Shopping: A Time for Tights

Winter has come a bit early where I live. It was all of about 32 degrees today and is going down to something ridiculous like 20 degrees tonight. It’s cold. It’s really, really cold. And there’s no heat in my house. Luckily, though, I have tights.

I’m not much for wearing pants. That’s all well and good in the spring, summer and fall when I can either go bare-legged in a skirt or wear a thin pair of nylon tights. But, the winter calls for something a little more substantial, such as tights made from wool or a thick cotton. While I have been wearing tights from J. Crew for a few years, I’ve found that they have some issues in terms of quality.¬† Mainly that they fall apart pretty quickly. This year, I’ve branched out a bit and have tried tights from Uniqlo and Boden. Both brands are a lot thicker than the options from J. Crew, although made from cotton rather than wool. Even better, both cost about the same, if not less than J. Crew’s tights. (Have I been bashing J. Crew a lot lately? Their quality has slipped. . .)

On the left: Uniqlo. On the right: Boden.
On the left: Uniqlo. On the right: Boden.

First up, let’s talk about Uniqlo. Philly recently got its first Uniqlo store and it’s kinda amazing. The prices are on the low side, but the clothes don’t suck. I actually tried on a pair of jeans there that I loved (but haven’t purchased yet). And their tights are pretty much amazing. I’ve purchased two pairs. One a sensible dark green cotton. The other a glittery black.

The tights are $14.90/pair and it looks as though you get a discount if you buy three pairs, at least online. I went with the large/x-large size and that was the right pick. I used to be really vain about sizing when it came to tights. But, really, it’s always a good idea to size up with them. Otherwise, they are likely to fall down or rip under the strain. The only issue with buying a size bigger with tights is that in some cases the elastic can be a bit too big, causing them to fall down.

I haven’t had that issue with¬† the Uniqlo tights, nor with the Boden tights. Boden’s tights are made from a thick cotton with just enough stretch that they pull up without straining or falling back down. They cost a bit more per pair than the Uniqlo pairs, and you have to buy them in packs of two.

The issue I have with Boden tights is the colors. You don’t get two pairs of the same color per pack. Instead, you get a “neutral” color, like black or gray, and a non-neutral color, like teal or red. Teal tights have their place (I’m wearing them right now!), but given the choice, I’d like to get a pair of black and gray or two pairs of black, rather than a “creative” color and a neutral.


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