Reader mail: Which tights are truly opaque?

The Best Opaque Tights | CorporetteReader M writes to us with a question…

Could you do a piece on where to find really good opaque tights? I would love to buy some Wolford pairs, but think $64 may be a bit out of my price range right now. I want TRULY opaque — not the kind that you can kind of see through at your knee.

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Personally, we’re fans of Spanx’s reversible tights — because there’s a color on each side they seem much more opaque to us. We have the gray/black pair, and have been happy with the opacity of both colors. Our one little thing is that we wish the thick seam stretching below the belly-button weren’t there, or that if it’s still there, that it were more prominent on the gray than the black.  Readers, which tights do you swear by for opacity?
Pictured: SPANX ‘Two-Timin’ Tights, available at Nordstrom’s for $34.

Shop more opaque tights, below…

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  1. If you are in London, Marks & Spencer sells awesome tights, by the denier. Their 80 denier tights are fantastic, and, as a bonus, come in tall for long-legged gals. I have pairs from YEARS ago that hold up well. Pick up some if you’re across the pond. They’re cheap too!

    I also recommend looking at One Hanes Place, which is the seconds outlet for L’eggs and Hanes (like Sheer elegance). They do have some tights, and I have never found a “visible” issue as to why the products there are seconds. They have super-cheap trouser socks too, and it’s getting to that time of year.

  2. I love the spanx ones you recommend. I wore the gray/black pair last winter and nearly cried when I snagged them on my boot zipper. They are warm and comfortable and truly opaque.

  3. Corpcounsel :

    NOT J Crew “totally opaque” style. I am wearing the grey ones today and they are thin and see through.

  4. Thanks for the heads up on the Spanx ‘Two-Timing’ tights. I’ll have to try those out! What a genius idea – reversible tights!

  5. One note on the spanx–although opaque, they aren’t truly black. Or at least my brown/black ones aren’t. I bought these because I had heard that they were the most opaque but when I wear them as black tights (which is almost always) they have an oddly brown tinge to them.

  6. Gap tights. They come in tall (good for me) and are good and opaque. I haven’t bought any for a couple of years though.

    I find jcrew’s to be a bit see-through and also too short.

    • Seconding the Gap nomination – or at least, because I bought two pairs in high school and am still wearing them, seconding the Gap’s tights from over a decade ago…

  7. I like the bargain Spanx brand at Target, Assetts. Though now that I think about it, I’m not sure if they’re as opaque as people want . . . you’d never mistake them for pantyhose though.

    • Yeah, the Assets aren’t totally opaque, which is fine by me–I like the shading effect.

      Hue works for me if I want really matte.

  8. Anonymous :

    the merino wool tights are super warm, very opaque, and only $20-25.

  9. something i’ve never quite figured out–what is the difference in pantyhose and tights? is there a difference, or is it just two names for the same thing?

  10. Can someone comment on how you wear the really opaque tights? If I wear them under a skirt, I usually feel like I’m wearing leggings (not a professional look). Are there particular fabrics/styles that you wear opaque tights with to keep the look professional?

    • Anonymous :

      I feel like when there are see through areas, the tights look too small.

  11. While we’re on the subject of opaque tights . . . can I wear wine colored mary janes with black opaque tights? Or even black or grey hose? Or does wine only go with beige nylons?
    Specifically, these shoes:

    • The black heel would seem to make black tights a definite option—the fashion magazines show colored shoes with black tights all the time.

  12. I swear by Falke, which aren’t cheap but are usually a little under Wolford prices. Can highly recommend their “cotton touch” range, and in the right size, they defnitely don’t feel like leggings.

  13. I’ve had good luck with Banana Repulic tights. Their selection is somewhat limited but the quality is good.

  14. American Apparel has some that are pretty opaque– I think they’re somewhere in the neighborhood of $15.

  15. Miss Law Clerk :

    I swear by Target Merona brand tights. They come in a two pack and they’re pretty cheap! I’m actually wearing them under a pencil skirt right now! Not only are they opaque but they have a slight shimmer/sheen to them so they don’t like like solid tights under a skirt and they make your legs look great!

    • I love Merona as well. They’re my go-to brand of tights. Inexpensive and truly opaque.

    • I completely agree! I have many pairs of Merona brand tights from Target. They are reasonably priced and hold up well. They also have thick patterned (floral, lace, etc) that can be a nice alternative to plain black opaque.

    • Agreed! I was going to suggest this but I’m glad other people enjoy these tights too.

  16. I love wearing black tights in the winter, but I’m not sure if they are appropriate for court. Maybe with the right shoes… Any suggestions??

  17. oh. far more affordable are eddie bauer brand tights. they are sturdy, opaque and perfect for long legged women!

  18. DKNY standard black tights and the Hue super-opaques or whatever they’re called. One important thing is that if you’re in between sizes, size up, and they’ll look more opaques.

    Oh, and you can totally wear burgundy shoes with black tights. I wouldn’t even have thought of nude hose, actually.

  19. If you’re in New York, Uniqlo has fantastic ones that are also hightech and keep you warm in the winter.

  20. yes, but what shoes… do they always have to be black flats if you’re wearing black tights?

  21. Does anyone else think thick opaque tights are really unflattering and make legs look thick? I think slightly sheer looks much better. Then again, I have not worn opaque tights since junior high.

  22. housecounsel :

    I love Spanx tights, but I wore the black/brown two-timin’ ones today, and agree they didn’t look quite black.

  23. Second on the AA tights

  24. tights – lots of european styles and sizes at

    can we have a formal poll on whether or not to wear colored shoes with tights…as in the shoe is a different color than the tight? Also, could this be an age-appropriate, exception question as I always feel as though I am a child dressing up in mom’s clothes when I wear the opaque tights – sadly my hubby of 25 years agrees. How about a poll?

  25. Why the quest for opaque tights? Although they are great with really short skirts, where you want the legs to look like columns, how many of us are wearing really short skirts to the office? In general, semi-opaque tights look better, because they highlight the curves of the leg where the fabric stretches. Some have a slight gloss, and will look good with fabrics that have a little metallic shine.

    • I hate the uneven look of anything but an opaque tight, unless I am going for a semi-sheer with a pattern. I don’t think the sheerness highlights the curves so much as makes your legs look kind of lumpy and uneven.

  26. Deep South Law Student :

    Thanks for the recommendation!! I just ordered the black/charcoal ones.

  27. Hue tights…been around since the 80s when tights were cool last time around…can get them on sale @ Macy’s or Bloomies, and they come in non-control top for more comfort!

  28. Lands End tights are very opaque. I wear them to conceal scars on my legs. They’re comfortable, not expensive, last for years, and hold up well for machine washing (in a lingerie bag).

  29. Erica Foley :

    I usually just go for Hue because they’re VERY tough… and as someone said above they only show through if you size down. Size up and you’re all set. (And I am very tall and still able to size up, so for most that’s not going to be an issue.)

    The first poster MJ had a great recommendation for anyone visiting the UK: Marks and Spencer sells tights by different denier, so you can choose exactly what you want. They’re durable, pretty, practical and inexpensive. In fact, if M&S online didn’t charge so much for international shipping (20 pounds???) I’d go with them exclusively.

    As far as how to wear tights in a professional setting? Ordinarily I don’t think they look right as office wear when paired with a knee-length or shorter skirt. That may just be because I’m not a young ‘un anymore… But with a longer skirt and boots, tights can look terrific…. and they’re fab for casual Friday.

  30. I only buy Wolford for opaque tights. Their velvet de lux are perfectly opaque, amazingly warm and last for YEARS. The price tag is worth it.

  31. I like the cotton comfort tights from warm legwear. The fit is perfect and they are well made.

  32. The only place I go to for my opaque tights is We Love Colors. They have actual opaque tights, and they have over 50 solid colors to choose from. There’s A LOT of variety which is always great, plus the quality is amazing. They don’t rip or tear and can be worn in hot or cold weather since they breath but can still keep your legs warm. Really awesome tights.

  33. Any kind you like – but two pairs!

  34. H&M 100-DEN tights are fabulous, but I’m told they only stock them in the winter. I couldn’t make these tights run if I tried, and I have had a few pairs for several years now – at $12.00 a pop, they can’t be beat!

  35. I just bought these great brown fishnets from spanx and I love them:

  36. I think that opaque tights are marvelous, classy, and sexy at once, with any length skirt. Colors can be done really well, and combining tights-colors and different shoe-colors, even with black tights, can be really pretty. Being thinner (up to a point) generally makes any leg wear, including none, look better. But sheer does not make fat look thin. You have the body you have; opaque tights are a nice fashion choice regardless.

  37. I’m 6′ and have very muscular legs (I play a lot of sports), so most “tall” sizes end up running a bit thin on being opaque for me. HUE super opaques looked like colored pantyhose on me. My last favorite Donna Karan tights from over a decade ago finally gave out on me (I had stocked up a lot after they were discontinued). I couldn’t find any other brand that were as opaque, until I stumbled upon Voodoo. They’re made in Australia. The “totally opaque” version is amazingly opaque and yet very comfortable & breathable. Some on-line stores are starting to make them available to the USA, like Trixan Body. Definitely give them a try! :-)