When it comes to the world’s biggest lies, “one size fits all” has to be up there at the top. I mean, how often have you bought leggings, T-shirts, knickers etc that promise to deliver amazing looks on all body shapes only to find they’re too short in the body, too long in the crotch or just perfect – if you’re Thumbelina?
For me, it’s tights. Being 5ft and 0.5ins on a good day, it is difficult to find tights that don’t make me look like I’m wearing my big sister’s hand-me-downs. Usually they’re too long. I pull them up as high as possible – great for keeping your boobs warm in the winter – but they slide down throughout the day and end up bunched up around my ankles.
If that’s not enough, there’s the crotch. Now I didn’t do great at Biology at school, but I’m pretty sure your crotch isn’t halfway down to your knees. And yet that’s where it ends up with most tights leaving you having to do the Hosiery Hula.
You know the Hosiery Hula, don’t you? It’s when you’re walking along, looking glam and sophisticated, and you start feeling your tights slipping down your legs. So you do the little shimmy, grab the top and try to surreptitiously pull them up and get the gusset into your crotch area. Or somewhere close.
There are hacks to keep your tights up, but they usually involve wearing another pair of knickers over your tights (NB: do not try this with thongs. Ouch.)
Whoever came up with that hack was not a woman wearing a slimline dress and so needs body shaping knickers on. Or even a woman wearing any sort of dress or skirt and wants to eat. Unless you’re wearing a full skirt, you’re just replacing a saggy crotch with VPL overdrive.
And every woman I know has these problems, no matter how tall or short they are, whether they’re size zero or plus-size.
Which is why I was curious about Snag tights, a new online size-inclusive and body-positive tights brand.
Its ethos is simple: everyone deserves to be able to wear tights that fit them properly, regardless of their size, height, shape or disability.
Amen to that!
“For too long, women have had to put up with tights that just don’t fit,” says their website. “And we’re not just talking about plus size – this is a problem for big women, small women, short women, tall women.”
To that end, they offer tights that vary in height, width and body shape. And forget S, M and L, their size guide gives you a choice of curvy and smooth and A-G, covering sizes 4 to 28 and women struggling to count every inch on their height like me to those goddesses over 5ft 9ins.
Snag was founded by Edinburgh lass Brie Read after she struggled to find a pair of tights that fit. Talking to pals, she discovered that it was a problem they all shared, regardless of their shape.
“Traditional tights vary in length, but not by width, so it can be a real struggle for women who don’t have a ‘normal’ body shape to find tights that fit,” she says. “For many of these women, a lack of tights that fit properly can lead to a major restriction in clothes that can be worn with comfort and confidence.
“Our tights are designed by women for women and cater to all different shapes and sizes – from very tiny to super curvy. We listen to our customers and create tights which will allow them to love their bodies and express their personalities by the way they dress.”
You can see how women were desperate for tights that fit. Since it started, Snag has sold more than 200,000 pairs of tights and has in excess of 50,000 customers.
I just love their promo photos: beautiful women of all shapes and sizes looking happy and confident. None of this using standard-size models to promote body positivity and diversity. (Although a quick sidenote, ladies: it would be great if you featured older women, too. We wear tights as well – and no, they’re not all American Tan 20 denier.)
They’re also a great way to add a pop of colour into your wardrobe. If, like me, your wardrobe is 50 shades of black and white you’re wary of bright hues, Snag’s colourful tights will let you drip-feed a pantone shade into your daily look.
New tones feature Beach Bum (aqua), Shepherds Delight (red), Suffragette Purple (purple), Raspberry Pie (pink), Hit the Bottle (green) and Pumpkin Spice (orange, which is going to be a massive trend this spring.)
They also have beautiful sheer tights, too, for that transitional stage when it’s too warm for opaque but not warm enough for bare legs.
Now I hear what you’re saying: “Bet they’re not cheap.” Because that’s exactly what I thought, too.
But actually, they’re only £6.99 a pair and a discount scheme means the more you buy, the cheaper they become.
Sad news for Norah Batty, but great for the rest of us.
How to look after your Snag tights
Careful washing is essential to look after your tights. It’s best to wash them inside out and use a hosiery wash bags. Always use a cool wash or, ideally, hand-wash and never tumble-dry or wring them out. Also, don’t do what I did for years and put them on a radiator to dry as the heat affects the stretch.
Try not to wash them after every wear. If they’re not stained or smelly, you can get away with 2-3 wears before washing them. The more you wash your tights, the more damage you do the fabric.
A squirt of hairspray before you wear them will help prolong their life. It also gets rid of annoying static electricity.
Put them on carefully. Bunch them up to the toe, gently put on and make sure the seam is over the toes. Then carefully roll up.
Follow Marie Kondo and fold your tights rather than roll them up to keep them in shape. (I do this now. It also saves loads of space.)
Do you have any tips for top tights? Let me know below.
If you’ve enjoyed this, please like and subscribe and share with your friends.