Tights are a close fitting garment that usually covers the body from the waist down to the feet. Tights are worn by dancers and other athletes who need to move freely whether in rehearsals or in performances. They come in footed, footless, stirrup and convertible.
Footed tights cover the whole leg and the foot. These are the most common tights. Most dancers wear footed tights.
Footless tights are exactly as they sound. They do not cover the feet, just the legs up to the waist. If you prefer wearing your shoes without tights covering up your feet these are for you.
Stirrup tights also cover from the waist down however there is just a strap that goes around your foot to keep the tights in place.
Convertible tights have a hole in the bottom of the footed area so the tights can be worn over the foot or pulled up to be footless. This way you have a choice which is nice.
Tights were invented during the early 1800s. This is when Charles-Louis Didelot was the director of the Paris Opera. He was the first choreographer require his dancers to wear flesh colored tights. It is said that they gave the male dancers more of a realistic appearance and the female dancers’ legs more beauty. The costume designer at the Paris Opera at the time was Monsieur Maillot and the one responsible for inventing tights. To this day tights are still called maillots in his honor in France.