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November, 2011

Laura’s Choice: The Best Opaque Tights

Although over the years I have worn just about every single pair of opaque tights that we sell, I decided that it was about time that I did some concentrated wearer trials and a proper ‘compare and contrast’ exercise to find out which really are the best opaque tights. 8 weeks later (yes 8! I’m afraid I couldn’t wear plain opaques every day – I love my funky fashion too much), I have now personally tested out 30 different products. I was planning to test every colour we had as well, however I gave up counting how many different colours we have at 80 and decided that that was not practical!

When deciding what to wear on my legs, the things I think about are the thickness (denier) of the tights, the colour (if possible I never wear black), matt vs shiny (for me, by choice I always wear shiny if the colour is right), sizing – having something that fits comfortably is obviously key and of course the price. Though undoubtedly you do pay for what you get in terms of quality.

Which Brand?

For me it is a joyous experience putting on a luxurious pair of Wolford or Falke opaques (£16-£31), from the second you take them out of the package you can understand why they are more expensive than your regular opaques. They are incredibly soft and smooth and you just can’t wait to put them on (well I can’t!). They feel as though they are caressing your legs, the colour is unbelievably even and you can wash them over and over and over again and they stay looking fabulous.

Testing has made me realise I have love for all of the opaques that we sell. Each of them have their own unique characteristics and each one has something special to offer.

For choice of colour, you cannot beat Jonathan Aston and Pamela Mann – their 40 and 50 denier tights both come in over 25 different shades (including brights and autumnal shades) They are also very affordable at £6 and £4.95 respectively. There are also thicker Pamela Mann options available. However, most of our brands do have products that come in at least 6 different shades so there lots of colour choice across all brands and price points.

I think that it is worth mentioning that the Jonathan Aston and Pamela Mann opaques come in one size only. More expensive products tend to come in more sizes so will fit a wider range of body types. One size products are great for you are of an average size but do bear in mind that the fit won’t be so good if you are petite, tall or very curvaceous.

Pretty Polly opaques are great value for money at £4.25-£8 and come in a variety of styles and colours. New this season are the fabulous Mary (Portas) and Charnos opaques which come in 40 and 80 denier (£9.95 and £14 respectively) in all of this season’s key shades and are a joy wear to wear.

Aristoc have also revamped their range of opaques this autumn and taken them right upmarket. Using fabulously soft, fine microfibers as well as cashmere in their winter woollies (£15-£25) has given this renowned British brand a truly luxury edge.

Having done a quick overview of some of my favourite opaque brands, see below for my top tips for each thickness.

Which Thickness?

Semi-Opaque (40 denier)

Personally, I don’t really think of 40 denier tights as being ‘opaque’ as you can very much see your skin through them. Wear these if you want more intensity of colour and durability than you get from sheers but a less heavy look than you get from thicker opaques.

As mentioned above, for semi-opaque colour you just cannot beat the best selling Jonathan Aston 40D opaques – I would recommend getting a pair in every colour so you can match whatever you are wearing! For a high shine you cannot beat the Falke Seidenglatt 40D tights (£16). The other de luxe option is Aristoc’s new super soft Microfibre Tights (£15) which have a classic matte finish.

Opaque (41-69 denier)

As you move to a higher denier, you will get a more solid colour on your leg and you will see less and less skin underneath as a result. As the denier increases the tights get thicker and heavier in appearance but they also get warmer!

The Wolford Velvet de Luxe 66 (19) is another of our best selling opaques and I can totally understand why! It is pure heaven putting them on in the morning, and wearing them all day; gorgeously matt, seductively soft and smooth. Seriously, you won’t want to take them off at the end of the day.

If your budget is more restricted, I cannot recommend Pretty Polly’s 60D opaques highly enough. They have three different options; their Lustre Opaques (£8) which have a glorious shiny lustre to them, the Plush Tights (£8) which come in 7 to die for colours and for everyday wear the Pretty Polly 60D Opaque Tights hit the spot at only £4.25. All the Pretty Polly opaques come in two sizes so great for fit as well.

As mentioned above the mega-popular Pamela Mann 50D opaques (£4.95) come in oodles of colours. They were also a glorious pleasurable surprise when I tried them out last week, as the quality has improved so much since I last wore them. They feel really soft and have a 3D lycra construction which means they have a very even appearance. Fantastic value for money.

And as a shine addict, I also just have to mention the silky soft Wolford Satin Opaque 50 Tights. Sure they are pricy but they have a gorgeous lustre to them.

Finally if you want to go totally seamless, both Falke and Wolford have beautiful de luxe matt 50 Denier options available.

Thick Opaque (70-99 denier)

Once you get to our range of thick opaques you will have a very solid, dense colour on your leg and only occasionally a hint of skin showing through at the knee when you are sitting down.

As I mentioned above, I generally wear funky fashion legwear rather than opaques, however the one opaque that has been on my favourite list for years is the Seidenglatt 70 (£18), gorgeously soft and gloriously shiny AND they come in fabulous fashion colours as well as classic shades. I just love the feel and the look of them so I make sure that I ‘obtain’ every different shade each season. The Mary & Charnos Satin 80 Tights are however snapping at the heels of the Seidenglatt 70’ heels as my favourite shiny, thick, fabulously touchable opaque though – the intense indigo is just the most gorgeous deep blue, I am now about to try out all the other shades….

If you prefer matt tights, try the new Aristoc Opaque 80D microfiber (£18) which are wonderfully thick and heavy to touch (but are light and comfortable on), or go to opaque heaven and wear the Wolford Matt Opaque 80 tights (£21).

For colour – yet again, all I need to say is Pamela Mann – we had 21 shades of their 80D tights last time I counted! Amazing value at only £5.95.

Mega Thick Opaques (100 + denier)

If you want to go thick and wear classic opaque, the Falke Pure Matt 100 (£24) are unbeatable, put these on, and you will think your legs have died and gone to heaven. Joy! For more affordable option the Trasparenze 100D Cortina Tights (12) are great.

Then there are lots of more ‘wooly’ options available, which are perfect for chilly days when you want to feel really warmsnuggly. I think however, I shall talk about these on another day!

Finally I cannot talk about opaques, without talking about another of my all time favourites, and the one black opaque that I LOVE…… the Wolford Satin de Luxe tights (£31). These are totally unique, as although they give a totally solid colour (no way is any hint of flesh going to show through), they are not regular opaques so they do not feel thick and heavy on your legs. They are a cut and sew product and therefore have a seam up the back, they are gloriously shiny and feel amazing to touch. Great for when you want to dress up and have maximum coverage.

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Get the Look: Fearne Cotton

Fearne Cotton is consistently spotted in the best hosiery around, so it’s really no surprise that More! Magazine named her tights-centred style as their “Look of the Week”. Helping you to recreate the look, they suggested the Baroque Floral tights in Rich Red, supplied by MyTights.com.

Created by the collaboration between our favourite retail guru Mary Portas and hosiery giant Charnos, they feature metallic yarns woven into a gorgeously intricate floral design in a deep wine shade. We were thinking about wearing these tights with luxury fabrics like chiffons and silks, but the ever stylish Fearne has shown us exactly how to dress them down for daytime grunge-luxe.

The leather jacket, striped dress and brogues are all thing you’ve probably already got in your wardrobe from last season (or if not, More tells you exactly where to find them!) If wearing sunglasses in the middle of winter, in the evening, indoors is something you’re not QUITE sure you can pull off, go for some geek-chic thick rimmed black glasses instead (with plain glass inside if you don’t actually wear glasses, obviously).

The one thing we’d change? The bag. Fab as it may be, we think our new season tan satchels would complement this look perfectly. For more statement tights, check out the rest of the Mary Portas range or take a look at the collection of lace tights.

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Talking Tights with Mark Hayes

This week on ‘Lorraine’, stylist Mark Hayes gives us top tips for making your legs look slimmer with tights…

  1. Patterns such as lace & spotty tights look great, but choose smaller lace nets and polka dots as the bigger the pattern, the bigger your legs will look.
  2. Only choose vertical stripes if you have slim legs.
  3. Coloured tights are great for livening up a black dress, but instead of bright colours like pillar box red, choose toned down colours, such as a deep red wine for a classier look.

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Wear Statement Tights… Because More Magazine Says So.

More! magazine has declared it and we’re not one to argue: Statement Tights are THE new trend to be seen in. Easier than anyone imagines and the cheapest outfit update money can buy, there are tons of ways to work statement tights, More! shows you their top three and we’re here to tell you how to do it…

Pretty Detailing

These statement tights are all about exquisite lace and intricate floral designs. For a twist on the classic design, try a coloured fishnet.

Like the ones in the picture? Check out… Mary Portas and Charnos Baroque Floral Tights in Rich Red and Pamela Mann Flocked Rose Tights.

Fetish

The ever popular bondage tights, first put on the map by style queen Cheryl Cole, were an instant sell out and now it looks as though they’ve come back for another round, just in time to fit in with all the leather you’ve bought for the current fetish trend. For a tamer take on the look, try animal print designs… there are tons of different ones to choose from. From the classic leopard print to funky zebra styles, take a look at the entire animal print tights collection.

Like the ones in the picture? Check out… Pamela Mann Straparound Tights and Jonathan Aston Animal Tights.

90s Rave

By which we of course mean as BRIGHT and LOUD as you can make them! Fluoro colours are perfect, but if you want something subtler try a purple or green to ease you in. Take a look at the whole range of coloured tights but especially keep your eyes peeled for the 40D Jonathan Aston and 80D Pamela Mann versions, which both come in such a variety of colours you will be spoilt for choice.

Like the ones in the picture? Check out… Pretty Polly 60D Lustre Opaques in Ink and the Trasparenze Miami Tights.


~*~ Hot Tip: If these styles aren’t outrageous enough for your quirky fashion sense, check out the Celeste Stein designs – they will blow your mind! ~*~

Got any questions about a product you’re trying to find or a style you want to recreate? Ask our style team on Facebook or Twitter.

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X Factor Girls Reveal All!

The three remaining X Factor girls (we miss you, Sophie Habibis) joined Now magazine for a chat and photoshoot last week, and glammed up in a selection of red hot tights. Showing us exactly how to work the trend for statement tights that seems to be everywhere this season, they’ve given us some great ideas for our festive party outfits.

Mischa B pulls off opaque hot pink tights with style. Teaming them with multicoloured sequins and natty accessories, she looks fierce! They’ll look great on pale redheads and darker skin tones, but a word of warning: steer clear if you have pink toned skin, and blondes should be careful they don’t end up looking like Barbie.

Amelia Lily wears star print tights just like Henry Holland’s Superstar tights in black with her showgirl ensemble. These tights are perfect for capturing the trend for stars that we’ve caught glimpses of throughout the season, and the black ones are even classic enough for the office… or for a truly twinkling festive look, check out the multicoloured glittery version! Henry Holland tights have also been spotted on the last remaining group, Little Mix, who have previously worn his Superstar and All Over Bones tights. The designer himself has made no secret of his love for the group, tweeting a picture of himself with the band yesterday with the caption “Life. Made. #littlemixforlife”.

But the real fashion kudos goes, perhaps unexpectedly, to Janet Devlin for working two styles perfectly. Love her or hate her, there’s no denying that she’s got the hosiery situation spot on. Working the trend for stars with a sparkling black dress, the adding of opaque purple tights turns a pretty dress into an outstanding outfit! The plum colour is perfect for winter and works as great with biker boots, like Janet, as it does with heels. As if that wasn’t enough, Janet came back for more fashion points in a second striking style. Chic black cocktail shorts and a cropped jacket let the twinkling bustier and star pendant take centre stage. The addition of Henry Holland’s Suspender Tights gave the outfit a sexy, tailored twist that made her look more funky and less “put together”.

Choose your favourite today or check out the entire range of statement tights!

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Get the Look: Caggie Dunlop

Super-Sloane and Made in Chelsea star Caggie Dunlop has been spotted looking very chic indeed in Henry Holland’s Super Suspender Tights, hot on the heels of celebs like Rihanna and Selena Gomez.  We never thought we’d see the day that such a funky design became part of a Chelsea girl’s wardrobe, but it seems that if you haven’t already got a pair, you need to get some, and quick!  Suspender Tights are having their second coming at the moment and Caggie is just the latest in a long line of celebs to be spotted in hers.

Thanks to their renewed place in the hearts of fashionistas everywhere, they’ve had a bit of a redesign and now there are tons more styles to choose from, including Henry Holland’s Pearly Suspender Tights and the Trasparenze Aukland leopard print style.

But for the classic, and frankly really rather high end look; Caggie’s your girl.  Giving everyone a lesson in how to be cool, not trashy, she dresses hers down with 80s style baggy denim and a chunky scarf.  The best bit is, if you’ve held on to key pieces from last season and last winter, you won’t need anything else new!

Dressing her tights down has proven to be a stroke of genius and makes the ensemble look polished and high end.  Roll up the sleeves of a baggy denim shirt (if yours is too tight for this look, borrow your boyfriend’s and cinch in with a tan belt), and team with black shorts and a chunky knit scarf (you can get these from practically anywhere).

Finish with a slouchy bag (real leather, obviously), bedhead hair (that takes three hours to painstakingly craft) and a friend named Binky.

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Baby I Love Spanx

Spare a thought for Hollywood A-lister Jennifer Garner who has been banned from wearing maternity clothes by her stylist even though she is 5 months pregnant.  Instead of hiding beneath loose smocks, Jennifer and her celebrity super stylist Rachel Zoe are facing up to the challenge by celebrating the bump with figure hugging dresses and tops.  Similarly, both Beyonce and Hilary Duff have been striding out in pencil skirts which hug the curves of their pregnant tummies.  It’s definitely the way to dress through your pregnancy but I am betting that these stylish ladies are giving their figures a helping hand with some supportive shapewear.

Maternity shapewear has had a bad press recently but let me start by saying maternity shapewear is NOT about trying to hide the bump.  Rather it is about firming up your hips, thighs and bum to make you feel more confident and supporting your back and your tummy to make you more comfortable.   Spanx Maternity Tights are great for wearing under those Beyonce style pencil skirts as it will make your bum look firm and pert.

Spanx Power Mama shaping shorts are great to wear under trousers or for when you want a bare leg look.  Wear them under jeans and a t-shirt to make you feel more and confident and carefree as Jennifer Garner does in her off duty looks.

Your body shape might have changed drastically but there is no need to compromise on your style.   Your maternity wardrobe doesn’t have to be all about smocks and loose tunics.   Thanks to the power of maternity Spanx you can still rock a pencil skirt like Beyonce.

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The Press ♥ MyTights

Oh, the fashionistas in the press just can’t get enough of MyTights at the moment.

First, the Sunday Mirror Celebs on Sunday style team went absolutely tights crazy (below left), recommending bright rainbow colours for day and gorgeous patterns for night-time.  For the most impressive array of colours you could wish for, take a look at the Jonathan Aston 40D Opaque Tights which come in 25 different shades!  Or for more styles take a look at the entire range of coloured tightsPatterned tights for evening can add a sexy, fun or elegant touch to an outfit, depending on what style you choose.  Lace is a classic that will never look out of place, or if you’re feeling darling check out King of Quirk Henry Holland’s fashion tights.  You can get most of the exact tights at MyTights, including the Pamela Mann Oversized Spot Tights, Wolford Lara Tights , Pamela Mann HighBall Tights & Henry Holland Superstar Tights (don’t forget to check these out in the glittery version too!)

Then Marie Claire wanted to be our BFF, listing us in their online address book (below right) as their go-to place for “all your sparkly hosiery needs”.  If sparkly tights are what you’re after, check out our range of glittery tights and embellished tights.  We especially love Bebaroque for their super-luxe designs and gorgeous detail – perfect for the fast approaching festive season! Most of the Bebaroque designs come in luxurious thick opaque deniers too, meaning you will stay toasty warm!

Even the FT How to Spend it magazine got in on the action with these stunning photos (below).  Showing their exquisite taste, these chose the Pamela Mann Colour Stripe Tights (below left) which have appeared in Vogue and teamed the beautiful autumnal stripes with similar colours in contrasting prints.  We LOVE the orange booties and chunky necklace, which stop the ultra-feminine ditsy print dress from looking too girly.

What’s black and white, and red all over?  Red tights (below, centre) are not for the faint-hearted but have the ultimate wow factor.  Trying to soften such a vibrant colour just won’t work, so take a leaf out of the FT’s book and complement them with dizzying geometric prints in stark red, white and black.  Or for an eccentric take on the 40’s ladylike trend that’s going strong this season (below right), mix up cute printed tea dresses and peter pan collars with the Pamela Mann Season Check Tights, which come in 3 cute colours so you can wear them with anything!

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Christmas Gifts for your Family

It might feel a little too early to be thinking about Christmas but, with only 5 weeks to go before the big day, it is definitely worth collecting your present ideas now.  I always kick off Christmas buying with presents for my family.  They are the people that you know best in the world so how is it you often find yourself scratching your head over what to buy for mums, dads, daughters and sisters? Here, I’ve put together some failsafe ideas that will help you find the perfect gifts for your nearest and dearest this Christmas.

Gifts for Teenagers

Buying for a teenage girl, be they your daughter, niece or sister can be pretty daunting.  Look like you have your finger on the fashion pulse by giving a pair of Henry Holland Pearly Suspender Tights which were recently pictured in Look magazine.  In fact, your teenager will be impressed with any of the tights from the House of Holland for Pretty Polly range.  Being worn by Rihanna and Jessie J has confirmed their über cool status so you can’t go wrong.   Alternatively, if your teenager enjoys the musical stylings of Cheryl Cole, Pamela Mann’s Straparound Tights and Jonathan Aston’s Casino Tights are a very close copy of the tights she wore for some of her recent performances.

Gifts for your Mum

Your mum will probably say she likes whatever you buy but it would take a superhuman effort not to fall in love with Pantherella’s cashmere socks.   The exceptionally high cashmere content makes Pantherella socks so soft and luxurious your mum will be dying to slip them on and put her feet up.  Our favourites are the Pantherella Women’s Cashmere Rib Ankle Socks which come in a gorgeous range of colours.

For mums we would also recommend checking out the Mary Portas and Charnos range for their super fashionable but restrained styles.  The Mary Portas and Charnos Sheer Spot Tights for example are right on trend but in a classic wearable style that looks great on everyone.  If you know your mum, like so many other women, is self conscious about her upper arms treat her to Mary Portas Armery.  Available in classic plain and glamorous lace, the fact that Armery has been flying off the MyTights.com shelves is proof that this brand new product is what women have been crying out for.  Your mum will love them.

Gifts for your Dad

You might think you are playing it safe by buying your dad socks for Christmas but it needn’t be a boring option.  Burlington’s colourful patterned Norfolk Men’s Socks are great for casual days but they also add a great dash of colour under a work suit (It’s also worth noting that, if you are buying for a dandyish younger brother or cousin, the sporty look of Burlington’s Dorset Men’s Socks is ultra fashionable right now).  Falke Silk Men’s Socks will give a little Bond-esque polish and represent a bit of simple luxury he would never think to buy for himself.

Beat the rush and get your present orders in early this Christmas.  Our fast despatch service will still help you out nearer the time but there is nothing like the smug feeling of knowing that Christmas is taken care of before December even begins!

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Suspender Tights are here to stay……

Wow our suspender tights have been selling like hotcakes this week.  Could it have something to do with the fact that Rihanna was spotted stepping out of a London restaurant at the weekend wearing House of Holland Super Suspender Tights?

Maybe you’ve all been hankering after the look that got flashbulbs popping for Selina Gomez in Paris last week.  Maybe you have seen the amazing new House of Holland for Pretty Polly advertising campaign featuring Jessie J.

Suspender tights have been a MyTights.com bestselling product for a couple of years already and it doesn’t look like their reign as hosiery’s hottest trend is coming to an end any time soon.  The latest clutch of celebs pictured in their in their suspender tights featured in the Sun this week and the roll call included Kimberley Wyatt of the Pussycat Dolls, Frankie Sandford as well as Rihanna and Jessie J.

The Pretty Polly Suspender Tights even had the dubious honour of appearing on Frankie Cocozza’s date Becca Hills on the night she went home with the X Factor bad boy!

Now girls are again looking for something warm but more fun than plain black opaques, suspender tights are on the up again.  They are sexy, practical, easy to dress up or down, it’s no wonder that suspender tights are the trend that just keep going and going!

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