All Reviews Solidea

Solidea Alisea 70 Tights

Solidea Alisea 70 TightsAt first glance, you could be forgiven for seeing Solidea as another Italian fashion hosiery brand. But a closer look at the packet pictured above soon tells you it is not. Firstly, the word “compression” and then little symbols on the picture show the compression levels up the leg. Of course, you can also see that these are patterned tights, so we have fashion and compression together. The “12/15 mmHg Class A” label confirms that these are not just any old support tights. They are serious tights with a medical function.

The tights themselves give no immediate clue as to their therapeutic capabilities. Look and feel are just like any other good quality patterned opaque tights. Detailing is first-rate with flat seams and a cotton-lined gusset in the panty and legs patterned from the plain waistband to the plain reinforced toes.

Only when you start to put them on do you notice how firmly they resist your attempts to stretch them, particularly in the area of the ankle. The size chart details 5 sizes designed to cover heights from 125cm to 180cm (4’10” – 5’10”) and weights from 45kg to 105kg (100lb – 220lb). In addition, a range of circumferences is specified at the ankle, lower thigh and upper thigh. We have never seen a depth of sizing detail before, which makes perfect sense in a compression garment.

A cartoon on the card gives step by step instructions for putting these tights on; we suggest you follow them too, as any flaw in your technique will leave you struggling. Surprisingly, given the patience and technique required to get these tights on, you feel a lightness of the leg rather than a squeeze once they are in place. This depends very much on correct sizing, of course. Solidea makes their tights exactly in accordance with the size chart. You need to read the chart carefully to get the right size for your legs.

As compression tights, they work, and they feel like they would give months or years of wear. As fashion tights, they work too, a match for any pure fashion brand. If you spend a lot of time on your feet and need support tights, or your doctor has advised you to wear compression hosiery for circulatory problems, this style is for you. Nobody will have any clue that you are not wearing pure fashion hosiery. Not cheap, at £19.99 but great value.

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All Reviews Zohara

Zohara Small Stones Tights

Zohara Small Stones TightsThere is some confusion regarding the actual name of this style of tights. The packet has the style code ’20F132-BST’, which is precise if not particularly romantic. We have seen various terms such as “polka dot” and “stars” included in the name. We are not complaining; the confusion gives us something to write about.

We have 20 denier one size tights from Zohara’s 2013 collection; they are one size. Through the window on the packet, we can see that they are embellished with a pattern of tiny faux diamonds. Liberated from their packet, the tights are very smooth and soft to the touch, the leg part anyway. Zohara has made them with straight legs and a boxer style brief with flat seams and a lined gusset. Although rated at 20 denier, the look and feel are more like a semi-opaque of 30-40 denier. The quality of the material and the quality of the sandal toe seam are very apparent.

Frankly, the boxer style brief is a bit of a puzzle to us, that aside they are close to premium quality tights, and while we accept that the boxer style can be more comfortable than sheer to the waist, that and the single size seems out of place. We have to suspect that the picture above is a handmade preproduction pair of these tights because the sample looks nothing like it. The diamond pattern clearly should run from ankle to upper thigh, but on our sample, that was ankle to just above the knee on the left leg and about 5″ higher up on the right leg. This makes the tights unwearable.

Sizing is quite generous, ample for a tall UK size 16, the fit is good too, but that is academic. The softness apparent in hand does not transfer to the leg. The look is more 30-40 denier than 20, which is not bad as the greater depth of colour is ideal for showing off the “diamonds”.

This is a gorgeous design from Zohara. It would be a winner if they made the tights sheer to the waist and positioned the design correctly. Sadly, a good design idea is let down by poor detailing and negligent manufacture.

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All Reviews Sisi

Sisi Fascino 20 Tights

Sis Fascino 20 Tights

Of course, we are used to seeing a new style of tights almost every day, but it is pretty rare for us to come to a brand for the first time. This is the first style that we have looked at from Sisi, and we come to it at a point where the packaging, if not the tights, is changing.

The packaging carries all the information we would hope to see, detailing and sizing both in words and pictures and a helpful note to let you know that the Fascino style is available in 8 denier, 15 denier, 20 denier, 40 denier, and 70 denier.

First impressions are excellent. Sheer to waist with shaping at the heel and a sheer sandal toe describes the leg. The panty has very good quality seams, but they are not flat. There is no reinforcement in the panty or around the cotton gusset. The only heavier material between the toe seam and waistband is a narrow finger band.

An exercise in minimalist simplicity with no label, motif or pattern to be seen. The feel in hand is smooth, soft and quite light for a 20 denier tight. Stretching these tights to put them on, you can feel the stretch of the Lycra and, for the first time, see the silky sheen of the finish.

The sizing is accurate, and the fit is very good indeed. We got two surprises once these tights were on, though. The seams did not appear flat on the first inspection but flattened when stretched. Secondly, the area around the gusset is very lightly reinforced. The satin finish flatters your leg and is an excellent compromise between a matt/powder finish and full-on glossy.

Our only disappointment is that we can’t buy these tights in the UK. They are nicely made, nicely designed and of good value.

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All Reviews Misc.

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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All Reviews Misc.

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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All Reviews Silky

Silky Super Shine Tights

Silky Super Shine 15 TightsWe are sure that people won’t mind describing these as basic tights. They are the sort you will find in corner shops and petrol stations the length and breadth of the country. So are they any good?

The first positive sign is that there are 4 sizes to choose from, and they have 12% Lycra/Spandex to provide stretch and fit. The next good sign, the tights are folded into a plastic packet inside the box, so you are less likely to pull a thread taking them out of the box. How many have cheaper pairs of tights been ruined before even getting on to a leg?

So the tights themselves. They feel smooth and soft and also strong. Opening them reveals straight legs finished with very neat toe seams and sandal toes attached to a boxer style brief. The brief has good quality seams and an unlined gusset. We tested the large size; the x-large fits the same height but provides for hips over 48”.

These tights live up to the name “super shine” on the leg. They do sparkle! Whereas some gloss tights give the impression of a shiny surface, with these, you can almost see the individual fibres catching the light. The panty section is a huge contrast and immediately forgettable. Certainly, these are tights to show your legs off in, but not for a hot date. 

The sizing is accurate, and the fit is excellent. Thanks to the gusset, even the panty section fits comfortably. We would still recommend a more expensive sheer to the waist as our first choice for everyday wear, Falke Seidenglatt, for example, as they are likely to work out cheaper in the long run; but if you are heavy on your hosiery and get a lot of pulls and snags, or need if you need a pair of eye-catching sheer tights in an emergency to keep this style in mind.

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All Reviews Silky

Silky Seamer Tights

Silky Seamer TightsWe have seen quite a few pairs of seamed tights over the years, and they have ranged from the sublime to the not so sublime. Aside from the own-brand style from the Asda supermarket chain, this is the cheapest style we have looked at.

Our test pair came in size “medium”. But in reality, these are “one size” tights as there is no small or large size. So what are they like? First impressions are excellent. The feel in hand is smooth and soft, and we had not expected an impression of strength and quality. Surprises in the detailing, too, as there is a fully detailed reinforced toe and sole detail as part of the Cuban heel design, and all that is lacking is the shaping of the leg at the heel.

Sheer to waist construction and flat seams are way beyond what we would expect for under £3.00 too. Very sensibly, the back seams run to the finger band, which looks best and should ensure they stay straight. On either side of the panty, there is a narrow reinforced strip. Which, together with the finger band, should help durability considerably. A plain waistband tops everything off.

Sizing was an area where we had great concerns as the height range is supposed to be 5’0” to 5’8”. But we are pleased to say that our fears were unfounded. There was enough size and stretch to cope with a 34” leg. The panty is accurately sized but not overly long, so if you are towards the upper end of the size range, you may find the waistband sitting on your hips.

The heel detail is well-sized, too, so that even if you have larger than average feet, the design will still be visible over your shoes. The seams are sharp and sit perfectly up the back of your legs. The finish on the leg is sheer with a classy sheen. Our only issue with the look on the leg was some evidence of colour banding where there were variations in the thread and one or two minor knitting faults. Only in these last two areas is there a hint of the low price tag.

Seamed tights are not everyday items, so you should either treat yourself to pure luxury or consider this bargain and get a new pair out for each evening do.

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All Reviews Silky

Silky High Shine Nylons

Silky High Shine Nylons Tights

A quick look at our shop will tell you that most of the sheer tights from Silky are priced at under £2, with just the fashionable patterns reaching the heights of £4 a pair. There is no doubting the quality of these tights the moment you open the packet. They have that quality sheen that only well-knitted quality yarn can offer. The detailing lives up to the first impressions, there is the smallest of reinforced toe details (sorry, not invisible), and the sheer legs are shaped at the heel.

The design is undoubtedly sheer to hip if not quite sheer to waist featuring as it does a tiny lace bikini panty. The panty is so brief that it is scarcely bigger than the seam strengthening on true sheer to waist tights and infinitely prettier. The panty is opaque enough to remove the need for other underwear. The seams in the panty are flat and perfectly finished, and a cotton gusset is included for hygiene and improved fit. A deep waistband finishes off the garment. There are two sizes available, and this is the only area where we have some issues. 

The sizes are quoted as medium and large. But judging from the large size that we tested, and the sizing is certainly not generous. Fortunately, there is plenty of stretch available, so they will fit if you go slowly and carefully. Despite all the stretching needed to get them on once, these were comfortable tights to wear. And there was no hint of bagging or sagging.

The colour on the leg is perfectly even with just a hint of shine. Colour density is more than we would expect from 10 denier. A small point, but an important one for some ladies, is that you can buy these tights in navy blue. Unlike some shades of navy, it is quite away from black. Classy quality tights that sell at a very sensible price. Limited edition, so you had better not hang about if you want some.

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All Reviews Jonathan Aston

Jonathan Aston Shimmer Dance Capri Tights

Jonathan Aston Shimmer Capri over Falke Fond de Poudre Tights

The packet has only general notes about Jonathan Aston and neither words nor pictures to tell you what they are like. Luckily we are here to help! The first thing you notice on opening the packet is that these tights look very short. They are designed as Capri length rather than footless, so this is expected.

The brief is finished with flat seams and a cotton-lined gusset. The legs are finished with a narrow cuff. A wideband with a slightly different shade is down the outside of each leg and highlighted with Lurex to sparkle.

We need not have worried about length. There is plenty of stretch to give an excellent fit in the panty and a good fit lengthways on the legs. The Lurex band is far more subtle than we expected. While you may not want to wear these tights to the office, younger women could wear them both during the day and for a party. It was suggested that these could be paired with the striped diamond net knee-high from Jonathan Aston. These also carry a stripe down the outside of each leg. However, the line carried through the meeting of Capri tights and patterned knee-high looked messy. We would recommend these tights with sheer tights underneath.

These tights fit well, look great and feel smooth and soft. A great addition to your Spring wardrobe. In the photograph, Sophie has paired the very funky Jonathan Aston tights with classic ultra-sheer Falke Fond de Poudre Tights for a brilliant look for any young woman.

We would not usually cover knee-high hosiery as a site dedicated to tights. Call them “pop socks”, and we start to think of them as the work of the devil. But we had a few pairs that came with these tights, and although they would not work with them, Sophie was willing to give them a try. Of course, provide a funky and fashionable woman knee-high socks, and she comes into the room wearing them as over-knee stockings. Boy, do they look good! Again worn with the Falke Fond de Poudre Tights.

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All Reviews Sarah Borghi

Sarah Borghi Sensual 40 Seamless Tights

Sarah Borghi Sensual 40 Seamless Tights

If you want a perfectly smooth silhouette under the light and clinging fashions, then by far the best option in terms of hosiery is seamless tights. The problem with seamless tights has been that they have always come at a premium price compared to “normal” tights with a seam in the panty. Now though, Sarah Borghi is trying to rewrite the rules. When quality tights have increased in price from around £7 to £12, they have brought in a seamless style at not much more than half the price of established seamless styles such as Wolford fatal. The question is, are they any good?

First impressions are very good, as with most seamless tights at first glance, the look is like an overgrown knee-high, but it is the feeling that gets our attention, smooth and soft. There are several methods of closing a pair of seamless tights, and the one used here by Sarah Borghi is much like that used by Fogal and others. There is a heavier panel in the gusset area, and the tights knit out from there. The knitting process for seamless tights means it is easiest to knit them hipster length. Here a little cheating has gone on as a deep waistband (6cm 2.5”) seamed to the top of the tights. The toes are lightly reinforced.

As there is a seam in the waistband, these tights have a front and back. Putting the waistband seam to the front really would defeat the whole purpose of seamless tights. We do have to ask why they did not knit the waistband as a tube. The waistband does improve the fit and comfort, allowing you to wear the tights slightly over your hips if you wish. Sizing is on the generous side as there is plenty enough stretch to play with; you can happily steal several inches in height and a dozen pounds in weight on both maxima for the largest size.

We have seen a comment elsewhere that these tights are not as sheer as in the picture above. How sheer they look will depend on how far you stretch them and the intensity of lighting. At 40 denier, they are at the heavier end of semi-opaque. Stretched evenly, the microfibre material gives a perfectly even finish.

Unfortunately, the seams attaching the waistband do show with clingy fashions. Still, the horizontal line at hip level is far better than the front and back vertical line with conventional tights. But this is only a minor quibble with tights that offer a great look and feel at a sensible price. It is not the sexiest seamless tights ever but among the most practical. As an alternative to conventional hipster fit semi-opaque tights that cost around the same, it is no contest; you must buy these.

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