Now that the weather has improved – at least it has in Vancouver, but I know it’s still winter in the rest of Canada (sorry about that!) – I can finally post on sheer/nude (as in flesh tone) tights.
Ever since I transitioned to sheer tights in my teen years, I’ve been frustrated by how easily they rip or tear. At one point, I chose to forego sheer tights in the spring and summer. When the Duchess of Cambridge made her first official visit to Canada, sheer tights suddenly became popular again. I personally wondered how many pairs of tights the Duchess had and whether the ones she wore were better than the ones I had bought. I did some research (What Kate Wore is a great source) and found two or three brands that she ‘reportedly’ uses:
Similar to these and also popular are:
- Falke Shelina 12
- Wolford Naked 8
Since I was running low on sheer tights last year, I decided to ‘sample’ a few brands from Tightsplease.co.uk. Since international shipping was a flat rate of £8, I did a bulk order to make the shipping cost worthwhile. Conveniently, there was also a big sale last spring/summer.
Here’s the embarrassing part. Aside from Falke Shelina, none of the other brands have tags so I have no idea anymore which tights are from which brand. I also chose various shades, some of which were perfect for summer (to match the rest of my tanned body) and others were better post- or pre-summer (not as tanned). I’m not sure about you, but my skin colour changes throughout the year and it’s terribly frustrating! I can’t just grab a pair of tights and run out the house as my legs might appear too tanned or too fair!
What I can comment on are these:
I really like Falke Shelina 12‘s texture. It’s not like other tights that feel too delicate (uh oh, rip!) or too synthetic (Barbie legs?!). I was so afraid of ripping these but it turned out to be just fine. The only thing is, don’t try to order a size too big because then people will definitely know they’re tights, especially when you wear flats. I would love an extra pair if they weren’t so expensive. However, because these do last longer, they’re probably worth the price!
I bought these from a seller on eBay, who no longer has any listed. The John Lewis site charges £25 shipping to Canada which I found outrageous! These are my favourite pair of tights as they have non-slip soles. Have you ever worn tights in heels and felt like you were slipping? Or stepped out of your shoes in an apartment with glossy hardwood flooring and found yourself skating around (not because you wanted to)? John Lewis’ barely there non slip tights solves the problem. Perhaps this is the Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite brand? I do have one complaint however. Because these are quite sheer at only 7 den, I had produced two tiny holes where my toes would have tried to poke out within a few months of wearing them. The saddest part: my heel caught on the top of my foot and cause an unfortunate tear. I can no longer wear these. 😦
Similar to John Lewis’ non-slip tights are:
Debenhams Natural 7D non-slip sole tights (£4.50) are made with Lycra and feature upside-down semi-circle non-slip soles for the ball of your feet. I really like these tights but I recently tore the tights from top to bottom and had to toss them. 😦
J by Jasper Conran Natural Sheer 7D non-slip sole tights (£5.50) are also made with Lycra and have a cooling finish and ladder resistance. These tights feature a similar textured area to John Lewis, much like a snake trail. They’re certainly worth the extra pound! Ideally, however, these non-slip tights should feature reinforced toes.
Marks & Spencer also carries 7D Ladder Resist Bare Cooling Slip Resist Tights for £5. Apparently the quality has changed recently but they might be worth a try.
If you’re looking for more non-slip tights, I suggest you google: non slip sole, grip sole, skid resistant, etc.
I went directly to the Wolford boutique on Burrard St in Vancouver to find out what would be the best size and colour for me. It also ended up being cheaper than ordering through Tightsplease. I bought Naked 8 and Satin Touch 20 in Gobi as it was the closest to my arm colour last summer. I prefer Satin Touch 20 because it gives my legs a nice even tan and shine. They’re the most expensive tights but I’m told they’re meant to last just as long as Falke’s would. Perhaps because it is 20 den, I would believe that. They certainly haven’t ripped yet.
As for Naked 8, I should have bought one size smaller because I ran into the same Falke Shelina problem. These would be great in the summer when it’s hot, providing just a hint of colour to your legs. At the same time, I found cheaper alternatives that will do the same trick. Furthermore, to my horror, I ripped Naked 8 after a few wears. It is far too thin and a hangnail must have caused it. What a waste of $30. 😥
Pretty Polly is supposed to be the more affordable out of all the ones I listed above. Before they became available in Canada (Shoppers, Winners, etc.), I could only get these on Tightsplease (as well as Mytights). I ordered the PP Naturals Sun Oil Sheen and PP Soft Shine Hold Ups. They certainly give a very pretty sheen and are sheer enough to be worn in the summer. They’re also not as delicate as Wolford Naked 8.
These are supposed to be the cheapest on the website but some of the sales on the other brands made those cheaper than Tightsplease’s own brands. I ordered Tightsplease 70 Den Matte Tights and 15 Den Sheer Tights. I can’t comment on the latter because I don’t remember what they’re like (so far, so good but probably doesn’t match my flesh tone. I ordered the 70 Den for chillier months (spring/autumn). These do not match my skin colour but would still look better than wearing all black.
I ordered two kinds of hold ups (or stay ups) from Charnos because of the thickness of the bands: Run Resist (Ladder Resist) Hold Up and 24/7 Sheer Hold Ups (2 pair pack). I also ordered a 24/7 Sheer Gloss Tights (2 pair pack). I highly recommend the Run Resist hold ups. These are great for summers when a full pair of tights is slightly too hot or inconvenient (too short/low, for example) to wear. My main complaint is the limited variety of colour (black, bronze, champagne, sherry). I went with Sherry but it has a reddish tint. It would certainly help if there were photos of what each colour looked like (rather than a square box with a colour that does not match the actual product).
I found these at the Hudson’s Bay last summer after I had accidentally torn my John Lewis non slip tights. I call these the more affordable versions of Wolford and Falke Shelina. I bought Teint de Soleil (15-7 den) in Terracotta (bought the wrong one the first time as it matched my arm) and Clear (just slightly too fair but closest to my legs). These tights act almost like a BB balm for your legs. The second one I bought was the Sublim Absolu Resist (15 den). Thank goodness these are tear resistant (doesn’t mean you should be rough with them)!
I was unable to find Philippe Matignon anywhere in the stores [in Vancouver] and so far, none of the online shops seem to carry them or will deliver to Canada.
I hope these reviews helped. Good luck finding some nice tights/pantyhose for you!
Recommended Shops & Delivery Fees
- tightsplease.co.uk – £8 flat rate shipping worldwide, free UK delivery (I think)
- mytights.com – $4.95 for US & Canada, or FREE on orders over $65; $3.50-9.50 to UK
- eBay – shipping fees vary. Certain sellers will have various brands available (new with tags).
- Debenhams – £10 flat rate shipping worldwide; £3.99 to UK and Ireland or FREE on orders over £30
- John Lewis – £25 shipping worldwide…
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