Here at team MB we love a bargain! It’s one of the reasons we worked so hard to get an affordable activewear range up and running!
When we first launched MB Active (formerly One Active) there was considerably less activewear in the market. Customers were sick of paying upwards of $90 for a pair of tights and we were thrilled to offer great quality alternatives for a fraction of the price. In today’s saturated market, our $25-$35 tights are up against a new breed of discount styles that are a fraction of OUR price (we’re talking $15, $12 and even $10).
One of the most common questions to come through MB HQ has to be about the price of tights. People often ask: ‘surely there isn’t much difference between a $10-$20 tight and a $25-$35 tight’…right? Aaaaah….WRONG!
If you’re anything like us, activewear isn’t just a “workout outfit” – It’s an all day essential. It’s our ‘go to’ get up for walking the dog, school pick ups, bootcampand everything in between. You want to feel secure in the knowledge that this everyday wardrobe has your back (or your backside as we will discuss).
We pride ourselves on packing our MB Active tights with as much value as possible to ensure that you don’t just look fabulous but you feel it to! There are numerous reasons why you won’t see us dropping the price of our tights to $15 anytime soon and it pretty much comes down to one thing –QUALITY!
Fabric quality is incredibly important to us and it is the one thing that we are not prepared to compromise on. We’ve all seen that poor girl squatting in the gym, downward dogging in the studio or even just bending down at park and there’s her underwear completely exposed. This kind of unwanted attention is NOT something we ever want our customers to experience.
When we launched MB Active all prototypes were met with what Mish coined the ‘squat test’. This simple but crucial test was conducted to ensure that sheerness and underwear visibility were kept to a minimum even whenperforming the deepest of squats.
When we talk about ‘sheerness’ we’re talking about the extent in which light gets through the fabric (holding the fabric up to the light is a good way to test this). Last week, we bit the bullet and got ourselves some $15 tights from a local discount store. We were shocked to say the least – not only was light pouring through but the sheerness was so extreme that we could clearly see one another through the fabric!!! IMAGINE how this must look when it is stretched across your backside.
Sheer and super light fabrics just don’t cut it for us - as a result we always encourage our supply partners to source high density fabrics with minimal transparency to provide a premium level of modesty and support. Given the benefits, this sort of fabric is generally more costly than a lighter weight alternative. While the retail price may be slightly higher there is greater potential for longevity through better wash and wear and more advanced stretch and recovery, which in our eyes makes for great value for money!
Ultimately, fabric weight is a personal preference – many of our customers love to be “hugged” by a firmer fabric, with many commenting that it helps to “sucks them in” and smooth “lumps and bumps”. On the other hand, there are people who prefer lighter fabrics, because they may find them to be cooler. If you are looking for cooler fabrics don’t be immediately sucked in by callouts like ‘lightweight’. Sure – lightweight is a great if it keeps you cool but NOT if the fabric has the weight and sheerness of a tissue!
We’ve put together a little checklist of additional things to be mindful of when buying tights. Again, picking up on these in the beginning will help you to ensure that the product lasts (and performs) for as long as possible!
All of our MB performance tights use fabrics containing elastane and either nylon or polyester. These fibres are great for mitigating pilling, however be weary of tights that use viscose or cotton, as they are more likely to pill.
Moisture wicking is an important feature of many of our MB Active styles PARTICULARLY tights as it helps to draw moisture away from the body to keep you cool and dry. In order for moisture wicking fabric to be effective it must be in close contact with the body. In the case of tights, they need to fit well! If they are ill fitting, or if they have become loose and stretched over time, the ability of the fabric to wick away moisture will be compromised.
Moisture wicking claims are pretty widespread but you can test it for yourself. Simply flick some water onto the fabric and observe the reaction. It should sink in fairly quickly if it is effective at wicking away moisture. If the water droplets bead on the surface you could be in for a very sweaty wear!
Stretch and Recovery
Stretch is a crucial factor for tights – and understandably so! You need to as be able to move right? However, it is just as important for the tights to be able to ‘recover’ aka return to their original shape after use. They should stretch enough that you can get them on, fit firmly and then fit consistently once worn and washed.
In a 2015 review by consumer advocacy group, Choice, a range of International and domestic activewear tights were assessed to determine their commercial quality. Our MB Active tights were praised highly for their stretch and recovery properties, coming in third best overall, behind Adidas and Nike.
Again, you can certainly test stretch and recovery for yourself. A good way to do this is by stretching some of the fabric over your fingertips sideways. Observe whether it is able to return to its original state. If it bubbles or stretches out of shape, you may want to rethink your purchase.
Seam Strength and Stitching
There is nothing worse than hearing the crack of a stitch when putting on a pair of tights! This is generally an indication of poor seam strength and poor stitch tension. Activewear tights in particular, need a solid level of reinforcement when it comes to stitching because the fabric is always being stretched.
The seams on our MB Active tights are either flat locked or overlocked (depending on the construction each individual style). Both offer much more strength than a standard straight stitch. The main difference between flatlock and overlocked seams comes down to the bulk factor - flatlock offers slightly less bulk for the wearer.
Again, be weary of stitching before purchasing a pair of tights. Seam strength is super easy to test– simply pull the seam longways – if it pulls or cracks easily you know that there is a strength and tension issue. Steer clear of tights with straight stitched seams, as that generally won’t be secure enough for a stretch fabric. Look carefully at the stitch quality – it shouldn’t be too tight, too bubbly and there shouldn’t be any pieces of thread hanging off!
Last but not least it is important to ensure that tights are comfortable! Give yourself some time to go and try them on, spend some time moving and stretching and take a good look at the fit. Make sure that they feel good, don’t fall down, don’t itch or irritate you and definitely make sure they aren’t sheer! Do your own squat test if you want to give this a good go!
In the 2015 Choice review, our tights were named as the best value compared to the other tested brand based on construction and detailing so you can rest assured that we have your back! If you want to check it out feel free to visit the
At the end of the day, we all want the best value for money for ourselves and for our families. The choice is yours but like anything, the trick is to be a savvy shopper. Be discerning about the quality of the tights you’re buying as they could turn out to be more trouble than what they’re worth!
Contributed by Alex Murray, MB Team, Retail Manager.