The Best Tights Under $40, Because Cold Weather Has Officially Arrived

Back in college circa the late aughts (dating myself here a little), I wore fishnet tights pretty much every single day—and not just to roller derby practice (dating myself again). I was wearing a lot of dresses and skirts at the time, and while Santa Barbara, California, doesn’t get as chilly as, say, NYC, the cold ocean air that rolled in every night made for some pretty serious goosebumps. Nevertheless, I foolishly persisted.

These days I’m older and hopefully a bit wiser, and as I’ve been looking to get back into being a Habitual Dress Person, I’ve been thinking about the tights arsenal I’m going to need to amass this winter. My timing couldn’t be more fortuitous: Tights and fun socks (see above for the perfect hybrid) have come right back in fashion after a period in which they were decidedly written off, and this time around, they’re bolder, brighter, and more fun than ever before.

Oh, and did I mention warmer? Because most of the styles you’ll find below are a good deal warmer than my old standbys. Keep reading to see the under-$40 styles I have my eye on, and you never know—there just might be a fishnet style or two hiding among the pack.

Love this plaid pair from the company behind my all-time favorite socks (hi, hi, and hi).

Swiss dots look cool under just about everything.

A different kind of animal print, but an animal print all the same.

Style Tip: We love the idea of choosing a sheer hue that’s just a hint darker than your natural skin tone.

Love a good back-seam pair—especially when lace is involved.

This unexpected blue print just made its way into my shopping cart.

A subtle way to test out the leopard-print trend.

Shaping tights in basic black = a true wardrobe staple.

Millennial Pink may be losing steam, but hot pink is here to stay.

Style Tip: Tights are the perfect way to inject a bright pop of color into even the most neutral of color schemes.

Love the delicate embroidery on this sheer UO pair.

They don't get much more affordable than this pair.

A little bit twee, a little bit edgy—right on the money.

Pretty much the coziest pair I could imagine.

Fishnets are back, and you need a pair now.

Style Tip: Fully embrace the ’80s revival by breaking out a pair of colorful stirrup tights.

’Tis the season for a little added sparkle.

Style Notes: You haven’t been imagining things—fishnets under pants are happening.

This fun floral print will look great under your latest dress purchase.

A not-so-subtle plaid for the maximalists out there.

Style Notes: Now trending—statement-making logo tights. (These tend to be a bit more expensive, but if they’re your kinda thing, check out these, these, and these.)

Here’s a style that brings a bit of the logomania feel to the proceedings.

A noir-inspired style that never goes out of fashion.

Another pretty floral embroidered pair I’m considering scooping up.

Next up, it’s time to find your new favorite (affordable!) pairs of socks.