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My No. 1 winter staple is surprising even to me. You’d think I’d depend on turtlenecks, coats, scarves, and boots, but I honestly can’t live without sweater tights. For a mere $12, these cozy knitted tights serve as the foundation for pretty much every outfit I wear from December through March. You see, winter in New York is a different kind of cold. It doesn’t seem so bad because it’s a city and not the actual tundra. But between commuting back and forth from work, waiting on outdoor train platforms, venturing across town to meet up with friends, etc., New Yorkers actually spend a lot of time outside.

You’re probably thinking, “Why don’t you just wear pants?” I actually own more tights than jeans because I found sweater tights to be warmer. Because they hug your legs with fuzzy and thick fabric, they block the wind and protect your skin. In fact, the cozy sweater-like texture of tights works as an insulator, trapping your body heat to keep you warm. Most pants and jeans are made of cotton or polyester, which are more breathable fabrics, meaning they’re not made to block wind or contain body heat.

Most importantly, sweater tights are extremely comfy! When I get home after wearing jeans all day, I’m dying to take them off. With sweater tights, I forget I’m wearing them. Best of all, they allow for many more outfit opportunities because you can wear them with your favorite skirts and dresses all winter long. So before you drop $60+ on a new pair of pants this winter, consider a pair of sweater tights that’ll keep you warmer for much less.