2017 Update: We still stand by this roundup of the best tights for work, and links have been updated below. You may also want to check out our more recent discussion of sleek, strappy heels to wear with tights to the office.
Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.
As cold weather sets in, I thought we’d do a roundup of some of the best tights for work out there. Ladies, which are your favorites — which are your favorite everyday tights, your favorite superwarm tights, favorite opaque tights, and favorite shaping tights? For me, my favorites for everyday are my Spanx shaping tights, for warmth, my fleece tights from Plush, and for opacity — which is lower on the list for me than comfort and durability, but I know is key for a lot of other women — are my Commando tights. I can’t wait to hear what your favorites are!
- Hall of Famers: Commando, Plush (fleece), DKNY, Spanx, Hue (super opaque), Hue (absolute opaque)
- Plus size picks: DKNY, Talbots, Lands’ End, Ava & Viv, Hue, Berkshire, Berkshire (fleece)
- Maternity: Assets, Plush, tons of options at Target, Insignia by Sigvaris, H&M, and Loft
- Petites: Hanes and whoa: Bare Necessities has a whole section just for petite hosiery
- Tall sizes: Berkshire (fleece), DKNY
|I’ve always heard great things about Uniqlo’s Heattech tights, but I’ve never tried them– but for $7.90 (on sale today), it’s hard to go wrong. They’re available in solid, ribbed, and cable versions, sizes S/M and L/XL, $7.90-$14.90, at Uniqlo. Women Heattech Tights|
|Whoa: I always thought 70-100 denier was Very Opaque, so I’m surprised to see that H&M has some tights that are 200 denier. For $12.99 they’re definitely much lower-priced than other options — and if you’re looking for more of a legging/tight hybrid, do check these out. (They also have non-shaping 200 denier tights and fleece tights, listed separately.) Pictured: Control-Top Tights 200 Denier|
|I feel like reversible tights were more of a “thing” a few years ago, but there are still a few options around, including these affordable navy/black reversible tights from The Limited, on sale for $16.17 today (down from $26.95). (Here are some other thoughts about what color tights to wear with navy skirts.) The great thing about reversible tights is that, in addition to getting multiple colors in one product, they tend to be pretty opaque. The Limited also has some nice-looking cable knit fleece tights. Pictured: Navy and Black Reversible Tights (2017 Update: unfortunately The Limited is now closed!)|
|Commando has always been THE best for opaque tights. Things have gotten a bit confusing now that they’ve branched out: there’s the “ultimate opaque” tights in regular and control top, as well as these “eclipse opaque” tights that are an even heavier denier (110) and rave reviews from customers ($40). I’d say if you’re looking for warmth in tights go for the higher denier; if you want lightweight but opaque tights, go for the regular 70 denier “ultimate opaque.” Pictured: Commando ‘Ultimate Opaque’ Control Top Tights|
|Control top tights are everywhere, but I thought I’d picture my preferred type of shaping tight: the kind that covers you all the way up to your braline to smooth out your midsection as well. I’ve always liked these because a) control top tights often create a muffin top effect, and b) having a lightly smoothed midsection, without needing to wear another shaping piece (like a bodysuit, slip, or camisole) is worth a lot. Spanx’s line used to be called “Higher Power,” but they seem to have done away with that in favor of their new Luxe line. SPANX® Luxe Tights|
|If you’re looking to splurge, Wolford or Falke would be the top names I’d look to — these merino tights from Wolford are best sellers at Saks, and given that they’re merino, I’d guess they’re going to last for a thousand years. They’re $75, available in sizes S, M, and L. (Also: hello, cashmere/silk tights — wow.) Pictured: Wolford Merino Tights|
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