Tights, pantyhose & thigh high stockings are all under garments used to cover the legs. Oftentimes they are interchangeable yet carry certain differences that help each of them maintain their individuality. Since unlike leggings, these are worn underneath other garments; they provide sheer coverage. There is almost no difference between tights & pantyhose since they are just the different terms for the same thing. Similarly, thigh high stockings are same as thigh high socks that may sometime also require garter belts for support.
Thigh High Socks or Stockings
Thigh high socks or thigh high stockings come in two variants. Some of them require suspender belts whereas others have a sticky end or silicone base that help them adhere to your thighs. Thigh high stockings are commonly known as a hose. These are close-fitting under garments that cover toes and reach thighs.
Tights & Pantyhose
Tights & Pantyhose are elastic undergarment that extends from waist to toes. Pantyhose also provides a sheer pant-y support whereas tights do not. There is basically no major difference between the both. “Pantyhose” is a term used in United States, whereas in UK they are called tights.
The distinctive feature is the material. Tights are comparatively heavier and opaque. They are made from knitting-material or fish-net whereas pantyhose is almost transparent and made from nylon or nylon blends. Furthermore, tights are one one piece whereas stockings are two-piece hosiery legs where pant-y portion is often heavier and thicker in transparency than legs. On the other hands tights are of the uniform weight and opacity.
What should be your choice?
Depending on your lifestyle, you should wisely make a selection. Thigh high socks can be worn with mid-length skirts whereas pantyhose & tights both are worn at formal events and occasions. Tights are a modern day invention and pantyhose seems to be a “grandma” clothing. Tights enjoy privilege over pantyhose because they provide ventilation in the crotch area whereas pantyhose covers the genitalia too tightly that develops bacteria growth, perspiration and bad odor.
If you are into sheer pieces of under-clothing that keep you warm despite providing coverage to legs, go for tights that provide coverage from waist to toe. They hug your legs closely and appear as a second skin, add colors to your outfit and help building a layered ensemble. Keep in mind, despite certain differences all the terms are interchangeable depending on the contexts. They are even generally called leggings though leggings are footless but rest are not.