In theory, tights are the ultimate closet staple. They’re compressive and shaping, they come in a range of styles and they keep your legs warm throughout the year. In reality, they stretch and sag, get dirty quickly and, of course, rip within a couple wears. Not only does this end up being expensive in the long term, but it’s also wasteful and an all-around frustrating experience.
So when Sheertex first surfaced on my Instagram feed, I was doubtful yet intrigued. The brand’s promise of tights “unbreakable in human hands” seemed too good to be true. Coupled with the steep price tag (its signature Classic Sheer Tights start at $59), I just didn’t think they were a realistic option for me. But it ended up being the customer reviews that kept me coming back. Hundreds of reviews by people with the same struggles and anxieties around hosiery claimed that Sheertex was the answer to every one of their tights-related prayers. So I finally decided that if these tights are as good as they (and hundreds of reviewers) claim them to be, I’d be missing out if I didn’t try them myself.
What makes Sheertex special?
There’s a ton that sets Sheertex tights apart from your standard pair of nylons. First of all, they aren’t actually made from your typical nylon-based fabric blend. Sheertex tights are made from a proprietary fiber that utilizes one of the world’s strongest polymers — patent-pending technology that actually won Sheertex a title as one of Time magazine’s best inventions of 2018. The material is traditionally found in sailing and climbing equipment, and claims to be 10 times stronger than steel. In fact, it’s so strong that traditional machinery couldn’t handle the material, which is why Sheertex built its own manufacturing facility in Montreal, where the brand is based.
Sheertex’s proprietary fiber boasts a range of additional benefits, aside from being super strong and durable. It claims to be antimicrobial, meaning that the material offers protection against undesirable microbes like bacteria and mold, which ultimately extends the life of the fabric while maximizing comfort. It’s also water-resistant, so while these tights won’t keep your skin dry against rain or snow, the fabric has been treated to repel water.
When I first opened the Classic Sheer Tights, I thought they were inside out. But what I thought was a weird lining was actually the structure of the tights, which you can see clearly on the models. After putting them on, it was clear that what looks sort of weird “on the rack,” so to say, actually functions as a super-comfortable, waistbandlike design. In fact, they felt more like leggings than like tights.
The material is super soft and compressive but not tight. Plus, they were a breeze to get on, particularly because I didn’t have to worry about a nail or ring ripping them before I could even try them on. In addition to the Classic Sheer Tights, Sheertex also offers Shaping Sheer Tights, which are also $79. As someone who is eternally devoted to her Spanx Faux Leather Leggings, the Sheertex Shaping Sheer Tights aren’t quite as shaping and compressive as those.
All Sheertex tights come with a test kit that includes a small piece of the fabric similar to that of the tights you’ve ordered. The material might not end up being the same color or pattern as your tights, but it will be the same denier. Denier is simply a measure of the thickness of fabric fibers, and it’s the main distinguisher between Sheertex’s different tights offerings. The higher the denier count, the more opaque the fabric is. Sheertex also notes that as denier count goes up, the strength of the tights does as well. So as with most tights, the more sheer, the more prone to ripping the tights are likely to be.
Sheertex has three different levels of sheerness on their Sheertex Sheerness Scale: ultra sheer, sheer and semi-opaque. I only tested ultra-sheer and sheer options, since that’s the opacity I prefer in my tights.
When it comes to sizing, I tested a range of tights in both extra small and small since I fall right between the two sizes on Sheertex’s size guide. My instinct was to size down since I always prefer a bit of compression, particularly around my mid area. Though the extra-small definitely fit, I was surprised that it wasn’t the mid area or waistband part of the tights that were too tight but rather the thigh region. Because the material of Sheertex tights is stronger and therefore has less give than traditional tights, they aren’t as accommodating to stretching with your body. So if you’re on the curvy side, or consider yourself bottom-heavy, I would size up. Thankfully, the tights are all available in sizes XS to 3XL.
Additionally, and I saw a couple of these comments on the Sheertex website as well, the tights are on the short side. I’m very short to start with, but as someone with a long torso and shorter legs, I prefer super-high-waisted bottoms. I did have to keep pulling up the extra-small tights to get them as high as I was comfortable with, while the small tights came up a little higher than I needed them to. So if you’re tall, have longer legs or prefer super-high-waisted tights, I would also suggest sizing up.
Is Sheertex really ‘unbreakable’?
To skip to the question we all want answered, are these tights actually unbreakable in human hands? Absolutely, yes. I pulled on them as hard as I could, as did my partner — who is much larger and stronger than I am. We pulled on opposite ends of the tights in what was perhaps the potentially most expensive game of tug-of-war that has ever been played. He even tried to pick me up by my tights, and though the results were suboptimal, we failed before the tights gave in. At the end, we were both sweating and defeated, but the tights were still free of any rips, tears or holes.
On one ultra-sheer sample I received, there was already a tiny hole in the fabric, and we were able to rip through that. But what I found fascinating was that even as they ripped, there was none of the dreaded running. It seems like even if you do manage to poke a hole in these, they wouldn’t be ruined for good, particularly if it’s in a place that’s less noticeable.
When it came to non-human forms of ripping, I tested all the tights I received against common tearing culprits I’ve dealt with in the past. I ran it up against a heart-shaped ring I have with a particularly pointy bottom. No tears or snags. I even tried running the back of an earring through the tights and only experienced a little bit of gathering.
Luckily, this is something that Sheertex has an answer for. It recommends “massaging the fabric outward around the blemish” until it disappears, which is exactly what happened for me. The gathering had vanished after a little rubbing, with no visible changes to the fabric. I sat down and got up from wooden park benches, wore the tights under pants and scratched them with a broken nail. Still, nothing.
At this point, I was curious to see what could break through these tights. I took my pair of office scissors to them, and they still didn’t rip. Finally, some particularly sharp nail scissors did the trick. Sheertex specifically says not to test your tights against scissors, but apparently they will hold up to a dull pair. All in all, I was super impressed. These tights are tough, but they’re also soft, super comfortable and really cute. So far I’ve only washed my tights a couple times, but I haven’t noticed any changes to the quality of them so far. Sheertex suggests hand-washing or machine-washing on cold and in a wash bag, so next time you wash your delicates, you can add your tights to the mix.
Are Sheertex tights worth their high price tag?
There’s no denying that $59 is a lot to pay for tights. But if you compare that cost to your nicest pair of jeans, or a really nice pair of work trousers, the price point makes a lot more sense. In fact, a pair of Sheertex tights may very well last as long as any pair of pants in your wardrobe, so why not pay the same price for something you’ll get just as much (if not more) use out of? Especially if you’re someone who loves wearing skirts and dresses, it’s hard to make an argument against spending more on something that’s bound to become one of your wardrobe staples.
The other case I’ll make for these tights? You get quite the variety of patterns, sizes, levels of sheerness and colors to choose from, and they’re all made from Sheertex’s signature, proprietary fiber. I got to test out a couple styles, two of which I’ll give a special shout-out.
The Mini-Dot Ultra-Sheer Tights are probably my favorite from the bunch (though they’re unfortunately no longer in stock). I love how sheer they are, and don’t mind them being a hair more delicate than Sheertex’s other polka-dot version, the brand’s Polka-Dot Sheer Tights. Because let’s face it: High-quality, ultra-sheer tights are like the unicorns of the hosiery world. The Mini-Dot Ultra-Sheer Tights are just absurdly adorable, and I’ll probably be wearing these more than any other of the bunch (with the exception of the Classic Sheers).
The final reason I’ll propose as to why Sheertex tights are worth their price: They provide you with peace of mind. No more carrying around a spare pair of tights at an event or praying every time you sit down on a wooden bench. Or thinking that you can’t wear tights because you have acrylic nails, a cat who’s prone to scratching or a dog who likes to jump up on you. What’s truly revolutionary about Sheertex tights is that you don’t ever have to think about them. And that, in our opinion, is priceless.
Some final thoughts on getting the most bang for your buck: All purchases come with a 30-day guarantee, so if for some reason you manage to ruin your tights, you’re covered for the first 30 days.