Saturday, 30 April 2016

Reviewed: Pretty Polly 60 Denier 3D Opaque Tights

UK Tights, one of our recommended hosiery retailers, sent us some of the Pretty Polly 60 Denier 3D Opaque Tights to trial and review.





Pretty Polly launched the 60 Denier 3D opaques last year as part of a range of tights, including 40 denier and 80 denier styles, using 3D LYCRA® brand technology to provide an exceptional fit with greater comfort and durability.




Material and features
The Pretty Polly 60 Denier 3D Opaque Tights are described on the packaging as having a "smoother appearance and a softer touch", as well as being "longer lasting".

Packaging is rather basic: both pairs of tights are wrapped in a simple card enclosure that provides product and sizing information.

The Pretty Polly 60 Denier 3D Opaque Tights are made from 93% Nylon and 7% Elastane.

The fabric has a very soft touch, comparable to more expensive tights. The feel is quite velvety and provides, as described, smooth and even coverage.

Seams are conventional and there is a fairly basic 2cm waistband. Toes are reinforced. The brief does not have a gusset.

The top of the thigh area has a slightly darker circular band, so the tights are not completely sheer to waist.





Fit and sizing
The Pretty Polly 60 Denier 3D Opaque Tights are available in three sizes: 

  • Small/Medium 
  • Medium/Large 
  • Extra Large 
I tested the the Extra Large size.



The fit for me was very good; much better than previous experiences I have had with Pretty Polly tights.

They have plenty of stretch and the 7% Elastane provides a smooth appearance on the leg and a nice snug fit. There is no wrinkling or bunching at the knee or ankle.


The feel on the leg is soft and smooth, with a nice glide under trousers.

The brief is very deep and stretched comfortably above the waist. It's definitely not a low-rise panty.

Colour range
The Pretty Polly 60 Denier 3D Opaque Tights are available in the following shades:

  • Black 
  • Charcoal
  • Navy
I tested them in the Navy shade; a very deep, dark blue.

Price and availability

A two pair pack of the Pretty Polly 60 Denier 3D Opaque Tights is priced at £5.99 at UK Tights.

Conclusion
The Pretty Polly 60 Denier 3D Opaque Tights are something of a bargain with two pairs for just £5.99.

Okay, you don't get flat seams or a beautifully crafted comfort waistband. But you do get two decent pairs of opaque tights made with 3D Lycra technology. I think Pretty Polly have upped their game here and seem to be trying to provide better quality hosiery but still stay in the lower price range.

The tights are soft and very comfortable and provide a excellent wearing experience. Having them in Extra Large is also a bonus, rather than SM and ML options that have been pretty standard previously. Might Pretty Polly have the men's market in mind here?

It's also nice to see that they are made in England.

For quality and value these tights get a recommendation from Hosiery For Men.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Introducing Stop & Stare

Today we are excited to publish a detailed profile and feature on an exciting new hosiery brand: Stop & Stare.

Stop & Stare is a brand that specialises in innovative tattoo-design tights.



We recently interviewed Daria, one of the founders of Stop & Stare. We are really pleased to be one of the hosiery bloggers chosen to tell the world about their amazing designs.

Stop & Stare. That’s a new name and brand on the hosiery scene. Can you tell us more?

Thank you for the opportunity to be interviewed by such a household name in the hosiery blogging world! Yes, Stop & Stare is a young Irish brand of tattoo-printed tights and we are very proud of the fact that our hosiery does exactly what it says on the tin - it makes others stop, stare and ask whether it's a real tattoo on your legs! Our products are inspired (and created) by women who love to express their daring and bold side while staying elegant and feminine. Hundreds of our customers and many fashion bloggers have experienced (and enjoyed!) the Stop & Stare effect to date.



And who are the people behind the brand?
Stop & Stare is a collaboration between two mumpreneurs: Marina’s educational and working background in fashion design and textile production is complemented by my extensive experience in hosiery retail. We met at a local pole fitness class – no wonder they say that some of the best ideas are generated during exercise! At the time, I as a hosiery retailer, was really bored and frustrated by the lack of exciting and interesting designs among the mainstream hosiery brands – with every new collection, all you see is a slight re-working of a previous design or that of another brand, with no or little innovation. So with the right skillset and experience between the two of us, we started playing with the idea of creating something unique ourselves! 

We both have real tattoos, but we never quite embraced the idea of getting them done on our legs, so tattoo-like prints on nude tights have become a perfect idea and solution for us.



There must be some technical challenges in creating a tattoo design on tights. How do you actually create the products?
Once the idea was conceived, we needed to find out how to transform it into a beautiful pair of tights and because it’s not your regular T-shirt printing, you won’t find this information on the web – there are very few niche brands and craftsmen that print on delicate hosiery like ours. So we had to figure out everything from scratch. We flew to several textile printing expos with some blank tights for test printing – and even though some exhibiting printing companies thought we were plain crazy, a couple of them took the opportunity to test a new substrate themselves – one with excellent results! That’s when we knew the dream would soon turn into reality.

The actual process of creating our beautiful tights is very meticulous and requires a lot of precision and attention to detail, both in terms of printing the design and also dealing with a delicate 20 denier material. Once we’ve finished drawing the design, each pair is individually marked based on the size (S, M, L at the moment) and location of the design. It is then stretched over a custom platen and printed on using a textile garment printer. Finally, the ink is cured in a special dryer for delicate fabrics.

Thanks to this individual ‘handmade’ approach to each pair and design, we are able to produce designs that are loud and eye-catching yet look elegant and feminine on the leg, unlike some mass-printed tights which create that wallpaper-like effect and are more suited to a younger market.



Stop & Stare designs start life as tights. Can you tell us more about the quality and specification of the tights you use?
Having spent five years in hosiery retail, we had a very clear idea of the kind of look we wanted to achieve, the technical specification to do that, plus the customer’s needs and wants in terms of the product. As most brands worldwide are made by the same hosiery manufacturers under private labels, we sent our requirements to the factories and received many samples which were tried out and tested both in terms of printing quality, as well as overall quality, features, fit and wear.

There are so many reasons to fall in love with our tights – not the least important one is that at only 20 denier, our tights have been tested to last as many as nine full days of wear in heels! Plus every pair comes with:

- Wide deep waistband that keeps our tights comfortably in place all day long
- Flat seams and cotton gusset for added fit and comfort
- Sheer-to-waist brief for your shortest dresses and shorts
- Beautiful sun-kissed shade for adding a healthy glow to lighter skintones.



What kind of reaction have you had to the Stop & Star tights so far?
We’ve always been confident that the time we took to research and test the product and methods of making it, would result in something special, but the amazing feedback and comments we’ve had so far from customers and bloggers is more than we’ve ever hoped for. Quite apart from the fact that people have never seen such realistic tattoo designs on tights before, they all comment on the quality of the tights themselves comparing them to others that they normally wear: that they stay put without sliding down, they last without snagging for days and of course the best part – you can take your tattoo off in the evening and try on another one the next day. Plus, the rest of your legs get that perfect airbrushed look – perfect for hiding minor skin blemishes while preserving the natural look.

But by far the best compliment we receive is when customers ask for our permission to actually tattoo our designs on their legs – they wore our tights for several days and they knew that’s what they’d like to see on their legs for the rest of their lives. That’s simply amazing!



Which designs are particularly popular?
We get inspiration from our Celtic heritage, as well as classic tattoo designs: think dragons, butterflies, daggers and hearts. Our best-sellers include scattered black butterflies, shaded rose tattoo, musical dandelion and red poppy flowers. At the moment, we have 27 designs on offer, but we are introducing several new designs every month – that’s the best advantage of making these products ourselves and not outsourcing the production in large volumes elsewhere. We can design in the morning, print at lunchtime and send to the customer on the same day. Plus, thanks to the non-marked heel part, you can choose to wear our frontal designs on the back too – just check out our social media pages to see how cool that looks!

We have also worked on and welcome custom projects, which so far included printing company logos for special events, hen and bridal party specials with fun quirky catchlines, as well as strategically placed designs for those wanting to hide existing tattoos, birth marks or scars on their legs.



What are you planning next? How do you hope Stop & Stare will develop?
Next in the pipeline is developing a collection of hold-ups and knee-high socks too – even though we are tights girls ourselves (it’s too windy in Ireland to feel comfortably warm in hold-ups!), we’ve had many requests for them. 

Also, we are currently looking for retailers who would love to stock our tattoo tights – with extensive hosiery retail experience, we believe we know exactly what wholesale customers need and want, in terms of high quality product images, lightweight flat packaging, excellent margins and quick turnaround times. At the moment our direct customers are mostly located in the UK, the USA, Germany and France so we’d love to see our products in stores and on virtual shelves there.



What can people do if they have any questions about the brand?
We are very happy to answer any questions about the brand, wholesale enquiries or custom projects at info@stopandstare.co.

You can also find us on Instagram and Facebook where you can see our amazing designs in action. We reply promptly to all queries because when we are not printing, we have our computer heads on!


Lots more information can be also found at the Stop & Stare website: www.stopandstare.co

Thanks for speaking to Hosiery For Men Daria. It's nice to hear that you see us as a 'household name' in the world of hosiery blogging!

I hope readers will check out Stop & Stare, and also that hosiery retailers will take notice as I can see these designs becoming really popular. 

Tights for Prince Harry and other guys from SockShop

Thanks to SockShop for altering everyone to yesterday's story that Prince Harry likes to wear women's tights for keeping warm while riding his motorbike.



As well as being present in many concessions around the UK, SockShop is best known now for its impressive online store, that stocks a massive range of tights, socks and more.

Following Prince Harry's endorsement of tights on the Chris Evans Radio 2 show yesterday, we have put together a section of tights that are suitable for Harry and other guys from the great selection at SockShop.



1. Falke Pure Matt 100 Tights


Wonderful opaque tights from Falke that provides great insulation as well as a soft, velvety wearing sensation. The yarn has a fine and completely opaque mesh structure. Available in sizes up to XL. These tights have a slight sheen which makes them great for wearing under trousers, or even inside biking leathers.



2. Pretty Polly Heat Sense 80 Denier Tights

The technology behind these tights is what makes them a good choice when it is seriously cold. The yarn technology keeps you warmer by using heat trapping fibres that retain and use the heat from your own body.





3. Charnos 60 Denier Opaque Tights

A classic from Charnos and great value as they keep going and looking good wash after wash. These tights have an even matt finish, and are warm and strong. The Lycra 3D technology provides great fit and comfort.

4. Falke Pure Matt 50 Tights

These Falke 50 denier tights are opaque but lighter and slightly less busy than the Pure Matt 100 tights.

The finish is matt and smooth, and they provide a superb, comfortable wearing experience.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Prince Harry jokes with Chris Evans over his fondness for wearing women's tights

Prince Harry was a guest on the Chris Evans BBC Radio 2 show this morning.





In one exchange, Evans asked Harry if he had any tips for keeping warm on a motorbike. He replied: ‘I’ve got no tips, I don't even have heated handlebars, how pathetic’s that?’

Evans then said that some people like to wear women's tights to keep warm, adding: 'Have you ever tried that?’

After an awkward laugh, Harry replied: ‘I really don't know what to say about that . Yes, great, fantastic.'

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Farewell to MyTights and Tights Please - good news from UK Tights

It was sad to hear that two of the UK's most well-established online hosiery retailers are no longer trading.

MyTights and Tights Please had both build a serious online presence and both stocked an impressive range of tights, including the most prestigious brands.





It was shock to learn that they are no longer here and one can only conclude that the hosiery market is now a very competitive environment.

Both MyTights and Tights Please had provided great support to Hosiery For Men. Both retailers had also increased the range of tights aimed at men in recognition that this is an important and growing market.

The good news, that we can confirm today, is that UK Tights has now taken ownership of MyTights.com and MyTights.co.uk.



You can read the full story on this development at Underlines magazine.

To stay positive, we can remember that UK Tights is a huge supporter of tights for men, and stocks one of the best ranges of men's tights you will find anywhere. That's why they are one of our recommended retailers.





Plus UK Tights also stock top brands such as Wolford, Falke and Kunert that we recommend for men.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Interview with Jeffrey Scott Part 2

Jeffrey Scott is a designer who creates form-fitting tights that are designed for a man's body and made of specially chosen fabrics.



We recently spoke to Jeffrey and you can still read Part 1 of our interview.

In the second and final part of our interview Jeffrey discusses the types of fabrics he uses, the styles popular with customers and the benefits of tights for men.



You offer a wide range of fabrics and designs at Jeffery Scott. Can you tell us more about the Antimicrobial and Milliskin fabrics?
Antimicrobial fabrics inhibit the growth of bacteria within your sweat. Bacteria is what causes your sweat to smell, but also promotes chafing. Bamboo has natural antimicrobial properties. My P-600 fabric has an antimicrobial finish added to the fabric that inhibits the growth of bacteria. Both of these fabrics are excellent at combating bacteria growth and chafing.

Milliskin is a staple in the spandex world. It is comfortable, has great stretch, can be dyed any color imaginable, and it can be digitally printed with any picture. When most people think of spandex they are imagining milliskin. It is used in dancewear, swimwear, sportswear, Hollywood costumes, fetish-wear, and fashion. Milliskin has become the go-to fabric for a reason; it is comfortable, inexpensive and versatile. My personal milliskin tights are my go-to tights. They are like my little black dress, but in every color.

Which styles are particularly popular with your customers?
Right now the Hologram Waves, Black Milliskin, and Black Snake are my best selling fabrics, but it changes monthly. I release a new fabric each week. Sometimes they are very popular, and sometimes they fade in popularity until I discontinue them. Hologram Waves and Black Milliskin are here to stay, for sure.





Among tights, trunks and shorts, tights are my biggest seller. That may be due to the season though. I’m interested to see how trunks and shorts sell this summer.

What do you see as the benefits of men wearing tights?
Aside from the fact that compression aids muscle recovery the right tights can add range of motion, moisture management, comfort, support, and a range of other benefits that aren’t science, but known to tights wearers. It may not be science, but my whole attitude can change when I look at my legs and see great colors.

And guys, let’s face it; confidence is sexy. Wearing tights confidently will get you admiring looks from men and women.



There has been a lot of media coverage of tights for men in recent years. What are your thoughts about the greater visibility these days of men buying and wearing tights?
I feel like many guys recognize the benefits of wearing compression in and out of the gym. I also feel like many of them are afraid to wear them. If tights are more visible then they become more accepted. The guys afraid to wear them will begin feeling more comfortable and being themselves. I’m a fan of that.

Thanks Jeffrey for speaking to Hosiery For Men. I am sure readers will enjoy reading this interview and I hope they go on to check the wide selection of men's tights in both solid fabrics and prints available for order on the Jeffrey Scott website.

You can also connect with Jeffrey Scott on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.