The Big Bloomers Company sent me four different styles of hose/tights from their product line to review for Large and Lovely readers. I have to admit that I am a bit of a tight snob. For the longest time it was nearly impossible to find plus size tights above a 1x or 2x but for the last five years it has been slowly improving – if you want straight black tights that is. And again it generally stops at 3x or a 4x.
Big Bloomers started their business over five year ago with the intention of not supplying any garment in their shop that did not come in a 6x. When it came to tights, after much frustration they realized if they wanted to offer them they had to manufacture them and the All Woman line was born. All Woman is manufactured in Italy to their specifications giving increased thigh room and length – you know that gap you get in the crotch, that is from having the tights at too short a length and width for your body. Now super sizes can have their tights and wear them too.
If you look at the Big Bloomers site you will see All Woman, Milan Lady, and Rome Lady which are all their brands. They also carry a few other brands like Dublin Lady, Magic Stockings, Venice Lady, Parma Lady, also U.K. brands. Do not be alarmed that the products are from the U.K. as Big Bloomers delivers worldwide. As for sizing they also make it worry-free by offering inch/centimetre conversions for their sizes instead of country size conversions which can be unreliable. An "inch" is an "inch" but a size "22" is not universal.
Here is a brief breakdown about the tights they sent and what I thought of them:
Prague Lady Hold Ups (black): I not a huge fan of stay ups in general -- too many nightmares -- I have large cone-shaped thighs that taper in such a way that it is actually pretty easy (generally speaking that is) for them to slip down. The Prague Lady Hold Ups are silky soft and have a lovely sheen to them. I actually had to go put hand cream on because it felt like my dry hands kept catching. These stockings are a really pretty microfiber with generous lace tops (also soft) and rubber banding on the inside for a slide-free experience. After a day's worth of wearing they seemed to hold up durability wise with minimal pull marks at heels. I wore them around the house and they seemed to stay up but I found myself wanting to constantly adjust them and was not brave enough to wear them outside. In case you are wondering, no, I am not a garter person so that was not an option.
Milan Lady Run Resist Tights: Teal is one of my favorite colors so these tights won bonus points for that. They are available in twelve other colors. These matte denier tights have adequate softness but are not as opaque as I would like for a pair of colored tights. I would put these more into the hose area, light enough for spring/summer. They are incredibly generous and roomy. Unfortunately, they seem to pull really easy with just the slightest hang nail leaving little marks in the hose that are visible once on. I also found these ones felt loose by the end of the day.
All Woman: I found these to be softer in texture than the Milan Lady ones and while they did pull a bit they did not get as many as the Milan Lady ones. These ones were also incredibly roomy but at the end of the day seemed to hold their shape better than the Milan; I did not feel like I needed to pull them up. They are still a pretty light weight tight but still suitable for fall. Both these and the Milan have mildly reinforced toes.
Paris Lady Microfiber Tights: The previous hose were all 20 denier where these are 50. These are what I would call true opaque tights and they are my favorite of the whole lot. Unfortunately they are only available in black at this time. These tights have a really good return stretch and offer some compression throughout day. They are very soft to touch and there was no pulling while handling. They offer a nice matte opaqueness and durability with no heel marks at the end of the day.
Overall, I am incredibly impressed with the size range offered by the Big Bloomers Company and all the tights were of good quality while some were more delicate than others. This is an excellent resource for larger women who have not been able to find hose or tights in their size. The downside would be the cost in exchange and travel time for delivery although their fixed shipping costs are pretty reasonable at about $10-$15 (depends on exchange rate which constantly changes). But if you are a patient shopper it would be worth it.
Learn more about plus size hose and tights from The Big Bloomers Company.
Disclosure: Four samples of tights from the Big Bloomers Company were provided to me free of charge to review.