Good morning organic, free range hens! Even though we’ve gained 44 minutes of daylight since the winter solstice, I am continuing to find it difficult to stage photo sessions with enough light to yield passable images. The new dress will have to wait ’till this weekend. In the meantime, I found myself at a giant, sprawling Forever 21 recently and could not resist the lure of cheap tights in bubble gum pink. I took ’em out for a spin, let’s discuss.
The brand: Forever 21 Plus Size tights
Just in case all y’all weren’t aware, Forever 21 DOES have a plus size section. At least, in the two stores I’ve gone into, there’s a plus size section. It’s crammed full of the same cheap, junky stuff as the rest of the store, most of it not really to my taste. The only other item I’ve purchased from Forever 21 is a pair of leggings that I’m quite happy with.
These tights are 96% nylon/4% spandex and aren’t available online, but to see the other Forever 21 plus size tights offerings, head this way (AFTER you’re done reading the post…) I was shopping with Mommylap, and she bought the plum tights that are still on the website – they cost a bit more, but are 10% spandex, so that makes sense!
These guys were $4.80 and are 96% nylon/4% Spandex. The high quality tights that are still on the website and are 10% spandex are $6.80.
This particular style was also available in a sickening pastel lavender color and a few other colors that have slipped my mind. Obviously, they didn’t impress me!
The real-life wearing conditions…
I wore these guys to work, then out for happy hour shenanigans with friend Nancy.
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.
All the tights appear available in two sizes – XL/1X and 2X/3X. The packaging doesn’t have the typical weight charts, so I went with the 2X/3X since the leggings I have from Forever 21 are 2X and fit fine – a bit on the large side, but since I usually have trouble with tights being too short over the rump roast, larger is usually better. For what it’s worth, here’s the sizing chart from the website.
The fit was GOOFY! A train wreck! I wasn’t expecting much due to the fiber content – with so little spandex these tights are more akin to super, duper thin leggings than anything else. These tights managed the amazing feat of being giant and binding at the same time, like perhaps they’d had a jinx cast on them by Hermione. She’s totally clever like that.
How the legs fit
From knee to toe they were fine. Starting at the knee to the top of the thighs they were much tighter and I had to be very careful pulling on the first time so I didn’t ram my finger through the fabric and put a hole in them before even leaving the house. By the end of the day they had stretched a bit, but I thought they were going to do the ‘hey my leg fell asleep’ bind on me – you know the one you get when you try out a new style of undies that have leg openings just a bit too tight? What? It’s just me that has that problem?
The fit from thigh to waist
Holy hannah, I can’t even explain the fit from thigh to waist!. They were HUGE, like, I could have tossed an intertube on over my hips and held it in place with all the extra tights! At the same time, they have a relatively low rise, so they did NOT come up far enough in the back, although with some yanking, I could probably have pulled the front up to my nose. I seriously considered chopping off the legs and wearing with a garter belt, but instead followed the advice of one of you wise readers and employed what is apparently a private school trick – bike shorts over the tights. In my case, I have some shapewear from Macy’s that’s slippery and black and goes down to mid thigh. I threw that on over the tights and was SUPER HAPPY with the results! First of all, it kept everything in place, no droopy crotch and even though the center back of the tights slid down significantly, I couldn’t really feel it during the day. Secondly, it was another nice layer of warmth, since it was around 15 degrees out the day of my road test! I am a HUGE fan of this trick, although I did experience a Bridget Jones-like existential crisis over the matronly state of my undergarments. Ah well, old married ladies can toddle around with as many unattractive layers hidden out of sight as we want, right?
Without the school uniform fix these would without a doubt be the MOST uncomfortable tights ever pulled on over my pasty white legs. With the Macy’s shapeware they were super comfy.
Durability and looks
The heavy nylon content made for a very durable pair of tights that were sort of odd. I suspect that these tights in a darker color would be prone to pilling and collecting a lot of lint, although the light pink was fine. They seemed to be quite durable, there was a lot of tugging that went on during the course of the day and they withstood that well – I tend to put holes in tights very easily by yanking them around and sticking my fingers through the fabric. They were nicely opaque and fairly warm. I’m not sure how many wears I’ll get out of them.
(Hey guys! Here’s the bottom half of the new dress! I hope you’re loving the night-time, IN THE MIRROR, iPhone photos!!)
Overall they were probably worth exactly what I paid for them! Such a low spandex content means less stretchiness and recovery in the fabric, which makes the fit less flexible. For fun colors, this is a good option, but I’m not sure I’d want to get basics in this colors – for black and grey, I think it’s worth it to shell out $25 for high waisted Spanx tights that will fit and wear well. At least, worth it to me. The successful experiment in bike-shorts-as-fitting-aids for tights made these suckers priceless!
I’ll use a 1 through 10 scale, with 1 on the low end and 10 on the high end…
Sizing and fit (in line with the package): 2 – no weight charts on package!
Value (what I got for what I paid): 9
Buy again? For funky colors I’d get these again!