Sunday, 16 June 2013

The results of "How big are your thighs?"-survey!

Some time ago, I created a survery, as I had a theory that the most common tights size-charts do no account for the diverse ranges our bodies (and thighs, specifically) come in.

Well, the results are in!

Some notes first, though:

Only the first 100 answers are free for me to read, so they are the only ones included. Which, is a shame, as I noticed around the 60mark that I didn't have so many 250lbs+ answers, so when I continued to spread the survey link, I specifically called out for the heavier women.  I can tell this was listened to, as the later respondents tend to be heavier, so I assume those beyond the 100 first responses would have represented that range better.

Another thing to note, is that out of these 100, only 86 people provided enough information - I had a few that answered "no idea" to all but the height for example, which is very difficult to use in any regard to tights.

To present the data, I've used the size guides that I mentioned in the original post: Evans and WeLoveColors:

According to Evans, I got 49 (57%) women as size 1, 31 (36%) as size 2 and 5 (6%) for size 3.

For We Love Colors, I got 8 (9%) for Medium, 9 (10%) for Tall, 22 (26%) for 1X, 11 (13%) for 2X, 21 (24%) for 3X and 14 (16%) for 4X.

They both use height, but one uses hip measurement, and the other uses weight, so continuing with the theory that we are very diverse, this will give very different sizes.

So, let's see diverse the results are.

For all those who fell into the "size 1" at Evans, here is what their sizes were at We Love Colors:
WeLoveColors sizes
Hmm! That seems a little odd, eh? Can it really be right, that tights in size 1 from Evans is to fit both those who go for Medium or 4X at other tight manufactors?

Well, since my theory is that most tight size-charts inadequate, so let's see how these ladies compare with their regular jean sizes:
Jeans sizes
Well, that's probably more diverse! From a UK size 4 to 32! There seems to be no system at all.

And last, let's see how their tighs match up:

There's 15" difference between the largest and smallest thighs who would be recommended the size 1! It seems quite unlikely that these women would have much success trying to follow the chart.

Going on to those in Evan tights size 2 we see much of the same trend:

WeLoveColors sizes
Again we see that the women who are recommended the same size at Evans, will be recomneded widely different sizes at WeLoveColors. Though, it's worth it to note that there are no Medium's this time around, so they do afterall follow along a little bit.

Jeans sizes
Here both the smallest and largest sizes we saw for jeans sizes in Evans size 1 are gone, but this is most likely due to the smaller sample size. So this batch just about as diverse in their regular sizes as the one before.
Again we see that the largest thigh is almost twice as big as the smallest! How could the possibly fit the same tights?

For Evans Size 3, I had too few respondents (5) for it make sense to graph. This is probably partly down to the fact that I had a bit too few of the largest ladies, and the very important reason, that it takes a lot to be an Evans Size 3: I'm pretty sure a 5'3" women with 61" hips will in many cases need at least as wide tights as a 5'5" women with 57" hips, yet the shorter women will be catagorized as a size 2.

All the women who were size 3 at Evans, were size 4X at WeLoveColors, and their thighs were between 31"-43", and jeans sizes from UK 26 to 34. Even with so few respondents, that's a huge diversity still!

So, there you have it, that's how the tight sizing compare to both each other, but also to what usually fits our bottoms as well as our actual tigh size.

In the comments section of my survey, the vast majority felt exactly like me about the sizing: It always ends up to small!
A problem I ignorantly hadn't considered was the diverse heights as well: A lot of complaints were from shorter women who always ended up with way to long, as well as to narrow, tights: This of course makes sense when looking at the typical height/weight size chart: Often the shortst heights aren't represented at all - and if you then choose only by the weight, they are made for 5'7"+ for example, as is the case for the larger sizes with WeLoveColors. Or, it will be done as Evans, where a short women will be recommened a smaller size than a taller but narrower women, thus ending up with perhaps good lengt, but way to narrow.

So, my theory that tight sizing does not match up well with actual sizes needed, is looking pretty likely!


  1. In the future use google documents, you can have an unlimited number of responses and run the survey as long as you'd like. ;) It's pretty awesome!

    Very cool results, though, I never get along with tights for oh so many reasons, the thighs being one of them and I don't have very large thighs! I just end up wearing leggings instead - plus they're warmer.

    1. I just learned today that Google Docs also includes survyes, I'm so annoyed with myself for not figuring that out earlier! :( Oh well, I'll know for the next time...

  2. There are even more factors in play: shape and actual length of the legs (it could vary amongst women of the same height and weight quite dramatically).
    I'm about 5'7" (sometimes more, sometimes less, depends of my vertebra state), weight 135lbs, thighs 37" and I mostly buy Italian tights, which marked from 1 to 5, I should be 2 or 3 according to size charts, but I'm always buying 5, because otherwise they are too small for me (I guess it's because my legs are muscular and on longer side). In Wolford L is ok and may be I could fit in M, but according to them I should be wearing XS! I guess this is the case when try it on method works the best.

  3. I hate buying tights, but I'm not sure if that's because I can't fit into the range, it's just that I'm sooo picky about the waist section. I'm not a fat girl, nor am I pudgy, I'm quite average, yet the waist section pinches the little fat that I have on my hips and gives this *very* unsightly muffin top. I always do the "long top test". I try the tights on, put my long and tight tank top on, "Is there any bulges, non-smooth lines?" if there is I can't bare to wear them. Soo... That's my main reason for avoiding tights, I much prefer leggings and not all leggings have a good waist section either, but it's far more easy to find in leggings than in tights. Not only do I find it extremely unsightly (whether you're skinny, average or fat), I also get kinda claustrophic in anything that hugs my body too tightly, I have a great need of ease of movement and no cutting in. However, back on topic... Yes, I do find that tights are usually way too long for me. I'm only 152 cm tall (5 feet) and my inseam length is 66 cm.