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Tights are a type of leg coverings which consist of heavy fabric extending from the waist to feet. Originally invented for men of nobility, tights are today worn in fashion primarily by women and girls, as well as infants and toddlers of both sexes. Tights are also common in the world of theater and dance.
Pantyhose are sometimes seen as a version of tights (and in the United Kingdom are referred to as such), however pantyhose are, in fact a separate type of garment. The main different between tights and pantyhose is that pantyhose are composed of a much thinner fabric and may contain a built in "panty piece", which tights typically do not have.
The thickness of tights, known as "denier" determines how heavy the tights are. Some tights, like pantyhose, have a panty piece and are known as control top tights.
Tights can also describe the leg coverings worn in atheletics, especially by runners and wrestlers. These tights are usually a thicker spandex-blend, and are usually footless. Athletic tights are considered unisex.
The term "tights" has also recently been used as an offensive term for any Traditional British uniform, most famously the Serjeant-at-Arms at the Palace of Westminster.