The main difference between Tights and Pantyhose is that the Tights is a heavy, opaque stockings woven in one with panties and Pantyhose is a sheer stockings woven in one with panties
Tights are a kind of cloth garment, most often sheathing the body from the waist to the toe tips with a tight fit, hence the name. They come in absolute opaque, opaque, sheer and fishnet styles or a combination of them, such as the original concept of the American term pantyhose with sheer legs and opaque panty. Wearing of tights has a history going back several centuries, when they were worn by both men and women. Today, they are worn primarily by women and girls. In recent years, they have been sometimes offered as men’s fashion. Athletic tights are considered unisex. Originally, leggings covered only the legs, not the lower torso; were two separate pieces; and did not contain elastic fibres, so were cut close fitting (to use less fabric) and were loose, not tight. When made of fine silk, this hosiery was considered to be a stocking. When nylon fibers were developed and introduced in the 1940s, these stockings were referred to as nylons. When the separate legs were woven together with a panty that covered the lower torso up to the waist in a single, integrated format, the term pantyhose was coined, since it was a one piece construction of a panty with a pair of separate hose, one for each leg. This joining together eliminated any need for garters for holding up each separate leg covering.
In American English, the difference between pantyhose and tights is determined in the weight of the yarn used and the density or tightness of weaving to which the garment is knitted. Generally, anything up to forty denier in the leg or overall is known as pantyhose and anything over that can be classified as tights, as for example ‘running tights’ and ‘cycling tights’. In the United Kingdom, the word “tights” is used in all cases when referring to both pantyhose and “leggings”, for footed or footless tights of heavier, normally opaque material. Tights can be sheer yet solid in colour, whereas leggings are practically or absolutely opaque, not sheer. Thus, the almost-opaque tights are sometimes labelled as semi-opaque and are not considered suitable as pants due to being too revealing or immodest.
There are many sub-classifications of tights or pantyhose that describe the precise construction (such as control top, seamless, support and sheer). Although most tights are mainly nylon or cotton, lycra is normally included in modern blends to improve fit. Athletic tights are absolute opaque and often footless, although they may have a “stirrup” that goes under the foot to hold the cuff down near the ankle.
In both historic and modern times, the wearing of tight hosiery by males has sometimes been associated with an accompanying garment fitted at the groin over the male genitalia. In the 15th century, some men wore an elaborate and decorative cod piece to accentuate their genital endowment, and as a symbol of their virility. In modern times, male ballet dancers generally wear a dance belt beneath their tights both to provide support to the genitalia and to promote a smooth, regular appearance since tights are so thin and skin tight as to be revealing of the detailed contours of the male genitalia.
Pantyhose, called sheer tights in the United Kingdom and a few other countries, are close-fitting legwear covering the wearer’s body from the waist to the toes. Mostly considered to be a garment for women and girls, pantyhose first appeared on store shelves in 1959 (Allen Gant’s product, ‘Panti-Legs’) as a convenient alternative to stockings and/or control panties (which, in turn, replaced girdles).
Like stockings or knee highs, pantyhose are usually made of nylon, or of other fibers blended with nylon. Pantyhose are designed to:
Be attractive in appearance,
Hide physical features such as blemishes, bruises, scars, hair, spider veins, or varicose veins,
Reduce visible panty lines, and
Ease chafing between feet and footwear, or between thighs.Besides being worn as fashion, in Western society pantyhose are sometimes worn by women as part of formal dress. Also, the dress code of some companies and schools may require pantyhose or fashion tights to be worn when skirts or shorts are worn as part of a uniform.
A close-fitting, feet.
A similar, non-sheer garment worn by dancers of either sex, especially by ballet dancers.
A garment, similar to briefs, worn chiefly by professional wrestlers.
In blasting rock, a piece of unbroken rock within the pay limit of a blast.
Women’s thin nylon tights worn over the legs, usually tan in color.