“ Brand: F&F / Type: Tights „
~We've come a long way~
In my long ago student days I lived in opaque tights. It was partly that I was playing ice-hockey for the university and had almost permanent bruising to my knees in such garish hues of black, purple and yellow that they really would scare old ladies if I didn't keep them covered up. It was also that I had to cycle everywhere, spent most of my time in freezing cold student accommodation and being warm was essential. Then I got out of the habit. A mixture of relying on trousers most of the year and working in offices that never really got truly cold meant that my legs were rarely on display outside the height of summer and even more rarely in tights. This year I've changed. I've lost nearly 3 stone and rediscovered my inner 'dress-wearer'. That was fine in the bare-legged days of summer but now I need a bit more warmth.
Whilst picking up some emergency rations from Tesco, I wandered through the clothes department. With the exception of their £10-a-go black straight-leg jeans, I'm totally turned off by most of their outer-wear which looks set to dish out a serious case of polyester poisoning but I often linger in their lingerie (if you see what I mean). I bulk buy their socks and their camisole vests and on this occasion I spotted some grey opaque tights. I've grown out of black opaques, I wanted something a touch less bleak, a bit more subtle, and thinking about the colours of the dresses hanging in my wardrobe, I thought that grey might be just the thing. They were a soft shade of grey - more pewter than silver - and when I stroked the fabric it was soft to the touch. I thought that £4 a pair was pretty good and then I realised that it was actually £4 for THREE pairs. My inner bargain seeker kicked in and popped them in the basket. My inner sensible voice stopped me going beyond one pack on the basis that they might be rubbish. Maybe other people are reading and thinking 3 for £4 sounds about right - perhaps I need to get out more because I thought that was a ridiculously low price.
~Progress - hosiery style~
My recollections of life in opaque tights are not entirely happy ones. I recall baggy crotches, wrinkled knees, snagged fabric and bobbly surfaces. I recall tights so overwhelmingly static that to run for the bus would risk electrocuting yourself and those around you from the build up of static 'rub'. I also recall some of them itching like I imagine the worst ever case of nits - not that I've ever had nits - leading me to peddle home furiously to get the damned things off and get into the shower. It's fair to say I've not missed opaque tights, but maybe things had improved in recent years.
I bought mine in a medium. I'm a shade under 5 foot 8 and a lot of that is leg. On the bottom half I'm a 10-12 these days so looking at the chart on the back of the pack, medium looked to be about right. The first time I put them on I fell in love. They were soft and smooth, they gently hugged my legs rather than strangling them, and the size was generous enough to get them on with no tugging at all and to not leave elastic marks round my belly or create 'visible hosiery lines' but not so baggy as to feel like I was wearing an old man's thermals. I wore them with long boots and a dress - not yet ready to flash too much grey leg until I got used to them. Through the day the shape stayed perfect - it was all hugs and no squeezes, no bagging or wrinkling, they were like a soft second skin. They are made with 4% Lycra which seems to be plenty enough to give this gentle hold and avoid wrinkles. The balance of course is Nylon. The pack claims they've got something clever that keeps you cool when it's hot and warm when it's cold. I take it with a pinch of salt but they feel fabulous all day long. I soon moved on from boots to regular shoes, growing in the confidence to flash my particular shade of grey.
~It'll all come out in the wash~
The next test of course would be how they survived in the washing machine. Technically they're supposed to be hand wash only and I'm sure many people with more self-discipline than me probably DO hand wash their tights. I don't, and if they can't survive a washing machine, they won't survive with me so I did what I always do and stuck them in the washer. Would they be one-wear-wonders - fabulous for 12 hours and then turned into scratchy bobbly monsters by a 40 degree wash, snagged to hell by the wash cycle? This didn't happen. They came out untangled, undamaged and were as comfortable the second and third time as the first. To be honest, if they'd been a total mess and unwearable, at £1.33 a pair, I'd probably still have bought more. Now they're getting worn with skirts and dresses and going under my jeans when it's particularly cold (which seems to be most of the time at the moment. They never get hot and sticky, they never seem to go baggy and I'm a happy grey-legged convert back to the world of opaque tights. A lot changed in the last decade or two and in this case, it changed for the better and for the cheaper. I'm off to stock up on a load more pairs.
Anyone who reads my reviews regularly will be aware of the fact that Tesco is my favourite store for most things in and around my home. I have a 'tight bag' in my bedroom, and inside this bag there is a huge collection of both tights and stockings of all descriptions. I mostly buy my tights and stockings from Tesco's own range and my favourite winter woolly tights are definitely those I bought from Florence and Fred (i.e. Tesco's). I am fairly tall at five feet 8 inches and so I always have to buy the larger sized tights otherwise I find that I have to keep on adjusting myself all day long and tugging them up, as they will fall down if they are tool small. My legs are long but my hips are not really wide but nevertheless I need the larger pair of these tights from F&F.
Each pair of tights comes in a single pack and they cost £5. I managed to get some half price, however, just after Christmas when they were selling these off at £2.50 per pair. I bought two pairs of black ones and as I had already a few pairs I knew what good quality they are. I actually would have bought more pairs but they only had two pairs left in my size.
The largest size tights fits height up to five feet ten inches and they also come in a medium and small size. I only ever wear back tights but these were also on sale in a very deep plum colour at the time. They are 100 denier so they are totally black with just the tiniest little white dots on them, they are totally thick and very very warm. They are perfect for cold winter mornings when I am standing outside having to scrape the car before I leave for work. They are also really soft and they wash so well without them giving me that horrible bobbly look that some woolly tights can do!
The reason I like these tights so much is because the space between the crotch area and the waistband is really deep. So many tights have a very small area between these two spaces and tights can be really very uncomfortable when this happens as you end up having to keep pulling yourself up all day long without trying to catch anyone's attention.
The tights I have from F&F are 100 denier, small dotty black and they are very finely ribbed al the way down from the top of the thigh area right down to the reinforced toe. I have washed these tights lots and lots of times and they don't even look one bit tatty yet. I wear them for work on colder days underneath my black boots with a skirt, and I also wear them at weekends under my thick trousers when we go for walks. They really do keep my legs and bot nice and warm and snug and so long as I remember to pop them into a pillowcase alongside all my other tights before I wash them, then the legs rarely become knotted and tangled together.
F&F make lots of their own tights, not just these super warm thick denier ones, but for the winter months the warmer thicker ones are most definitely the best choice. I am looking forward to the sunshine making an appearance and being able to get my bare legs out once again, but until that happens I'll be more than content to wear my F&F tights.
As it is getting colder I decided to by some woolly tights. In Tesco they have their Florence and Fred selection of clothing and I came across a pair of cotton soft tights with 100-denier appearance.
This basically means they are thick cotton type knit or (woolly) tights as I call them which you can only just see your skin colour through.
65% cotton, 32% nylon and 3% elestane.
As with many tights the wash icons indicate wash at 40 degrees but don't iron or tumble dry. Mine go in the wash with similar colours at 30 degrees and dry on the washing line or airer and I have had no concerns, they have maintained the shape very well.
My pair where black but have a slightly unusual effect that they have tiny white spots dotted on them in a uniformed line pattern down the legs. Nothing to out laddish but they are a little unique which is nice to where with many clothes.
The tights come in a range of two sizes small-medium which is up to 5 ft. 6 or 168cm and medium-large which is up to 5ft 10 or 178cm
I although come in the S/M section bought the M/L ones because I personally don't like the idea of them hanging down around the crotch area and having to keep pulling them up. Although they are a little large for me I find they suit me much better, no hanging crotch! But it does mean I have plenty of room at the top of my legs. Whilst on the crotch department these have a diamond effect pattern there so that they fit a little better around the gusset.
What I like about the tights are that at the top they are plain once past the top of your thigh, not really important, but they do this on the backs of the feet too. This saves putting on your tights the wrong way round, which once you have worn the a few times you notice the way which they "fit". The toe is reinforced to which means it takes longer for the usual big toe explosion out of the end.
Very comfortable to wear over the feet and legs, no tugging anywhere and the waist is elastic, which fits snuggly but keeps them up.
Made in China and only £5 per pair they come in black and burgundy, of which I have both!
Review maybe posted on dooyoo and ciao under the same username.