"Dressing your age" is outdated advice, especially in 2018, but when my grandma arrived at Thanksgiving dinner wearing "leggings" and a sweater, it wasn't a matter of dressing her age, so much public decency.

She wasn't wearing leggings, she was wearing tights. 

Knowing the main types of hosiery can be the difference between looking stylish and giving the guests at Thanksgiving a show. Here's what to look for when deciding what to wear.


Formerly called nylons or pantyhose, hose is the most transparent option. Hose, typically worn with dresses or skirts, offer a sheer hint of color to the legs. They can be worn to smooth out the appearance of imperfections in the legs. Honestly, most women don't wear them anymore but they still could be required in formal, business settings.


Tights are the thicker, more-opaque version of hose. They are still sheer enough to require a dress or skirt when worn. Don't try wearing them alone as they are sheer enough to be seen through. Tights are great to transition your wardrobe into the fall and winter months because they add more coverage — and most importantly, warmth. Tip: During the coldest winter months, layering two pairs of tights allows you to still wear a dress without freezing. 


Ahhh, leggings. Everyone's favorite pants that aren't pants. Or are they? While the debate probably won't end anytime soon, leggings are here to stay. Unlike hose and tights, leggings are sown together instead of woven. While more affordable pairs can be see-through if you bend over, leggings made with thicker fabric aren't. If you have a see-through pair, they can still be worn with tunic-length shirts and sweaters, but anything shorter probably isn't appropriate. 

Ponte pants

These are the grown-up, work-appropriate version of leggings. They still fit tight on the legs, but unlike leggings, they are completely opaque and can be worn as pants. Since they are thick, you can wear them with any type of shirt you like. If you prefer to wear tight pants, I would suggest these over leggings.