Saturday, January 19, 2008

A leggy girl's guide to tights

Pleats and thank you RIP, BYO interview: inner view dreary dreary

You may have observed that I dig a pair of tights. Indeed, the combonation of winter and my odd distaste for pants means that I don a pair nearly every day for half the year. My tights drawer is actually a regular dresser drawer intended for clothing, but my legwear takes up more room than my tops.

However, any tights lover knows how tricky the fits can be, especially for taller girls. I am 5'10" and for every pair of tights I wear and love there is probably another pair that I purchased and couldn't wear because they weren't designed for a body like mine. Thus, I thought I'd compile a list of places where the tights for tall kids are trustworthy, and where they are to be avoided.

Target: The Merona brand works better for taller people than Xhilaration, in general. For some reason, orange Xhilaration tights fit me better than the blue ones. The black sweater-y tights are very nice but they ride awfully low. In general I am willing to sacrifice comfort for style, but if you wear something too short with the Xhilaration tights you can see the bottom seaming because it lands on my upper thigh.

Kohl's: The Apt. 9 brand actually works well in a size medium. My biggest tights problem is that my weight falls on the lower end and my height on the higher, so usually I err on the side of height. Not so here, the larger size isn't stretchy enough and wrinkles on the leg.

Payless: I was so excited when I found the tights here because they were cheap and seemed well made. But tall girls beware: even though I wear them, the crotch falls very very low. The material looks good enough on the leg, but I wouldn't wear these tights with anything too short. These are probably perfect for mid-height to shorter girls because they are pretty nice and inexpensive. But it is pretty tough to get them on (a lot of yanking and shimmying,) and I am about fed up and ready to snip them at the toe. This is especially maddening because the package said they fit up to 5'11" and 165 pounds, which gives me a heck of a lot of wiggle room. They should have fit better.

Forever 21: No. The tallest height that they even provide for on the packaging is 5'8". Apply the Payless principle to these and you are looking at a very short tight. They are also not very opaque.

Urban Outfitters: The tights here are nice and do fit despite the one size fits all. However, they stretch out and wrinkle easily. The thinner tights are worse than the woven ones, but I would say to wait until a sale.

Thrifted tights, new in package: I have thrifted several pairs of tights that were new in the package. These are very hit or miss, as many of them are so old that the elastic is disintegrating.

H&M: These are surprisingly good tights. The thinner ones aren't too great, in my opinion (they run easily and are not very opaque.) The thicker woven tights, though, are very easy to wear in a size medium. I have a grey wooly pair that I just adore.

Wal-Mart: One of my favorite pairs of tights is actually from the no boundaries collection from here. I have never seen them since, but I am surprised by how much I love them (they are the red tights in the photo above.) Usually, however, Wal-Mart just sells footless tights, and I am really more interested in the full lengthers.

What about you? Any tricks of the trade on tights buying?


Isabel said...

Tights are great - I wish I was 5"10!

The Clothes Horse said...

Tights are definitely one of my favorite accessories as well, I have no tricks or tips however. I never would have guessed you were 5'10"! I'm quite jealous.

Hailey said...

I like tights at department stores more b/c there is a lot of variety and sale sections. They'll have McGregor which is good, so is Via Spiga. And I always try the tights asap at home and if they don't fit so great I'll fit them back in the packaging and return them the next day. Also ebay I find is good (especially price wise). p.s i also have a full dresser drawer for tights ;-)

Anonymous said...

I love wearing tights and have a big collection. The best experiences I made with H&M.

Here in Europe there is a shop called calzedonia and they make fabulous legwear, too. But now shop here in Germany :(.

I also like stuff from Leg Avenue: good quality and nice fit.

Ranna said...

What an great idea for a post!
I'm wearing tights almost every day, so this piece of information you provided is really useful. :)
Oh, and it's great that you have a blog now. I'm definately linking it to mine!

kaitlin said...

I have to say, I had you pegged as shorter!

I live in tights, and have earned quite the reputation both on campus and at work for wearing them. I'm not on the really tall side at 5'6", but I'm reasonably picky. I really like the Hue brand my Macy's sells. They are my ideal, they fit me perfectly and I adore their color selections. They have just enough stretch that they fit snug and keep their shape all day (even for two wear in a row!) but don't suffocate. They're decently priced at 11$ each or 2 for 17.50$. I love them more than a lot of other things in the wide world.

And because I work there: Nine West. My store doesn't have a huge variety since we're a small location but this season we did get some fun colors. We always have interesting patterned tights in black or grey, and they are long as hell! I have to go with the small/medium and even then they come up to the bottom of my bra. On the downside, I find they run really really tight. I've cut a few of mine along that middle seam to avoid feeling ill.

My favorite tights ever are from DKNY, but I'm not sure how they'd be for taller girls.

My H&M only just started carrying tights, and I have to say I'm prety impressed. I agree on Target and Forever21. As tempted as I often am by cheap stockings and tights, I go through them like tissues.

bronwyn said...

I love tights, and as a tall person hate the fact that on large tights the waist reaches up to my armpits practically. I have done a post about this post :)

sceptre said...

We are developing a new line of tights for taller women, 5'10 and taller. Please visit our web site for more information and a short survey,

Dee said...

I like wearing tights. I especially like wearing Capezio tights, especially the Ultrasoft brand. Unfortunately, they can be a bit expensive (they are usually 10 - 15 dollars depending on where you get them). Merona tights look and feel really nice though. I don't really like the Xhilaration tights even though they come in lots of nice colors.

Anonymous said...

I understand's so difficult to find tights that fits our anatomy...

Kasmira said...

Great post! I recently tried We Love Colors and liked the nylon/lycra microfiber solid color tights:

I also bought the Diamond Tights. They were not nearly as comfortable, but they were cute:

CJ said...

take a look at if you want to see a huge selection of tights and pantyhose reviewed.
All tested on long legs too!


Kate said...

I am only 5'6", but I also have a 33 1/2" inseam. Trying to find tights (cable knit, etc) that are long enough in the leg yet short enough in the body that I don't have 3" of fabric around my waist. Any suggestions???

Anonymous said...

Ladies we Gentlemen adore you in Silky Pantyhose!

Anonymous said...

Walmart does sell footed tights in the George brand which r super durable and they just put out a tack of colored no boundaries tights n footless and footed styles as I am wearing a black footed no boundaries tights now and they look and feel amazing.