling like I’ve taken a black sharpie to my whole look. Wearing opaque black tights with a black skirt is a pet peeve of mine and I’m SO glad these make it so I don’t have to do that. Oh, also they’re kinda warm for what they are, I’ve worn them plenty in the winter!
Recommender: Edith, Photographer and Photo Editor
Why: The price is on the more decadent side of the spectrum for a pair of tights, but I love these, as they combine two of the most excellent features tights have to offer: plush fleece lining and stirrup feet. Yeehaw. (Heads up, in my experience these run a little long!)
What to wear them with: I’d wear (and wore last Friday) these tights with an A-line black and white Lisa Perry dress (a sleeveless dress formerly reserved only for my summer wardrobe), with a snow leopard print J.Crew tissue turtleneck layered underneath, and a clash-y garnish of leopard print Chelsea boots.
Recommender: Dasha, Director of Product Development
Why: They’re great quality tights for the price, and I love their control tops because they hug my post-baby body just right. So incredibly sexy!
Feature image by Matt Borkowski.