Talking Tights

For more years than I can remember I have bought tights from M&S. I’m talking here about tights for work – a multi pack of 5 pairs of run-resistant basic 15 denier.  Rather than having to make multiple purchases I generally buy half a dozen boxes  at a time and, given that I don’t wear them every day (I also wear thick black ones quite a lot, and often leggings with boots and socks), they see me through the season. At least, they have done until now. We have no M&S in my local town; we clearly didn’t spend enough in there so they closed it. Eager to spend a generous birthday gift-card I went online to order some underwear and, planning ahead, thought I’d get ahead of the game and put the balance towards the tights.


I searched – do you know that M&S offers over 70 styles of tights and, of course, numerous shades within each design. But despite such a mind-boggling choice M&S no longer sells a basic version. The convoluted names and descriptions such as  “Bare invisible sheers, five denier with the strength of 15 denier, open toe tights with cool comfort technology” doesn’t cut the mustard when they don’t last five minutes.

I emailed  the customer service department:
I am surprised, and very disappointed that Marks & Spencer have taken the decision to stop selling a basic version of ladies tights. By this I mean the everyday workwear 15 denier ladder-resist multi-pack.  You will no doubt tell me that M&S have a large offering of alternatives, but that’s the thing – they’re not alternatives.
They’re great tights and they have their place. Indeed I buy some of them – but not for work.  For every day I  need basic tights that do not ladder within a day, those that withstand the rigors of everyday life – the sort that those of us who abhor ‘pop-socks’ can wear under trousers or leggings. They need to be functional, not glamorous.
 I do not need them to enhance and smooth my body, nor to lift my bum, tum and thighs (believe me, it would take a lot more than a bit of flimsy polyester no matter how good the technology).Neither do I wish to wear support tights or ones that ‘energise” whatever that’s supposed to mean,  and most definitely not ones that for some inexplicable reason promise to make my legs look ‘oiled’ !
I take pride in my manicured nails so 7 denier tights, which several seem to be, are in holes before I’ve got them past my knees,  and as for 5 denier with the strength of 15 denier, I’ve tried them. It’s a fallacy, and at £6 a pair, they’re too expensive for work.
I just want bog-standard tights brought back…..please.
The response , in a nutshell told me that I should  ‘buy things when I see them to save disappointment when they’re sold out’…which doesn’t address the issue at all and makes me wonder if they even bothered reading it properly.
No wonder M&S are so often on the receiving end of criticism for forgetting their core customers.





    • Absolutely not, Ratnamurti. I wouldn’t mind so much if there was an alternative in the range but none of the others replace the originals


  1. I bought 20 denier ones before lockdown from M and S and they are awful! I seldom wear tights now except for the thick black/coloured ones. Bras are the thing that are currently driving me mad as I can’t get anything really supportive and the two new Fantasie ones I bought on line are useless. M and S deserve to be doing badly as the quality of their clothing is now dire.


    • That’s a shame. I’m happy with the quality of M&S tights…if only I could get hold of them! I wrote a post on bras a while ago. I’m going to re-post it as a couple of readers have mentioned how difficult it is to get the right ones


  2. If you think the M&S situation is dire, try shopping for tights/pantyhose in North America. The white hose I need for work has been discontinued. I have six pairs in the closet and as I rarely wear a dress uniform these days, they should see me out of my career. If not, well, this old nurse will be wearing sheer, nude to work.

    Hose has gotten terribly expensive. I don’t want to spend $10+ per pair. The last couple of years on my travels, I’ve been lucky with my selections in in M&S, especially with the coloured wintere tights.

    The battle continues.


    • You have to wonder who these companies are working for – clearly not their customers! The coloured winter tights in M&S are excellent, as are many of their speciality ones. But when you want basic, you want basic!


  3. I remember when I used to work in an office, I was forever snagging my tights on the filing drawers beneath my desk. These days I very rarely wear tights, but now that I know they can ‘energise’ I may need to change this 😀
    I’m sorry you didn’t receive a more positive response from M&S. X


    • Haha, I am left wondering what the difference is between support tights (aimed at tired legs) and energising tights which presumably have something to do with making one’s legs less tired! Now, if they could energise an entire body they might be on to something


  4. I had a similar problem with ‘cross your heart’ bras. I have been wearing them for ever and now they are no more, and the alternatives are flimsy varieties of bras which are no use at all. I managed to get one in Debenhams but at double the price, so am not happy.


    • Agreed, Margaret. it’s been said so often that they are ignoring their core customer. For several seasons they have been tr4ying to appeal to a much tyounger market – even teenhagers and, if you’ll excuse the saying, no self respecting teenager would be seen dead in anything from M&S (which is why their sales are full of size 8 mini skirts)! My daughter was thirty when she text me one day to say that she’s just bought her first top in M&S.


  5. Going by the picture, I am guessing that what you call “tights” are what are known as “pantyhose” over here. I hope you are able to find some of your favorite brand, later. Maybe buy a dozen boxes when they do become available – if they still make them. If not, time to look for another brand?


    • Yes, Bless, they are pantyhose and occasionally we do see them referred to as such here in the UK. They have stopped selling even one paid or basic tights in their huge range which I find very curious since, not long ago they were touted as M&S’s ‘Best selling tights’! I’ve tried so many brands over the years but these were by far the best. I now have to embark on a project of buying one pack from several stores until I happen on something as good.


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