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Fogal Madison Tights

Fogal Madison Tights are extravagant!

If you didn’t know how good Fogal hosiery is the price and the very plain packaging would probably mean you are walking right past them on the shelf. Of course, to see them on a shelf you would have to be in a very upmarket store.

When you open the packet, the price makes a little more sense. These Fogal tights, in common with most others, flow of the card into your hand. They feel deliciously smooth and soft and seem much lighter than you would expect for 15 denier.

These are genuinely sheer to waist tights with no reinforcement either side of the flat body seams, and no reinforcement around the cotton lined gusset. (Although cotton is not listed in the fibre mix the gusset is cotton lined).

The waistband is delightfully simple, a 2cm deep elasticised band with the “Fogal” motif repeated around it. Very similar to the Gerbe waistband that we like too much.

The sheer legs are shaped at the heel and finished with reinforced toes.

The smooth, soft sensation you feel when you open the packet is experienced again tenfold when you slide these tights up your legs; they feel gorgeous!

The look is as good as the feel, perfect fit from hip to toe with no bagging or sagging and no variation in colour. The satin finish is perfect for any time of the day, but we would suggest Fogal tights are more suitable for a date than a day at work.

Sizing is not overly generous, but the size charts are accurate.

Good value for money? Well not for everyday wear perhaps but Fogal, like Wolford, is a luxury and £18.50 is a small price for luxury.

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Fogal Limoges Tights

Fogal Limoges Tights are perfect for formal occasions!

When Fogal first sent us these tights, one question came to mind: just what occasion merits wearing ten denier sheer tights that cost £40 a pair? There is, after all, some very good ultra sheer tights for one-third of the price.

Many months on from asking the question the sample pair is still awaiting review because we had no clear answer to our problem. So for no better reason that it is Monday and they are here we are testing them.

Aside from being made in Switzerland by Fogal, what makes this style of tights stand out? Well, first there is the inclusion of silk, used we suspect to line the gusset in place of the usual cotton. Silk is an excellent choice as it is fast drying and naturally hygienic as well as light. Secondly, as with most Fogal styles, there are no fewer than six sizes to choose from.

Sizing is a great place to start. There is some rough equivalence between Fogal sizing and the system used by other companies, but you do need to read the chart because Fogal has a unique and very sensible approach to sizing. There are three base sizes: Small, Medium & Large which cater to increasing heights with maxima of 163 cm, 172.5 cm and 185 cm with each size also catering for a little more weight. There are then options to add more width without adding more height giving three more sizes L, XL and XXL. The fits up to an Amazonian 185cm tall and 95kg. If you prefer imperial measures then in addition to the metric size chart is a table giving details of height and hip measurement alongside the sizes.

The look and feel of Fogal Limoges Tights put us in mind of premium hosiery such as Wolford fatal, only at ten denier lighter and sheerer. In common with other tights of the same look and feel they look tiny for their predetermined size too. The feel in hand is light and soft but with an impression of strength.

Detailing surprises us a little, not the sheer to waist construction, not the perfect flat seams, not the silk-lined gusset, not the shaping at the heel, not even the finger band providing the tough transition to the excellent Fogal waistband ten denier sheer to waist tights with a reinforced toe! One can only assume that ten denier was considered too sheer for a toe detail on £40 tights.

As ever with our assessment of sizing we deliberately chose a model at the top end of the suggested size range for the sample, in this case, size L.

At first, we thought they would come up short but with the care, they would stretch to fit a leggy 5’11” exactly as the size chart suggests. The hip sizing was perhaps less generous, and here the size chart rather than the measurements are more helpful, if you are using all the length you may want to go up a size to get the hip sizing if you are on the border between sizes.

If you do plan to use all the available size, you will need to take care of putting these tights on. In addition to our standard advice we would add the following:

  • Slip your foot into the tights and smooth the material gently up your legs as far as they will go
  • If they come up short sit quietly for a while and allow your body temperature to warm the yarn.
  • Roll the tights all the way back down again all the way.
  • Start again stretching the material over your foot and smooth up your leg.
  • Repeat as required until you can smooth over your hips and settle the waistband correctly
  • Don’t pull!

Do this and not only will you fully appreciate the great feel of Fogal, but you will be rewarded with a perfect second skin fit and the ultimate in comfort.

The look on the leg is incredibly classy, more makeup powder than hosiery. The reinforced toe now makes sense; you are wearing tights, very expensive tights, so why wear open shoes and try to pretend you are not?

Worth £40 a pair? Well, not for daily wear (unless you won the lottery!), but for special occasions, they are well worth the money to look an feel a class apart.

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Fogal Light and Cool Tights

Fogal Light and Cool Tights live up to their name!

Ultra sheer summer pantyhose are the tights to be seen in this summer, even if the tights themselves should not be seen, just their effect. ‘L.C’ or Light and Cool is one of several ultra sheer styles on offer from Fogal of Switzerland, regarded by many as the leading brand for quality and exclusivity. So just what do you get for £23.50?

For a start, you get a choice of seven colours so you can choose a shade that most closely matched your skin tone for a perfect bare leg look. The chart here gives you an idea of the relative darkness of the shades, but the actual colour of the tights will not be quite the same as what you see on your screen (Not Fogal’s fault just variation in how computers display colour).

You also get a choice of five sizes. If you are looking at the back of the packet as we are here, then please note that in some packets there is a misprint such that the Fogal sizes are all one row out. The correct chart is as follows:

UK/USA Fogal Europe
Hips Height Size Conf.
34”-37” 5’0”-5’4” S 1 36-38
36”-42” 5’3-5’8” M 2 40-42
38”-44” 5’3-5’8” M/L 2.5 42-44
40”-46” 5’6”-5’11” L 3 44-46
45”-54” 5’9”-5’11” XL 4 48-50
54”-58” 5’9”-6’0” XXL 5 52-54

The only other point to note is that the “Europe” sizes and the “Conf” column are not exactly in step with the standard sizing as used by the likes of Falke, so a look at the UK/USA hip and height sizing never hurt.

Part of the issue with direct size comparison is that Fogal offers an M/L size, this provides the same length as the M size but with a larger panty for the fuller figure. Most companies increase both length and width with each size only offering an Extra Large (wider) or Extra Tall (longer) option as a variation on the Large size.

On removing these ever so light tights from the packet, you could be forgiven for thinking you bought children’s tights by mistake. Straight from the packet, the length from the tip of the reinforced toe to the top of the signature Fogal waistband is just 60cm or 24″.

The material is the same soft matt finish stretch type seen on other top-end tights, most notably the top seamless styles. Very stretchy, sheer but giving an impression of great strength the result should be a makeup type finish on your legs.

Detailing is excellent with well finished flat seams in the panty and an unlined double thickness gusset. Entirely sheer to waist aside from the reinforced toes and the narrow finger band giving strength to the transition to the narrow waistband. On our test pair, there was a slight bump at the back where the panty seam, waistband seam and panty to waistband seam came together; all very strong and safe but not quite so tidy as we might have expected from Fogal.

We have remarked in the past that Fogal tights are not always the most generously sized regarding length but here we have no issues at all. Our test pair in size 3/L easily coped with a 35” leg and 43” hips. The sizing is spot on.

The fit is perfect, and these are such comfortable tights and the cosmetic finish although not a bare leg look is classy and sophisticated.

Worth £23.50? Well, perhaps not for everyday wear unless you have very deep pockets, but for when you want to look your absolute best, then yes. We never felt such strength in such sheer tights.

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Fogal Exotic Tights

Fogal Exotic Tights aren’t worth the price.

We have commented in the past about how little information you get on a Fogal packet, not even a picture! The staff at the London Fogal boutique explain that this is because they are designed to be sold by one of their consultants, and it is for this reason they are not available online. On our last visit to the boutique, the service even extended to one of the ladies showing us these tights on her leg. A level of service that is loaded into the hefty price tag that these tights carry.

The staff even advise on sizing. Fogal sizing is pretty consistent, and we love the fact that for each length they do some widths; so, for instance, L and XL are the same lengths, but the XL copes with bigger hips. What the boutique staff add to this is knowledge of which style are a little bigger or smaller than they should be.

Fogal quality is apparent as soon as you open the packet, these 15 denier tights have a fluid quality. Sheer to waist with flat seams and a cotton lined gusset and a simple but effective Fogal waistband; very similar to that used so effectively by Gerbe but with a plain top.  The legs are shaped at the heel and finished with near invisible reinforced toes.

So just what is a “Ton-Ton”? Well, in this case, it is a flight of small butterflies knitted into the side of each leg, flying from the outside ankle around the leg to the back of the thigh in a helix. Very subtle in the case of the Poudre shade we tested, a slightly more refined version of the pattern on sheer ideas we have seen at one-tenth the price from Fiore.

Fogal tights are known for being quite short, they are Swiss made, and Switzerland is not known for tall ladies, but the Lycra and quality of materials and manufacture mean that you can stretch them a little beyond the predetermined sizes without fear.

The look on the leg is essentially matt, but with some sheen in the right light. They look like they should be soft to the touch but in fact they a little harsh.

Without a doubt very well made and classy tights but in our view grossly overpriced. Sheers are timeless, and worth the extra, but a patterned design like this is very much of the season. You could buy something similar from Gerbe for 40% of the price at the same quality.

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Fogal Elegance Tights

Fogal Elegance Tights are unbelievably great!

Fantastically smooth, soft and light in hand. Sheer to waist, flat seams and sandal toes.

It is almost a surprise that Fogal makes a style called Elegance as we are sure that if there were such a thing as a Swiss-English dictionary, then the direct translation of the Swiss word Fogal would be Elegance.

Fogal is not without fault though; the packet says that these tights have a reinforced toe and they don’t! There is no change in weight or texture from the tip of the toe to the waistband other than the very narrowest of reinforced areas below the waistband, either side of the flat seams in the panty and around the cotton lined gusset.

Six sizes are available in this style from Small to XXL; we tested the L which equates roughly to the size 3 or 44-46 in European sizes. This should have been a little small for our model but the sizing was more generous than is typical for Fogal and the fit was perfect.

The finish on the leg is fine satin, with an ever so delicate sheen. The tights themselves are not delicate though, despite being very sheer at 11 denier they feel incredibly strong.

Worth £31? Well, that is a tricky question. You would struggle to find a better pair of sheer tights even from Wolford, and two pairs of £15 sheers would halve the chance of accidents without much drop in quality; but if you like quality sheer hosiery you really should treat your legs just once.

Our friend Sue, no stranger to quality, has taken a second test pair to put through a lifecycle test to see how they stand up to regular wear. We will post her comments when the test is run if these tights last like we expect that could be some time!

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Fogal Cosmetique Tights

Fogal Cosmetique Tights is luxurious!

They do say that the luxuries in life are far more enjoyable in the hard times than the easy times, so given the current economic conditions, we thought it only right to review another style from Fogal, that most luxurious of luxury hosiery manufacturers.

As ever the packet gives little away other than the bare essentials, but if like us you buy them from a Fogal boutique that is not a problem as you can inspect a pair in the shop. So, of course, we were not in the least surprised at how wonderfully soft these tights felt when we took them from the packet.

For 40 denier tights these feel very light too, an illusion caused by how smooth and soft they feel we are sure.

The construction is all you would expect from Fogal, sandal toes, legs shaped at the heel, sheer to waist, perfect flat seams in the panty all topped off with the usual beautiful Fogal signature waistband. Our test pair was the XL size, the same length as the L size but a more generous fit in the panty. The XL has a comfort gusset (V-shaped rear panel) rather than a conventional gusset; this panel is the same knit as the narrow bands of reinforcement either side of the seams but the same weight as the legs.

The fit is perfect from hip to toe; even the comfort gusset fits nicely. Colour is perfectly even from hip to toe. The feel was a little disappointing, that softness we felt early when handling the tights was not apparent once they were stretched on a leg.

These are very very nice tights, comfortable and exceptionally well made but with £31 to spend I think we could find two pairs at £15 from another premium manufacturer. As ever with Fogal, if you can afford them, buy them.

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Fogal Cordoba Tights

Fogal Cordoba Tights are so versatile!

We don’t get to review Fogal tights very often and at £37 a pair you can understand that these are not the easiest tights to get hold of like a review sample. So just what do you get for that sort of money?

The packet tells you nothing more than these are ultra-fine net (tulle) and that they have a back seam. The graphics showing the seam is a little misleading as it suggests the seam stops at the top of the thigh whereas our photograph of the tights indicate the seam is running to the waist.

The design is what we would expect from Fogal, elegantly simple executed to a high standard. Rather than a traditional toe seam the back seam has been taken up to the tip and used to close the toe, so absolutely no reinforcement in the toe. There is just a little shaping in the heel then entirely plain all the way to the signature Fogal waistband. The panty has a simple seam (remarkably not flat, perhaps that type of seam with a thicker net fabric would end up giving a more significant ridge than a simple seam) and an unlined gusset.

It has to be said that on the first look, we would have said these were well made mid-market tights, more £7 than £37.

Well, you really should never rely on first impressions. The rather clever seam design makes it ever so easy to get the seams straight up the back of your legs, and it is a good seam that you can feel rather than see. Tulle knitting and an unlined gusset mean you get great ventilation and the feel of quite light tights, ideal for warmer weather; at the same time without looking bulky, all the blemishes on your legs are hidden under perfectly even colour.

Sizing is surprisingly generous for Fogal and despite the minimal amount of Lycra in the fibre the fit is perfect from hip to toe.

The toe detail does work as a sandal toe, and the perfect matte finish means that if you wear a shade close to your skin colour, you will have a great bare leg look for the summer right until you turn to walk away and everyone says “Oooh! Seams!”

£37 a pair? Perhaps not but these are unique tights and exclusivity is never cheap.

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Fogal Catwalk Tights

Fogal Catwalk Tights are costly but worth it!

We have been asked many times why Fogal tights are so expensive, more expensive even than Wolford. You start to get an idea before you even buy them because aside from one or two prestige outlets like Harrods they are sold through their boutiques, and we mean sold, you don’t just go in, pick them up and buy them, the staff ask about your needs and serve you. Hence the plain packets.

When you open a packet you realise that the price is not just about the service. These 10 denier tights feel very fine, yet at the same time, they feel strong too. The detailing oozes quality, sheer sandal toes, shaped leg and heel, flat seams, cotton lining in the gusset and the usual Fogal signature waistband. Being 10 denier Fogal have included a 2 cm deep finger band to give strength in the transition from waistband to the sheer material.

Fogal sizing is very clever, rather than just Small, Medium and Large they offer sizes with an X or XX which are the same height sizing as the parent size but have more room in the hips and bottom area. In this particular style, the XL has a comfort gusset, still with cotton lining, rather than a standard gusset. Sizing being Swiss is of course perfect.

Putting these tights on you are again struck by how strong they feel. The 40% Lycra provides lots of stretches and a perfect fit. Once on you see only the perfectly even colour, not the tights. They are not the softest tights in the World but the slight roughness to the finish is a small price to pay for the rather nice swish that they make when you cross your legs.

So are they worth £25 a pair? Well if you can afford it, yes. Everyone should try Fogal once, and this is one of the best styles to try.

Fogal is always updating their packaging from the style on the left below to the style on the right. Aside from the colour difference the packets now carry a picture of the tights on the reverse.

Fogal_Catwalk_Tights    Vs   Fogal_Catwalk_2011

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Fogal Calais Tights

Fogal Calais Tights are amazing!

These tights are made of the ten denier 40% yarn that Fogal describe as their Catwalk yarn, so these are a variation on Fogal Brilliance Tights.

The graphics on the packet lead us to expect these to be a boxer brief styled version of the product. But what we found on opening the packet was a huge surprise, a huge surprise in the form of a lace waistband fully 5” (12.5 cm) deep on what are otherwise sheer to waist, or at least sheer to hip, tights. The seams in the panty are perfectly flat, and there is a lined gusset.

The sheer legs are also full of surprises in that they feel almost like 100% nylon non-stretch stockings despite being 40% Lycra. The legs are shaped at the heel and have a lightly reinforced toe detail.

Fogal sizing is as we have explained previously unique in that they have sizes from S to X/XL with the basic M or L size defining the height and the additional X or XX providing extra room in the hips. We know that tights sizing is not simply a matter of volume as some would have you believe, shape and proportion matter too and Fogal agrees with us.

Only once you have these tights on can you see just how they are made At gusset level there is a slight change in the knit, you can’t call this a panty as it is only 3” deep, more of a transition to the lace top. The lace top is designed to sit around and just over your hips rather than your waist.

The Catwalk yarn may be 40% Lycra, but it does not stretch easily. Fortunately, it feels incredibly durable, so unless you snag it, you should not get a ladder. Take the trouble to stretch evenly over your legs, and you get a perfect second skin fit.

The lace hip band didn’t work for us, sizing is not overly generous, and in any event, the style only suits girls who have little or no bottom. We cannot fault Fogal sizing, and you really should get the XL size if the standard M or L is not sized to fit your hips.

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Fogal Brilliance Tights

Fogal Brilliance Tights are absolutely brilliant!

Students of hosiery and regular readers of our reviews will know that 85% nylon and 15% Lycra is the standard fibre composition for a huge proportion of modern Italian made hosiery at pretty much every price point, and other makers in many other countries have settled on a similar composition for their sheer tights. Here we had sheer tights from a Swiss brand but made in Italy, so they are very much in the sheer premium category.

Sheer to waist with T-band reinforcement in the panty Fogal Brilliance tights also features flat seams, a lined gusset and of course the signature Fogal waistband. The legs are shaped at the heel and finished with a lightly reinforced toe. Fogal waistband aside pretty standard detailing from Spain to Poland and Germany to Italy.

Being Fogal, of course, the quality of the fibre is excellent although perhaps the craft is not quite up with their Swiss made hosiery.

No size chart on the packet but the full range of S/M/L/XL is available. Your retailer will direct you to the right size.

Regular travellers to Europe will know that the Swiss are not a tall people and so Fogal tights can sometimes be a little short; perhaps as a result of being made in Italy this style is more generous for length.

The look on the leg is flawless, perfect even colour and a beautiful sheen to the finish. Smooth to the touch and comfortable too, these are without doubt very good tights indeed.

“Very good” but not sublime, they are very good like quite a few other £8-£12 pairs of tights that have been very good. But these are Fogal tights at £25; we expect something along the lines of sublime not very good.

Not sure how to conclude this review, Fogal is a class apart right up with Wolford, and everyone should buy and wear a pair of their tights at least once, but perhaps not this style. Read our other reviews and pick a more sheer style made in Switzerland.

As the day and evening wore on I almost forgot I had these tights on, they never moved all day and proved to be among the most comfortable tights I have worn. A little body warmth and time seemed to soften the material too; I found myself repeatedly stroking my leg to check how soft. Being 20 denier was a plus also, not a sign of distress from a busy day around home and office.

Still a little pricey for regular wear but a great treat.

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