Photo credit: Malingerer/Flickr

Tights ≠ Pants

Tuesday, 19 February 2013 | Tags: , , , , , ,

Last week, I tweeted a gentle reminder to women that tights are not pants. You’d think this doesn’t need saying, kind of like bras are not tops and cats don’t need to be walked. But clearly, I hit a nerve.

The response was surprising and far-reaching.  Apparently this is an issue as far away as South Africa.  A few guys shot me down, accusing me of ruining a perfectly good peep show.  Considering all the fervor, I feel the topic needs more than a 140 character discussion.

Recently I’ve seen a few young women wearing tights as bottoms out in the world.  I’m talking about actual tights. As in pantyhose. As in, pulled tight over the buttocks and somewhat transparent.  As in, I’ve seen things I cannot unsee.

One of them was wearing LACY tights, leaving little to the imagination.  Another one perhaps forgot that even an 80-denier tight, when stretched over a larger posterior region, especially in bright sunlight, loses some of its opacity.  I almost went full granny on her and gave her my coat to cover up. 

By tights, I don’t mean workout pants. I understand that for ease of movement, most of us wear body hugging bottoms when we go to the gym or for a run, and that such a trip usually requires leaving the house where you may spotted by the general public.  (Another reminder: when these wear thin, they should be replaced!)

Tights have feet and they’re generally purchased in the hosiery department or come in hosiery packaging.  They are worn with skirts and dresses (see below), not on their own.


Leggings are thick, opaque tights with no feet. They’re meant to go be worn under a long sweater, a looong shirt (tunic), or a dress (see below).  These too are not pants. 


Some leggings are SUPER THICK and could potentially be worn as pants.  Those who can get away with this, I applaud you.  Though I’m also somewhat irritated that you’re waving your skinny butt in my face.

Unsure?  Pick up a mirror and check your front and rear view before you leave the house. 


1) you can see your g-string through said leggings

2) you can see dimpling of your butt or legs

3) the word “camel” springs to mind (front view)

4) you need to actually ask someone if what you’re wearing is appropriate

5) you don’t want to end up on some creepy guy’s flickr feed

… err on the side of caution, cover your ass, literally, and do us all a favour: 




Photo credits:

Top “Don’t” photos: Malingering/flickr (all 3)

Tights photos (L-R): Liz Badey/flickrSimply Bike/flickrDilona/flickr

Leggings photos (L-R): …love Maegan/flickridhren/flickrgohsuket/flickr

top of page | | back to posts |
  • Subscribe to the A&K Newsletter

  • TOBeautyReviews

    I agree with all the points you made – I would actually suggest taking a picture instead of looking in the mirror. Sometimes pictures tell a different story! I do however have a HUGE issue with people’s photos being taken without their permission and shared with the world to be made fun of. I am more opposed to that person’s flickr feed than people inappropriately wearing tights.

  • TracyNicoleB

    AMEN sister! Good words! If you have to ask “Dpes this look good?” Your second guessing yourself! Our first instincts are always the right instinct! IF you have to think twice take it off ladies!

  • Kristina

    Great idea to take a picture. I find this also helps with makeup and hairdos, though best to find natural light. Flash hides so many things!

    • tiger_lily_2

      Especially with makeup. Officially mad at my friends for not telling me that I’ve been wearing the wrong foundation colour for the past eight years. Thanks guys. It looked fine in my bathroom, but not in the sun.

      • Pam Iam

        I HATE that! I always look flawless at home. Out in public is another story.

  • JDL

    Preach it Sister !!!

  • Karen Lenz

    Eeeewwww @ that guys flickr feed.

  • PeteK

    BAHAHA! I just love your honesty and sense of humor!!! Fun articles that have entertaining observations for sure.

  • Pingback: Fan(girl) Friday: Yoga Pant Love | This is Why we Can't Have Nice Things()

  • KikiMa17

    Amen! Its so irritating that they are still clueless, unaware women who think they are so “in” by doing this … SO not classy!

  • distractionDems

    last sentence of the article should have been – PUT ON A DRESS! – when will women realize the immodesty/stupidity of their modern fashion – get back to what looks modest/feminine