You may have read my long term review of Donna Karan’s Satin Jersey tights. I had taken a long break from buying new tights and only recently started refreshing my collection. In the past, my experience with Donna Karan was that the DKNY brand was sized a little smaller than her primary brand. I lucked out with a couple of styles that had fit me, but this changed with some newer ones. So I stopped considering DKNY. Fast forward 15 years, I decided to give DKNY another try. Hanes is the manufacturer (and all customer support goes through the Hanes help desk), which is generally regarded as a lower tier brand for hosiery, but these tights definitely show mid tier quality. I’d read a comment from a customer who said the Super Opaque style was generous in fit, so this was the style I bought.
DKNY is a secondary brand for Donna Karan and so the hosiery is put on a hang tag (fabric exposed), instead of in a cardboard box or sleeve. The good thing about this is that you can touch the material and see how it feels before buying. I picked one pair off the rack and immediately noticed the fine material quality and the weight. Perhaps these would actually show as fully opaque on me. My only hesitation was that the on-line modeling photo for these tights provided by DKNY showed a semi-opaque effect on the legs, moving up the thigh to the control top brief. In my experience, I usually end up with a less opaque appearance than in the photos. But, they were on sale and I figured why not give them a try.
After releasing the tights from the hang tag, I was a bit surprised at how small they looked. They aren’t tapered, so the waist band is rather narrow looking. I feared I might not be able to get these on, as the panty/brief is made of a really thick material, the densest control top I’ve seen yet. It almost reminds me of a thin neoprene, but it’s much softer. Well, I was very pleased to find that the material has a lot of stretch in it after all. I brought the waistband up over my hips, made some minor adjustments, and found that these tights fit me snug and complete. Terrific!
I’m really impressed with how opaque the material remains when stretched. It’s 89% nylon and 11% Lycra, so that explains it–plenty of Lycra. Smoothing them on, my rather large muscular thighs had a semi-opaque appearance at first, but it was easy to reposition the material for a more opaque look. From just above the knees and down, the material is less stretched, and feels seriously luxurious. Bending the knee makes for a semi-opaque effect, but it’s very muted (with thinner legs, they may stay opaque even when bending). As seen in the photo, there is some noticeable demarcation between the leg and brief, but you don’t feel it. And it is high enough that I think most women won’t be worried wearing these with short skirts. Overall, the material has a very opaque appearance, mostly matte with a slight sheen to it, and an ultra soft microfiber sensation. For someone with thinner thighs, that lustrous feeling will be experienced across the entire leg. Unfortunately, most microfiber tights are sensitive to “fabric burn”, where fibers fray when rubbed against hard edges like on shoes. It also has a tendency to pill, though not as bad as some other microfiber tights I’ve tried.
The panty/brief gives a firm medium-strong compression and looks fully opaque. One could easily wear these without briefs or panties. These are control top, and there is a definite demarcation between leg and panty; but it’ll be less noticeable on thinner thighs. The good thing is that the line is just below the crotch, so there’s no worry of it peeking out on short shorts or skirts. The waistband is well defined but very soft. It will roll over if you’ve got a little extra weight above the waist, when bending over or sitting down. But for slimmer folks, there won’t be a problem.
The flat seams on the panty are truly first rate in construction, just as good as the kind you find on Falke. They’re wide, flat, strong, and comfortable against the skin. The gusset is fully surrounded by them and small in size. The seams at the toes are thinner and rounded. You’ll feel them along your toes, but they’re comfortable and easily run low so that they’re hidden with shoes that show the toes. I did have a problem, though. A small hole started to appear on the outer edge of the crotch seam. It must have been due to a defect, as pulling the gusset taut did not reveal weaknesses anywhere else. I used some clear nail polish and Aleene’s Stop Fraying glue to fix it (worked like a charm), and subsequent wearings proved that the repair will hold.
The tall size for DKNY ranges from 5’5″-6’0″ and 155-195lbs. However, the highest weight for 6’0″ is 175lbs, and the tallest size for 195lbs is 5’8″. I find that these Super Opaque tights are more generous than that. At 6’0″/210lbs, these tights actually fit me well, better than any other Donna Karan/DKNY tights I’ve previously owned. They may accommodate someone a little heavier, but that will depend upon your proportions and you can expect they would be less opaque. The brief is very tight at first, but after a few wearings it slackens enough to be comfortable, while still giving good compression.
These tights disappointed me in two ways. First, the leg fabric is sensitive to rubbing from firm edges. When I wore slightly loose shoes, I ended up with two “fabric burns” on the back of the ankles from the back of the shoe brushing up against my Achilles tendon. In time this spot may wear through completely, but at the moment the fabric still seems to be intact. The other is how the fabric appears semi-opaque at stress points, like the toe and heel edges. I would prefer these tights have invisibly reinforced toes and heels. When they are worn in place of socks, it will be apparent that you are wearing women’s hosiery if your feet are ever exposed (not very desirable for men), due to these qualities. Because of this, I’ll have to wear socks over them. And definitely, any women wearing boots should put on long socks too. The calf part of boots will rub against your leg and likely cause those “fabric burn” spots, making the tights unsightly for use with shoes that don’t cover beyond the ankle.
- Fabric – 89% nylon (polyamide) and 11% elastane (Lycra).
- Sizing – Generous. See chart above.
- Opacity (0 – sheer, 10 – total opaque) – 9.5 when standing, 8 when bending (based on black; will probably show even more opaque with lighter colors).
- Durability (0 – frail, 10 – like steel) – leg (6), brief (10)
- Waistband – 3cm width, smooth and soft thin material. Slight tendency to roll.
- Support – Excellent control top support.
- Reinforcement – double-stitched flat seams on brief, nothing for toes/heels.
- Features – flat seams, very opaque look, total opaque brief.
- Colors – These appear to be offered only in black, unfortunately. I would like to see these offered in at least a graphite gray, navy blue, and chocolate brown.
DKNY has these priced at $15. This is a very decent price for the quality delivered. Next to the Falke Pure Matt 100, these are the best fitting tights I own now. Sometimes stores run sales and I was able to get these discounted down to just $10.
UPDATE: Now that I’ve gotten the more expensive version under the “Donna Karan” brand, the Perfect Opaque, it’s interesting to see how the Super Opaque compares. When standing, the opaque appearance of the leg is about identical, except near the top of the thigh, toes, and heels, where it thins out a little. The leg fabric is more microfiber like, and although being a little more snag prone, it’s just a bit more comfortable/breathable. And of course, the Super Opaque is a control top so the brief is much more snug. I wouldn’t recommend wearing either under trousers, as the thickness of the material is such that you won’t breathe as well as something like Falke Pure Matt 100.
2020 Follow-Up: Donna Karan seems to outsource their hosiery with various manufacturers that make hosiery for other brands. I’ve seen some women comment that Hanes makes a very dark opaque tight that’s extremely close to these. One other thing, about composition. The DKNY line has altered the material percentages. The first two pairs purchased were 89% nylon, 11% spandex. However, two pairs purchased some years later showed 92% nylon, 8% spandex, and a notable difference in fabric feel. I’d actually say the Super Opaque Control Top was improved, where the leg feels a little more silky, stretchy. And while the panty is also more comfortable, the compression relaxes a little with time wearing. They do feel like they wear better longer now. I don’t know if this was a permanent change, as various sites selling them are still showing 89%/11%, which may just be “legacy” info that was never corrected by the content managers.