If you wear tights you probably have a personal favorite in regards to how sheer or opaque you like them. Personally, I tend to lean towards opaque more than sheer. In nursing school it was a requirement to wear sheer hose (or opaque white) and I guess I have had enough of that. Whether I am wearing a skirt or dress I tend to go opaque in the winter and pretty much bare in the summer.
Laura from The Big Tights Company asked me to check out a pair of their thick cotton tights and their 180 Denier micro tights. Their website is “dedicated solely to plus size hosiery”. Almost all their products have been made exclusively for them through a company in Italy and after years of back and forth between them they feel they have made the perfect plus size accessory; including what they believe to be “the ultimate plus size winter opaque tights”. When they say plus size, they really mean plus size — you won’t find sizes 10, 12, and 14 here. Laura also has another site called The Big Bloomers Company which I had the opportunity to review for BellaOnline’s Large and Lovely site in 2012.
This time she sent me two pairs of tights to review: one style is in a thick cotton mix and the other is 180 denier micro.
All Woman Thick Cotton Mix – I hate to use Internet short speak in a blog post, but OMG, these are so thick, like socks! I love them.
They have a nice softness to them, excellent opacity and are super stretchy. I’ve always loved the sock style tights but they have never been plus size enough for me to enjoy. These ones are the thickness of a women’s dress sock and they have a thick reinforced waistband.
There is an unlined gusset sewn in both styles.
A closer look shows the sock texture I mentioned.
At the moment they only have black but I’m hoping they get some red, grey, wine, navy to add to their basic colors.
All Woman 180 Denier Micro Tights – These tights have a smoother texture than the cotton mix so they are less “sock” like and I would say a dressier tights.
I know I was pretty excited about the cotton mix but these ones are probably my favorite because of opacity, texture, softness, and color (these ones are a little deeper black). These ones also have a thick reinforced waist band.
The flash makes them look like dark grey but they are indeed black (they could be blacker).
These ones have a finer texture which makes them feel less like a sock.
Again, at the moment they only have black but I’m hoping they get some more basic colors soon.
A note about opacity, both styles have excellent opacity but both can have peek through skin visible if pulled on too tight. Do not put them on like hose, pulling every inch of stretch over your leg to make sure you have enough to cover your butt. You will have enough! Pull them on loosely over your legs to maintain the opacity then go back and pull a little more after you have pulled them up if you need too. When pulled tight, the cotton tights have a shinier look to them with the other micro ones which have more of a matte appearance.
The Big Tights Company have not skimped on material to make these plus size tights. They come with a full panty thickness so you don’t have to worry about your nails poking through when you are yanking them up — unless you have talons. Neither of these pairs have reinforced toe but since the tights do not need to be pulled tightly over the toes I didn’t find they needed to be.
Both tights wear well throughout the day and I was able to wear them a few times before washing them. There is a little bagging in the crotch by the end of the day but I didn’t feel like I needed to make an emergency stop to the bathroom to pull things up. I threw mine in the gentle cycle inside out (because I rarely handwash) and so far they survived.
I guess it is also important to mention that I am 5’9″ and still had a lot of material left over so to speak if I had been taller. I am concerned about the sizing for petite plus size women.
With a name like Big Tights Company they really hold up to their name as these UK brand tights are only offered in one size range: 24/34 UK (about size 42 Canadian). The site dimensions listed are depth to 26″, hips up to 100″, and thigh up to 33″ (although Laura’s email said up to 40″). Their hose range in price of £19.95 (using Google’s converter I got $30.96 US) for one pair or £54.95 for a three-pack. Shipping is pretty reasonable to U.S. and Canada at about $9. Delivery was really fast for the tights I received, within two weeks.
Overall I am pretty impressed with both pairs. They are a bit pricey but they are definitely better made than some of the cheaper brands I’ve seen. For winter opaque tights these two are definitely an option for us larger sized ladies to enjoy.