Opaque: What Does It Mean?

A common term in both fashion and everyday vocabulary explained.

TS Blog > Opaque: What Does It Mean?

The term opaque is used in a variety of contexts, but judging by the over 100K searches of the word each month, it’s not clear to everyone what it means. Opaque can be used both to describe physical textiles and also interpersonal human scenarios when describing another person as not being transparent in their behavior. Of course, we’re going to be focusing on the former, and the intrigue of opaque fabrics both in functionality and their aesthetic appeal as they render clothing items not sheer. 

As an undershort brand, the term opaque plays an important role in our design, as some pieces are almost completely opaque while others are much more sheer. Here’s our guide to all things opaque by taking a look at our products.

Opaque Definition 

When a piece of clothing is opaque, it means that light can’t go through the item, making it non-transparent. The vast majority of clothing aims to be opaque, but there are some pieces that are intentionally sheer like hosiery, shapewear, lingerie and sheer tops. These designs utilize sheer or translucent fabrics that have a see-through quality either for fashion or function, which differ from opaque fabrics that possess a denser weave or composition to block visibility. Opaque clothing offers more modesty while sheer clothing offers the appearance of skin. There are many reasons why someone would choose opaque or sheer fabric. When it comes to hosiery in the winter, some people want to give the illusion of exposed legs in a sheer material without being cold. Others may opt for sheer material to show off a garment layered underneath.

Sheer and opaque is also an important concept at Thigh Society, as some of our shorts are slightly see-through while others offer complete coverage.


Opaque Thigh Society Shorts

Our Original shorts are our thickest, and therefore most opaque, shorts in our darker colors like Black, Raisin, Sage, Lapis and Indigo. These shorts in those colors are the best ones to be worn outdoors with a T-shirt or sweater for a casual look. Biker shorts outfits are still super popular, so we have an array of outfit suggestions: 

  1. Button Down and Biker Shorts

Pair your shorts with a white button down for a sunny day stroll or to meet friends. The button down shirt gives the overall casual look a leveled-up vibe without having to try too hard, as well as some additional coverage in the back area. 

  1. Sweatshirt, Bucket Hat and Biker Shorts

The ultimate nod to the ‘90s — layer a sweatshirt over a T-shirt, paired with opaque biker shorts, for an effortlessly cool layered look on spring evenings.

  1. Denim Shirt and Blue Shorts

Grab a pair of our Original shorts in Indigo and rock them with a light- or dark-wash denim shirt overtop. The color combination is timeless and cool. 

Opaque shorts are versatile, comfy and can easily be worn at home or out on the street. Our many colors make it easy to style them according to your mood that day. 

Sheer Thigh Society Shorts

Aside from our Original shorts in the colors listed above, most of our shorts are sheer to semi-sheer, meaning you may not want to wear them as a standalone item unless you’re lounging at home (although if you do, we love that for you). 

Our sheerest shorts are The Cooling shorts, made from high-tech performance fabric that absorbs excess sweat (bye-bye butt sweat!) and prevents thigh chafing. The material feels cool against the skin and actually helps lower body temperature by up to one degree. Our Cooling shorts are perfect for hot and sunny days when you’re walking around and exploring a city, or just want to stay cool while lounging or sleeping at home. They’ll keep you sweat- and chafe-free from morning to evening.

Not quite as sheer and a little thicker are The Staple shorts, which are super soft and velvety to the touch. These shorts are also incredibly comfortable, all while preventing chafe and butt sweat.

Sheer fabrics allow us to do a number of things — in hosiery, they show our legs and skin, in our Cooling shorts, the thin performance fabric layer helps prevent chafing and keeps us cool, and in fashion a sheer blouse can add a moment of intrigue, for example, revealing a lacy bra under a sheer blouse. 

While opaque material is the fundamental baseline of clothing that helps us stay covered up on a daily basis,  sheer materials have a place in the wardrobe too, adding a touch of sexiness or cooling functionality to a beautiful, timeless wardrobe.


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Khrystyana is wearing The Cooling in size M/L The Cooling 7" Black

The Cooling

Sheer 10 Colors

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Erika is wearing The Staple in size S/M The Staple 7" Black

The Staple

Semi-Sheer 5 Colors

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