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Thursday, 10 January 2013

Tall Girl Treat: Tights That FIT!

Another day, another Long Tall Sally catalogue that makes me do a sad face. Who are they aiming at these days, exactly? And shouldn't the clothes at least look beautiful on the models? And why this obsession with everything being long? Long-length cardigans and maxi skirts - I just want things that are the right length on me. Eurgh.

With no clothes on the horizon to make me sing for my long-limbed supper, and a gloriously snowy snap on the horizon, my thoughts turn, as always to good hosiery.
Attention! Tights for tall women need not be deathly boring!
By now us tall girls should be old pros at where to get tights, but given that I am still - still! - coming across women with size 9 feet squeezing them into size 8s, or wearing trainers because they don't think they can find pretty shoes (my shoe guide! Read it!), it's worth a recap just to make sure.

I'm a size 14 with a 37" inside leg, and I can quite happily buy tights and the like on the high street. These are my cast-iron success stories. (Note: I am a cheapskate, and if I can get quality for less than a tenner, I ain't paying £17.50.)

1) Boots
Their Tall or Fuller Figure size is incredible for on-the-go tights disasters, and you can also buy some decent nude hold-ups as well. That's pretty much all I've got to say about them really, their range is never as exciting as...

Topshop red brocade tights, were £15, now £5
2) Topshop
A fairly unimpressive selection on the website, but Topshop's incredibly flexible high denier tights in 'one size' - ignore large, it's a cop-out - have served me brilliantly for years. I have loads of these, particularly their 100 denier opaques in claret and bright pink. Great for opaques that really do the job, rather than going all thin and weedy once you've dragged them half-way up your gams.

3) Marks & Spencer
Mmm, sparkly
Every pair of tights I've truly loved, I've got here: M&S are the ibuprofen to my tights-buying headache. Their XL size is fantastic and gives great coverage without going all thin, or the crotch hanging several inches under par. I loved the (many, many) sparkly woolly opaques I got in 2010 so much that I actually darn them, and the red ribbed numbers I bought in 2009 are still going gloriously strong. I learned to darn, I love M&S tights so much.

They're also dead cheap. They've got some fantastic brights in at the moment for £3.50 (pictured above: including my beloved pink!), and their Limited Edition and Autograph (£9.50) are always worth keeping an eye on. If you don't like what's in now, it's always the way that you'll be beating their door down in a few weeks.

Their XL hold-ups - well, they're fine. They're not as successful as the tights, certainly, and always sit a little lower than you want them. That said, M&S used to do coloured opaque hold-ups which were the NUTS and which I always hope they'll bring back at some point.

So if you know the perfect place for hold-ups that sit at just the right point on your long thighs, or you're a tall girl with the last word in tights - don't keep it to yourself, share! And as ever, happy shopping. Being a stylish tall woman needn't be the battle that the shops and mags would have us believe.


  1. Ace and useful as ever! While we're on this topic, any tips on tall stockings, preferably as opaque as possible? Being squidgy of thigh, holdups always seem to either grip like a python who's swallowed an elastic band, or be too big to reliably stay up.

    1. If they make a stocking, you can probably find it at StockingsHQ. I love this place (and they have an extra tall page -

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  3. @LNID Have you tried these hold-ups? (M&S again) They're black as ink, and rather great. Ignore the out of stock thing, they're always in the stores.

    Thank you very much for the link Gemma! I am FASCINATED by anyone who can manage an actual stocking. I tried them a couple of times but it took me about 45 minutes of swearing to hook the bloody things to the belt and then I couldn't even go to the loo. I think I might have done it wrong...

    1. I second these hold-ups (5'11 here), each pair lasts me at least a year, and they've NEVER laddered.

  4. I wouldn't look anywhere else than M&S - never been disappointed with any tights I've bought there

  5. I love M&S's tights. Just stocked up on some of those bright opaques.

    H&M are another surprisingly good place for tights. Their XL size fits me well (5' 10", size 22) and there's usually a good selection.

    1. Oh brilliant! I'm just a fan of their tops for work, just the right length, and their cardigans are nice too. I've not tried their tights as just assumed out of hand that they'd be too short, but the next time Marks and Topshop go through a dry patch I might give them a go. Thanks PWF!

  6. Another vote for H&M's range of tights - loads of sizes, textures and colours. They tend to have them on sale online a lot too :)

  7. TK max do some great tights and the XL ones are always long enough go for Falke, Wolford and a brand beginning with O which I cant remember at mo

  8. Best opaque hold-ups I've found which are actually long enough and don't pinch the hell out of your thighs are Levante (gorgeous, soft, velvety texture too). I can't get them on the high street any more, but they do have them on

  9. Humm yes I like M&S because they last longer than 2 wears and don't tear easily but since they are XL they are a little bit loose on the top (I'm 5'11) ..since most of the tights go to the waist and I have a narrowish one they are always rolling on themselves at the top! Even the levante ones I am just trying today are rolling on themselves a little bit...I once bought some DKNY at TKMaxx and were ok.

    Oh yes I also find the cheap Jolinesse ones from Lidl (3 quid, size 18/20) quite good, if you manage to find them as they run out quite quickly.

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