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4 Amazing Winter Lingerie Solutions So You Never Have to Wear Pants Again

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Sock Dreams Extraordinary Thigh Highs. Winter Lingerie. Cold Weather Stockings.

Sock Dreams Extraordinary Thigh Highs, $16

I hate wearing pants. Truly. I live my life in slip dresses, vintage skirts, flirty loungewear, and cute cut-offs. I also live in New York City, where commuting means at least 30 minutes of walking and sitting on public transportation in below-freezing temperatures for 3 months out of the year. But I don't have to compromise my comfort for the warmth of a pair of wool pants or heavy jeans, and neither do you! Tights and hosiery aren't just for fun in the winter; they're totally functional, too. Having gone pretty much pants-less for over a decade, I have a wealth of knowledge about the warmest winter lingerie and I'm here to share it with you.

Wolford Merino Wool Tights in Ecru. Winter Lingerie. Cold Weather.

Wolford Merino Wool Tights in Ecru, $75

1. Super-warm skin-tone tights. This is the absolute essential for avoiding pants all winter. Tights come in all sorts of colors, prints, and knit designs, and they're a blast to layer all winter long. Black tights are a staple too, especially in NYC, but they aren't great for every outfit. Sometimes I don't want to distract from the cute dress I'm wearing. A pair of cotton-lined wool, fleece-lined, or wool blend tights in a nude shade of cream, caramel, or cocoa will keep you warm and put the rest of your outfit in the spotlight. Plus, they're so easy to wear - no thought needed.

When they're wool, they tend to be a bit of a splurge (I know I like to spend my lingerie money on cute things, not nude tights!), but I wore my first pair of cream cotton-lined wool tights almost every day for four winters straight before I needed a new pair. And, honestly? They're way warmer than jeans. So when someone asks you, "Aren't you cold?" You can do a little twirl in your skirt and tights and say, "No! Aren't YOU cold?"

Tabbisocks Classic Cable Tights in ecru. Winter Lingerie. Cold Weather.

Tabbisocks Classic Cable Tights in ecru, $27

Sock Dreams Extraordinarily Longer Thigh High in tan. Winter Lingerie. Cold Weather.

Sock Dreams Extraordinarily Longer Thigh High in tan, $20. These are so long that they basically act as tights, and they stay up pretty well on their own!

Foot Traffic Fleece-Lined Tights in chocolate. Winter Lingerie. Cold Weather.

Foot Traffic Fleece-Lined Tights in chocolate, $18 via Sock Dreams

L.L. Bean Smartwool Tights in chocolate. Winter Lingerie. Cold Weather.

L.L. Bean Smartwool Tights in chocolate, $46.95

2. A great suspender belt. Since the popularity of tights, garter belts have become more of a novelty item, meant to be worn just for fun or special occasions. But if you have narrow hips, a big booty, thin legs, or any sort of proportion that makes ready-made tights ride up or fall down, I really recommend a good, everyday suspender belt with stockings. Retro styles are a good place to start; there were no tights until the 60s, so suspender belts had to do their job.

Coco's Retro Closet V Strap Garter Belt

Coco's Retro Closet V Strap Garter Belt, $58. Available in many colors. With 12 garter grips, this one isn't going anywhere.

In general, look for something that sits at the narrowest part of your waist, or has a shaping aspect, which means it will be snug enough to stay up. It should have at least 4 suspenders (for even tension around the stocking and no sagging!), grips big enough to hold up thick high socks, and sturdy materials that won't stretch out or get pulled down by the weight of your stockings.

What Katie Did Maitresse Nouveau Garter Belt. Black Suspender Belt.

What Katie Did Maitresse Nouveau Garter Belt, $67.50

Coco's Retro Closet 6 Strap Garter Belt. Suspender Belt.

Coco's Retro Closet 6 Strap Garter Belt, $44. Available in many colors.

Harlow and Fox Octavia Suspender Belt. Silk Garter Belt.

Harlow and Fox Octavia Suspender Belt, $129. This is about the most narrow garter belt I'd recommend to hold up thick socks.

3. Thick high socks. Pair thigh high or over-the-knee socks with that sturdy suspender belt, or wear them on their own with body adhesive or sock garters. They can be more comfortable and, arguably, look cuter than tights. Plus, the layering opportunities are endless. I've even worn them over thin lycra tights, which help them stay up on their own and add warmth.

Sock Dreams Extraordinary Thigh High. Winter Lingerie. Cold Weather.

Sock Dreams Extraordinary Thigh High, $16. There's a reason they're named "Extraordinary"--they really are. They don't cut in on squishy legs and they stay up pretty well, even on their own. I wear them almost every day when the temperature drops.

Look for cotton and wool blends, or synthetics specifically made to trap heat while still being breathable. The tops of high socks can peek out underneath shorter skirts, or stay hidden under longer ones. And they look sooo cute with the rest of your lingerie. A cute knit bralette, matching panties, and coordinating high socks? So cute. And all of the styles listed here come in a myriad of colors, so you're not stuck with just neutrals.

Sock Dreams O Woolies. Winter Lingerie. Cold Weather.

Sock Dreams O Woolies, $13

Cronert Ribbed Wool Over-The-Knee Sock. Winter Lingerie. Cold Weather.

Cronert Ribbed Wool Over-The-Knee Sock, $37 via Sock Dreams

4. The warmest boot socks. Nothing is worse than pulling a winter or waterproof boot over a thin cotton sock. Nope. Invest in a few thick, warm boot socks that you can wear over the above-mentioned items and your toes will be cozy all winter.

People Socks Merino Wool Crew Socks. Winter Lingerie. Cold Weather.

People Socks Merino Wool Crew Socks, $36.90 for 4 pairs. I love these all winter (and yes, they are unisex).

Sock Dreams Warm & Cozy Bootsocks. Winter Lingerie. Cold Weather.

Sock Dreams Warm & Cozy Bootsocks, $8

L.L. Bean SmartWool Cable Socks. Winter Lingerie. Cold Weather.

L.L. Bean SmartWool Cable Socks, $16.95

What do you think of these winter weather lingerie suggestions? And would you wear tights or thigh high socks instead of pants all winter?


Quinne Myers

Quinne Myers is a lingerie expert living in Brooklyn, NY, where she creates quippy written content, crafts dreamy illustrations, and runs the ethically-made loungewear line, she and reverie.

10 Comments on this post

  1. Tatiana says:

    I really would like to wear pants less often, for sure, but my skin is sensitive so my options are really limited. I can’t wear wool or nylon at all – which is the vast majority of legwear. I bought a pair of thigh highs from American Apparel, thinking they were 100% cotton, but even though like over 90% of it IS cotton, the small minority that is nylon/wool make them unbearable to wear. (And I had indents in my legs after wearing them).

    But you can’t find thigh highs that are 100% cotton. And I recently wore some knee highs that were really cute, but were irritating my skin as well. It felt better to take them off.

    I think my skin will damn me to a life of business casual pants (the MOST comfortable) or I’ll have to live someplace where it never gets cold so that I don’t need to wear tights.

  2. Vambery says:

    Now I want to buy everything at sock dreams !
    I made myself custom cashmere-blend stockings from Calzedonia cashmere-blend tights (just cutting them where I want them to stop), they roll up nicely, don’t fray and are super warm. I wear them with my WKD or vintage suspender belts. I have done that to three pairs (one black, one green, one cream) and I’ve been wearing them regularly for the past three winters, they’re still in good shape. I’d love to find a warm longer slip to wear with them though, when it is really, really cold (russian winter cold) I still resort to tights. Or cashmere tap pants XD that would be a brilliant idea !

  3. LadyClutz says:

    OMG, I have just started wearing only skirts (at least at work) and this post makes me soooooo happy!

    • LadyOwl says:

      I live in Finland where winter weather means 0…-20°C (i.e. 32… 4°F) and in the northern parts and occasionally in the south even colder. (Luckily cold weather here is dry and not as bad as in coastal climate.) Wearing tights or leggins (often thick ones) under the jeans is common here, and at some point you stop seeing shirt on _anyone_ – it’s either long skirt or pants, and something thick under.
      Woollen leggings are common. I’ve also found woollen tights and I love them, but never such thick long socks. Maybe I need to order… I really love vintage style.

  4. Robin says:

    I’m in USA, but have been so entrenched in French and UK lingerie brands, that I read the article header of “Pants” in the more UK terminology (as in underwear). Lol =) Thought it odd to see a write up of not wearing underwear on a lingerie site! When I lived in NYC area this would have been sound advice.

  5. Babs Vermeulen says:

    I don’t wear pants…ever, and I am plus sized. Over the years I have come to rely on HUE tights, the size 5 fits up to a size 22-24, and they come in a nice thick 100 denier. I heard they are discontinuing the grey colour in Canada..which is a real bummer. Also, as much as I hate American Apparel, their over the knee thick socks are a godsend and come in a bunch of colours. They layer great over tights. I found that if the top band was snug, simply cutting it off and hand hemming does a great job, and they really stay up! You can go tone on tone between socks and tights…or mix it up with complementary colours. Who needs pants?!?! Not this gal!

  6. Thursday says:

    I avoid wearing trousers at all costs so I live in tights throughout winter. Finding warm and comfortable tights in plus sizes can be pretty painful though. Especially if you want something other than black! Which is most days for me. I live in Cette’s Dublin tights which usually last several seasons before wearing out. City Chic also do good tights although less often in colours.
    Personally I find opaque stockings with suspenders still leave a chilly gap so they aren’t a go-to for me when the temps really drop.

  7. Miranda Kali says:

    I’m a huge fan of Sock Dreams. Their Extraordinarily Longer Roll-Top Thigh Highs are one of my staples for chilly weather. They’re like a comfy t-shirt for your legs.
    I usually pair them with my Rago 6-strap belt for a classy feel.

  8. Mina says:

    Merino socks are life-changing! Come to think of it, since I’ve tried them, I haven’t bought cheapie synthetics since, which I would guess is nearly a year. A lot of the brands you can buy at outdoor suppliers (such as Mountain Equipment Co-op) even have a 1-2 year warranty! I’m definitely going to look into these thigh high options; I really would rather not wear jeans this winter.

  9. erin says:

    I’m in Australia, so I’m heading into glorious bare leg weather, but this post made me wish it was getting cold momentarily! I’ll have to pin some stuff for next year.

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