Tell Me About Tights, My Sisters

I was helping my daughter get ready for a party and we got to talking about tights. She couldn’t believe how difficult they were to put on, and how likely they were to get stretched out/slip down in places. I was telling her that in my long life, I had faced a near constant battle of tights curling down at the waistline, sometimes rolling down my hips, which I attributed to to my long waist, since it didn’t appear to be a matter of my size or my tight size. Tights, I told her, are very flawed leg coverings.

All of a sudden, a thunderbolt hit me. (So to speak.) I had never spoken with my mother about tights, and I don’t really remember comparing notes with anyone. Did I not know the basics about tights? Is there more than one way to put them on? Are there certain brands or materials I should look for? Should I buy larger than my size? What about the rolling down the waist thing — is that just a tragic reality for me and others of my ilk? Are there tight garters? What about opaque stockings?

As it is now, there is only one pair of tights that I truly trust, and that’s the Spanx double-sided ones. They don’t slip down, and depending on whether I wear them inside or out, they are either matte black or brown. But that’s just one magical pair of tights, and at this point, I have no faith that they won’t join the others that have disappointed me.

I put out the call to all tights-wearers, past and present — what are the best practices? Please, share your wisdom. Yes, I could try more Googling, but I don’t trust Google, I trust YOU. The children are our future, and my daughter deserves to have a better tights experience than I did.


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Moretta is a caring nurturer, a member of several 12-step programs, but not a licensed therapist. Her Twitter is

7 thoughts on “Tell Me About Tights, My Sisters”

  1. I put on a new pair of tights this morning. They are a lovely shade of violet… and that is the only thing to recommend them. Then, I read the package, and they are control top. WTF? Control top are THE WORST. Why, self, did you not read the label before you bought them?!?

    I always buy tights the next size up. I have a squishy midsection, and the larger waist band is more comfortable. Also for those of us who are more “apple”, maternity tights are lovely! I may or may not still be wearing some even though I am 18 months postpartum. :-)

    Since we have 6 months of winter up here, I tend to wear fleece-lined, footless running tights most of the time, under my various knee-length boots. Footless tights are awesome.

  2. I have had an ongoing battle with tights and damn pantihose since high school. I’m tall (5’11) and have extra long legs. This means tights have been a form of torture for my entire life (well, since I was about 14. Before that, I was of ladylike dimensions and I could actually get tights that fit me). If it’s not crotch creep or elephant ankles, it’s the sticking your fingers through them when you try to pull them up to where they’re supposed to be.

    I’ve finally found a brand of footless ones that are long enough, and last 2-3 years and survive being put on in the dark when you’re 3/4 asleep. Weirdly, the tights with feet in the same brand are short and annoying.

  3. Oh man, I hated tights as a kid. I like them now but I have problems with weird crotches, having them be too high and rolling down, bunching at my ankles, and all that mess. I always always always wear shorts on top of mine. It solves a lot of the problems and I just feel safer in them. That being said, I love footless ones too because they just seem to fit better. But I hate wearing those with flats. I’m still in search of the one perfect pair.

  4. I’m with Amanda, except for the 6 foot thing. I sometimes go a size larger because of the way my body is arranged. Personally, I like Hue and Land’s End.

    Other advice-keep your toenails trimmed so you don’t wear through the toes as quickly.

  5. I love tights. I wear them all fall/winter. That being said, at six feet tall, tights are a battle. I have to buy a size bigger than I really am so that I can get them to stretch long enough. (Otherwise I have the crotchstyle of 90s middle school boy.) My best advice is once you find a brand/style that works, WRITE IT DOWN and buy ONLY that kind until they eventually discontinue it and leave you heartbroken.

    There are no Trojan Horses to this battle.

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