What Are Semi-Opaque Tights?

What is the meaning of semi-opaque tights? Should I wear semi-opaque tights instead of thicker opaque tights? What are the best semi-opaque tights in the market? You have asked a lot about this style of hosiery and we have created this quick guide to semi-opaque tights to answer any the questions you may have, such as the best 30 denier tights for a special event or the best plus size semi-opaque tights out there. Keep reading!

What’s the definition of Semi-Opaque Tights?

Le Bourget Luxury Semi-Opaque Tights

Semi-opaque tights are all those tights that, looking quite like opaque tights, are not fully opaque. The definition of semi-opaque tights includes all 20 to 40 denier tights, without distinction between glossy or matt semi-opaque tights. If you remember from our previous post about the meaning of denier, thin hosiery is called sheer, while thicker hosiery is called opaque. Semi-opaque tights are in between sheer and opaque, but we believe they look closer to this second category.

For us, semi-opaque tights are slightly see-through opaques. Thicker enough to wear when it’s getting cold, but thinner than blackout tights. You should be able to see through the skin colour of a person who wears semi-opaque tights. Just like the tights in the picture above, Le Bourget Heritage Luxe Active 30 Denier Tightsare a fine example of the look of semi-opaque tights.

Semi-Opaque Tights Vs Opaque Tights:

Comparison Semi Opaque Tights Vs Fully Opaque Tights
Spot the difference: Le Bourget 30 Denier Semi-Opaque Tights and a thicker version: 60 Denier Opaque Tights

Pictures speak louder than words. If you look at these two pairs of tights above you’ll clearly see what’s the difference between semi-opaque tights (on the left) and full opaque tights (on the right). Easy, right? The higher the denier, the more opaque hosiery is. Good quality yarns also make hosiery look more opaque. That’s why a luxury pair of 4o deniers often feels thicker than a budget 60-denier pair.

When to Wear Semi-Opaque Tights:

It’s a personal choice, really. Many people wear semi-opaque tights as an alternative to opaque tights in summer. Other people don’t really like wearing opaque tights, so the thicker they go is up to 40 denier tights, hence, they only wear semi-opaque tights in winter.

We believe semi-opaque tights are the best option in early to mid spring and autumn when the weather is less predictable and you may get colder mornings and warmer afternoons, mixed with some rainy and sunny times. Wearing semi-opaque tights can save your day, if the weather at your place is as unpredictable as ours here, in the United Kingdom.

Glossy or matte? Doesn’t matter, really. Matte semi-opaque tights have always been more popular. We have a wide range of coloured matte semi-opaque tights. However, glossy semi-opaque tights are getting more and more popular, just like glossy opaque tights.

What are the best semi-opaque tights for me?

Here you have a few of our best semi-opaque tights, UK Tights-approved:

Best 30 denier semi-opaque tights

30 Denier Black Semi-Opaque Tights
Bestselling Pierre Mantoux Veloutine 30 Semi Opaque Tights

Other two fabulous 30 denier semi-opaque tights are the coloured Fogal Opaque 30 Semi-Opaque Tights, available in 24 colourways, and the inexpensive Charnos 30 Denier Semi-Opaque Tights, available in black and nude.

Best 40 denier semi-opaque tights

Trasparenze 40 denier semi opaque tights
Get the look: Trasparenze Debby Semi-Opaque Tights

Best Plus Size Semi-Opaque Tights

Cette 30 Denier Plus Size Shaping Semi Opaque Tights
Great for Plus Sizes: Cette Seattle 30 Denier Semi-Opaque Tights

Do you have any questions about semi-opaque tights you need help with? Feel free to comment below and we’ll do our best to help you.


  • Luke Cu

    Don’t forget to mention the Falke Seidenglatt 40 denier as best semi opaque tights. The new style is slightly thinner than the former one, so the look is more like a 35 denier, which I have never seen before. 😊

    • UK Tights

      Hi Luke,
      Yes, the Falke Seidenglatt 40 are amazing, too. We didn’t know that they look thinner, thanks for pointing that out. To be honest, we have so many styles it’s difficult to pick just a few styles. There are so many other semi-opaque tights we love, too. We only picked the ones we know absolutely everyone around here loves. Thanks for your comment.
      Kind regards,
      UK Tights team

  • Anonymous

    I just love semi opaques. They do help when you are an older CD and your legs begin not to look as good as they did when you were younger.

    My husband thinks I look good in them too.

    Best wishes for 2019

    Jan (Gay CD)

  • Kate N

    Great blog post! I have to say that I think those Le Bourget 30 denier black tights in the photo are too sheer for me to classify them as semi-opaque…I have 30 denier tights from M&S that are perfect semi-opaques, as are the Charnos 40s. These are my current joint faves, although I have recently rediscovered the pleasure of a good 60 denier opaque for winter!

    • UK Tights

      Hi Kate,
      I guess it’s a personal thing. We have noticed that high-quality 30 denier hosiery always looks more opaque than budget one. If you look at the Fogal 30 denier semi-opaque tights, you’ll notice they feel quite thicker than usual.
      UK Tights team

  • Martin

    As an older man, tights under trousers are perfect to keep your legs warm from autumn to spring. 30 denier is perfect for when the weather is less cold. I wear 200 denier when it is freezing, 60 denier for cold and 39 denier for less cold. Being six feet tall with long legs, size is so important and char is extra large fit my long legs really well.

    • UK Tights

      Hi Martin,
      Thanks for sharing your tips with us. Sounds perfect to us 🙂
      Fingers crossed weather gets better and we can keep those 200 denier tights in the drawer until next winter.
      UK Tights team

  • Stuart

    I love wearing semi-opaque tights and wear them frequently under my trousers or with shorts and enjoy lounging around at home in just tights and a t-shirt or jumper, I don’t think there’s anything nicer to wear on your legs and semi-opaque are my favourite type of tights. Sometimes I think to much fuss is made over whether men should wear tights or not, everybody should have the freedom of choice as to what garments they chose to wear.

    • UK Tights

      We couldn’t agree more with you, Stuart. Especially your amazing last sentence: Everybody should have the freedom of choice as to what garments they chose to wear. 👏👏👏
      Thanks. Kind regards,
      UK Tights team

  • Allison Dehnert

    Hi. I am wearing a black maxi dress with a white floral pattern to my sons wedding on 1st September in Melbourne so will probably be cold.
    Can i wear a semi opaque tight in black for warmth?

    • UK Tights

      Hi Allison,
      That sounds lovely. I’m sure black semi-opaque tights will look amazing with your floral dress. Maybe look for a matte or sheen look, instead of a shiny one, not to steal the attention away from the pattern of the dress. And congratulations on your son’s wedding!
      UK Tights Blog

  • Char

    The best all rounders, dark and plain enough to work in with lycra on the bike and naughty enough to wear with leg warmers and lounge wear.. love them

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *