The Complete Guide to Buying Tights on eBay

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The Complete Guide to Buying Tights on eBay

Many women wear tights for a variety of reasons. In terms of functionality, wearing tights is a great way to keep the legs warm during cold weather aside from protecting them from allergens and other skin irritants. On the aesthetic side, tights, with their many colours, shapes, and designs, can liven up an otherwise plain outfit. Tights help improve the wearer’s skin tone and are excellent at concealing blemishes on the skin. Moreover, there are special kinds of tights that help support the lower body.

Tights are a type of hosiery that covers the lower half of the body, from the waist to the tip of the toes. Tights are classified based on their thickness, method of construction, and size. Some tights are better suited as leg warmers, while others are designed for purely aesthetic purposes. Moreover, some tights are very thin and almost invisible, while some are opaque. The following sections discuss the different kinds of tights available on eBay, along with how to choose the right kind of tights to wear for every occasion.

Classification of Tights by Thickness Rating

Most tights on eBay are classified according to the density or thickness of the fabric, which gives the buyer an idea about how the garment will look on when worn. This thickness is measured in units called ‘denier’ or the mass of the fabric’s fibres in grams per 9,000 metres. Tights may be classified as anywhere from 3 denier for ultra sheer, almost-transparent tights, to as high as 100 denier (or even higher) for opaque tights. The next table illustrates the general characteristics of the main categories of tights’ denier rating.

Denier Rating


General Description

10 or lower

Ultra Sheer

very delicate

prone to runs

appropriate for special occasions

11 to 20


most common range


more durable than ultra sheer

21 to 35



appropriate for formal occasions

more durable than sheer types

36 or higher


most durable type

appropriate for cold weather

ideal for everyday use

ideal to hide skin’s imperfections

Tights with a rating of 100 denier or higher are excellent at keeping the legs warm during the colder months.  They are also very durable, making them ideal for everyday use. Because of the tights’ opacity, many women also prefer to wear them to prevent exposing too much skin when wearing short skirts. On the other hand, tights with a rating of 30 denier or lower do a great job in enhancing the wearer’s skin tone and in concealing minor blemishes like varicose veins, thus improving the wearer’s outfit during formal occasions.

Kinds of Tights Based on Method of Construction

When purchasing tights, one should consider how each pair fits as this will affect overall comfort and performance. Different kind of tights include control top tights, seamless tights, and maternity support types.

Control Top Tights

Control top tights provide greater support for the lower abdomen and rear area. The panty area of control top tights is made from strong elastic materials that help contour the body, enabling wearers to hide what they may consider as figure flaws. Moreover, there are many designs of control top tights that can be worn without panties, letting women avoid having visible panty lines. The upper part of control top tights is usually made of thicker fabric, enabling the garment to provide the necessary support for the pelvic region. However, the lower part that covers the legs may be made from fabrics with lower densities, which is why there are some control top tights that can be as thin as 10 denier, while others can be as thick as 120 denier.

Seamless Tights

With the absence of visible stitches, seamless tights look like a second layer of skin to the wearer. Among all types, seamless tights are the most comfortable tights to wear because they lay flat on the skin. Like control top tights, some seamless tights may be worn as an alternative to panties in order to avoid visible panty lines, which are generally considered as a fashion faux pas. Seamless tights may be sheer, semi-opaque, and opaque.

Maternity Support Tights

Maternity support tights serve as compression clothing that helps the body deal with the weight gained during pregnancy, preventing the enlargement of the veins in the lower body of the mother to be. Compared to regular tights, maternity support tights fit better in order to enhance blood circulation, which tends to slow down during pregnancy and which, in turn, causes painful, swollen legs. Moreover, maternity support tights also serve as additional reinforcement for the abdominal area, helping wearers avoid back pains.

Fabric Types Used for Making Tights

Most tights for sale on eBay are made from either nylon, cotton, or a mixture of both. Nylon fibres are extremely durable, increasing the garment’s resistance to runs, pilling, and stains. This is the same reason why nylon is the preferred material for sheer and ultra sheer tights. However, nylon is not very absorbent. Meanwhile, cotton is known for its breathability and absorbency, which makes cotton tights more comfortable to wear and better at absorbing moisture. On the flip side, cotton is notorious for its tendency to pill.

Thus, many manufacturers blend nylon, cotton, and even a small amount of polyester to make the fabric more durable and more comfortable to wear at the same time. Most modern tights may also contain a small amount of Lycra, also known as elastane, in order to boost the fabric’s elasticity, thus improving the garment’s fit. Tights that contain at least 2 per cent Lycra are generally more forgiving to wearers with fuller figures.

Aside from cotton, nylon, and Lycra, other fabrics, such as silk, may also be used. Silk tights have a smooth texture, are very absorbent, and are cool to the touch. They are a very good match to any outfit for a special occasion. Silk tights are naturally shiny, thus accentuating the legs’ smoothness. Moreover, silk is considered as a status symbol because of its relatively high price. This is why some buyers prefer rayon, a synthetic fabric that mimics the properties of silk and is practically indistinguishable from the original.

Size Guide: Choosing Tights that Fit Right

Tights are classified based on three measurements: the wearer’s height, weight, and waistline. The following table explains what the different size labels mean. However, these are just general guidelines and the actual fit may vary depending on the manufacturer.

Size Label

Height (cm)

Weight (kg)

Waistline (cm)

OS (One Size)



Up to 107



























Up to 102




Up to 114


If the wearer’s measurements fall in between two different sizes, it is generally recommended to pick the smaller size. This is because tights, as the name itself suggests, are meant to fit tightly. Moreover, buyers should take note that one size tights have an elastic limit; that is, they may rip apart when stretched too much.

How to Buy Tights on eBay

There are hundreds of tights available from a large number of eBay sellers. To get a complete list of tights for sale, just type ‘women's tights’ in the search box on eBay’s home page. If you prefer a particular brand or design, just add relevant keywords to filter the results. For example, using the search term ‘Marks and Spencer tights opaque’ will generate a list of opaque tights made by Marks and Spencer.

As a word of warning, some eBay sellers tend to use the term ‘tights’ to refer to other kinds of hosiery such as hold ups, pantyhose, and stockings. In American English, the word ‘tights’ refers to cloth leg garments that are thicker than 40 denier, so eBay shoppers should carefully check the product's description order to avoid inconveniences.

Moreover, it is important to check the seller’s returns policy, so that you can return or exchange the item if you need to. To know more about the seller’s return policy, just click on the seller’s name, then click ‘contact’ as soon as you arrive on the seller’s personal page.


Tights on eBay can be classified as ultra sheer, sheer, semi-opaque, or opaque. Delicate low-denier tights often match the wearer’s skin tone, and they appear almost invisible, making the legs look smoother and more attractive. High-denier tights are excellent at keeping the legs warm during cold weather. Control top tights feature a tight-fitting upper area that helps enhance the wearer’s silhouette. Seamless tights have no visible stitches, making them very comfortable to wear because the fabric lays flat on the skin. Meanwhile, maternity support tights are special tights worn during pregnancy in order to improve blood circulation and also as additional support.

Tights are typically made from cotton, nylon, silk, Lycra, or a combination of these fibres. Cotton is the most comfortable and provides the greatest absorbency. Nylon fibres are resistant to tearing and pilling. Lycra may also be used to boost elasticity. Some tights may also be made from expensive silk, but low-cost rayon is also used as a cheaper alternative.

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