The ultimate ballet tights review

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when talking about ballet? Pointe shoes? Tutu? Tights? Tights are an icon of classical ballet, while we can dance in soft shoes and we don’t wear a tutu all the time, we never miss the tights. Tights are also known as ‘maillot’ in France as a tribute to the inventor, Maillot, who was the costume maker and designer in the Paris Opera Ballet in the 1800s. This invention revolutionized the world of ballet, dancers were no longer restricted by traditional heavy and cumbersome costumes, but were able to perform a wider range of motion with more focus on footwork. Today tights are still worn by ballet students for a practical reason, allowing our muscles to be noticeable to teachers, so that they can see whether we engage the muscles in a correct way. Tights are so important in ballet functionally, yet the problems I encountered as a customer when shopping for tights are:

  1. limited choices available in local dancewear shops;
  2. lack of information online, only official description from the brand is available;
  3. no try-on or even samples available due to hygienic reasons.

Ballet tights review

With all the above problems, it is impossible for customers to make a well-informed decision. We put our hopes and expectations on the leading brands in the industry, but is it really reliable? If a brand excels in the production of quality leotards, does it necessarily means that it also excels in the production of quality tights? Are tights made in China of inferior quality? These are all the questions I have in mind which leads me to experiment with as many brands of tights as possible which are accessible to me and to fill the information gap. Bear in mind that there are various models of tights available for some of the brands and their features may vary across models, the following review is model-specific and based on subjective personal experience, ranging in the order from my favourite to my least favourite out of 7 tights. As a disclaimer, I did not receive any tights for free nor did I get paid for writing for any brands listed below, I purchased all tights out of my own pocket and the price listed is the price I paid for in dancewear shops instead of the price shown on their official website.

Ballet tights review

Chacott: the best overall

  • Product name: Veronese tights (convertible)
  • Model number: 013130-0003-58 023-080
  • Colour: European pink
  • Size: L~LL
  • Content: Nylon / polyurethane
  • Country of production: Japan
  • Price: HK$199 (approx. US$26)

Chacott Veronese ballet tights review

Chacott has the widest selection of tights, ranging from the most popular Veronese tights, to Deo Airy tights, Pro tights, Dance Technology tights, Center Seamless tights and High Waist tights. Veronese tights are definitely something I purchased again and again in the past despite the highest price tag with excellent design, quality, fit, comfort, durability and perfect sewing and finishing. Veronese tights are the only pair with a three-dimensional design in the toes and heel area to fit the feet better and make it more durable. Soft to touch but strong enough to last more than a year or so, I won’t see myself going back to any other tights on the market. If you are wearing tights over the leotard without any shorts or skirts, or if the elastic waistband has always been uncomfortable for you, go for the Center Seamless tights, the splurge on it is definitely worth it (¥3630, approx. US$28) though it is not as soft as the Veronese tights.

So Danca: the best value for money

  • Product name: Convertible tights
  • Model number: TS82 
  • Colour: Ballet pink
  • Size: L/XL
  • Content: 85% nylon / 15% spandex
  • Country of production: China
  • Price: HK$65 (approx. US$9)

So Danca ballet convertible tights review

Initially I didn’t have high expectation on the tights from So Danca due to its price, yet I’m surprised about its softness, comfort and stretchiness that outperform many other brands. The fabric of the So Danca tights is very similar to the one used in Veronese tights, but even more stretchy, and with a thicker waistband, stronger crotch gusset and around the openings under the soles, making it particularly comfortable around the waist and more durable. The sewing and finishing is second to the Veronese tights, with thread untrimmed here and there when I looked closely. Considering its price, which is the cheapest out of the 7 tights being reviewed, I will still lean into it due to its ultimate softness and value for money. Yet I don’t expect it to last as long as the Veronese tights due to the build quality.

LEVDANCE: worth a try

  • Product name: Adult convertible tights
  • Model number: LDB011N C-TIGHTS
  • Colour: Ballet pink
  • Size: Free
  • Content: 98% multifilament yarn / 2% cotton
  • Country of production: South Korea
  • Price: HK$135 (approx. US$18)

LEVDANCE ballet tights review

LEVDANCE tights are highly praised in the mainland China market even though it is not really accessible to other countries since it’s a smaller brand from South Korea. It is almost identical to the So Danca tights with its softness, strechiness and stronger crotch gusset. One thing that is worth mentioning is the stronger fabric used in the toe area to reduce the chance of ripping through the toes, enhancing the durability of the LEVDANCE tights.

Gaynor Minden: perfect for summer

  • Product name: Microfiber convertible tights
  • Model number: AT-101
  • Colour: Light pink
  • Size: Medium
  • Content: 85% nylon / 15% spandex
  • Country of production: China
  • Price: HK$128 (approx. US$17)

Gaynor minden microfiber ballet tights review

There is a hype around Gaynor Minden tights, which is recommended by a lot of dancers. Just as the So Danca tights which are made in China, it still lives up to the expectation with its softness, though less stretchy and feels thinner than all the other tights being reviewed, which is ideal to be worn during the summer. The minor details including the sewing and finishing is similar to So Danca tights as well with a few thread untrimmed, but it does not really interfere with the usage of the product.

Capezio: durable and has compression effect

  • Product name: Ultra Soft Transition Tight®
  • Model number: 1916
  • Colour: Ballet pink
  • Size: L/XL
  • Content: 86% Tactel® Nylon / 14% Spandex
  • Country of production: Taiwan
  • Price: HKD$159 (approx. US$21)

Capezio ultra soft transition ballet tights review

Capezio tights may be the most widely available tights in traditional dancewear shops, it is still a nice choice if durability is what you are most concerned about, since it feels thicker and has a more compression effect on the skin. But if you are after softness and comfort, it may not be the first choice. Compared to all the other tights, Capezio tights has a distinctly noticeable shine when I wore it, which I don’t prefer personally.

Wear Moi: the 'meh'

  • Product name: Women Ballet Tights convertible
  • Model number: DIV03
  • Colour: Dark pink
  • Size: S/M
  • Content: Microfiber
  • Country of production: Taiwan
  • Price: HKD$117 (approx. US$15)

Wear moi ballet tights review

Similar to Capezio tights which are also made in Taiwan, the fabric of Wear Moi tights are the thickest out of the 7 tights, and even the crotch gusset is extremely strong and thick. The major deterring factor, indeed, is the uncomfortably tight waistband. I personally will not opt for Wear Moi tights if I have the choice.

Grishko: total disappointment

  • Product name: Lycra tights
  • Model number: 0050
  • Colour: Pink
  • Size: XL
  • Content: 90% polyamide/ 10% lycra
  • Country of production: Italy
  • Price: HKD$131 (approx. US$17)

Grishko lycra ballet tights review

I was excited about the Grishko tights which are made in Italy, marketed for the use of LYCRA® in their fabric and 3D technology, yet it is a total disappointment. The waistband feels coarse to touch and there is no crotch gusset which is shocking to me. The edge in the middle seam is not cut evenly with a tiny little bit of extra fabric. With the brand’s history and market share in the dancewear industry, Grishko can do so much better with tights since their leotards are of superior quality.

The verdict

Ballet tights review radar chart

With all the 7 tights I bought and reviewed, the one and only tights I will keep for myself is definitely the best of best, Chacott Veronese tights, which perform above and beyond all the other brands available, displaying the perfectionism and attention-to-detail that Japnese are famous for. Even though it is just a pair of tights, the differences in the fabric, design and quality affect how comfortable it is on skin and when dancing. The durability of the Chacott Veronese tights will in turn, save money in the long run. It is almost impossible to include ALL brands available in the world, but if you have a favourite brand other than the above-mentioned brands, comment below and share your experience and thoughts!

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