Do you get overwhelmed when picking tights at the store? Between figuring out fabric, style, and denier, as well as deciphering your size based on height and weight, it can be challenging to find the perfect tights for your winter outfits.

The Fabric

Here are a few tips: natural fabrics like silk and wool are great for warmth but are more expensive. They also have the downside of being fragile and wool can pill fairly quickly. You’ll want to choose wool blended with synthetic fibres, because having some lycra in your tights will make them fit more snuggly and stay up better.

Microfibre tights give the smoothest look and for a warm synthetic alternative, look for fleece-lined tights which are super affordable and easy to find now.

The Knit

If you’re looking for something uber durable, you’ll want to look at the tightness of the knit. Keep in mind, natural fibres might have a looser knit, while brands like Sheertex specialize in a knit technology that makes them indestructible.

The Thickness

Denier is to tights what thread count is to sheets. Denier is the weight of the fabric in your tights, stockings, and hosiery. Usually, the heavier and thicker the material, the higher the denier. Denier around 10 is what you’ll see on nylons or sheer tights, which are lighter and traditionally dressier.

For semi-sheer, choose 20-40 denier, and 40+ is opaque and generally more resistant to tears. More luxe brands have managed to create sheer tights that are as resistant as 40+ denier tights, but these are harder to find.

So far, my favourite affordable tights are the 150 denier opaque tights from Ardene, the 2-pack 200 denier H&M tights, and some merino wool tights I got at Simons. I also love these footless merino tights from Wool&.

The Size

Most tights come is sized XS-XL but finding where you fall on that spectrum can be tricky. There is usually a size guide on the back that cross-references your height and weight. Don’t be afraid to size up, especially if your tights have a fair amount of elastane. For more information, read up on size guides here.

Many tights are now high-waisted and feature control-top design (like Spanx). Just keep in mind, our bodies weren’t designed to be confined for hours on end! If you’re starting to feel sick, maybe you’ve been wearing your tights too long.

Good luck and stay warm!