Sunday, 4 December 2016

Are Compression Tights Redefining Legwear as Unisex?

Are Compression Tights Redefining Legwear as Unisex?

This is the title of another reflective blogpost by Christine Nicholson, the founder of online hosiery retailer Divine Legs.





In the article Christine reflects on the difference experiences men have shared about the reasons why they wear hosiery.

We are posting, with Christine's permission, the full article as it will interest Hosiery For Men readers and deserves a wide readership.

You can read our feature on Divine Legs and interview with Christine.

You can also read our review of the ITEM m6 Beauty Tights, one of the styles of tights stocked at Divine Legs.

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Are Compression Tights Redefining Legwear as Unisex?

Ask anyone randomly in the street "What do you think about men wearing tights?" and sadly the usual answer will be that its for those who are trying to look like or be a woman. Men and women with particular health issues have been wearing medical compression tights and leg-wear for decades - usually really thick and quick ugly things! In more recent years the advent of more fashionable compression tights means that we are thankfully on the verge of a tipping point were tights are becoming mainstream in men's fashion.

Fashion Forward or Medical Necessity?




Having recently started in the hosiery retail business, my first surprise was the number of men who were visiting my website, which is shamelessly focused on the women's market, and the positive feedback my customer service team had from the men who contacted us. Thankfully there are many true gentlemen out there to counter act the numerous "pests" who thought our live chat service was a "sex line"!

What's most surprising is the journey that many men have travelled to find their hosiery - and the challenges in public perception. One dominant theme seems to be that wearing hosiery as a man isn't anywhere as daunting as it might seem. Most people are so obsessed with themselves that they really don't care or worry about what anyone else is wearing (unless it's totally outrageous in which case you are probably wearing them to get attention!).

I recently joined a forum called Leg wear As Unisex Fashion (LAUF) so explore men's experiences of hosiery and was made very welcome and equally had my perceptions challenged.

A New Lease of Life




Dave contacted me with his story which started, before the internet and social media, with a fascination of the look of hose on women at a young age. He put thoughts about hosiery on the back burner for about 39 years until in his late 50's he had to have varicose veins removed. The doctor instructed wearing support tights for the rest of his life. As a shorts guy he thought this would put a real damper on wearing shorts. "I thought I was the only guy in the world who had to wear support Pantyhose" says Dave. "I would wear the hose only under jeans when out in public. I did this for about 6-8 months, when my wife started to encourage me to wear shorts and I started wearing Pantyhose while I was bike riding every day and I found out that I had no issues. My confidence level started to grow. I then started to wear with shorts on small trips late at night and gradually morfed to daytime and from there I never looked back. I found that people didn't care what I was wearing".

"This was still before the internet. Getting on-line was a blessing because I eventually I found LAUF and this WONDERFUL family that gave me so much support and my confidence level soared. Now I try and help other folks who have to or like to wear Pantyhose under jeans or with shorts get more confident"

Just Being "Me"




There are valid medical/health reasons for wearing compression tights, many men's engagement with hosiery is purely pleasure, as Steve told me:

"That is not my story. For me, pantyhose is not something that I feel I choose or like to wear, rather a part of who I am. Now may sound strange or extreme to you, but that is how I feel. I can not recall a time in my life, from early childhood until now (42), that I haven't wanted to wear pantyhose. I don't really know how/why it started and trust me I have given it much consideration. As you can imagine as a teenager this was very confusing, especially in rural America and in the 80's with no internet to help or to meet or know about others like me. I'm still not sure I completely understand it all, but there are some things I know for sure. I am not gay, transgender, a transvestite or a cross-dresser, although a case could be made for the last one. I have no desire to dress as or try to pass as a women, I just find that there are some traditionally women's items that I like, pantyhose being one. I do not see the clothing world as black and white, or male and female. Instead, like many things in life, there are a million shades of grey. I fit somewhere in that grey area".

"Over the years the reason I wear, or want to wear has changed. Earlier in my life is was more of a fetish, but the older I get, the less it is about the fetish and more about just wanting to wear what I want. I actually have very little issue with wearing openly and have done so many times without one comment. My biggest problem is my wife. She just absolutely does not get it, doesn't want to get it and does not approve of me in pantyhose. This is not unusually, in fact I dare say that for the vast majority of us who do not have a medical/health reason to wear, have spouses that do not understand or approve". 


Not Quite the Final Word (for now)!


Having read a lot about men being men and women being women I prefer my own long standing way of thinking - "humans just being themselves" - and hope that in some small way with each connection I have with the world I can make sure that philosophy can be passed on even if its one person at a time. We are not defined by what we wear - we are defined by how we behave towards others.

Source

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You can check the collection of tights at 
Divine Legs here.

You can also connect with 
Divine Legs at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The 
Divine Legs website also has more contact options including a live chat facility.

20% off Couture Ultimates Tights at UK Tights

We have featured the new and innovative Couture Ultimates seamless and ladder-proof tights extensively at Hosiery For Men.



So far we have published reviews of the Couture Ultimates 'Victoria' seamless and ladder proof tights and the Couture Ultimates 'Sarah' 100 denier seamless and ladder-proof opaque tights.

UK Tights, one of our recommend hosiery retailers is now offering, for a limited time, 20% off the whole Couture Ultimates collection.




Saturday, 3 December 2016

Reviewed: Couture Ultimates 'Sarah' 100 Denier Seamless and Ladder Proof Opaque Tights

Couture Ultimates launched their new and innovative seamless and ladder-proof tights this autumn.



All the tights in the Couture Ultimates collection are available from UK Tights, who along with Legwear International, provided us with samples from the range too trial and review.



We already published a review of the Couture Ultimates 'Victoria' seamless and ladder proof tights.

We now focus on the Couture Ultimates 'Sarah' 100 Denier Seamless and Ladder Proof Opaque Tights.



Couture Ultimates - the brand


Legwear International are the brand behind the Couture Ultimates range.



We recently interviewed Allan Falconer, the director of Legwear International, and he explained what is unique about the Couture Ultimates range:

"Normal hosiery is knitted in horizontal rows of stitches – the same as one would knit a jumper on a flat hand operated knitting machine or knitting using knitting needles. If a thread breaks the material then creates a run or in the case of tights, a ladder. Tights are knitted using a circle of needles where tubes are created and then sewn together, hence the seam through the middle of the body from front to back.

"Couture Ultimates have been knitted in one piece (therefore no seams) using a machine that was designed to make fabric – this machine can also produce netting and crochet type designs. This machine has a long bed of needles but each needle has an individual thread of yarn. Tights have previously been made on these machines but limited to netting type fabrics. Nobody previously has managed to develop a range of everyday hosiery using this technology.

"Because of the different knitting technique Couture Ultimates are made up from vertical rows of knots as opposed to horizontal rows of stitches. In addition to the other benefits this also makes them 100% ladder proof."



The Couture Ultimates range has nine styles: 60 and 100 denier opaque tights, together with seven fashion styles.

The collection can be viewed at UK Tights and on the Coutures Ultimates website.

Packaging




Packaging for the whole Couture Ultimates range is consistent across the collection: the tights are folded around a card that provides useful information on how to put on seamless and ladder proof hosiery.

This is then wrapped in a cellophane bag, and everything is then enclosed in a robust card envelope. 






Material and features


The Couture Ultimates 'Sarah' 100 Denier Seamless and Ladder Proof Opaque Tights are made from 81% Nylon and 19% Spandex.

The tights feel quite robust and substantial.

Opaque coverage is pretty much total with a matt appearance and little shine.

With 19% Spandex you would expect a lot of stretchiness an that is exactly what you get.

The waistband is 3cm wide and provides comfortable support with no digging in.

There is no central seam in the brief and no gusset. There is a well-engineered horizontal seam that runs under the crotch. This is completely flat and isn't noticeable when worn



Fit and sizing


The Couture Ultimates 'Sarah' 100 Denier Seamless and Ladder Proof Opaque Tights are available in four sizes:

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large
  • Extra-Large
I tested pairs in both the Large and Extra-Large sizes.



Its really important to take care when putting Couture Ultimates tights on, and it's recommend that you refer to the detailed instruction card that is inside every pack.




Couture Ultimates have also released a helpful video to provide further support in how to put your Couture Ultimates tights on.



I tried the Extra-Large size first. The fit was perfect. The tights have plenty of stretch and there was more than enough leg length for my 5'10" height. The brief was deep and stretched comfortably over the waist.

The 'Sarah' style, with 19% Spandex, hugs the leg providing a very snug fit and a moderate amount of compression that provides welcome leg support.

Once in position you will notice that the 'Sarah' style provides smooth, even opaque coverage with no bunching or wrinkling.

I wore the Extra-Large style with shorts on a long rail journey and they were really comfortable.

The Couture Ultimates team also urged me to try the Large size to compare with the Extra-Large. This size also provided a great fit and didn't appear to be significantly smaller than the Extra Large size. The fit was slightly more snug, but there was once again sufficient leg length and the brief/panty was also perfectly comfortable.

The sizing information is therefore accurate: I would recommend the Large size for heights up 5'10". The Extra-Large if you are a taller person.

The 'Sarah' style provides a wonderful feeling of wellbeing to the legs. You can really feel them hugging you.



Colour range


The Couture Ultimates 'Sarah' 100 Denier Seamless and Ladder Proof Opaque Tights are available in Black only.



Price and availability


The Couture Ultimates 'Sarah' 100 Denier Seamless and Ladder Proof Opaque Tights are priced at £10.99 at UK Tights. However there is, at the time of publication, a 20% discount that mans they are available for just £8.79.

Conclusion 


This is our second review of tights in the Couture Ultimates range and we remain impressed with the quality as well as the overall wearing experience.

The overall positives are:

  • Excellent sizing options with both Large and Extra Large sizes being suitable for larger and taller women and men.
  • Smooth, even and total opaque coverage.
  • Superb wearing experience, enhanced by the snug fit and moderate compression.
  • Robust yarn and design which should stand regular wear.
Recommended.

Stay tuned for a further Couture Ultimates review that will appear shortly.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Couture Ultimates website and video launched

Couture Ultimates have just launched a new website for their new and innovative seamless and ladder-proof tights.





The website provides information about the collection and you can purchase all nine Couture Ultimates styles directly.


A new video has also been launched that provides further information about the Couture Ultimates collection.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Couture Ultimates tights now available at Stockings HQ

Hosiery retailer Stockings HQ is now selling the full range of the revolutionary new Couture Ultimates seamless and ladder-proof opaque tights.




As we have already reported, the Couture Ultimates tights have a unique and genuinely ground-breaking ladder-proof and seamless construction. While traditional hosiery is knitted in tubes made of horizontal rows, the Couture Ultimates are made with vertical lines in one piece with no body seam.

This makes them 100% ladder proof (not just ladder resistant) with leg shaping and light control.





The whole Couture Ultimates range is available at Stockings HQ with a 15% discount.

You can still read our feature on Couture Ultimates and interview with Allan Falconer, the director of Legwear International, the brand behind Couture Ultimates.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

News from Activskin

Activskin, the US-based men's legwear retailer, has just relaunched their website with a fresh look and design.

Check it out here.





The website now has great images of men styling pantyhose and tights from the range in stock at Activskin.

Activskin are now offering patterned tights for men from the Italian brand Emilio Cavallini.



Video review of Couture Ultimates Seamless and Ladder Proof Victoria Tights

Men's legwear blogger Andreas, who writes the Legwear Fashion for Men blog, has uploaded a new video review.



You can read our interview with Andreas and view his previous Legwear Fashion Video reviews here.

Andrea now reviews the new Couture Ultimates Victoria Tights.





You can read our review of this Couture Ultimates style here. You can purchase these tights at UK Tights.