Hello there majestic bison. Queens of the prairie. Causers of Custer State Park traffic jams. It’s fall and you know what that means. Tights. The bane of early fall mornings. But necessary for those of us in chilly cities like Minneapolis. And for any of you out there who can’t fit into those super funky Betsy Johnson getups I keep seeing at DSW, you know the emotional and financial stress of trying out one new brand pair of overpriced, jumped up nylons after another, unable to yank those suckers up past your kneecaps and out another fifteen bucks. I thought it would be fun and potentially helpful for you AND me to do some reviews of the tights I’ve been trying out. First up, Liz and Me tights that I got from Catherines (I was there with my MOM, OK!!??)
The brand: Liz & Me Control Top, Cable patterned tights from Catherine’s
For those of you who aren’t up on your plus size chain shops, Catherine’s is an almost nationwide chain store that is geared towards the “baby boomer set.” My mom likes going there a lot, and the clothing usually strikes me as careerish with a hefty dose stretchy pants and a higher price tag than I expect. I got two pairs of ‘cable knit’ tights and two regular, smooth, opaque tights. It was a buy three get one free deal. So far I’ve only tried out one pair of the cable knit tights, so we’ll revisit the smooth opaque variety at a later date…
These run $14 a pair, although I purchased for $10.50 each
At the Catherine’s that I was at they had the smooth and cable textured in brown, black and grey. No traditional ribbed tights.
The real-life wearing conditions…
I wore these to work with a skirt and a pair of fairly frumpy Mary Janes… here’s a terribly lit, blurry photo. These are the grey cable textured tights.
My personal sizing issues…
OK – so as most of you know, sizing on tights is based on a mix of height and weight. I have relatively long legs, a SUPER short crotch depth in the front with an extra LONG crotch depth in the back – I have a big round booty and a lot of high hip fluff. Since I need extra length in the legs AND the behind, a lot of tights are super uncomfortable as they dip down right at the center back waist and I have to tug them back up all day. I’m 5’8.5″ tall with a loose tape measure hip measurement of 53ish and a waist of 43ish.
These tights come in sizes 1x/2x, 3x/4x, 5x/6x and 7x (four different ‘sizes.)
I fell right in the middle of the 3x/4x range and that is the size that I bought. Overall, the tights fit. They were very generous with length, and I found that the legs were veering towards ‘skinny’ for tights – so if you’re towards the higher end of the hip and weight ranges, but lower end of the height range, you might want to consider going up to the next size.
How the legs fit
The tights had plenty of leg and back waist length. In fact, they were a bit TOO long in the leg, so I had to decide between saggy ankles or tugging all the excess to the top of the thigh, which can get uncomfortable and binding over the course of the day. Even with all the leg length, they were nearing a big too tight in the leg WIDTH (if that makes sense) – towards the upper thigh they were tight which makes them difficult to get on (easy to poke a finger right through them!) Also, since they have the cable ribbing, they weren’t as cute towards to top of the leg since the pattern was stretched out which made them pretty sheer. Since I was wearing with a just-below-the-knee length skirt that wasn’t a huge issue, though.
The fit from thigh to waist
The tights turned out to be high waisted, so I had more than enough length to get them over the booty! The package said they were ‘control top’, which perhaps was referring to the high waist, because I didn’t think they were particularly controlling in a Spanx, sucking everything in way. There was plenty of width, which made them easier to put on and also made trips to the restroom less of a hassle.
This is totally personal (like everything else I’m saying!) but as much as I appreciate the not-falling-down and potential smoothing power of high waisted tights and nylons, they are also sort of annoying. My skirt kept migrating in clockwise circles, coming to rest with the side seams lined up along my center front and back. Sigh. All that nylon and spandex wasn’t helpful keeping my lined skirt in place!
They were alright. Not having to yank up the waist was a definite plus, but that was offset by the super long legs. There was still yanking involved and the excess of material at the top of the leg made my legs a bit achy. I probably had to take one trip to the restroom for a tight adjustment in the course of my 9 hours at work.
Durability and looks
Not great. They are listed as 90% nylon/10% spandex, so I thought they’d be a bit more beefy. I managed to get a giant run in the top part when putting them on. Luckily the change in weave at the top of the leg + a liberal dose of hairspray kept the run from heading down my leg, but I generally toss tights out if they have any runs in them, so that was a bit dissapointing. Also, even though I KNEW they were a cable/rib ‘texture’ and not a real-life sweater-knit tight, I didn’t love how thin the material was. When my tights are opaque, I like them to be OPAQUE!! Perhaps the next size up would have been more roomy in the leg area (and therefore less sheer), but I would have had to contend with even MORE leg length!
A solid middle-0f-the-road pair of tights. Not great, not terrible. They fit OK. I really liked that they listed the hip measurement right on the package in addition to height and weight, and going up to 7x is a nice touch. I also liked that they were high waisted, even though that makes my skirt slide all over the place! While I wished they were a bit thicker and a bit more supportive, I think they were fairly well-priced for what I got. At least, priced how I’d expect! While it KILLS me to spend $14 on a what is very nearly a disposable garment, that’s not really that high of a price tag for good tights, just a bit above Target prices.
Oh the crotch sag! My fatigue on this issue over the years makes me buy footless tights instead whenever possible, which is irksome since it requires I wear boots. It doesn’t matter that I wear boots nearly every damn day already- it’s nice to have options. With such a steep hip curve to deal with I have sometimes felt like I need suspenders to keep my tights up. Yay for reviews!
We had to wear wool skirts and tights all winter for our uniform in highschool so to work around the crotch sag we used to wear a pair of satin boxer shorts on top of the tights which prevented the crotch from sagging down and doubled as a slip for the clingy fabric. Not very stylish but it certainly worked 😉
Have you tried http://www.welovecolors.com/? They are now the only tights I wear now. Lots of lovely colors and the fit is fantastic.
Have you tried tights by Spanx? I am tall and often have the saggy crotch issue. But I recently forked out the cash for some reversible (one side grey, one side black) Spanx tights and they are the bomb. The waist might be a little too high for you, but otherwise they feel durable and comfortable.
Re: the too long leg length… seeing as you’ve got a run in this pair (and are going to chuck them out anyway)is it worth seeing if you can serge them shorter at the toe-end? You might need to stabilize top and bottom surfaces so it will go through your machine better? Or perhaps spray-starch the area + let it dry before serging it? I don’t know whether you’d just lay it flat before sewing, or if you’d kind of need to cut it first and then overlap top/bottom edges and sew from the inside with the leg rolled-up like a tube 3-D style (sewing like that would hopefully avoid a flappy ridge seam that might irritate your toes inside shoes).
P.S. I’ve never tried sewing tights like this – but seeing as your pair are destined for the trash anyway it might be worth a little experimentation LOL! 🙂
Nothing worse than buying bad tights! I second the spanx tights. They are pricey but I usually only need a few each season. I hand wash with woolite in the sink and hang dry…anyway I have a short waist but I like that they pull up higher over the waist. A bit of control for my middle! Looking forward to upcoming posts on the subject.
Ps. Kohls Vera Wang tights have been a best go to for me too. Convenient and cheaper with coupon!
Thank you so much for this post. I have an impossible time finding good tights so hearing your opinions and reading the comments is really helpful. I look forward to any other reviews that you do.
I love tight season, too! It’s so tough when you’re tall (I’m 5’9″) and have curvy legs to find tights that fit well. The sizing really is ridiculous, isn’t it?
This is the greatest post EVER! I love the idea of reviewing tights! As a curvy women, I’ve spent buckets on tights which don’t fit. I generally just buy HUE, cause I know they’ll fit. I also had good luck with We Love Colors : http://www.welovecolors.com/ They have a great selection of plus size tights 🙂
I have heavy legs relative to the rest of my figure, so the length paired with lack of width would have driven me CRAZY. As it is, I have to size up to 1X/2X in order to get the tights over my muscular calves and thighs. It seems bizarre to me that I’m right in the middle of the medium/tall range and they don’t allow for my proportions, but oh well. Fortunately, I live in a temperate climate and don’t NEED tights very often.
I love that you are doing tights reviews. I love wearing tights about 6 months of the year as I live in Chicago. I know everyone raves about the we love color tights, but I didn’t have any success with those at all. My favorite brand right now is the Spanx brand they sell at Target – maybe Access?? The size 4 works for me, I’m 5’0″ with about a 50 inch hip.
Great post! I’ll be looking forward to more tights reviews. For the heck of it, I bought some George brand plus size tights at Walmart the other day and they fit great. And they were only $5.50. They stayed up all day, didn’t bind anywhere even though they are “control,” and I have the same thigh wideness problem in many other tights, which means I have a drawer full of tights that didn’t make the cut. I also ordered and received but haven’t tried yet (whew) a pair of the Spanx reversible in brown/black. Seems like such a great idea that 2-4-1, so I’m really hoping they fit. But at $35 per pair, they are no bargain.
Oh, use clear nail polish on that run instead of hairspray. It will stop it in its tracks and not wash out.
Forgot to mention, that George brand also come in patterns. I bought solid black and a cable-ish pattern.
Thank you so much for posting this, ever so helpful!!!
I’m 5’5″, on the heavy side and besides crotch hovering above the knee, I’ve found muffin top to be an issue as well, especially with control top tights! How are you supposed to wear a dress with a stupid bulge able the tights?!
Haha. I hear you on the skirts sliding around thing. Yesterday after I got back from running errands, my skirt was hiked up PAST mid-thigh, and the CB slit was resting over my left thigh. Not exactly an errand-running look, although it would have been OK for dancing. 🙂