Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Reader Question – Tights for Tall Girls

The other day, I received an email from Reader Friend Kay:


I have just stumbled on your blog and was thrilled to see a tall girl. My friend Janice is about as tall as you, but not plus size. She has definite issues with fit and as such has kind of given up on participating in personal style.

Her burning question to me last time we talked was about tights.

To get the leg length right, she has to purchase queen size, but then the top panty is too large and the crotch is at her thighs.

I noticed a lot of your tights were Hue or Spanx. Do they fit you better, come in a wider array of sizes, what?

Help us girls out! It's cold here in northern Virginia!

Now, you know I’m not about to let any of my fellow tall girls freeze, not in Northern Virginia or anywhere else, so here is my best advice for tights for tall girls.

For opaque, black tights, I suggest SPANX Tight End Tights because they offer a ton of sizing options.  I’d be surprised if they didn’t have a size to fit nearly everyone’s height/weight ratio (I wear size D).  In addition to multiple sizing options, I also like SPANX because they are slimming but not painful and they are sufficiently opaque.  Which I feel is important in an opaque tight.

SPANX also makes sheer, patterned tights which fit just as comfortably as their opaque tights:

For colored tights, HUE tights definitely work the best for me.  Although they insist on offering improbable, dual sizing (S/M or M/L) on a lot of their patterned and sweater tights, for their plain, colored tights they offer a fair variety of sizes.  I wear the size 3 in HUE and I’ve found that they're both long enough in the leg and that the waist comes up high enough so they don't cut into me.  I also love HUE tights for their opacity and color saturation.  They also hold up pretty well; I’ve had many of my pairs for a couple of years.

And, every once in a while, HUE throws us tall girls a bone and creates patterned pairs with normal sizing.

HUE Herringbone

HUE Swiss Dot

I’ve also tried Target tights, Nordstrom tights and DKNY tights but they also don’t offer extended/additional sizing in their sweater or patterned tights and HUE is better than all of them for opacity and/or longevity.
Which isn’t to say that Target won’t do in a pinch; I have a couple of pairs from there:

Target polka dot

Target fishnets

If you still don’t seem to fit in SPANX or HUE sizes, I’d suggest trying footless tights, especially if you plan on wearing them with tall boots.  With footless tights, you can go smaller in the waist sizing without having to worry about the crotch getting pulled down to accommodate your long legs.  And, if you can’t find footless tights in the color you want, you can make them.  You can cut the toe out of regular, opaque tights to make them into footless tights and they won’t run and can be laundered regularly.  Obviously this won’t work on lace or sweater tights, but I’ve done it on opaque tights and it’s worked fine.

How about you, Reader Friends?  Who makes your favorite tights?



  1. Great tips! I really need to try Spanx tights. I read so many good things about them.

    As for Hue, maybe I got a bad batch, but I have a purple pair that gives me the worst crotch sag. Who knows, maybe I just need to try a different size or something.

    You know whose tights actually seem to run pretty long? Old Navy. I have a couple pairs from there that I really like. Plus, they have L/XL, which works a heck of a lot better for me than M/L. I just bought some cable-knit tights from there that are kind of weird, but the regular tights are great.

  2. I've had similar experiences to you, Gracey. The Spanx tights are durable and comfy and pretty warm besides (maybe too warm for me here in the SF area sometimes). I've had good luck with the Nordstrom house brand. Target is fine, but they rarely carry anything but the basic colors in plus sizes. I've heard good things about Sock Dreams online, if that's an option for the querier (?), but haven't tried them myself.

  3. First, I have to tell you how deeply impressed I am with your tights collection. I was starting to worry that I had too many pairs (this weekend's shopping brought me up to about six or seven), but now I know I don't have enough :)

    Also, as a fellow tall girl, I'm loving the brand suggestions. I usually go with Target's options, but after a few wears I usually get the saggy crotch issue. Ooooor I have to pull the top of the tights up to my ribcage. I'll definitely check out Spanx and Hue!!

  4. I love Hue tights, especially when I can find them at Marshalls or TJMaxx. I'm not uber tall (5'7") and I've found that H&M's tights run a little long on me. I only wear them with boots because they bunch around my ankles. They come in sizes XS- XL in a variety of fabrics and colors.

  5. Wow, you have some awesome tights. (And yes. Opacity in opaque tights is important. I quite agree.)

    I've also found H&M tights to run quite tall (and surprisingly good quality), and I know the questioner is isn't in the UK, but if she's willing to order overseas, I cannot recommend Dorothy Perkins' tights enough.

    Also sharing in the Hue love. I've also done OK with Calvin Klein, and there ARE tall DKNY tights to be found (at least in TK Maxx) but they're really limited in choice.

  6. gracey, i like seeing the compilation of your outfits with tights! i am such a tights ho. being the short girl of 5.1 that i am, i've bought tights that were too tall. :P

  7. Thanks for posting this! I've had the same issue with tights pretty much forever, and I thought it was just me.

    My go-to actually is from Target, but it's the tights from their Assets line (which you may know, is made by Sara Blakely and is just a couple steps down from actual Spanx). It's about $20 for a pair, but I've got some that have lasted several years. They're comfy, very opaque and I've never had the crotch sag issue. But they're only available in black, gray and maybe a few black textures/prints. I've been wanting to branch out into colors, so I'll check out Hue!

  8. I'm pretty obsessed with my Foot Traffic tights. They are quite stretchy. And actually are a bit big on my tiny self. I can't wear them with regular style shoes because the ankle doesn't fit slim enough, but the thickness is worth the warmth.

    Sockdreams.com offers lots of tights variety. Usually with decent reviews on fit. Many pairs cost a bit more, but I've had my quality tights last much longer than my target pairs.

  9. Even though I'm not super tall, I may have to check out some of these brands because I've found very few pairs of tights that actually fit right. I've tried on several pairs that were supposed to fit girls who were 5'8" (like me), and yet the crotch stops mid-thigh. Ridiculous :)

  10. Good information and advice. I share this problem. I usually buy Hue but you've inspired me to try Spanx. I use their shapewear but never tried their tights.

  11. Manguun. I think they're only in Germany, but I discovered them and they're amazing. I bought 12 pairs in one month - burgundy, forest green, black, patterned, thermal, etc. I've never found tights that would fit my 36" inseam AND my 14-16 waist, but these have tons of length, sit on my hips like leggings, and I've found up to size 22. They are THE BEST.

  12. Bless you for this post. I bought some Target premium tights about 3 years ago (which I still have), but they've discontinued them and I am struggling (and wasting money) on other brands trying to find some that fit (35" inseam), are thick enough, and don't run. I've seen the Hue brand around but wasn't sure if it'd be another money suck. I'll be giving them a try!

  13. So far I've been buying some from a dollar store and they fit well! They don't bunch up and aren't too large at the top, but are still long enough for my legs (I'm 5'10").

    But thanks for the ideas! I want to get some more pairs of tights/nylons somewhere, somehow, sometime. Broke and trying to move, so doubly broke. haha But I do have my neutral nylons and a fishnet pair. ;)

  14. Omg, these are all so pretty. I've always had a difficult time finding long enough tights and pants. 5'10" in bare feet.

  15. I skimmed through the tall tights ehem info just to see your fantastic ensembles. dawn suitcase vignettes xo

  16. Gracey....what a great dress and tights recap. So hard to pick a favorite; they all look lovely on you.

  17. Very thorough suggestions, thanks! I will have to check out Spanx, and footless tights for boots, etc. -- genius! I also have a couple of American Apparel tights, the super opaque versions. Again, sizing is a bit dubious (M/L), but they're long enough for this 5'9" chica. :)

  18. Love this post! I am always on the hunt for a good pair of tights for tall ladies. I haven't tried Spanx but I do like Hue. I have also had good luck with H&M tights, and surprisingly I've found that Express tights always seem to be long enough for me (at 5'11") and come in some fun patterns.

  19. Short fat girl tights-Just my size. Although I only wear basic black tights so I'm pretty tights ignorant.

  20. Another thumbs up for Hue. I wear Hue tights or pantyhose every day, and the crotch/waist hit at the right places and stay there all day! I'm 5'11" /150, and the size 3 fits perfectly.

  21. It had to be about 10 years ago I picked up some Ralph Lauren opaque black tights at Winners - then went back and bought every pair they had. :) Just now I'm down to my last few pairs and didn't have a clue where to start, so I really appreciate the tips! Thanks, Gracey! Love those blue ones too.

  22. lovely post!! I really like my local brand her in Germany, Esda. They work fine for me, but they are also the only brand that makes long enough tights for a tall lady. It seems this problem exists around the globe! I just hope that they won't stop producing them at some point. I really love those black polka dot ones!!

  23. I don't think I saw them mentioned, but the Worthington brand from Penney's are a great fit for taller bodies. I'm 6' and weigh in at @ 170 #'s, and the size 2 are fine for all day wear without much binding. I have also tried the size 3, though they go all the way to my ribs.
    Penney's used to blow these out at clearance prices of $3 or $4 every February, though I can't say if they will continue to do that.

  24. I had to drop in to comment that the Hue FLEECE LINED tights are the bees knees. Opacity, warmth, and soft, wonderful fleeciness that makes it feel like you are wearing sweats even when you look all fancy-like. They also come in a footless version. I've bought them in every color I've come across. I'm 5'9"/165 lbs. and all my height is in my legs. Hue and Spanx (and Spanx's cheaper Target cousin, Assets) both work out for me too.


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