Leggings vs. Tights: What is the Difference

If you are familiar with layering, you may be no stranger to dressing your kiddos in tights and leggings in their daily attire. Did you know that these are two separate articles of clothing? Whether you're dressing your child for the class or cold weather, both types of legwear can help your little ones stay warm and coordinate their outfit. Let's explore the similarities and differences between tights and leggings!

What are Leggings?

Leggings are a type of legwear, as the name suggests. They're usually made of nylon and lycra to give the wearer a comfy, stretchy fit. These comfortable articles of clothing are very warm, so they're a perfect alternative to pants on a lazy day. Your little one can wear them alone or layer them under other pants on a cold day.

What Are Tights? 

Tights are legwear too. As their name suggests, they are tight to the leg. Tights are typically made of nylon, lycra, and synthetic fibers to help keep these thin garments from tearing. Your little one might wear tights to ballet class or underneath a dress for added coverage. They're a thin article your child can wear to complement their dancewear or everyday attire.

How Leggings and Tights Are Different 

Tights and leggings may seem to be exactly the same, but that is not the case. These legwear options have a few differences in how they fit and how they can complement your child's clothing. Let's explore these differences and some of their similarities, too. 

They're Different in the Way They Fit Your Little One's Legs

Tights and leggings are both tight, but did you know they fit a little bit differently? For example, tights commonly feature a footed portion that has a seam at the toes. Tights often extend high above the waistline to just over the belly button, too. Leggings, by contrast, are usually footless and fit where a typical pair of pants would meet the waist. 

They're Unique in Their Thickness 

These legwear options also differ in their thickness. Tights are commonly much thinner than leggings because of how they are typically worn. They're made to be sheer and breathable. Leggings, on the other hand, are usually much warmer and thicker. As a result, they breathe a little bit less than tights, are more opaque, and provide more coverage as a result. 

They Have Individual Uses 

As we mentioned, your little girl or boy might wear a pair of tights to a dance class. Ballet attire often requires dancers to wear a pair of tights under their leotards. Microfiber tights can also be valuable clothing articles your child can wear with their dress for a fancy occasion. Alternatively, leggings are usually worn during everyday activities as leisurewear. 

How Are Tights and Leggings Similar 

These two legwear choices are not all different; they have a few similarities, too. As you think about whether to buy your child a new pair of microfiber tights or leggings, consider these similarities and the ways both options can be used in everyday outfits. Here are a few things tights and leggings have in common.

They're Alike in Their Tightness 

Both of these articles of clothing are tighter than almost any other type of apparel. These legwear options are skin-tight for those who enjoy this close-knit feeling. If you have small children, you'll know tighter clothing is often better for avoiding unnecessary tripping or constant adjusting. Tights or leggings could be a great addition to your little one's wardrobe to take some of the hassle out of getting dressed. 

They Can Both Be Layered 

Another way these are similar is in their ability to be layered. Their slim silhouettes make it easy for you to add a pair of leggings or tights under your child's pants, skirt, or dress. Use them to keep your child warmer or to add color to their outfit. 

Both Tights and Leggings Come in Multiple Colors 

You might think that tights only come in pink and tan. Most pantyhose traditionally came in these colors, so you'd think tights would be the same. Thankfully, you can buy leggings and tights in an array of colors and patterns. Choose a pair in your child's favorite color to accent the outfits they already enjoy. 

How to Wear Tights and Leggings 

Are you looking for outfit inspiration for your children? Tights and leggings are both clothing items that can help you diversify their closets with easy-to-wear essential articles. Let's explore some options for how your children can wear leggings and tights with their usual outfits.

Under Skirts 

Does your kiddo have a skirt they love to wear often? Maybe you love how free they run in it, but you want to keep their legs protected from the cold. Try adding a pair of durable kids' tights to give your little one some added coverage in the outdoors. You'll love that they're more comfortable, and they'll love having tights in their favorite color. 

With Shorts 

Your child can wear tights with shorts, too. Maybe they have a pair of shorts that are almost too short for school, but they still enjoy wearing them. Add colorful tights underneath so that they can continue wearing their favorite shorts without worry. 

As a Cold-Weather Layer to Keep Warm

If you live somewhere where temperatures drop to uncomfortable levels, you'll know how essential layering can be. When it's freezing, you'll want them to have a first layer that is moisture-wicking and tight to the skin. Try adding a pair of wool tights under your child's weather-proof pants to help them stay toasty even in icy weather. 

With a Dress 

Are you attending a formal event anytime soon? It can be challenging to know how to dress children for these events without spending lots of extra money. Here's one cost-effective way to make a dress they already have look even more formal: add a pair of neutral tights underneath. This trick can help your family to look their best without buying dozens of new articles and accessories. 

Where to Find Sustainable Clothing Basics for your Kids 

Perhaps your child already has a few pairs of leggings in their closet that they enjoy wearing on an everyday basis. You like how they fit for leisurewear, but they won't work for dance class or with a fancier dress. If you still need tights or other high-quality clothing basics, we can help! At Mallary by Matthew, we enjoy offering you clothing basics your whole family can enjoy.

Mallary By Matthew 

Our mission at Mallary by Matthew is to provide you with sustainable essentials. Whether you need durable kids' sheets or high-quality men's underwear, we have you covered. See why we offer you quality items that endure throughout your family's adventures for affordable prices. 

Wrapping it Up 

Leggings and tights are very similar in form and fit. Your child can wear tights to dress up their casual wear or leggings for a more comfortable look. Though they have considerable differences, leggings and tights are both quality basics to have in your child's wardrobe. How you style them is ultimately up to you!  





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