Who Makes the Best Black Tights? InStyle Editors Put 8 Pairs to the Test
To wear the skirt or not to wear the skirt? Once winter hits its teeth-chattering, goose-pimply stride, you can’t answer that question in the morning without considering tights—and you won’t have tights to consider without buying a few pairs. So let’s talk about which ones are worth your money.
Below, our editors have put 8 classic black hosiery styles—including options from both luxury and drugstore brands—through their paces so you don’t have to. Keep scrolling to see how each one stacked up.
“I love these fishnets. Besides being so much cooler than traditional nylons, they fit well and are resistant to tears. Contrary to the usual 'Pretty Woman' stereotype of netted stockings, the mesh is very subtle and sophisticated—perfect for the office. Oh, and did I mention they make your legs look fabulous?” —Marina Budarina-Sánchez, deputy chief of reporters
“Because I have really sensitive skin, a lot of tights irritate my legs—not these! This might be the softest pair I’ve ever worn. I definitely still felt the smoothing ’Spanx effect,’ of course, but in the best possible way. I’d feel really comfortable wearing a tight dress with these on. Another bonus: The material is super thick and and durable, so I didn’t have to worry about getting a run. High quality all around!” —Ingrid Frahm, art assistant
“So the thing to keep in mind about these thigh-highs is the band size. Although I’ve read mixed reviews about how securely the band stayed in place, after putting it to the test, I’d suggest going down a size. While it slipped off my thighs, the silicon band held securely and comfortably slightly above my knees and I wound up wearing it that way. Fit issues aside, however, I love the softness of the fabric and that the coverage is opaque like tights, without the discomfort to my waist.” —Teonna Flipping, office coordinator
Donna Karan fleece
“Be sure to wear these on the coldest of days. Not only were these toasty warm, they were so soft and comfortable. Although usually have issues with some hosiery either with the crotch area (sagging) or at the waist (rolling down) that wasn’t a problem here. Better yet, while the fleece-like material was soothing against my skin, they looked like regular opaque stockings. Luckily for New Yorkers, we’ve been experiencing pretty mild weather thus far but once the snow hits, these will be my favorite go-to.” —LaShauna C. Williams, senior credits editor
“Let’s start with the pros: At only $3 to $4, these are extremely affordable. However, these were way too thin to work as compression tights and the waistband was uncomfortable. As far as just black tights go, they got the job done!” —Steffi Lee, fashion assistant
"I put these to the test on a Saturday night in N.Y.C when the January windchill was creeping well into the single digits and I have to say I was pretty impressed. The X-Temp technology claims to adapt to your body’s temperature—keeping you warm when you’re braving the city winds and cool once you get inside that packed bar. I admit, they weren’t as toasty as say, a pair of fleece-lined tights, but they definitely kept my legs warmer than other styles I’ve tried. My favorite part of the design is actually the waistband, which is completely seamless and lies flat all the way at the top of your rib cage (no muffin top!). And because, unlike my Wolford tights, these are less than $20 bucks, I won't stress out over an unexpected run." —Jennifer Ferrise, senior editor
“So let’s start with the 'bad' news: There are really no special bells and whistles that set these apart from regular Wolford tights except they are footless. However, as anyone who’s ever worn hosiery from the luxe Austrian brand knows, all that means is you get the privilage of wearing the warmest, coziest, most snag-resistant stockings in the world AND you don’t have to worry about sweaty feet at your desk in the middle of the day. Put me down for three more pairs, please.” —Alison Syrett, fashion writer
Great Shapes Run-Stopper Sheer
"Let me preface this by saying: I strongly dislike tights ('hate' seems too aggressive of a word). I avoid them whenever I can, because I find them to be insanely uncomfortable and I've ruined too many brand new pairs on the first wear. These, at least, help with the latter. While they're not 100-percent snag-proof, they do prevent runs from happening (something I'm clearly prone to), and that in itself, is worth the purchase." —Andrea Cheng, digital fashion news editor