Fashion

The Problem With Tights

2 June, 2010

I am a lady who loves tights. Several of my recent (and most popular) posts are about tights. Or leggings. By now you might have noticed that I use those words interchangeably but yep, I mean the stretchy tubes you put on the lower half of your body. I’m sorry if that annoys you but that’s just what I do, I can’t explain it!

Anyway, the important matter at hand is not my distracting and improper use of nouns, it’s tights. And how I can’t find any cute ones. Am I taking crazy pills? The only tights I can find for plus sizes are in bright colours, and while I’m partial to a lurid garment every now and then, I have filled that wardrobe requirement and I want to have the options in legwear that straight sizes do!

My specific desires in super stretchy leg gear include (but are not limited to): florals, geometrical, mesh inserts, foil, lace, ribbed and fishnet. The tights I’ve used in the above graphic all come from ModCloth and I’d save up money to purchase them all except they don’t come in my size. I’m looking for ankle length if they’re footless, and properly sized if they’re stockings. Queen size does not fit me, and it annoys me that these are sold as a “one size fits all” solution for every person above x number of kilograms.

Another issue when it comes to tights is my lack of access to them. Brick and mortar stores sell opaque black in my size if I’m lucky, and in order to have any kind of chance I must look online. Many online stores that sell tights in my size don’t ship to Australia, and because I’m Australian I need to be very careful about selecting the right size. So it’s a pretty tortuous process to get through just to keep my legs warm and even then the end product isn’t exactly what I’d wanted in the first place.

So, my solution is to whinge about it because I know a few plus size fashion labels keep tabs on the fatshion blogging world. Hear my pleas for more fashion forward options and I will give you money in exchange for tights that will make me look fabulous and recommend you a million times over. I know a couple of indie designers, naKIMuli and Decadent Industries, who are making amazing patterned tights in straight and plus sizes. Nikki of Decadent has recently had to put orders on hold for a while because she has been so overwhelmed with demand. My other solution is to try and DIY myself some leggings; I’ve found this pattern, which I will have to grade up to my size (like usual). But this option is only available to people who have the time to make a pattern and sew it, who have sewing skills and access to a machine.

There is a market. We have cold, unadorned legs and we will buy tights!

So while you wait for the plus size market to catch up, here’s a list of DIY resources if you’re inclined:
Shelby Kaava #302 Vuokatti Tights
rokkmeamadeus’ DIY leggings tutorial
Cocorosa’s embellished tights tutorial
Cocorosa’s miu miu tights tutorial
The Coveted’s gradient tights tutorial
Shini’s cloudy pearl tights tutorial
ljenmf’s cutout/ bow tights tutorial
Threadbanger spiked leggings tutorial

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  • http://randomette.blogspot.com ErinAree

    I hear ya. I end up wearing pants 99% of the time in winter because otherwise my legs get cold.

  • nitrojane

    Man, i would sell my soul for some lovely ribbed/cabled tights. Yes, I could hand-knit them if i -really- wanted to, but by the time that happened winter would be over.

    I don't necessarily want synthetic bright coloured tights. I want the CHOICE. I want cable knit wool tights that actually fit my body.

    This is not too much to ask.

    Reblog this on AoF, it's important!

  • InTheLightOfTheSun

    Have been thinking the same thing for some time now. Desperate for tights in fun colours, patterns or styles but black, black, black is all I can seem to find in my size. How hard must it be?! Thank you for posting the above resources I will check them out but PLEASE, if you are listening Fashion World – give us some friggin plus sized tights and our money is YOURS!!

  • http://evamorning.tumblr.com Eva

    Have you tried the We Love Colors tights? They have free shipping to Aus all winter with the code WELOVENZAUS

    I have three pairs. They're pretty sturdy and thick. The only problem for me is that they come up really high (coming to just under my bust).

    The largest sized Jonathon Ashton tights from Myer fit me at a 22. They have a couple of cable-knit types, all in black though. The bamboo type ones from Myer in the largest size also fit me.

  • http://www.definatalie.com definatalie

    I certainly do know about We Love Colors as they're practically the only place I can get plain tights. I'm not a fan of the tie dyed or striped tights however. I'm looking for options in plus size patterned tights that reflect trends seen in straight sizes.

  • http://www.definatalie.com definatalie

    I have to post my thank you post on there as well! I'll get around to it soon, I hope :D

  • http://caitymakes.com Caity

    Couldn't agree with you more! I *could* theoretically sew some tights, but what I really want to do is just BUY a pair or two and not have to THINK about it!

  • Heather

    Listen up plus size fashion labels!!!!!!!!!!! and modify above post to include bras as well. People want flexibility!!!!!!!

    Thanks for the resources Natalie.

  • Hayley

    Yours Clothing (UK) have a few funky leggings including some greytone floral ones.

  • http://project-kathryn.com kathryn

    Yeah how hard can it be – they are a fairly cheap item so it should be easy to make fashionable tights in all sizes. I've been thinking lately of layering – net tights over coloured. It's definitely cold enough in Melbourne to merit mulitiple tights.

  • http://www.pearlslaceandruffles.com Pearls, Lace And Ruffles

    I guess i'm lucky that a few stores around here carry cute tights in sizes bigger than s/m/l! Though I rarely actually opt for patterned tights!

    http://www.pearlslaceandruffles.com

  • http://professionalamateurgirl.blogspot.com/ Miss Darling

    THIS THIS A MILLION TIMES, THIS. I was just saying the other day how I would love to start a plus size hosiery company that made ALL the designs and types available in straight sizes. This needs to happen.
    Natalie, I love your blog. :)

  • Stephania

    I hear you natalie. I have the opposite problem: I find it hard to find really small leggins/hosiery to fit properly. Most of them come all the way up to my boobs and are too wrinkly at my calves and ankles. And 3/4 leggins? What's that? All 3/4 leggins are full sized :(

  • http://h-cue.tumblr.com Haley

    a to the men, for sure.

  • eva

    the graphic at the top of this post is SO lovely. well done.

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  • Rae

    Hi there, just stumbled across your blog this morning and am really liking it! I know it's a little late to join the discussion on this post, but Sock Dreams may be a place to go for tights/leggings in larger sizes. They ship from the US though, and I'm not sure how much that could end up costing.

    http://www.sockdreams.com/products/socks/plus-s