Few of you may remember the first time you wore tights for the first time. If you started wearing tights as a kid, probably others bought them for you. You may have started wearing hosiery when you approached adulthood. There’s a first time for everything; also for buying tights. This blog post puts together a few quick tips to help you go through the process as smooth as possible. So, what is it that you need to know before buying tights for the first time?

Where should I buy tights for the first time?

Lovely 20 denier tights by Le Bourget hosiery

We all have different experiences about buying tights for the first time (and, obviously, about wearing tights for the first time). We have asked some people on the Internet to share their experiences. Some of this may sound familiar to you, too.

All I ever knew before was about supermarket tights” is the most common answer.

Unfortunately, the first pair of tights most people wear are the cheap supermarket tights you can get on the high street. This lead to buying the wrong size. Sometimes afraid of asking for advice, one sometimes ends up buying the first pair that looks alright, rather than looking at the features of the particular pair and deciding for the right pair.

The best thing about buying tights online is that you have all the information you may need at hand. Also, if you buy your tights at UK Tights, you may have noticed that we love giving advice on the best styles and the most suitable size for you. We are always available through email, phone or social media.

Ten things about tights you should now

If you’re buying tights for the first time, take a few minutes to go through these ten concepts:

Trasparenze Sophie 70 Denier Opaque Tights black blue pink
These are our best-selling opaque tights
  1. There isn’t a single size for tights. Inexpensive tights are often Only size, meaning they would fit from a small to large size. Fitting, however, won’t be as accurate (hence the price). If possible, buy tights with different size options. Also, bear in mind that the brands of tights have different sizing charts, which takes us to the next one…
  2. Always check out the size chart of a pair of tights before buying. Size charts are always in the back of the tights package. All our product pages have a size chart so that you can check what tights are best for your height and weight before adding the product to the basket.
  3. When you buy a pair of designer tights, you are paying both for design and comfort. It isn’t a brand or a marketing slogan. Designer tights fit much better. Be aware, though, that once you start wearing designer tights, there’s no way back! 
  4. All tights have at least a seam! It may sound silly for some of you who are more experienced, but many people ask us why don’t we sell tights without any seams in the toes. The reason is… they don’t exist! Because of the way tights are manufactured, they have to have a seam under the toes. The ‘seamless tights‘ we do sell are tights without any seams in the brief area, which are ideal to wear under tight clothes.
  5. You have different toe options to go with different kinds of shoes.  If you are going to wear your tights with sandals or peep toes, you can grab a pair of open toe tights. Or can choose to wear sandal toe tights, which don’t have any reinforced fabric in the toes.
  6. You can buy ladder-resist tights. These tights won’t ladder, but you can still put a hole on them. They are a great option for people wearing tights for the first time. Also remember, the higher the denier, the more difficult would be to ladder them.
  7. If you don’t know what is denier, we can sum it up for you: Denier is the weight of your tights’ fabric. The higher the denier, the more opaque your tights will look like. So, sheer tights will have a low denier. You can often find the information about denier (eg. 15 den, 60 den…) in the tights packages, but we also highlight this information for you in our product pages. You can also shop by tights denier in our website with the Denier filter.
  8. By the way, sheer to waist doesn’t necessarily mean sheer. It means that there is no difference between the fabric on the legs and the brief area. You can have sheer to waist tights in all sorts of deniers.
  9. Support tights and shaping tights are two different things. While support tights have different levels of leg compression to boost blood circulation, shaping tights have tummy control, thigh-shaping, etc. So, shaping tights are tights with built-in shapewear. 
  10. Tights are gender-neutral. Loads of guys also wear tights for a number of reasons. Nowadays, most manufacturers are aware of this trend and, so, they are creating longer styles, as well as larger sizes, to meet everyone’s needs.

Do you feel like you need to know more? Check out our Tights Q&A post

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26 comments

  1. I first bought tights in a local corner shop aged 8. Bearbrand, toes bunched to a single point. Department stores have had a good selection but you could not say that they offered good service and understanding to all potential customers. Maybe why theyre going bust? The incredible selection, information and friendly service offered by UK Tights is hard to beat. Clearly the future.
    Stephen

  2. What great advice! I wish I had known this when I first started buying tights … it would have saved me time and money, randomly buying a pair of tights and then being surprised (and not always in a nice way ) as to what I had actually bought!

    I would add 2 more things to your list … if I may …

    – the colour of some tights is very similar (I still don’t know the difference between “nude” and “tan” … and what exactly is “bamboo”?). In some stores, there are samples hanging around so you can run your hand through them to see what the shade would look like on
    – understanding the difference between “matt”, “shiny” and “silky” … and again, what would they look like on

    You (UK Tights) are very good at answering these types of questions (because we (the purchasers) don’t have the tights in front of us) … so thank you.

    Great advice, great article!

  3. Thanks for your amazing words and your support, Stephen. We can see there’s a general perception that it’s difficult to get expert advice on tights in the high street. We are happy we can help!

  4. Thanks for your great advice! Yes, you’re right it sometimes is difficult to get with the right nude/tan shade. Even with the sample in hand, colour perception changes with the light. Colours look so different with yellow or white lights, even in the store! Also, the finish is also important. Customers will usually go for darker nude tones when buying shiny and silky tights, but move one tone down when buying matt tights, hoping for a more natural tone.
    Thanks again,
    UK Tights team

  5. I just started wearing leggings cause they looked comfy. Then saw a pair of black tights. Got them and wow they are amazing. And yes. I’m a guy who finds them comfy. Girlfriend says they make my butt look great also.

  6. Can’t remember the first time I bought tights. I had worn tights as a child as I went to ballet classes, but the first time I bought them, sheer tights I mean, would be as a teenager and probably in my local M & S.

    Love them.

    Ian

  7. I remember cycling to a large department store when I was about 13-14 years old. I didn’t know anything back then about tights especially the word denier. There was no Google to look it up! The lady in the store looked over me like I was up to no good and I bought some that were cheap, nasty and the wrong size. It put me off for a few years until I discovered some quality tights that fitted me. I think the main lesson is that not all tights are created equal and so many people are put off by their first experience.

    I noticed in your description of seamless tights that they are ideal under close fitting clothes. On other sites also people focus on the lack of seam but having tried them I think the difference to standard tights is more profound than that. Due to
    the way they are made the tension of the fabric is upwards towards the crotch instead of sideways. So an arch doesn’t form below the crotch and the feeling of a ‘second’ skin is more apparent.

  8. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Yes, you’re right about the seamless tights feeling more like a second skin. You have to get the right size and the right pair. Actually, some of our customers who always go for seamless tights tell us they prefer wearing them without underwear for a second-skin effect, but we always say it’s a personal choice.
    Thanks again. UK Tights team

  9. Have bought pantyhose and tights for many years now. I took the time reading blogs, reviews and forums to know all about hosiery I just feel if going to buy know your product your buying if it be male or female. Have seen to many times women just go out and buy without a clue what their buying. I pride myself to be in the know when I buy in fact with over 500 pairs in a variety of colors and styles. I can’t understand any reason for wearing but for fashion reasons but who am I to judge I wear everyday and when shopping for a new pair it comes to price if I see a pair I think are a must have I just wait till I can buy them. I do enter giveaways and competitions also I believe pantyhose and tights are unisex for all to benefit from the many benefits of wearing. My thoughts are to wear with respect to yourself and others no need to expose areas that are not proper all my photos show the fashion look.

  10. I remember buying my first pair from a department store, felt very self conscious as I was only about 16.
    Mostly buy online now, especially from UK Tights as I find most shops don’t have the range of colours or sizes (I usually go for 60 denier or more opaque and don’t always want black).
    When buying, go for larger rather than smaller and if buying from a shop, be confident – if anyone asks if I have chosen the right size, I usually reply with ” they are the same size as the ones I am wearing!
    Buying online has made things much easier – much more choice.

  11. Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Steve! That lack of variety for larger sizes and more variety of colours in the high-street stores is precisely one of the reasons why we started this company!
    Thanks again.
    UK Tights team

  12. I love the service UK tights give but what about the stocking wearer! Back in the 1960’s there were very few tights! Only stockings which I bought! But you had a variety of stockings like now back then! Fully fashioned,sheer etc! Thank goodness they make stockings longer! For men and women! Tall women & crossdressers/trans so perhaps a blog about stockings? Keep up the great work!

  13. This is good advice, as I’ve bought supermarket tights and found out most of the time, they are the wrong size! then decided to look more closely at the packet before buying tights for myself. I usually wear between 20 – 40 denier tights, as I find them much better to wear.

  14. I am a male cross dresser who has mainly worn tights for a long time.They sometimes leave me perspiring in my intimate area.Do you think I should consider switching to stockings?

  15. Hi Lesley,
    Maybe try stockings. Also, make sure you wear tights with cotton gusset, as it’s smoother to nylon. You can also wear crotchless tights or suspender tights if stockings aren’t your thing.
    Thanks. UK Tights team

  16. I am a crossdresser and bought my first pair of tights in Woolworths. They were black and in 15 denier and extremely cheap and nasty. I didn’t know about denier then and was expecting something in a thicker denier just like the tights I envied on girls of my age. Looked very disappointing on me. I learnt a lot about tights subsequently from shopping in the department stores. Sadly they don’t have the range. That’s why I am going to shop online with you guys.P.S. I wish I looked as glamorous as the model pictured above but I do have a fairly nice pair of legs.

  17. Hi Barrie! Thanks for your comment and thanks for sharing your experiences with us. Many other customers have told us similar stories, that’s why we always try to write informative blog posts, hoping they’ll come up high in Google. It’s very satisfactory for us to help customers find the right style for them. Thanks for following our blog and for your support.
    Pd: We’re sure you look as good as the model!
    Thanks
    UK Tights team

  18. Hello Everyone.
    The first tights I bought were purchased from the Sock Shop on King Cross Station back in the mid/late1980s, I was in my late teens at the time and had no idea what I wanted, (I just wanted tights, any tights lol) and was in a right old fluster.

    The sales assistant asked me what I wanted and like an idiot I came up with a daft story of who I was buying for (looking back she knew who I was buying for and I think most assistants will read you straight away) so I ended up coming away with completely unsuitable tights – they were very cheap, sheer about 20 denier, the wrong colour and worse of all the wrong size but at least I had done it, I had bought my own tights.

    As I felt a bit better about buying I called into the same shop a few weeks later to buy more, tights. The same sales assistant was working and must have recognised me, she asked my how I got on with my last tights, i nearly wet my pants. She laughed and told me off for using a cover story.
    She then took me round the shop showing me different tights, explained denier, and made me test the feeler samples , showed me size charts to get my size right.
    This time I walked away with the right tights and a whole
    new world of hosiery knowledge, this woman helped my confidence immensely.
    Ever since my Sock Shop experience I have never had a problem buying tights. I thank her to this day.

    Dave

  19. Hi Dave! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Don’t be hard on yourself. Many other men still feel like they need a cover story to buy hosiery. We don’t tell them off, though, as we understand it can be uncomfortable for some men. Many male customers tell us that they felt too embarrassed to buy hosiery in person. Some of them still feel so. That’s why they find a relief being able to buy online or through the phone. We are so glad you found the right shop assistant to guide you through the hosiery world. 👍👍 We don’t judge anyone and we always try to share our knowledge, our expertise and, above all, our love for tights!
    Thanks again.
    UK Tights team

  20. The 10 tips for buying tights are really helpful. As a male motor cyclist I have found that opaque tights under pants are excellent during the winter. Not only are they much cheaper than specialized motor cycle clothing, but they are far more comfortable to wear once at the destination. Awkward to buy at first but UKTights offers an excellent solution.

  21. Hi Willem,
    Thanks for your comment! We are glad you found our guide helpful. Just make sure you buy tights with a cotton brief, rather than a nylon brief. That’s a better option for sports, we think.
    Feel free to ask any questions here, through social media or through our help desk. We are always happy to help you.

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