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Silvia Grandi Top 30 Tights

Silvia Grandi Top 30 TightsYou have to look carefully at the details on the packet of these tights because the standard printed packet says there is a cotton gusset, but look at the size label that closes our size 4 XL sample packet. You see a small cartoon that shows a comfort gusset or rear panel instead. There is incidentally a size 5 XXL too, and you can be sure that this too has the comfort gusset.

Sizes 4 and 5 both fit up to 5’10” or 185cm height. Except of course, 185 cm is 6’1″, not 5’10”. Still, that gives us something to talk about. Detailing is precisely what we would hope, indeed expect, from a quality Italian brand, sheer to waist, shaped legs, sheer reinforced toe, flat seams and a gusset. Our test pair came in size 4 or XL, so it featured a comfort gusset, something to be very aware of if, like us, you are used to the German convention of a lined gusset up to and including size 4, which is L in say, Falke.

There is T-band reinforcement in all sizes. In sizes 4 and 5, this same weight and finish extend to the comfort gusset. So what about the sizing? Well, of course, proportions vary but even 6’1″ seems an underestimate for the maximum height. A slim to athletic 34″ leg was no problem for size 4. The comfort gusset gives a generous fit in the seat, so our advice would be to stick with size 3 unless you are pressing the upper boundary of size 4. Fit is very good even with the comfort gusset.

The colour is perfectly even, and at 30 denier, it is dense too, still sheer but more concealing than lighter sheers. Durable for work and ever so classy for the evening. Perhaps with an eye to the evening, the toes, although “reinforced”, appear more sheer than the leg. Just about OK with peep tow shoes but no substitute for an actual sandal toe. All in all, very good tights at a sensible price.

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Silvia Grandi Support 70 Tights

Silvia Grandi Support 70 Tights

Seeing a new style is great; seeing an entirely new brand is an increasingly rare treat. So we are particularly pleased to be reviewing these tights from Italy via the USA. Support tights can vary far more than sheers, from heavy, almost industrial to sheer and fashionable. At 70 denier, there is a risk that these could be the former, but as soon as you open the packet, you can tell they are the latter!

Detailing is typical of premium fashion tights: Sheer to waist, reinforced toes, shaped but unreinforced heels, flat seams and a cotton gusset. Just lightly reinforced either side of the panty seam and made a deep finger band to give the waistband a soft and strong transition. Smooth and soft to the touch and unmistakably good quality.

According to the size chart on the packet, there are 5 sizes, the packet suggests a cotton gusset in all five, but the largest two have a comfort gusset. There is graduated compression, quite strong at the ankle. Still noticeable in the thigh, relatively easy to put on if you take it slowly and have reasonably strong fingers. Several times, one of our more mature reviewers has mentioned that support tights are great for her poor circulation but a challenge for her arthritic fingers. These are better than most. But it is a challenge for all hosiery makers to produce support/compression tights that are easy to put on.

As for what these tights feel like. Perfect fit but quite long in the body, hence some rollover at the waistband if you pull them right up. The comfort gusset in size 4 is comfortable. Visually there is excellent even colour and a look far more sheer than 70 denier, more 30-40 with a slight sheen on the finish.

Perhaps best of all, there is no hint that these are support tights. Unless you are lucky enough to be one wearing them. Not cheap tights, but you get great value for money. The look and feel are all you could wish for, and you feel they will last and last.

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Samburu New St Tropez Tights

Samburu St Tropez

We frequently describe ultra-sheer tights as ‘summer tights’, but it is rare for the makers to use this term. Here they have used the term and named the style St. Tropez too, so you are no doubt that these are tights for warm sunny days.

Unlike some summer tights, these come in a range of colours to suit all skin tones. So if you are from a cooler, less sunny country and it is early in the season, you can pick a shade either to add a sheen to your skin, or one to add a little extra colour. Of course, you can go for the full summer tights effect and slip on a tan that looks like you just spent two weeks in the Caribbean.

Five sizes are available, all with unlined gussets. The largest size has a comfort gusset/rear panel that is 7cm wide at the waistband. As you would expect of 10 denier summer tights, these are very light indeed. The detailing is quite simple. Sheer to waist with sandal toes, straight legs and just the narrowest of reinforced strips on either side of the seams and around the gusset. The gusset is the same weight as the reinforced part of the leg.

The heavier material continues into a finger band to give the simple waistband a smooth, strong transition. The seams in the panty are unremarkable. We would have preferred a flat detail, but it is understandable why this was not done at this price. The sizing is accurate, and the fit is near perfect. There is a delicious sheen to the finish so that if you get the right colour, the look will be more of perfect lightly oiled skin rather than hosiery. Excellent summer tights that we are happy to recommend.

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Penti Second Skin Tights

The back of the rather smart-looking box states these are sold from an address in Nottinghamshire. That’s the home of hosiery manufacture in England. Sadly the manufacturing is carried out overseas, in this case in Turkey. So aside from an outstanding quality packet, what do you get for your £2.77?

Very light and sheer tights made with straight legs that are finished with a nicely made toe seam and a sandal toe detail. Sheer to waist with flat seams in the panty sensibly reinforced on either side of the seam.

There is a finger band around 2.5cm deep, giving a transition to a similar depth waistband. There are three sizes S/M, M/L and XL. XL is designed with a rear panel rather than a cotton gusset and is sized for ladies with hips over 48” or 122 cm.

The specification of these tights does read more £7 than £3. Still, there are a few compromises on quality, such as the transition from finger band to seam reinforcement being untidy and slight misalignment across seams. These problems are inevitable, but quality control in more expensive brands would stop tights with these issues being sold.

Of course, the proof is in the look and feel on the leg, and here we have no complaints. The sizing is accurate, and even stretching them a little longer presented no problems. We never once felt that the highly sheer fabric would rip under even pressure. There is just a hint of shine on the finish. Unless you are pretty close, the look is very much one of a tanned leg rather than tights, perfect for summer. The “tan” shade is perhaps just a bit “Mediterranean” or “late summer” for a lot of northern Europeans to wear in spring or early summer, but there are lighter shades, natural and illusion that will work earlier in the summer. All in all, we are delighted to recommend excellent value tights for everyday wear in the warmer months.

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Ose R20 Tights

We got a big surprise when we came to review these tights before we even opened the packet. If you had asked us about the Ose brand, we would have waxed lyrical about the high-quality hosiery from Italy, the sublime Ose Angel Seamless Tights. Then we realised that we have never actually reviewed any Ose tights before.

The name R20 caught us out too. Entirely how Ose came up with the name, we are not sure. Indeed it is the shortest name we have ever seen, but why R20 when the tights are 40 denier? Why not R20? The packet at least gives a partial description of the tights and a size chart explaining the four sizes available.

Heights up to 185 cm or 5’10” are catered for, although we are unsure why metabolic ladies can be 3” or 7.2cm taller than others. (The second time this week, we have seen inconsistent sizing between imperial and metabolic units).

So to the tights

No surprise at all. High-quality Italian tights! Sheer to waist with entirely shaped legs. The sandal toe detail is elegant and lighter than the legs. There is a run stop detail to prevent holes in the toes from becoming ladders in the legs.

Stretching these tights over your hand to inspect them, you can feel the light support which is graduated from a peak at the ankles. The panty is finished with flat seams that have a narrow transition strip on either side for strength. There is a pretty finger band of 2cm depth and a 3cm deep waistband.

The cotton gusset appears only on sizes 1-3 (S-L), size 4 (XL) has the comfort gusset (v-shaped rear panel) that is common in Italian hosiery. The rear panel is heavier than the legs but not exceptionally so. Don’t rush putting these tights on. They need to be put on slowly and carefully. Not because they are in any way fragile, but they do cling to your legs and take a while to adjust if you don’t get it right the first time.

They cling excellently, of course, giving a perfect fit and a sensation of support on your legs that is caressing rather than constricting. Smooth them evenly up your legs, and you are rewarded with perfect even colour.

Sizing is spot on with enough stretch to go beyond even the bigger metabolic sizes suggested, a 34” / 86cm leg being easily accommodated. The comfort gusset provides extra space in the seat in the XL size. And for once, the fit and feel of the tights are not spoilt by this detail. Excellent semi-opaque tights that support your legs without any clue that they are not purely fashion tights.

If you are on your feet all day working or expect a long night out partying, these tights could be the answer to your prayers. Now we know why they call them R20. Easy to remember when you go to buy some.

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Omero Luxor 20 Tights

These days, it is pretty rare for us to encounter a new brand of tights. Particularly one producing sheer tights rather than high fashion designs. This style is made in 5 sizes, sizes 1-4 each coping in turn with a little more height and weight. The XL size being designed for the same range of heights as size three but considerably more width in the hips.

First impressions are excellent. These 20 denier glossy tights are made sheer to waist with an entirely shaped leg. The reinforced toe detail is a similar weight to the leg, just with a slightly tighter knit. And, there is a run stop detail to prevent holes in the toe from ruining the leg. The seams in the panty are very well made flat seams, and there is a narrow reinforced strip to either side for strength. There is a narrow finger band between the sheer material of the leg and panty and the deep waistband (4 cm).

The cotton gusset is only in sizes 1-4. As is typical with Italian-made tights, the XL size has a comfort gusset that is unlined. If you have not seen one of these before, it is made by having two seams up the back of the panty on either side of a triangle of material slightly heavier than the legs. In fact, the same as the reinforced strips on either side of the front seam. The short edge being on the waistband and the point meeting the front seam in the crotch.

Sizing is quite generous. We would suggest that you stay with sizes 1-4 unless you need the extra volume of size 5. As is often the case, the comfort gusset provides a less embracing fit than a standard cotton gusset. The Lycra that provides all the stretch also provides a fantastic fit; wearing these tights is slipping into a coat of paint. The paint analogy transfers to the look too, the finish is flawless with perfect even colour and a delicious satin sheen.

These tights are as good as any others we have seen and bring yet more competition to what we believe is the best area of the hosiery market. Twenty denier tights of this quality and finish are suitable to wear any time. Day or night, for work or play. They should last and last and show that you can buy sheer and sexy and still get great value.

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Nude Barre Crystalized Fishnet Tights

We have seen many fishnets tights over the years but not at the eye-watering price of €95 or nearly £60. So, why are these so expensive? Well, first off, we have the attention to detail in the packaging. Open the packet, start to open out the tights, and out falls a small card with washing instructions and a soft satin drawstring bag to keep your new purchase in.

The attention to detail extends to the tights. Hundreds, no make that thousands of crystals have been individually glued to the surprisingly soft fabric. Starting just below the gusset, the crystals are applied all down the leg to the ankle, where they continue just down the front of the foot. The positioning is perfect. Even if you have pretty big feet, the crystals should stop above the top of your shoe.

Two issues plague fishnet tights. They are frequently uncomfortable at the toe, not a problem here, though. The makers cleverly use a more delicate net in the toe portion. So the feel is more like plain tights but without giving up the fishnet look. Two, they are often untidily finished in the crotch area, but not here. Nude Barre has included a proper cotton-lined gusset which is sewn into a very high standard of quality.

The waistband is the standard narrow elastic waistband commonly found on fishnets. But we can tell Nude Barre didn’t just buy in fishnets to embellish with crystals as the waistband carries its name. Also on the waistband are a tiny pattern of pink and blue studs spelling “DB”. We have no idea what that means, but it handily marks the back of the waistband.
Just a little confusion here as the packet of our tights came marked with an “L” for large. So based on this chart, how big should they be?


Anyway, we tested them on a tall model, 35” leg and found that they fit perfectly with both gusset and waistband correctly placed. Lycra fishnets give great scope for stretching, so no fit problems.

One tiny flaw with our test pair was that one toe seam was not properly finished. But I am sure that after reading this review, they will sharpen up inspection, and your tights won’t have this flaw. Among the very best fishnets we have seen without crystal embellishment, you have a unique piece of hosiery art with crystals.

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Love Hate Opaque Patterned Tights

While some brands trumpet style, quality, exclusivity or a designer name, the focus with LoveHate is on unconventional and environmentally sound materials. They are not alone among Australian brands that are looking to be “green”. But by manufacturing locally rather than importing tights complete from Italy, they take the concept further than most. We have to start by being critical.

What we need to see laid out is the price, denier, fibre mix, the colours available and a size chart. On the plus side, this lack of information gives us more to say. You can’t tell from the look and feel of these tights where the fibre was sourced. So it is up to you to trust that it is an ecologically sound source if that is important to you.

Detailing is pretty standard for opaque fashion tights. The legs are unshaped and finished with a plain toe detail. The pattern on the leg is knitted in and runs up to just below gusset level where there is a change of knitting. The panty section is plain and features both flat seams and a cotton-lined gusset which we are delighted to see.

The test of any tights, of course, is how they look and how they feel to wear. We have no guidance on sizing. But assuming they are the typical one-size then they are quite generously sized if you use all the stretch, 32” leg and 40” hips being the realistic upper limit. Fit is good and thanks to the gusset and flat seams they are comfortable too.

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Zohara Medusa Tattoo Leggings

Zohara sticks to a relatively simple recipe, one size, 120 denier plain tights with a printed pattern; simple but effective. One variation they do allow is to make some of the styles both as tights or leggings. This style is the footless version of their Medusa Tattoo tights.

In terms of basic construction, the two styles are identical aside from one has the toe end seamed at the end. Sheer to waist with flat seams and a gusset, they are well detailed and well made.

Both garments are the same length too so if have very long legs, then the footless version would work best. The heavy 120 denier material is smooth and soft to the touch and promises warmth, comfort and durability.

There is no front and back to either style and whichever way you put them on, you will get a design down the front of your left leg and the back of your right. The only variation we noticed with our test pieces was that the pattern was printed higher on the leg on the closed foot version to make sure it started above the ankle.

Both styles stretch to fit even the tallest of women, and the fit is excellent. Even at the maximum stretch the pattern is well defined. The pale colour and artistic design are not particularly slimming. But if you are slim in the leg, they make a bold and eye-catching fashion statement.

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Leg Avenue Back Seam Garter Belt Stocking

Regular readers will know that there are a couple of things that worry us; are suspender tights or stockings? We are reviewing these tights/stockings on our site just in case you disagree with what we say. Following on from this, are they the best of both worlds or the worst?

Our second area of concern is with “one size” hosiery, which as cynics may say come in two sizes, too big and too small. So how are these? Unlike some suspender tights, these are not knitted in one piece with open crotch and sides. They are made as seven pieces, two lace top legs, four lacy straps and a deep lacey waistband, all sewn together.

The packet gives no idea of denier, but we would estimate that the legs are around 12 denier. The legs are made entirely straight and look very short, but despite having no Lycra, there is lots of stretch. Sizing is very generous. You can go way beyond the suggested maximum weight of 160lb. We would recommend that if you are much less than that or short, then the sizing will be too generous.

The legs feel soft and fit well, although the lack of Lycra meant there was a slight sag during the day. The detailing is good, a sandal toe means you can wear with an open toe shoe, the seam sits straight, and on the natural colour pair we tried is very subtle. The lace top and suspender straps won’t embarrass you should someone see them. The one disappointment was the waistband that we could not get to sit flat. Sexy and fun and less effort than real suspenders.

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