Heist spent 2 years analyzing 100,000 skin tones to develop universal shades of "nude" tights — here's how they look on 7 women
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- British startup Heist Studios developed seven shades of "nude" tights after a two-year survey in which 100,000 women submitted images of their skin to help determine what "nude" looked like.
- Data scientists matched the various skin swatches to RGB color codes and mapped out the data to reveal distinct clusters, or in this case, shades of nude.
- Seven women tested each shade of The Nude tights ($36) to see if the tights actually matched their legs.
- Most of our testers felt that the shades they chose were close matches while some thought the tights were too deep and didn't match their skin tones, but everyone agreed that that the 18 denier yarn was soft yet durable.
British startup Heist Studios was founded on the idea that womens' bodies are different shapes, sizes, and colors, and that our hosiery should be designed that way.
In 2015, the company launched The Thirty and The Fifty, black tights that ranged in US sizes 0 to 20, and with the option of a high or mid waistband. Two years later, Heist was ready to tackle yet another overlooked pocket in the industry — nude tights.
It's not rocket science that "nude" is not a one-shade-fits-all color, so Heist approached the issue as if it was one. Toby Darbyshire, founder and CEO of Heist Studios, told Insider Reviews, "Our insight was that unless there existed a data-driven breakdown of a statistically viable cross section of the female population, the fashion industry would be incapable of providing nude shades that matched their customers skin tones."
What is The Nude Project?
Heist started The Nude Project, working with data scientists to collect and analyze images of skin that 100,000 women submitted anonymously and voluntarily. The swatches were then matched against a computerized RGB color code so that they could be analyzed and mapped, revealing about 1,000 unique skin tones from its participants.
Data scientists grouped these skin tones into seven distinct clusters, which was used to determine the different shades of "nude" in Heist's Nude Tights ($36). The tights are made with 18 denier yarn, which makes them ultra-sheer and silky smooth. Like The Thirty and The Fifty, The Nude comes with the option of a high or low waistband.
Heist is causing ripples in the hosiery industry for its extensive study, but there's undoubtedly skepticism that 100,000 skin tones can be represented in just seven different shades, so we asked seven women with diverse skin tones to test the tights and see if they were a match.
In the photos below, we're wearing The Nude Tights on our left leg and compared it with our bare right leg.
Here's what we thought about the Heist Nude Tights:
The Nude (010, mid waist)
The Nude (010), $36
"I'm not a big fan of wearing tights, but after trying the Heist Nude tights, I might be. They're soft, light, and super comfortable. I love the way the waistband fits perfectly on my hips and doesn't squeeze too tight.
The color also came very close to my skin tone, which was really exciting considering how pale I am. My only concern is that come winter, the tights might be slightly darker than perfect match as I get paler, and 010 is already the lightest shade.
Overall, I was very impressed with these tights, and I love the fact that they come in seven representative shades." — Victoria Gracie, Insider Reviews associate distribution producer
The Nude (020, high waist)
The Nude (020), $36
"I honestly hate wearing tights. They dig, they slip and slide, they pull — I just find them annoying.
But I was really surprised by how comfortable this Heist pair was. The waistband is wide and supportive but doesn't make me feel like I have tight shapewear on. The construction feels strong, like it won't give out after a couple wears, and the material is silky smooth.
The nude color matched my legs perfectly, and I feel like I could have even gone one shade lighter or darker and been fine. They're pretty forgiving, which takes the pressure out of making a decision.
I'll definitely be wearing these more when it's cold out and I still want to pull off a dress and ankle boots without freezing my legs off." — Sally Kaplan, Insider Reviews senior editor
The Nude (030, mid waist)
The Nude (030), $36
"The black tights from Heist are one of my favorites — super stretchy, strong, and comfortable — so I was excited to try out a pair of the Nude ones.
Nude tights are notoriously difficult to get right, but Heist's 030 shade came very close to my actual leg shade. The only way you could tell I was wearing tights was by their slightly glossy veneer.
In terms of comfort, Heist again hits it out of the park. The fabric feels soft and smooth on my skin, and the low waistband doesn't squeeze stomach or roll over when I'm sitting down." — Connie Chen, Insider Reviews senior reporter
The Nude (040, high waist)
The Nude (040), $36
"First off, these tights were comfortable to wear — smooth and thin without compromising the durability of the fabric. I also really liked the option to choose a high or low waistband. In my opinion, the higher the better when it comes to tights. They stayed where they were supposed to be regardless of how many times I stood up, sat down, or bent over.
I chose my shade of nude during the middle of summer when my skin was the tannest. The issue with this is that I tan easily, so my arms and face were visibly darker than my legs and feet. This made it slightly difficult for me to choose a shade that matched my entire body best.
In the end, I chose 040, which was slightly darker than I needed so my legs would match my arms and face. If I spent the weekend outside in the sun, this shade would be a perfect match, but the tights are sheer enough that I could wear them even if my skin was slightly lighter or darker." — Francesca Rea, Insider Reviews senior story producer
The Nude (050, high waist)
The Nude (050), $36
"The tights from Heist were surprisingly durable. I expected them to snag within 24 hours of wearing them, but the quality surpassed my expectations. They're stretchy, and the fabric is soft and comfortable.
At first look, I thought the 050 shade wouldn't be a good match at all, however, once I wore them, I realized that the color sheered out a bit. It's not as seamless as wearing body foundation, but it's good enough and definitely less messy." — Anvita Reddy, former Insider social media fellow
The Nude (060, mid waist)
The Nude (060), $36
"Growing up, I was so used to wearing ripped tights that were always too light or way too dark. This is why I avoided wearing any tights throughout my adult years.
However, these were different. Not only were they soft, they were also very durable. I'd gladly wear Heist tights for the quality, but I didn't get an invisible look.
Shade 060 was not a perfect match and Shade 070 was too dark. Seven representative shades may not be enough to give everyone a natural look." — Alyssa Powell, Insider Reviews associate graphic designer
The Nude (070, high waist)
The Nude (070), $36
"I wanted to love these tights as the material was very nice to the touch. The waistband was soft, and the tights weren't itchy or uncomfortable like pantyhose can sometimes be. I wasn't afraid that the tights would run when putting them on either; the stitching felt thick and solid enough that I wasn't afraid my nails would rip through.
My issue was with the color. I couldn't decide which shade was right for me, but ultimately, I went with 070. It was noticeably too dark compared to my skin and the tone was a little off; I have a warmer tone — think Queen Latifah.
Even though I really liked the feel of the tights, I'd still like to see more shades available for purchase." — Naomi Wills, Consumer Insights senior manager
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