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Levante Ultimate Tights

“Ultimate” can mean many things. Hopefully, Levante doesn’t mean that they are the last tights they will ever make. Maybe the thickest, or perhaps they think they are their best, never to be surpassed.

These tights are supplied in an open packet. Extracting them from the pack reveals an opaque tight that feels quite light for 80 denier. If these were 30 denier or lighter we would call them sheer to waist, they are of average weight and finish from waistband to toe. The legs are unshaped, and the brief is finished with flat seams and a cotton-lined gusset.

I small curiosity in our test pair was a label sewn into the back seam. It was put in before the dyeing process so was a uniform grey with no words on it. I wonder what it would have said?

Colour is even without, and banding and the finish are beautifully soft to the touch. Immediately warm to wear. If they can wick moisture away from the skin, they will be ideal for an active day in cold weather. Maybe not “ultimate” but some of the best 80 denier tights we have tried.

Levante told UKTights that the Ultimate 80 are the Airskin Opaque under a new name. Of course, being told that an 80 denier tight is a 70 denier does raise a few questions. More questions were raised when we found that the Levante Ultimate 80 tights in size X-Tall (black) fit our tester perfectly. That same tester remembered that the Levante Airskin Opaque in size X-Tall (charcoal) had been about the biggest tights they had ever tested in terms of the size of the brief.

We decided therefore to re-examine the Levante Airskin Opaque in size X-Tall and to compare this with Levante Airskin Opaque in size Tall and another pair of Levante Ultimate 80 in size X-Tall to see if we had another case of Levante “mispackaging.”

4 Pairs examined:

  • Levante Airskin Opaque in size X-Tall (charcoal) – 11cm wide rear panel (measured at the waist), waistband 53cm un-stretched. Weight 60g 
  • Tall (Mocha) – Identical to Levante Ultimate 80 in size X-Tall (black) in every detail, waistband 44cm un-stretched Weight 55g
  • X-Tall (Black) – Identical to Levante Airskin Opaque in size Tall (Mocha) in every respect, waistband 45cm un-stretched, Weight 55g
  • X-Tall (Mocha) Big in the brief but less so than Levante Airskin Opaque in size X-Tall (charcoal). 9cm wide rear panel (measured at the waist), waistband 49cm un-stretched. Weight 65g

There is no mention on any of the packets about a rear comfort panel in the brief. Airskin Opaque is described as 70 denier and credit Meryl with the microfibre manufacture. No mention is made of Meryl on the packets for the Levante Ultimate 80.

The main visual difference between the Levante Airskin Opaque and Levante Ultimate 80 is that the Airskin Opaque appears to have been shaped a little at the heel during finishing. On the leg, you cannot tell them apart.

What we did find, and it is a slight worry, is that Levante Ultimate 80 in size X-Tall (black) had a cotton gusset, but the same tights in mocha had a comfort rear panel and were much bigger in the brief, although a little smaller than the Levante Airskin Opaque in size X-Tall (charcoal). That detailing should vary according to the colour in a given design is not good.

The change in denier from 70 to 80 is a mystery as the tights look and feel the same, the scales did tell us though that the 80 denier with the comfort rear panel was slightly heavier than similarly detailed 70 denier.

If you can get your size correct both styles look and feel great, and will last and last. 

We have no idea if the sizing anomalies go through the range, but if you are looking for long tights but don’t have large hips, you may want to ask your supplier to check that you are getting cotton gusset tights. Luckily thin can be done quickly without taking the tights from the packet.

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Levante Solare Tights

Solare is a style that is a constant in the Levante range, but that gets regular changes in design. The significant changes this time are a change from sheer to waist to a hi-line brief and an increase in denier from 6 to 8.

Not the first time with Levante, we found that the tights in the packet did not match the description on the outside. What we saw in the eight denier 2007 outer packet was a pair of the earlier six denier style tights described below. Incredibly sheer, Solare gives the legs a hint of sun-kissed colour while allowing your skin to remain cool. Light, transparent and ultra-cool. Sheer to waist, sheer toe.

This style was one of the very first we ever tested that was explicitly designed for summer wear. The 2006 version sees a reduction in the Lycra content and a significant increase in price. These tights feel incredibly light and slide off the card into your hand as soon as you open the packet.

Silky smooth and soft in hand, and beautifully made. Sheer to waist, flat seams, cotton-lined gusset and sandal toes. The legs and heels are nicely shaped.

Our test pair were X-Tall size, but even so, they were not overly generous in leg length, the brief section is quite long, so take care not to show your waistband over your skirt. With care, the legs were long enough for up to a 34” inside leg. But these are fragile tights so wear hosiery gloves and take care.

Once on these tights disappear, they are almost entirely invisible. They are not even betrayed by any wrinkling at the knee and ankle the fit is so good. When you touch though you are in no doubt. They feel lovely from both sides. Fantastic for summer.

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Levante Sheer Low Waist Tights

Levante has a reputation for making some great fashion tights. But they also produce some great sheer tights, sometimes with a twist. In this case, the twist is to combine sheer sandal toe legs with a heavy bikini style brief designed not as a control top but as a holding top. It’s intended to allow you more flexibility when placing the waistband with a reasonable expectation of your tights staying in place.

The panty is finished with flat seams and a lined gusset and has unique stretch panels on each hip. The waistband is plain except for sets of 4 vertical stripes on each hip. These in case you did not know are an indication of size. Size 4 is designed to fit up to 6’1″ or 185 cm.

The sheer matt legs look and feel lovely, all twists aside these are sheer quality tights, ideal for cooler summer weather when you want the bare look without the chill. The panty is snug and works exactly as intended so you can wear as hipsters with low waisted fashions. Not a control top per se but tighter than your typical sheer.

Sizing is accurate. Frequently in the past, we have recommended Levante to taller ladies because they offered extra leg length, but these are like the size chart dictates. A question we were asked recently was whether you could machine wash and tumble dry tights? Well, we chucked these in the washer with some towels then tumble dried the lot together too. The result? Well, they came out perfect.

Before you try this yourself and blame us for your ruined tights, we have to tell you that these are quality tights and we used a Miele washer and tumble drier, a brand renowned for the smoothness of its drums.

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Levante Resistanza Tights

There is an old joke that you can wait an hour for a bus and then two come along together. It seems the same is true of ultra-sheer pantyhose. The Wolford Individual 10 Tights were the first pair of 5 denier tights we had seen in years. Today we find a pair of 5 denier sheers from Levante.

The first things that we notice are that these are specially designed so as not to run. Whereas the Wolfords used quality to stop threads failing, and these are 75% cheaper! So the question is, are four pairs of Levante Resitanza 5 Tights better value than one pair of Wolford Individual 10?

First impressions are good. Sheer to waist with flat seams and a cotton-lined gusset. Lightly shaped at the heel and finished with an entirely sheer sandal toe. The panty has T-band detailing, that is reinforced material either side of the seams and then slightly heavier a finger band to give a strong transition to the waistband.

You have a choice of three sizes. Medium, Tall and Extra Tall and four colours, black, grey and two natural shades. We tested the paler of the two natural shades, which is called “Enhance” as it is the closest to the tan shade for most ladies in the UK.

Even the largest size does not look overly big. But the sizing was accurate. Although if you are long in the leg, you may find they come up slightly short.

The look and fit on the leg are both perfect. Indeed, Levante has also managed to produce run resisting tights that feel soft to the touch too. As to the price, very competitive in the current market, but we can’t score them well for value for money.  

The critical thing about these tights is their resistance to running and not for the first time with ladder resisting tights we had a catastrophic failure. Our model got the tights on OK. When bending and stretching afterwards to see how comfortable the tights would be through an active day, there was a pop around the gusset. The hole extended through the reinforced strip and into the sheer top of the leg.   

True there was no actual run but the tights were entirely ruined, after taking them off we measured the horizontal hole where a single line of thread had failed at 8cm.

So 25% of the price of a pair of those gorgeous Wolford tights spent and we never got past putting our tights on. Our tip: forget run resisting tights and buy tights from a manufacturer who uses top quality yarns. If you can’t afford the top brands, buy traditional mid-market like Falke. Also, carry a spare pair for when you do get a run.

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Levante Firm Relax Tights

Support tights do not form a large part of our collection. Still, as the medium support version of Levante Relax was one of the few pairs of tights from Levante that we were unable to give a positive rating, we thought we would look at this firm support version to see if it could redeem them.

Sizing in this style goes from small to XX-Tall. The size chart suggests buying a larger size if in doubt. As soon as you open the packet, you can see the contrast between the heavy crepe finish support brief and the more sheer leg.

Unwrapped from the card these tights look big, particularly in the panty area, although the feet look very short. In the XX-Tall size, these tights have a rear panel rather than a gusset. There is no indication on the packaging as to which size the change occurs. Seams are well made, but not flat. The heel is a proper shaped (pendulum) heel, woven in and reinforced. Despite our initial concern, the heel was correctly placed even on a larger foot.

Fit is perfect, aside from the back panel in brief, unless you are very large in the bottom you will get very little support in this area because of the size of it. We tried these tights on a model with 44” hips, and they said the panty was too big. If you want some support in the brief area, we suggest you buy based on height.

The legs feel good, but we would rate the support as light to medium only. Notwithstanding the comments above these tights are very comfortable and look very lovely on the leg with right even colour. We were put very much in mind of Falke Vitality by the look and feel on the legs. The Falke tights are more expensive but are sheer to waist.

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Levante Platino Tights

It seems like an age since we reviewed a new sheer style from Levante. With all the patterns and opaques that are currently in vogue, it is easy to forget that sheers are still the foundation of the hosiery business. We were particularly pleased to see the Platino name appear as previous styles under this name were much requested.

As is usual for Levante, the sizing is based mainly on height. In this case, there are three sizes, medium (up to 5’7”), tall (up to 5’9”) and x-tall (up to 6’1”). Although the size chart also suggests increasing weight and hip measurement as you go up the sizes. Our test pair was a tall pair.

The “fine-weave” mentioned in the packet notes is evident as soon as you open the packet. The very finely knit legs are shaped at the heel and finished with a sandal toe. Sheer to waist, the fine sheer material extends up to a shallow finger band that gives transition to the 3cm deep waistband. In the panty, there are flat seams and a cotton-lined gusset. You will notice that we said sandal toe, not for the first time Levante packet notes and contents don’t quite match; in this case that is a good thing as the sandal toe is far more suitable for summer.

Sizing is accurate but not generous. The Lycra gives a perfect fit from hip to toe. Colour is perfectly even with just a slight sheen in the right light. Our test pair was in the shade called “enhance”. Correctly named as the effect of these tights is to enhance the look of your legs rather than to dress them fully. They feel as good as they look, and if you cross your legs, they sound very near as good as they feel. Excellent value at £4.45, highly recommended.

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Levante Nude Control Tights

When we first looked at this style some years ago control hosiery and shaping panties were something that nobody admitted to wearing. In recent months, however, shaping has become chic with many celebrities endorsing their particular secret. What nude control tights should do for you is to shape, but keep your secret a secret even from your very closest friend.

Since we last looked at these tights, there has been a change in packet design and a slight change in the fibre mix. So have the tights changed for the better?

The first thing you notice is that these tights feel quite light, much lighter than typical control tops. Opening them out, they look just like any other good quality sheer to waist tights. The brief is finished with flat seams and a cotton-lined gusset. There is only a narrow strip of reinforcement either side of the seams to increase durability. The support continues around under the waistband providing a shallow finger band.

The legs are shaped at the heel and finished with sandal toes. There is no hint of the control and support as you start to put these tights on. But once you get them above your knees, you realise that the brief is very slim fitting and quite shockingly not in the least bit invisible. The control top is visible and is in a boxer brief style. Levante has either had an aberration in redesigning these tights or the pair we have been in the wrong packet.

The legs look great and provide gentle support, and we love the sandal toes. The fit is perfect if a little slim fitting in brief. But nude control that is not nude is a bit of a problem. As regular control top tights, we would happily recommend these, but if you want the “invisible control” look, you would be much better with Aristoc Invisible Toner Tights.

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Levante Manuela Tights

Some design ideas come around time and again, and tights with spots are one of the oldest and most recurrent; a pair in blue from the early 1980s springs to mind for some reason. There are certainly times when the spot pattern works very well. We are not going to linger on the design, just the quality, as with any classic it is how it is delivered that counts.

Full marks to Levante for continuing with their three size system of medium, tall and extra tall. But we do wonder why it is that medium and tall are both intended to fit up to 5’9”. Not that the name matters, and 5’9” (175cm) is tall. We tested the extra tall size to fit up to 6’2” or 185cm.

Levante’s packet notes tell about the values of the collection but nothing about the tights. Perfect for us as it gives us lots to say. We were expecting sheer tights, but these are a kind of Micronet style made with plain reinforced toes and unshaped legs. The net with spot pattern runs to the narrow finger band below the waistband. The panty is finished with a cotton-lined gusset and flat seams flanked by thin plain strips for strength.

As well as the height and weight Levante suggest a range of hip sizes for each size, in our experience a more reliable metric than weight when sizing tights. The sizing is accurate, but we would suggest that if you are borderline on the hip measurement, you go up one size for optimum comfort. The hip sizing is as below:

  • Medium 38”-40” or 77-102 cm
  • Tall 38”-44” or 97-112 cm
  • X-Tall 42”-48” or 107-122 cm

The spots do look effective on the Micronet background, and Levante has managed the trick of keeping the spots circular pretty well everywhere. If you like spots, then you will struggle to find a better made and more sophisticated example.

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Levante Luxury Satin Opaque Tights

So here we are in the second week of February approaching the beginning of the English spring. So what are we reviewing today? Of course, tights that suit the weather, 60 denier opaques! The satin-smooth nature of these tights is apparent as soon as you take them from the packet. There is something far more exciting about smooth opaque tights rather than microfibre.

These are sheer to waist tights, or should that be opaque to waist tights, normal weight from the seam at the toe, up the slightly shaped legs, through the panty and up to the waistband. The panty is finished with flat seams and a cotton-lined gusset. There is a general air of quality.

The fit is perfect; these tights are accurately sized and give no hint of bagging or sagging. Colour is perfectly even, but we did notice that although the panty feels like the legs, it is noticeably darker. Fortunately, the line is high enough up that it would only be visible with the most indecently short shorts or skirts.

The look on the legs is satin rather than glossy and as Levante say you can get a hint of skin tone through them. For a bit of fun, we tried our black test pair over a pair of bright orange Fiore Sandra Tights. The glossiness and bright colour did shine through and transformed the look. The moire pattern caused by wearing two pairs of tights was eye-catching.

Everyone should have a few pairs of Levante Luxury Satin Tights in their wardrobe, warm and durable, and so much more.

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Levante Laced Side Tights

Back in the early time of Tights Fashion, Levante alone were making unique fashion hosiery, and cheap and basic sheers and opaques dominated the declining hosiery market. So now with exciting designs and top quality from around the World, how do Levante stack up?

First off, great to see that they have stayed with a three size sizing scheme, and retained medium, tall and extra tall as their sizing. Levante continues to be an excellent choice for tall girls. Everything we expect from a quality Italian maker is here, flat seams in the panty, a cotton-lined gusset and a neatly seamed toe with no reinforcement.

Denier is quite hard to judge, but we estimate that the panty and side of the legs is 15-20 denier and the opaque parts of the leg are 40-50 denier appearance.

Sizing is spot on with plenty of lengths, and the fit is excellent from hip to toe. Visually these tights are stunning. The heavier parts are matt finish and have perfectly even colour density. The pattern is well defined and draws the eye while enhancing the shape of your leg. The sheer panty means that there is almost a hold-up stocking look to the effect.

When tights have a boxer brief on sheer legs, we caution you to wear a skirt or shorts long enough to cover the brief. Here with a sheer boxer shaped brief on top of fashion tights give in to the temptation to go short!

Certainly a match for any fashion tights on the market, better quality than House of Holland from Pretty Polly and more wearable (safer) than Trasparenze.

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