While it may seem like an unlikely mix — nylons and the season of sun — there’s more of a case for wearing tights during the summer than you might think. Our wardrobes feel so simplified, lacking pizzazz during the summer, out of the need to keep cool. But, yearning for fall fashion isn’t necessary. Accessories are king in the heat, and tights are no exception.
Between technological innovations of recent years and expanded frontiers in styling, the answer to “can I…?” is: "Of course, yes". The real question is: “How?". To that, we think there’s really only one way to go: low ‘denier’ (aka sheer tights).
Here, we’re going to investigate the technical properties of what tights in the summer really means; before suggesting a few ways to rock your tights and beat the heat.
How do you choose a good pair of summer tights?
Some important background:
Not all tights are built equally. Tights, made of tightly-knit threads, vary in their coverage based on the density of these fibers. What determines the level of coverage in tights is a unit of measure known as denier: where ‘1 denier’ is equivalent to a strand of silk (super thin).
Here's what to look for when you're picking a pair for the heat:
Low denier tights
Sheer tights are around 20 denier, whereas higher-coverage, opaque tights are about 60 denier. You can see where this is going: the lower the denier count, the more breathable your tights will be. So, if you’re looking to flaunt your legs in tights this summer, look no further than sheer pantyhose.
Cotton panels for ventilation
If you’re not totally convinced of wearing even the sheerest tights in the summer, here’s what makes all the difference: the addition of strategic cotton panels. We’re talking about gusset panels in the crotch, and not only do they solve that ill-fitting, ‘double-crotch’ feeling you get with cheap tights, but they make it breathable where it counts the most.
The previous two features of tights for summer wear just won’t be accessible with drug store-level brands. Beyond the lack of denier labeling that makes it hard to know the sheerest options available, cheaper tights from big box brands (that haven’t innovated in decades) won’t be manufactured with modern day, ultrafine microfiber fabrics that promote moisture-wicking and airflow.
Summer Styled Tights
The best thing about this era of fashion is the vast array of influences drawn from across decades past, between continents, and in conversation with multiple cultures. Your style is what you make it. Here’s how we style our sheer tights for the summer:
For a natural and polished look, we reach for our favorite pair of nude tights to wear with a pencil skirt and our cutest flouncy work blouse. Not only do these nude pantyhose create a skin-blur effect to smooth over spider veins and cellulite, but they’re a must-have to help regulate your temperature when the AC at the office is too much. Plus—and you didn’t hear this from us—this pair makes your butt look ahhh-mazing.
Into the Deep End
If you’re like us and you want your legs to look glowy and warm (without the spray tan and constant moisturizing), let us let you in on a secret: tanned tights. Grab a pair of sheer tights one shade deeper than what would match your winter tone, and you’re literally golden.
For Saturday morning brunches or Sunday night dinners, our go-to is to style sheer tan tights with an adorable pair of comfy mules and a flowy, casual dress: effortless to the max. This pair is all about flaunting a cheeky leg slit show, while also embracing that post-meal food baby.
On the Town
There’s really nothing like the way that colored tights announce that you’re here to have fun, and that yes, your legs look amazing. It’s a pair of sheer black tights, lightweight enough to show some skin, while also shading the contour of your legs to create that visually-slimming effect. It’s drool-worthy and you can’t convince us otherwise. Whether we’re dressed up in heels for the gala or slipping into our ol’ reliable penny loafers for the office, sheer black tights always make us feel that spark in our step.
From the tech of tights to summer strategizing, it’s clear that tights have a place in every season of wardrobe. Ready to beat the heat and feel put-together? Check out the sheers we mentioned: nude tights for smoothing, tan tights for that sunny glow, and black tights for everything fun.
Have more questions, or suggestions for what to be featured next? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.