Tights Buyer's Guide Spring 2013

Tights make up a major part of my wardrobe. Now that I report to an office every day for work, I wear them more than ever. Even though we are going into summer, I'm still wearing and buying tights. The office is chilly and tights add some summery color to my darker office clothes. Also, tights tend to be on sale this time of year so it's a good time to stock up for the fall. (Bonus, tights are great for that day you don't have time to shave your legs but don't feel like pants/own pants that fit properly).

Hue tights have been my standby for years. I could always count on the fit and quality. They are still quality tights, and they still fit. However, they've done something to the waistband. In order to prevent rolling, many tights brands have gone to the "waistband-free" style. I find this annoying because I fall between tights sizes so I buy up for length. This means my newer Hue tights just fall down all the time (the size down is a bit short). I have had some luck with the control top varieties (right). I don't typically like control top, especially to sit in all day, but these haven't been too tight (again, I buy up a size so that helps).
Sizing: True to size (I size up because I fall in the overlap of two sizes)
Price: $13.50 a pair or $22 for two
(This is a price increase for already pricey tights. I usually buy them on end of season sales at department stores or at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls.)

Simply Vera
Simply Vera tights from Kohl's have been another stand by. I can count on them for basic neutrals, and I can count on Kohl's to put them on sale. These are not sheer to waist. I've never seen the need for that anyway, and I like it because these don't rip at the seems like the Hue tights do after you've had them a few seasons. They are sturdy and reliable, but they only come in black, grey, brown and navy. (I've never had a good experience with the other Simply Vera tights).
Sizing: Long enough, but a bit snug. When in doubt, buy up a size.
Price: $14, but usually on sale for $8
(Use a coupon for a better deal.)

Target's Xhilaration brand is affordable and comes in a wide array of colors. Sadly, spring ushers in capri length tights, but the rest of the year is plentiful. They carry neutral full tights year round. These tights are super soft, but they are also delicate. I have two pairs that I've made last for about 4 years, but they are on their way out. You have to be gentle. These tights are the lightest weigh opaque tights I own. They are nice on warmer days.
Sizing: Surprisingly true to size. Buy larger if you're unsure of your size because they are flimsy.
Price: $5
(I got mine on clearance for $1.50)

Target's Merona brand offers fewer colors at a higher cost, but they are sturdier than the Xhilaration brand. They are extremely soft, which I love. And the waistband doesn't roll. They do run small and short though. Go up a size. I wear a M/T in Xhilaration but I need XL/XXL in these.
Sizing: Small, buy up a size.
Price: $8
(I got some on clearance for $4)

Anthropologie carries Pure & Good brand tights. I've really only tried these tights on. I really wanted a mint pair and found these on clearance recently. I was hesitant to buy because they only come in S/M and M/L, which doesn't bode well for longer legs like mine. They fit well though. They have a nice stretch, but aren't as soft as some brands I've tried. The biggest problem is that "waistband-free" business again. They will probably start falling down after a few wears. I don't know that I would buy them regularly at full price, but the sale price is worth it.
Sizing: True to size.
Price: $15
(Watch for clearance!)

Forever 21
I never bothered to try these tights. The clothes run small and fall apart quickly so I figured their "one size fits all" tights would be a waste of time. Recently, I found a XL/1X pair in their "plus size" section. I love them. They may be my favorite tights. They are sturdy, soft and even a little big because they are combined sizes.
Sizing: Plus size runs true to size/big
Price: $6.80 (Also in neon)

The success of the plus size tights made me want to try the regular "one size" tights. I picked up a pair today. They fit! They were snug in the waist, but they came all the way up to my natural waist. I wear larges and extra larges at Forever 21 so I was surprised they were even long enough. They are very stretchy so I could see these working on someone much thinner and shorter. They'd probably be more opaque on them too. These are not as high quality as the plus size tights, but they are also cheaper. These are a good buy if you need a trendy pair or something for a specific occassion.
Sizing: One size might actually fit all?!
Price: $5.80

Do you have a favorite brand of tights? Or any tights shopping tips?

Review note: I have only linked to style I have owned and tried this season (though I may also own older pairs). The only exception is the Hue control top tights (mine are a couple seasons old). I wear about a size 14, and I'm 5'7".


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