I'm a summer baby, born in July, and simply put, I dread the winter. I live for flirty eyelet dresses, strappy sandals, and easy tees, so when the cold weather takes New York City by storm, I'm miserable. I own my fair share of chic pants—leather culottes, forest green wide-leg trousers, cashmere joggers—but every morning while standing in my closet, I reach for a skirt. But in the winter, a skirt with bare legs is inconceivable, that’s why a trusty pair of tights is an absolute must. So I set out to find the best of the best.
First up, Wolford's Mat Opaque 80 ($61, on sale for $37, wolford.com). These are the perfect opaque tights; they supply a uniform shade of black from waist to toe—even at the knees—and they don’t have that spandex-y sheen. The 80s don’t just look great, they’re comfortable, too. They are so soft they feel like heaven, both on your legs and to the touch. After wearing the 80s all day long, the waistband did stretch out a bit—though they managed to stay up without a problem. When I took them off, I did notice that they held the shape of my legs; they did not retract back to their original state. But, I wore the 80s again a few days later, and the fit was just as perfect as it was the first time around.
Next, I gave Falke's Matte 100 a go ($78, bloomingdales.com). Unlike the Wolford 80s, the waistband on the Falke 100s was very tight—from the second I put them on until the moment I took them off. They even left a pressure mark around my waist, which I had no complaints about because they fit like a glove. The biggest problem that I tend to have with tights is that they sometimes fit like a baggy harem pant at my inner thighs (ladies, you know what I mean). Falke's 100s hugged my body in all the right ways. They are just as opaque as the Wolford's, and they're soft, too, but not as buttery. Falke's winning factor? They truly kept me warm.
Then, I tested out the Donna Karan Satin Jersey Tights ($28, nordstrom.com). Right out of the packaging (which is beautiful, by the way), these tights feel luxe. They are thick, but not too chunky, and very smooth. It took a few extra seconds to get them to sit on my body the right way—to distribute the fabric evenly, I had to pull them up in stages, starting at my ankles up to my upper thighs, but the fit is comfortable and flattering. Don't let the term "satin" throw you off. The Donna Karan tights do have a sheen, but they are far from shiny.
Last but not least, I tried ITEM m6's Tights Opaque ($108, shop.itemm6usa.com). The construction of these are very advanced because they are compression tights that increase blood circulation. The waistband is elasticized with a single strip of silicone about an inch wide that almost isn’t even necessary because the upper half of the tights fit (and feel) like Spanx. Furthermore, I'm 5' 7" and the waistband on the size small reached all the way up to my bra...yes, really. Because of the Spanx-like fit, the tights were a bit tougher to put on than your average legwear, but the Spanx effect does create a svelte silhouette. For a pair this tricked out, they were very soft and easy to move around in. At the rear, the tights pucker to accommodate a fuller bottom, creating a smooth, seamless look that really shows off your curves—even if you, like me, don't have any.