Sartorial advice - out of practice due to RA

I need advice on where to find opaque tights for people who are rather larger than usual. I haven't worn tights since I put on weight in the early years of having RA. And there's an event I need to prepare for which will require me to look smart - not just the floppy trousers I usually wear. So I thought black opaque tights and ankle boots with a longish dress might be good. Any advice as to where I might find more than usually forgiving tights?

I feel a bit defensive writing this as I don't want to say now what the event is going to be. I will fess up later. and it is a genuine RA question because its so hard to get turned out smartly isn't it when you are ballooning and don't feel like wearing uncomfortable tight clothes and shoes. I went and bought two pairs of new shoes yesterday - perhaps I'm getting things together! Slowly.

20 Replies

  • Hi

    I know exactly what you mean about not wanting to get dressed when piling on the pounds. I've gained a couple of stone in the last few months and really don't like anything tight touching my poor painful body.

    Have you tried M&S for the tights, they usually have a good range of denier/opaque and all size's.

    Beth x

  • When I did a bit of googling I thought the M&S ones looked promising. I will report back...


    PS Beth i hope you're feeling OK these days.

  • Thanks Cathie, if I'm honest I've not been to good. Feeling really low physically and mentally, plus the heart failure and BP problems haven't helped.

    The good news is, I've got the cardiac MRI tomorrow (Tuesday pm) so as you can imagine I'm quite anxious but hopefully will get some answers.

    Thank you so much for asking, it really means a lot. xxx

  • Evans do a good range of tights Cathie.

    Paula x

  • Although there's nothing more fun than the sound of a back seam giving out when bending down to pick up your handbag...yes been there, done that!

  • Even in my youth there used to be tights that were too short with not enough space for a small tum, let alone now! It might open up a whole new approach for me anything for a morale boost!

  • I'm just excited to find out where you're going now!

  • No its nothing nice. Im just anticipating a sad formal occasion. But i am going to norway for a few days. Wooly sweater territory. I promise to report back on that! Bergen then train to oslo. Fjords and railways. Xx

  • Mackays do quite stretchy tights too Cathie - but I think M&S is probably your best bet. Good luck and try to have a good time in Norway despite impending "stuff". Tilda xx

  • I shall think of people setting out in their boats to sail to orkney. Am hoping to avoid mtxate induced face rash and to get around enough to see stuff. Trip on fjords promised but its v expensive xx

  • Have you thought about looking at some of the maternity versions? They have extra stretch and so are easier to force over unwilling joints. Or just go for stay up stockings, as if you're wearing a longer skirt it won't make a difference and saves the whole flap doodle of getting them on. I've found that the most helpful are the department stores that have ladies lingerie section, as can have more choice of types of stuff. But if you're feeling strong enough for gymnastics getting them on, and not anticipating hot weather then magic knickers are a great investment. Enjoy, whatever you choose! Polly

  • That's really helpful. I've found some opaque tights in a drawer and am going to wrestle with them later. But the stay ups are a good idea - I seem to be less tolerant of feeling tight and restricted these days. All very helpful. God I am going to look so cool!

  • Yes Cathie get along to Jenners and be advised! Re Norway - it is indeed pretty expensive - my friend told me that she takes some essential foodstuffs in her case when she goes but I think healthy foods are reasonable it's just the non essentials and unhealthy stuff that's exorbitant. I'm rather jealous - always wanted to go but never managed it yet although our oldest went with the local brass band as their drummer a few years ago and absolutely loved it. I think he went to Bergen. Tilda xx

  • Paddy said there's whale on menus. I don't want to go there !! No way.

    I think all the oily fish like smoked salmon will be good for my RA, and he's been shown an Ethiopian restaurant by friends from there which sounds good.

  • If the skirt is long enough, how about pop-socks? I find that hold-up tights either fall down or try to slice my thighs in 2 - neither of which is a good look! M&S do pop-socks with a special band at the top to stop too much pressure on your veins etc. Enjoy Norway, and I hope that your anticipated occasion is not too grim.


  • m&s, asda, evans sorry for the circumstances. It is expensive but I would love to visit norway and cruise the fjords. I spent some time in Denmark and adored it.


  • I can highly recommend M&S with the Body Toner, once on they fit like gloves. I went on a cruise to the Fjords a couple of years ago and the sights were amazing. Enjoy!

  • Thanks all of you ill have to do some shopping now!

    Great advice, ill report back

  • Hi Cathie,

    Ditto on the M & S tights, the body shaper ones really do hold you together and M & S are always generous in the crouch to waist length. If you have dodgy hands/fingers you may be better going for the standard range though as you might find them difficult to get on as they do have a strong elastication. The last time I tried some I had to take them off an go and have a shower. It was a challenge.

    I have had a few mishaps with hold-ups as well. Maybe my thunder thighs are too much for them but I have experienced them rolling down my legs. Most embarrassing.

    The last pair I bought were footless tights M&S basic range. I found them much easier to manage and if you are wearing boots it won't notice - although it is very trendy to show a bit of lacy footless tights between your skirt and boot apparently

  • Oooh that sounds very flashing yer ankles! Can't wait!

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