Are Sheertex worth it? How do they compare to other tights?
I have been a life long tights wearer, and I love them. I live in skirts and dresses, because I find leg prisons (you may refer to them as “pants”) restrict my mobility.
A friend once asked me what I meant by that, but then I paid more attention to how I moved throughout the day. I never sit in a chair properly – never really have. I tend to sit cross-legged or origami myself in some way into a seat. You know I’m really comfortable in a space when I kick of my shoes and really nest myself into place.
And when I’m carrying things around the house, when it might make sense for people to use their elbows to turn off lights or whatever, intuitively I use my feet. I DONT’ KNOW WHY.
Perhaps this is a by product of having spent 17 years in a uniform (dress/skirt) and therefore the majority of my life wearing Not Pants.
Below I’ll detail my experience with Sheertex, Threads, followed by a picture comparisons. I would also love to hear about other people’s experiences and thoughts on tights, so please leave a comment if you have thoughts on the matter! 😊
Thoughts on Sheertex:
I remember coming across this start-up called Sheertex a couple years ago and was SO intrigued by their “unbreakable tights”. Imagine that! No more having to replace tights that have so many runs/holes that I can no longer pass them off an intentional grungy vibe.
However, they are SO expensive!!! I got two pairs of the classic sheer tights ($101 CAD each), and one pair of the semi-sheer control-top ones ($126 CAD) – plus they threw in a free pair of ankle socks ($19 CAD). The three pairs ran me $146.16 CAD, inclusive of tax and shipping. That’s still like $43 PER PAIR, which puts them up at Wolford level pricing. But hey, I saved $245.95!
🐠 Things are smelling fishy…
So… on the Sheertex website, they have all these ads of women putting on hosiery that rip right away. I’ve never had that happen to me. I can see that happening with pantyhose, but not with tights… (tights are thicker than pantyhose).
They have two taglines: World’s Toughest Pantyhose and The World’s Strongest Tights.
WTF is the difference between pantyhose, tights, sheers, leggings, stockings?!?
Pantyhose/Sheers: In general 30 denier or less.
Tights: Thicker than pantyhose and denier of 30 (sheer) to 100 (opaque).
Leggings: Fully opaque (even when you bend over, hopefully…), usually footless.
Stockings: Like the large socks you hang over your fireplace, stockings do not have a waistband. Stockings are like the opposite of leggings. Not thick enough to be socks, but doesn’t have a waistband like tights. They might go to your calves or mid-thigh.
Is this confusing? Absolutely.
So I bring up all these words because the sheerer the hosiery, the more easily they rip. In the Sheertex ads, they have gifs of people pulling on sheers that rip immediately. However, I’ve never had this happen with a pair of tights (only if they’re already old and have some starter holes). Sheers or pantyhose however, if you buy the drugstore stuff, they’ll rip so long as you breathe on them. However, if you spend a few more dollars, it’s not so bad. So is the strength of tights really an issue?
I didn’t listen to my inner doubts. I bought them anyways because there were so many glowing reviews!
🚩 The Test Kit
I opened the test kit and tugged and pulled as hard as I could and they did not rip. TBH, if I pulled really hard on most of my tights, I don’t think I’d be able to get them to rip either. I’m not buying anything fancy here. I’ve most frequently purchased Hue tights from The Bay for $20 a pair, less if on sale. They hold up over the span of many months, and if I get a rip or run, the holes don’t explode in size right away. Even my 2 for $15 H&M tights have held up fine wash after wash (in the washing machine, regular cycle, thrown in with whatever else).
I flashed back to the time I pulled on a new pair of tights for school (Yay! Hole-free tights!), confidently walked up to the school entrance, slipped on black ice and ripped my tights. Yes, I was bleeding. But, look, I can heal. THE TIGHTS WON’T.
If I really think about it, I would say 95% of damage incurred to my tights are from abrasion, or getting caught on something, not from them ripping. And never because they weren’t strong enough to stand a little tugging.
So, I took the test kit to the outside of my house. Hello, brick walls!
Brick Wall 1, Sheertex 0
The test patch got some little knicks in it that I couldn’t massage out. Boo.
🚩 First Impressions
As soon as my Sheertex arrived in the mail, I ripped them out of the package and pulled them on. My face fell. If I’m buying $100 tights, they better make me look and feel like a million bucks.
I didn’t love how they felt. To be honest, I didn’t even like how they felt. They didn’t feel cozy or soft. They were just, fine.
That alone I could have dealt with. I know that it’s the material that makes them special so it’s not a crazy stretch to think that they would feel more like bulletproof vest material (smooth and plasticky) than a traditional knit.
However, there was some weird striped banding situation I could not deal with. It made them look cheap.
I called my best friend on FaceTime to show her and it looked even worse on camera. That’s when she told me she had actually purchased a pair for me for Christmas because she knew I had been lusting after them. It was such a thoughtful gift, but we were both pretty disappointed with how they looked. At this point I didn’t know what to do… I essentially had four pairs of these babies at this point. 🤦♀️
🚩 Customer Service
I had opened ONE pair of these tights, and even though I know that their website said “no returns”, I contacted them anyways. Because if you have an unhappy customer… you’ll try and make them happy, right?
Even though I had three pairs of brand new tights, still in their box, they said that they cannot accept returns because these are intimates.
In my experience most retailers allow return of tights if they’re new! Threads certainly does (more on them later).
I should mention they have a 30 day warranty, which indicates that they stand behind their product. But apparently not enough to offer to accept returns of brand new tights. The free shipping threshold is $120, which is quite high, and it also means you have to buy more than one pair of tights. So, if a customer buys a couple or a few pairs (because they’re feeling optimistic) and ends up not liking them…now what?
People experienced in delivering excellent customer care would recognize that this situation, where a customer is stuck with $$$$ worth of tights they don’t want, would probably breed resentment towards the brand. 🤔
🚩 Size chart
My dear friends, the saga continues.
I am an XS. So, I was surprised when the size chart indicated I should get a size small. But whatever, these people sell tights and only tights. I trusted them. I regret trusting them.
Usually tights sizing involves a matrix of height/weight. But this is what they have on their website:
Judging by this chart, I am solidly in Small Territory.
An opportunity to wear my new tights out into the real world presented itself, and everything was fine, until I started walking around.
I looked in the mirror and what stared back at me was a fashion crime.
The control top was showing beneath the hemline of my skirt.
Oh. Hell. No.
And it continued like that for the rest of the day. These tights kept shimmying their way down.
No wonder upon my first try-on the fabric felt like it was gliding along my skin as I moved my knees back and forth, instead of the knit conforming around my legs.
So I went on Google to see what was up. Were they too big? Too small? According to the Internet if your tights are rolling down, it’s a sign they are too small, and if they are too big, they slide down.
In my experience, tights that slide down usually mean that they are too short, like those supremely awkward days I went to school wearing my sister’s tights. It is not fun walking around with the waistband half way down your ass and with a second crotch half way down your thighs.
So, I contacted Sheertex to see what they thought. Too big or too small?
And it turned out they do have a height/weight matrix for sizing. Which they should absolutely have on their website!!! But they don’t.
According to this chart I am solidly in XS Territory.
WHY SHEERTEX WHYYYYYYYY?!
😒 Mediocrely-Ever After
So, customer service says that they can send me a new pair in my actual size under their warranty. I sent them my order number, and they placed the order on my behalf, after reasserting that this is a one time deal.
Fine. I really don’t want to deal with y’alls again.
Is this a happily ever after? No.
I thought these would be the last pair of tights I’d ever have to buy, but no.
What happened to the other pairs? I sold them. Even though I could have kept them and just worn them, they were kind of like a reminder of a bad relationship. I just wanted them out of my face and out of my life.
Would I buy from them again? Ugh. I really don’t know. I would really like to try their Ultra Sheer Tights (15 denier) to see if they actually hold up better than regular sheers, but at $126… that’s just too many dollars to gamble with.
🧵 Taking a chance on another hosiery start-up: Threads
Of course because I so unhappy about my tights (wallet) I did a little digging to see if there were any other DTC hosiery brands. Is there a Warby Parker of quality tights out there?
Turns out an even local-er company called Threads was doing just that. (Sheertex is based in Montreal, Threads is based in Toronto).
Their tights cost $17 CAD.
While they weren’t attempting to create military grade tights, here were the things they were claiming:
- Top quality tights from a region in Northern Italy that has been creating hosiery since the middle-ages. Okay, cool. “Made in Italy” usually infers quality.
- Reinforced toes. Yes, I’m about this. There’s always a good chance the blood circulation to my big toe is being cut off because it’s being choked by a hole in my tights.
- Control top that starts higher up on the thighs. OMG, so much yes. I am always wearing tights with mini dresses/skirts or under shorts.
- Control top that doesn’t squish my non-existent butt even flatter than it already is. NOW THIS IS INNOVATION PEOPLE!!!
The only thing left to find out is whether or not this witchcraftery is for real, or am I being suckered by more snake oil infused hosiery.
$20. BAM. Done. SOLD. Subscribed.
Other bonuses about these tights:
- A sensible height/weight sizing matrix readily available on their website.
- They accept new, unworn products, if you’re not happy. How reasonable!
Now, if this company existed a decade ago and they had opaque tights in navy blue, my parents would have signed me the fuck up. It always felt like we were always buying tights. I was (am) clumsy and heavily involved with the robotics team so holey tights were my signature lewk.
Turns out if you spend your R&D thinking about what consumers really, truly want in their tights instead of creating a new kind of indestructible fabric that is really only indestructible under certain conditions, you end up with a very thoughtfully designed product! Imagine that! (I’m clearly still struggling with Sheertex’s value proposition.)
And I am obsessed with thoughtful product design. (Hi don’t forget to check out my start-up Glou Beauty, where every single element has a reason behind it).
The tights shipped and were delivered within days – yay! The packaging was nothing special, and while I love a good unboxing, I like minimal-waste packaging even more.
In retail, most everything comes from the factory wrapped in plastic. So the fact that they just shipped me my tights in the factory packaging was fine by me because having to repackage stuff is a waste of resources.
I will update the longevity and practicality of the Threads tights once I wear them to work a couple days in a retail environment and receive my opaque pair as well.
📸 Photo Comparison
The top 3 pairs have control-top, and the H&M and Anthropologie pairs have a normal waistband. I don’t particularly like control-top tights, mostly because you always risk it peeking underneath your hem, but I do like how they can just smooth underwear lines and don’t create a lumpy situation by squeezing your hip fat so you end up with…not exactly a muffin top but… a macaron? Like a muffin top above and below the waistband. A thicker waistband would probably alleviate this problem.