02/20/2013 05:40 EST | Updated 04/22/2013 05:12 EDT

Tights ≠ Pants


Last week, I tweeted a gentle reminder to women that tights are not pants. You'd think this doesn't need saying, kind of like bras are not tops and cats don't need to be walked. But clearly, I hit a nerve.

The response was surprising and far-reaching. Apparently this is an issue as far away as South Africa. A few guys shot me down, accusing me of ruining a perfectly good peep show. Considering all the fervor, I feel the topic needs more than a 140-character discussion.

Recently I've seen a few young women wearing tights as bottoms out in the world. I'm talking about actual tights. As in pantyhose. As in, pulled tight over the buttocks and somewhat transparent. As in, I've seen things I cannot un-see.

One of them was wearing LACY tights, leaving little to the imagination. Another one perhaps forgot that even an 80-denier tight, when stretched over a larger posterior region, especially in bright sunlight, loses some of its opacity. I almost went full granny on her and gave her my coat to cover up.

By tights, I don't mean workout pants. I understand that for ease of movement, most of us wear body-hugging bottoms when we go to the gym or for a run, and that such a trip usually requires leaving the house where you may spotted by the general public. (Another reminder: when these wear thin, they should be replaced!)

Tights have feet and they're generally purchased in the hosiery department or come in hosiery packaging. They are worn with skirts and dresses, not on their own.

Leggings are thick, opaque tights with no feet. They're meant to go be worn under a long sweater, a looong shirt (tunic), or a dress. These too are not pants.

Some leggings are SUPER THICK and could potentially be worn as pants. Those who can get away with this, I applaud you. Though I'm also somewhat irritated that you're waving your skinny butt in my face.

Unsure? Pick up a mirror and check your front and rear view before you leave the house.


1) You can see your G-string through said leggings

2) You can see dimpling of your butt or legs

3) The word "camel" springs to mind (front view)

4) You need to actually ask someone if what you're wearing is appropriate

5) You don't want to end up on some creepy guy's Flickr feed

... err on the side of caution, cover your ass, literally, and do us all a favour:


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leggings as pants