Tights, Pantyhose, Nylons: What’s the Dif?
The other day, I was trying to put on the last pair of tights that I owe, which do not have a run in them. A hellish experience all on its own, but I couldn’t go to a job interview with bare leg and a dress, that just seemed a little uncouth. The weather is getting colder and although I could have easily gone out with bare legs, but for some reason as soon as summer is officially over, I feel like it’s unacceptable to not were anything over my legs especially when going to a job interview, which is exactly what I was getting ready for.
My brother called while I was trying to pull up this particular article of clothing that could only have been designed by a masochist and as per usual he asked me what’s up. I almost felt like crying, but instead I blurted out “I’m trying to put on a pair of goddamn tights”. Clearly, I was not having an easy time of it.
Have you ever noticed that you’ll never wear a pair of tights that have a hole or a run in them, at least not when trying to look well-dressed and business like, but for some reason although the pair of tights in question no longer serves their purpose you will nonetheless stick them back in your drawer? It’s kind of akin to sticking the empty carton of milk back in the fridge hoping that somehow the problem will take care of itself. Personally, I think it might also have something to do with my unwillingness to throw out something that was so easily ruined after so little wear. Kinda feels like throwing out money and who the hell likes doing that?
I decided that this winter I would renew my tights collection and in preparation for this I started to throw out all the ones that had holes the size of grapefruits in them, which basically left me with nothing since I torn the pair I wore to my job interview that very night, but in the process of doing all this I started to wonder what the hell is the difference between tights, pantyhose and nylons?
So far, I’ve been able to find out that nylons are basically a synonym for either tights or pantyhose and the name itself simply refers to the material that is used to make them (most of them now contain some spandex). Although, I think most people use the word nylon when referring to pantyhose. The only difference there seems to be between pantyhose and tights is the sheerness of the material, which is expressed as a numerical denier ranging anywhere between 3 (very thin, very rare) to 15 (standard sheer) up to 30 (semi-opaque) until a 100 (opaque). The line of no return seems to be at 40 deniers, and anything over that number will be considered to be a pair of tights. Meaning, pantyhose are sheer while tights tend to be more opaque.
From personal experience, I can tell you that sheer pantyhose seem easier to put on, since the material isn’t as dense, but they also tear more easily. The more opaque the material, the denser the fabric is the harder it is to create a run in them, but they also tend to feel like the entire lower half of your body is encased in some sort of torture device. Pantyhose (and or nylons) tend to come in neutral shades, which are supposed to mimic the color of your skin, but trust me when I say that the shade commonly known as “nude” or “flesh tone” comes nowhere near imitating life, a goal made that much harder considering that “flesh tone” sadly does not represent all of society, not even close (can I hear “racist”?) unless you use some sort of tanning lotion that turns your skin a lovely shade of “almost orange”.
As dismal as all this information is, this is pretty much all I was able to learn in hours and hours of online research (maybe 40 minutes of reading through Wikipedia) and none of it or very little of it has lent itself to making the experience of wearing tights or pantyhose seem any less torturous. How about you, can you recommend anything? I mean, besides having to wear pants all the time…