More Nude Hosiery Options For Black & Asian Skin
You know you’ve found a good pair of nude tights when you get a load of confused looks in freezing weather. As I mentioned in my 2016 post, I wasn’t always bothered about finding tights that matched my skin tone. I went from being a quirkily-dressed fashion student (I dare you to look through my archives) to working for a High Street brand, so I’ve never had to adhere to a corporate dress code.
These days I tend to wear nude tights for a fuss-free look with florals, thigh-high boots and midi skirts. It’s totally up to you of course, but I prefer letting one item of clothing do the talking and keeping my legwear minimal.
I also find that some people don’t have a reference point for seeing black people in tights and negative articles aren’t aimed at people like me. Fortunately I’ve found a few pairs that deceive most eyes, but there’s always room for improvement.
Since Meghan Markle has even struggled to find the perfect pair, I wanted to see whether the situation has improved after two years. Are there enough options at different price points, that are size inclusive? Can you even figure out the right shade if you buy them on the Internet? Also, are they going to ladder in ten minutes?
For your reference, I’m 5’6 and a 10-12 on the bottom half. I normally veer towards larger sizes for peace of mind, since I have memories of my tights falling down at school. In foundation shades I’m a yellow undertone, so I wear Fenty 430/440, Lancome 12/13 and Bobbi Brown Warm Almond. Read on for all the pairs I’ve been testing out (and trying not to ladder) recently….
All pairs have been purchased by myself. This post contains some affiliate links, here’s more about my policy!
This is a brand that I discovered via internet procrastination. Skin Hosiery are probably the most purse friendly since you get three pairs in a pack and free delivery.
In terms of the shopping experience, I did have trouble finding the size guide online but luckily I got an Instagram DM reply pretty quickly. Although there was a shade guide linked to foundation colours, the shade I was assigned didn’t seem quite right (Lade) but the next shade up didn’t appear much darker (Zoe). Instagram didn’t help much either. I would have found it useful to have shade names in the captions, as there’s a mixture of studio and street style snaps to compare with.
Delivery was pretty quick but my first impressions were that the colour was a little lighter than I would like. You do have to bear in mind that your legs may be darker than your face and although these aren’t far off, they can look a bit grey. These definitely have a bit of a cooler undertone.
Fortunately there are no ladders to report as yet and I would say the quality is decent for the price. It’s also great that they go up to an XXL size.
You may have spotted Heist’s ads all over your Instagram feed recently and they’re probably the brand that’s had the most press coverage thanks to an innovative, seamless design. In terms of branding, they’re probably my personal fave. Some of their photoshoots wouldn’t seem out of place in a Vogue editorial and I’m a sucker for a modern font.
Full disclosure, I have been gifted some of their black and nude pairs before but bought a fresh pair for this post. They contacted me when they first brought out two nude shades (luckily the darker pair worked for me) and there’s now have seven options from super pale to deep.
The annoying thing is that there’s no easy way to figure out your shade online. You have to go by their model selection and hope for the best. Fortunately I was able to pop to their Covent Garden store (it’s open until January) but it’s a big risk since they’re the highest price point. Thankfully there’s a fuss-free returns policy, but a foundation comparison chart wouldn’t go amiss.
The staff were pretty helpful as colours looked lighter in store and I was assured that 060 was the equivalent of what I’d tried before. I would say that these are a decent colour match that have just the right amount of warmth. I like that you can either go for a low or high waisted option and they’re true to their word and don’t fall down. It’s just a shame that the size range doesn’t go as large as their other ranges.
I know the price point will put off a lot of people and I just wish that they were ladder resistant to justify the cost. Guard them with your life and buy when they have offers on.
Sheer Chemistry’s tights have graced the likes of the Kingdom Choir at the Royal Wedding and I first found out about the brand via a WGSN article last year. Shade names are linked to cities rather than things like ‘Chocolate’ and there’s three different styles covering matt, gloss and control.
The shade chart goes into a little more detail with celebrity examples, so I felt pretty confident going for Michelle Obama’s ‘match’ New York Soul. You can also request sample shade swatches, but unfortunately I didn’t hear anything after filling out the form.
If you’re struggling to find a pair that doesn’t leave you casket ready, then Sheer Chemistry are probably your best bet. This pair had a decent amount of warmth and make my legs look like they’ve been on a beach for the past few weeks. I’m excited for my legs to look like the best versions of themselves this Winter and the founder Tahlia Gray has also been featured on the Janet’s List podcast (like yours truly).
This was a last minute addition that I heard about on the grapevine. Brown Skin Essentials aims to celebrate beauty in all it’s shades and create conversations around hyperpigmentation. It’s a family-run business and I even received a personalised email asking me for feedback about my order.
The trickiest thing about the shopping experience is that there doesn’t seem to be a shade guide. The product photoshoots aren’t shot in consistent surroundings and there seems to be a big jump from Honey Brown to Cafe Brown. They’ve helpfully listed undertones within the product description, but I had to do some detective work on Instagram to figure out my shade.
The end result is pretty accurate with a cooler undertone. They also feel slightly smaller and were the first pair that I had to keep pulling up every so often.
Did I Find The Perfect Nude?
So what’s the verdict? It’s great to see a few more independent brands making waves, as a lot of the High Street stores tend to only offer a couple of options. The only way this market can really be disrupted is with careful shade formulations and a genuine passion for inclusivity. It can’t just be an afterthought with a few random shades of brown added to a range.
Also there’s still a lot to be done when it comes to lingerie and clothing brands that plonk beige panels on clothing for a ‘nude’ look (Self-Portrait, I’m looking at you). It really needs to be factored into the design process, with an option to suit every skin tone.
Even though I have my personal favourites, most of these brands come pretty close and there’s something at every price point (plus there were no ladders or holes). It all depends on your shade preference and whether you want an accurate undertone or to enhance things somewhat. I would say that my best shade match is probably Heist (they also hide my scars pretty well), followed by Sheer Chemistry though I’d probably buy the latter again due to the price point.
Basically if you think I’m bare-legged on Instagram over the next few months, then I’m most likely wearing one (or two) pairs of these. Let me know your faves and whether you purchase any!
More ‘Nude’ Items You Can Buy
Invisibra – Although the largest size didn’t work for my F cups (sobs), Invisibra now offer two stick on bra options for darker skin tones.
Dune – I’d probably end up hobbling around in these heels, but Dune have some options if Louboutins are out of your price range.
Sincerely Nude – If you’re a bodycon/sheer kinda gal, then Sincerely Nude have clothing and even nipple covers in four different shades.
Nuditone – I’ve stocked up on a few packs of nude plasters by this Swedish company. These need to be in every branch of Boots!
Need more options? Check out my post from 2016 featuring Nubian Skin, Own Brown, Bianca Miller and M&S!