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Charnos Killer Figure Cincher Tights

Charnos Killer Figure Cincher Tights are an absolute killer pair of tights!

It was the arrival if these tights, so apparently the successor to the Charnos support panty tights that are our first recollection of tights from around 1970 that prompted us to take a look at the whole shaping & sculpting tights market.

The thing has come on a lot since 1970, first, of course, is the addition of Lycra. There is no shaping of the legs, but they are beautifully sheer and finished with a sandal toe so suitable to wear any time of the year and with any shoe. The Lycra makes for a superb fit on the leg and contributes to the slightly lovely sheen. As sheer tights, these are winners, regardless of their shaping intentions. They do incidentally look sheerer than 15 denier.

The shaping panty is finished with flat seams and a cotton gusset for optimum fit and comfort, and this works with one proviso. As part of the waist-cinching smooth silhouette concept there is no actual waistband; if you have a well-defined waist, this is not a problem the panty sits nicely where you put it, high or low. If on the other hand, you have a waist that needs help then the top of the tights can tend to roll over. Paired with a pair of high waisted pants worn over the top of the tights the Cincher worked, but with a risk of VPL.

Sizing is on the generous side of accurate with plenty of stretch for those with longer legs. We could even say very generous as Charnos suggest 6’0 and 139lb or 5’9 and 163lb as maximum combinations for the large size. Aside from the fact that anyone of 6’0 and only 139lb probably needs a good meal more than waist cinching, we found 6’4 and 220lb could be accommodated.

Charnos may not have entirely delivered a tights alternative to real shapewear, but at £6.00 they have produced a perfect pair of sheer tights that look and feel great.

We tried our test pair on a model almost precisely matching 5’9” and 163lb, she found the tights were too big, and if pulled up high enough to cinch the waist then the waistband rolled over.

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Charnos Killer Figure Hourglass Control Tights

Charnos Killer Figure Hourglass Control Tights are not the best fit…

There was a time back in the dim and distant past when underwear for an adequately dressed lady consisted of “foundation wear” and hosiery. Back in the 1950s that would have been a girdle with suspender straps and stockings, from the 1960s, it may well have been a Playtex girdle with those new-fangled tights/pantyhose.

Wherever the issues around health and comfort the fact was this shapewear greatly enhanced an alluring ladies curves without the need for too much diet and exercise (perhaps as well as the gym as we know it had not been invented).

You can still buy real shapewear of course, and we have reviewed some great examples of ‘Shocking fashion’, but it is far from everyday wear.

What Charnos are trying to do with their Killer Figure range is build the shaping into the top of tights; The ultimate control top pantyhose.

This style is intended to do most of the job if the longline girdle, shaping hips, thigh tops, bottom, tummy and waist.

First impressions are excellent; these are first rate sheer tights with a sandal toe and lightly shaped heel. There is a good choice of sizes and enough stretch for us to say the sizing is on the generous side of accurate. The panty has flat seams and a lined gusset.

Easy to put on the panty smooths and shapes without being overly tight and restrictive, our tester noticed the bottom lift more than anything.

The hourglass design is intended to be worn with the waistband as far up your body as possible, just under your breasts would probably be ideal. Pull them right up, and you can feel them hug you and shape you. But, and it is a big but, should you bend over or move in the wrong way the stretch at the top of these tights will try to release itself by rolling down towards your waist, the smooth silhouette is then ruined.

Ironically the makers of real shapewear, including ironically Charnos Lingerie the one time sister of Charnos hosiery, could have told us this would happen. Actual shapewear is far stiffer and often includes stiffeners. Historically bone or metal stiffeners were used, now more likely to be plastic. The boning was there not control the body but to control the elastic controlling the body.

If you need/want clothing to shape your figure into an hourglass shape you need to buy proper shapewear, it will cost a lot more money initially but long term it has better value as it will work, and it will last years. The concept behind these tights is flawed, firstly they don’t work, and secondly, a ladder in the leg means the hourglass shapewear attached ends up in the bin.

So a fail from Charnos? Well, unfortunately, yes, these are good sheer tights with even colour and a beautiful finish, but the shaping only works if you have good posture and stay standing up.

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Charnos Elegance Tights

Charnos Elegance Tights are elegantly beautiful!

We have tested a lot of premium-priced hosiery recently, so it is interesting to look at some tights that are more of an “everyday” price.

The shine of these tights is apparent as soon as you open the packet, a reminder of the ultimate Charnos Sheer Lustre.

These tights feel as smooth and soft as they look.

These tights have all the quality features we look for in tights, sheer to waist, flat seams, sandal toe and cotton gusset. An area where Charnos have let us down before is size, particularly regarding length, not this time, these tights fit like paint from hip to toe. The finish on the leg is pearlescent, and they are beautifully smooth.

If you like your tights with a sheen and a sparkle, we doubt that you will find better without buying Wolford Neon and they are 40 denier. If these tights last well, they could replace the Falke Seidenglatt as our favourite giving the best balance of look, feel and price.

There has been an update on sizing; Helen tested the Extra Large size. According to the size chart, these should have been the right size for her, but they were too long in the body so that the waistband either sat well above the waist or on the waist but bunched up with the extra material. The bunching made them uncomfortable to wear with the waistband at waist level. Unusually with Charnos, we would suggest trying the smaller size if you are between sizes and buy XL only if you are very tall.

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Charnos Chevron Net Tights

Charnos Chevron Net Tights is a classic design!

Net tights are one of the less important trends of the season, they are not hitting the celebrity fashion headlines, but most manufacturers seem to be adding new net styles, either classic fishnet or something more adventurous.

One small grumble to start with, the size chart on the rear of the packet describes four sizes from Small to Extra Large but our test pair came in size Medium/Large which we can only assume covers both of those sizes, and if this is the case then these are mostly one size tights. A little research reveals there is also a Small/Medium size so it would be nice to have guidance as to which size will fit the average woman. On the subject of choices, these tights are available in black or grey mix.

The construction of these tights is markedly similar to the Pretty Polly tights we looked at yesterday, a little plain reinforced toe detail than a uniform net all the way to the narrow waistband. No seams in the panty but a generous lined gusset which we are pleased to say seems more strongly seamed than that in the Pretty Polly Spot Net Tights. Interestingly the elastic waistband in this style is identical to that used by Pretty Polly and recently by Jonathan Aston on one of their Burlesque styles, so at least we know it will work.

Fishnet sizing can be a little problematic sometimes, but Charnos seem to have it right here if the size was defined we could probably hail its accuracy!

The fit is perfect, and the gusset, waistband and toe detail all combine to make these very comfortable tights to wear.

The chevron design looks stunning, particularly in the grey mix colour which combines light grey and black thread. The design flatters the leg, enhancing curves without shortening.

A very classy design, well executed at a sensible price; these tights deserve a place in your wardrobe.

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Charnos Cable Pattern Opaque Tights

Charnos Cable Pattern Opaque Tights are chic, yet affordable!

This is one time when buying tights online is far safer than buying in a store in a hurry. The open packet that these tights come in is a generic Charnos Patterned Opaque Tights packet, and the picture is an entirely different style. What you get is what has been pictured above. The cable pattern name comes from the fact that the design is based on cable-knit pullovers, that style of a pattern being so named because the texture is that of a rope, and cable is a nautical term for a rope.

But enough of the educational stuff; what are the tights like?

Well, black mark to Charnos for the packet, it has a size chart but it is the old Small/Medium/Large/X-Large chart, and the tights are in the new system so you cannot relate the M/L on the front of the packet to the chart on the back.

The construction was a bit of a surprise in that the cable design is restricted to just the straight legs; the panty is un-patterned and around 60 denier. The panty features a cotton gusset and is well finished.

The sizing accuracy can’t be commented on, but we can say that these tights are made for the tall and slim lady with enough length and stretch in the leg to cope with a 34” leg. The panty is not generous (42” hips would be the biggest we would recommend you try to squeeze in) but like the legs, it fits well.

The cable patterning is very flattering and suitable for any time of the day. Warm and comfortable these are a great alternative to basic opaques in the colder months. Chic and sophisticated tights for a budget price.

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Charnos Boudoir Scantihose

Charnos Boudoir Scantihose are so sexy!

Scantihose does push the boundary of tights/pantyhose to the limit, and perhaps a little beyond. The Charnos Boudoir Suspender Tights just stay on the tights side of the line, these we would say are stockings.

So what are they like?

Well, they are packed like tights, but when you take them off the card, you can see that each leg is topped with what looks like half of a suspender belt, not clipped on but sewn on. The two halves are joined together to make one garment with two plastic slips, one front and one back.

The legs themselves are entirely straight, finished at one end with a lightly reinforced toe and the other with a finger band about 6 cm deep and then a 1.5 cm deep cuff to which the short “suspender” is attached.

The leg has a smooth and reasonably soft satin finish with an even colour, and there is plenty of length.

The legs are designed so that any two legs can be put together to make a pair, that is why they are unshaped. On the face of this, this makes them more economical, as, in theory, you could do what you did in the 80s with stockings, always buy two pairs, so you had a full pair until the third accident. The downside, of course, is that every time you throw a leg away, you are doing the same to half a suspender belt.

The suspender belt presents the second issue; there is nothing like what you would bet in a pair of tights. You must buy exactly the right size or be faced with not being able to fasten the clips at the waist/hips.

Our view is this; these are an excellent novelty, and quite sexy, but we would prefer either tights or stockings with a suspender belt. Sometimes the combination of two things provides the worst of both rather than the best.

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Charnos Backseam Tights

Charnos Backseam Tights is perfect for this summer.

The only clue you get as to the design of these tights is what you can see through the packet. For reasons best known to themselves Charnos use a generic “fashion” packet with even the fact that they are tights being indicated by a sticker on the outside.

Our second criticism also related to the packaging; to show off the seam a piece of card is inserted in one leg, leading in the case of our test pair to a pulled thread.

The person who designed the tights must be livid at the idiot who did the packaging!

The tights are great, about 12 denier and sheer to waist. Flat seams and a cotton gusset in the panty. The legs have a seam down the back of course, and this runs into a reinforced sole via smart heel detail. The top of the foot is entirely sheer so you can wear these tights with open toe shoes, the seams run all the way to the waistband so you can wear as short a skirt as you dare.

You can’t help but feel sexy when you slip these tights on, not just because of the seams, although the fact that they run effortlessly straight up the backs of your legs helps. They feel so smooth and soft, and you can’t help but notice how they add a silky sheen to your legs.  The deep waistband makes them very comfortable, the Lycra gives a fantastic fit and did we mention they are sexy?

Great tights that are among the best-seamed tights we have tried, and at a reasonable price.

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Charnos Argyle Tights

Charnos Argyle Tights could do with some improvements.

Charnos have created some great tights over the years, and one or two styles that were not too great. Charnos make quite a few of their tights styles in a limited range of sizes, here just two Small-Medium and Medium-Large; while we understand that this reduces inventory costs the sizing can limit the appeal to the taller or larger lady. Here the larger size will according to the size fit up to 5’9” with 42” hips or 6’0” with 38” hips…we will see.

Detailing is quite ordinary, straight legs with the Argyle pattern to the toe than a boxer style plain panty. On the upside, there is a lined gusset, but there are no flat seams.

At first, there does not seem to be much stretch, but if you are gentle and patient, the 8% Lycra will reward you with enough to meet the suggested maximum sizing and provide a good fit.

The look on the leg is pretty good and a nice change from plain black but frankly the panty although comfortable is a disappointment, sure it cannot be seen but it just looks slightly cheap and as though nobody cared. OK at £3 from the supermarket, but branded tights at £6.50; come on Charnos you can do better.

Not terrible tights but there are just better tights to be had for the same money. The Argyle design is unusual, so for that reason only we might add a pair to our tights drawer.

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