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Swedish Stockings Olivia Premium 60 Denier Tights: Best Black Tights According to NY Times

This month, the New York Times product review section, Wirecutter , interviewed two experts (including a professional ballerina who wears tights daily), polled dozens of hosiery lovers, and tested 20 pairs to find their five favourites.

Most durable black opaque tights Australia
Olivia was one of the most durable pairs of tights tested.
" The best black tights should be comfortable to wear yet also be able to handle aggressive assaults from zippers, Velcro, and fingernails (as well as kitty nails)."

With literally thousands of different brands and types of tights out there, Wirecutter's Dorie Chevlen, set out to refine the contenders for "best black tights" title by focusing on tights between 50 and 150 denier in thickness (known as "opaques") and researched which tights got the best reviews online as well as recommendations from colleagues and interviewees. Finally, 20 different pairs of tights were chosen for further investigation, starting with the author's initial assessment of comfort, fit, durability, and appearance which narrowed the finalists to ten. These ten were the ones then subjected to rigorous scrutiny by a panel of five women of various shapes and sizes - the final result being the selection of five top "picks", of which our Olivia was one!

Which black opaque tights are the best?
The line-up of final contenders for best black tights in 2022

Swedish Stockings Olivia Premium 60 Denier Tights have always been one of our best selling styles of opaque tights for many good reasons. Their 60 denier weight is a great thickness for the temperate winters that many parts of Australia experience as well as during trans-seasonal changes in weather such as late Autumn and early Spring. This makes them slightly more sheer than a lot of other tights that are marketed as "opaques", giving them a unique versatility and adding the option of warmth without heaviness to certain outfits. This lighter quality comes without sacrificing durability, which was particularly noted by the Wirecutter reviewers.

While we at Sustainable Hosiery & Essentials Australia know from personal experience how resilient Swedish Stockings tights are, the team at Wirecutter took durability testing to the next level!

"After narrowing down a list of five top-ranked tights, I conducted a final durability test. I continuously scraped each pair for one minute against a rough brick surface. And I tried to catch the tights in a zipper by running each pair through the zipper 10 times."

And even with this level of tights-savagery, Olivia came away unscathed!

"We found them to be incredibly durable. Testers reported no snags or rips from cat or dog claws or scratchy rugs. I can vouch that they didn’t budge against brick, and they sustained only a micro-snag when I ran them up a zipper. "

Black Tights made from recycled material.
Olivia Tights are made from 92% recycled nylon yarn, diverting waste from landfill.

Admittedly some of the testers were at first unsure of the texture of Olivia as it was no doubt somewhat different to what they had experienced of opaque tights before, as well as to the other tights being reviewed. And the simple explanation to this is that the texture of recycled nylon is different to that of virgin nylon - not better or worse, but different. Perhaps not as silky as traditional wear-and-tear hose, but as acknowledged by the reviewers, this slight concern faded once they experienced just how comfortable and durable Swedish Stockings really are. Its not even really something I think about anymore, but when I tried opaque tights from Swedish Stockings for the first time, I noted the difference in texture from others I had tried and also noticed that it was this texture that held them perfectly in place and in sync with my body - for the first time ever there was no slouching or rolling - woo hoo!

Ethically made black opaque tights Australia
Ethically made, zero waste and zero emissions tights.

And if there could be any doubts remaining about whether Olivia is worth it, there is the marvellous truth that she is made from 92% recycled nylon fibres using zero-waste and zero-emissions technology. What's not to love about that?! As Dorie Chevlen notes, Swedish Stockings "are made even more compelling by their unique, purposeful composition."

The conclusion? Olivia Premium Tights struck the right balance of looks, price and comfort and got a solid ranking from all the testers.

"Olivia tights look good and will definitely last."

Best black tights for work Vogue
@pernilla_nyrensten wearing Olivia for Vogue Scandinavia. Photographed by @larsbronseth for Vogue Scandinavia