Review: Tabio Natural Cover Stockings

      In a previous review, we looked at a pair of socks by Tabio.  In this one, we will look into a pair of sheer tights from the same brand – the Natural Cover Stockings.

      Before I start, I’d like to make a quick clarification.  Apparently, sheer tights are referred to as stockings and opaque ones as tights in Japan.  Thus, Natural Cover Stockings is actually a pair of sheer tights.

Strengths & Weaknesses

⊕ Absolutely soft and smooth texture, very comfortable to the skin.
⊕ Quality built, great looking on the legs.

⊗ Seams on the panty are not flat seam, so it can rub the skin.
⊗ Toe section is too small.
⊗ Thin cardboard placed inside the tights.

Packaging & product description

      The packaging is somewhat different from what we usually see.  The thin cardboard is placed inside one of the hose.  The tights are then placed in a tri-fold cover made of cardboard.  The content is then wrapped in a transparent, plastic sleeve.  There is a hook attached on the top of the sleeve, so the item can be hanged on the shelves for display.  The right upper corner of the front cover is cut, allowing customers to see the actual product and colour.  The name of the style are on the left upper corner of the front cover.  On the rear side of the cover you will find the product description in both Japanese and English.  There is also wash instructions, but in Japanese only.  The specifications of the tights are printed on a sticker, which is attached on the sleeve. 

Tabio Natural Cover Stockings 01
Tabio Natural Cover Stockings 02
There is a hook on the centre top.
Tabio Natural Cover Stockings 03
Tabio Natural Cover Stockings 04
Tabio Natural Cover Stockings 05
Tabio Natural Cover Stockings 06
The cardboard is placed inside one of the hose.

      The product description on the rear cover reads:

  • Soft fit waist
  • Back side tags attached
  • Comfortable moves with gussets
  • Silky smoothness from Single Covering Yarn
  • Run-resistant, knitted with MOBILON®*
  • Deodorant Treated / UV Protected / Reinforced Toe area

      The description online is in Japanese only.  For those of you who can read, it says:

「タビオ定番のストッキングをリニューアル。肌を美しく見せる自然なマット感が特徴です。 融着モビロン糸使用。 15デニール ・ゾッキタイプ ・ソフトウエスト ・マチ付 ・つま先補強 ・消臭加工付」

Appearance & texture

      The Natural Cover Stockings are sheer (15 denier) tights in matte fashion.  Its total length is 84cm when laid on a flat surface.  The texture is absolutely smooth and soft to the touch.  It is also quite elastic.  The panty is shaped like a boxer brief and is semi-sheer, i.e., not sheer-to-waist.  There is a 2.5cm-wide elastic band just beneath the panty, where the panty meets the hose.  The knitted waistband measures 3.5cm wide.  The distance between the tip of the waistband to the crotch is around 21cm.  There is a gusset, and the toes are reinforced.

      The composition is 72% nylon and 28% polyurethane (as elastane).

Tabio Natural Cover Stockings promotional image (Pink Beige colour, sourced from Tabio).
Tabio Natural Cover Stockings 09
Boxer brief shaped panty in semi-sheer appearance.
Tabio Natural Cover Stockings 10
Tabio Natural Cover Stockings 12
The legs are shaped.

Size range

      The size ranges from S to TL.  I have attached the size chart below.  Mind that this chart is best used in Japan.  Outside of Japan, different size charts are used.  Further below is an example adopted by Tabio UK.  Size TL is used in this review.

Tabio Natural Cover Stockings size range (sourced from Tabio).
Tights size chart (sourced from Tabio U.K.).

Colour

      At the time of writing this review, there are 8 colours available on Tabio’s Online Shop.  They are: Light Beige, Pink Beige, Natural Beige, Skinny Beige, Mocha Beige, Silver Beige, Black and Charcoal Grey.  You can get a sense of the colour presentation from their website, which is provided at the bottom of the article.  I bought Pink Beige for this review.

Impression

PACKAGING

      Overall, I like the presentation of the packaging.  It is simple, elegant, and has a look of high quality.  Since the packaging is not what we usually see, I’d like to make a couple comments.  Firstly, the thin cardboard inside the hose.  For those of you who have subscribed to ilovehosiery since beginning would know that I hate manufactures doing such.  Not only it is time consuming to take it out, the tights are likely to be damaged if the cardboard has rough edges.  Fortunately, this one is well-made, probably by laser-cut and with smooth edges.  Tabio deserves a credit for this.  Still, it took me a few minutes to take it out.  A word of advice: unbox the tights way before you need them, so you are not taken by surprise.

Tabio Natural Cover Stockings 07
I find the best way to get the cardboard out is to fold it in half.

      The second is that I found the English font chosen not very comfortable for reading.  Since English is their best way of communication to their international customers, they need to be careful about it.  The font for the name of the style looks great on the other hand.

FIT

      The fit was fairly good.  Yet, I doubt it will fit up to 180cm as the size chart suggests.  It was quite elastic alright, but there wasn’t much room left, and I am only 171.5cm tall.  I’d say up to 175cm, unless one is very, very slim.

      The envelopment was pretty good.  There was a firm hug on the legs.  Interestingly, the strongest envelopment came from the panty.  It was as if wearing a shapewear with moderate compression.  Also, the elastic band provided a firm grip on the upper thigh.  It minimised the effect of budging after long hours of wearing.

Tabio Natural Cover Stockings 15
The elastic band on the thigh has a firm grip.
Tabio Natural Cover Stockings 16

      The knitted waistband was comfortable.  It didn’t dig in or roll down after long hours of wearing.

      I did find the toe section to be too small.  You can see from the image that the seam starts from the tip of my toe, instead of from the side.

Tabio Natural Cover Stockings 18
Tabio Natural Cover Stockings 19
Toe seam starts from the tip of my toe, instead of from the side.
LOOK

      The appearance was not exactly what I would expected.  On the good side, the tights look like ultra-sheer, like make up on the legs. It exhibits a reflective sheen, instead of total matte.  The quality was superb!!  There is just no flaw when it comes to Japanese craftsmanship.

Tabio Natural Cover Stockings 17

      On the “unexpected” side…  The Pink Beige colour looked matching to my skin tone but turned out to be very light.  It is similar to Wolford’s Cosmetic colour, and lighter than Hēdoïne’s Vivid Champagne.  Thus it made my legs look pale.

      The tights are said to provide UV protection.  Yet, it is difficult to measure how effective they are, so I won’t make any comments on such.  In addition, the tights very prone to snag.  Do be careful when handling them.

Tabio Natural Cover Stockings 20
Tabio Natural Cover Stockings 21
You can see the reflective sheen from these two images.
FEEL

      The tights felt absolutely smooth and soft!!  It is even smoother than Wolford Pure 10 tights.  I can’t properly express in words how comfortable they are on the legs.  You just have to try and see it yourself.

      As I said earlier, the semi-sheer panty is also quite elastic.  It felt like having a moderate compression on the tummy and hips.  The elastic band on the thigh also gave a firm grip.

      The biggest drawback I found with regard to the tights is the seam on the panty.  They are not the flat ones we usually see in Falke or Wolford.  I could feel them rubbing my skin, especially at the end of the gusset where three seams merge into one, forming a big lump.

Tabio Natural Cover Stockings 11
The seams are not the flat ones.

      As the toe section was too small, and the tights are elastic, my toes were squeezed a little.

      Being 10 denier, the breathability was no doubt very good.

Final words

      The Natural Cover Stockings are made in high quality.  Its texture is the smoothest and softest I have enchanted so far.  I would highly recommend them.  

      The Natural Cover Stockings is available all year round for ¥1,210 (including tax), which is roughly £8.48, €10.08 or USD$11.14.  The reason that it was marked ¥1,000 (plus tax) on mine was because I bought it before Japan rose its consumption tax on 1st Oct 2019.

Tabio (Japanese)

* MOBILON® is a type of spandex developed by the Japanese firm NISSHINBO.  It uses zokki-type knitting (supportive yarn incorporating a stretchy polyurethane with tough nylon).  The yarn gives a soft touch, fit and comfort when worn.  It is also very stretchy. (sourced from NISSHINBO)