Sheertex Essential Sheer Tights

Well known on the internet as the brand that makes those super-pricey, “unbreakable” tights, Sheertex tights are everything I’ve ever wished for and more when it comes to stockings — the tights really do live up to all those big claims.

As a daily hosiery wearer during the colder months, there’s no closet staple I rely on more than my tights. But it’s not a stretch to say that for many people, paying $99 for tights just isn’t realistic.

So when Sheertex announced the launch of its most affordable tights option yet, the Essential Sheer Tights, I knew I had to try them out. At nearly a third of the price of the brand’s bestselling Classic Sheer Tights, could they really be just as good? Ahead, a deep dive into what’s missing and what’s even better about Sheertex’s latest launch — and why they’re my new everyday, go-to pair of tights.

The rundown: Top-quality tights at a lower cost

If you’re wondering how Sheertex was able to create quality tights for a third of the price of its other products, you’re not alone. First, the brand opted for a more efficient, fully automated production process when it comes to the Essential Sheer Tights. This is in contrast to the brand’s other products, like the Classic Sheer Tights, which are hand-sewn. Still, both techniques feature the Sheertex Knit Technology.

Sheertex Essential Sheer Tights

Additionally, Sheertex stripped down the packaging for the Essential Sheer Tights to help further cut costs. And finally, the brand took a cut on its own margins in the hopes of making Sheertex tights more accessible and helping promote their mission of “making non-disposable tights available to everyone.”

There are a few other ways that the Essential Sheer Tights differ from other Sheertex offerings. They come with a 30-day guarantee — a significantly shorter time frame than Sheertex’s other tights, which have a 90-day guarantee. The Essential Sheer Tights are currently only available in three sizes (small/medium, large/X-large and 2X-large/3X-large), as opposed to the Classic Sheer Tights’ seven sizes, which range from X-small to 3X-large. And while all of Sheertex’s other tights feature a compressive and shaping performance waistband, the Essential Sheer Tights feature a basic waistband that’s more lightweight.

The lowdown: Comfort meets better-than-average durability

When it comes to the stripped-down packaging of the tights, I don’t think I’d have noticed had I not known to look out for it. While it was simple, it didn’t seem noticeably cheap. I’m not a huge packaging person, so in general, I’m always in favor of making packaging less expensive and more environmentally friendly, especially if it’s getting tossed after opening up the product.

At first glance, the Essential Sheer Tights look and feel extremely similar to the Classic Sheer Tights. Without putting them on, it’s pretty tough to see a difference just by looking at them, other than the waistband. The 30 denier thickness seems the same, as does the quality of the material. But once you put them on, the difference between the two is noticeable right away.

The first thing I thought while putting on the Essential Sheer Tights is that they are incredibly comfortable — way more so than my other Sheertex tights. I’m typically a size small in Sheertex tights, so I went with the small/medium size option in the Essential Sheer Tights. While that puts me on the smaller end of my size range, I think anyone would find the basic waistband incredibly comfortable. True, it might not give you the shape and support of the performance waistband, but more often than not, I’ll take comfort over shaping — especially when I’m just going into the office to sit at my desk for eight hours.

Sheertex Essential Sheer Tights

But it wasn’t just the waistband that I found super comfortable. The overall fit and material of the Essential tights are ultra soft. Sheertex’s other tights are a bit on the thicker side, which is part of what makes them so durable and unrippable. In the past, I’ve noticed that the thigh area of some of my Sheertex tights fit too snuggly, and I have to keep pulling them up, not because they’re falling down at the waist but because the material doesn’t sufficiently stretch around the tops of my legs. I didn’t experience any of that with these tights.

Of course, that difference in comfort means sacrificing one big thing: the strength and durability of the material. I noticed right away that the material was going to be more delicate than the Classic Sheer Tights. I put the tights to the test with a range of household hazards — rattan chairs (which caused some imperfections), cat claws (which also caused some imperfections) and some sharp jewelry (mixed results here between no to minor imperfections). I didn’t try to cut them with scissors, because I could tell the material wouldn’t hold up — which honestly didn’t bother me. In fact, I enjoyed that this more affordable tights option from Sheertex does bring something new to the brand’s collection while still being more durable than your average hosiery by a landslide.

Bottom line: Essential Sheer Tights vs. Classic Sheer Tights

So which pair do you get if you’re looking to try out Sheertex for the first time? I would say, it depends on what you’re looking for. If you prefer a shaping, more supportive tight, opt for the Classic Sheer Tights. That’s something that’s unique to Sheertex’s performance waistband, and the lack of compression is perhaps one of the most noticeable differences between the two tights. Plus, if you want tights that absolutely will not rip — and you want a whole winter season to test that claim — it’s most likely still worth investing in the Classic Sheer Tights.

But when it comes to really wonderful tights at a reasonable price (at $29, these cost about double my old throwaway tights), the Essential Sheer Tights bring something new yet essential to Sheertex’s collection: comfort. They’re what I’m going to be going for when it comes to getting dressed for work, dinners where I’m planning to eat a lot and any occasion that I know I want to stay comfortable for. And they’re a fantastic option for less frequent tights wearers. Since you won’t be wearing them as often, it’s probably not necessary to splurge on the absolute most durable option. Instead, you can save that $70 for a rainy day — or spend it on a new dress that’ll pair perfectly with your new tights.