Thursday, 17 January 2019

Which Hosiery Brands Have Tried To Be Gender Inclusive?

We are now analysing more of the responses to our recent MEN BUYING TIGHTS survey.

The survey asked this question:

In your experience, are there any hosiery brands that have made an effort to be inclusive in some way towards male customers? Which brands are they and what have they done that has been positive?


We are going to publish two posts on this, and here is the first. It's a Word Cloud based on the frequency of a brand being identified.

So more a brand was mentioned, the bigger its name will appear in the World Cloud.



Essentially the Word Cloud represents recognition of hosiery brands that have made efforts to be gender inclusive, through their ethos, brand image, social media content, website information, products and other strategies.

So to put it simply: the more a brand is recognised for gender inclusivity the more it will stand out in the Word Cloud.

One brand really stands out here: Wolford.



In our next post we will share feedback from the survey on what respondents have identified about Wolford that has helped them to achieve this ranking.

Other brands that get a high level of recognition for gender inclusion are:

I See Your Legs

Glamory

Adrian

Activskin

Heist

Emilio Cavallini


Stay tuned for more data and other useful findings.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Reviewed: Wolford Aurora Pullover

We recently featured the new Wolford Cradle to Cradle® Collection: biodegradable skin-wear products that have a safe biological lifecycle.



The new Aurora styles, which are part of the collection, use premium stretch yarn and environmentally responsible fibres.

After the life cycle of the product has naturally come to an end, it can be returned to a Wolford store. In return you will receive a 10% discount on the next Cradle to Cradle® product.



Wolford will take the item to an industrial composting station and the Aurora products will begin a new life as nutrients for our planet, such as humus and bio gas.

Two Aurora products are now available. Wolford sent us sample of both to trial and review.

We focus first on the Wolford Aurora Pullover. A subsequent review will focus on the Wolford Aurora Leggings.


Wolford describe this product as follows:



Stylish sustainability: This cozy, soft sweater made from, and with, biodegradable components is a real winner in every respect thanks to its comfort, style and innovative design. It is Cradle to Cradle Certified™ at the gold level and, as the name suggests, a symbol for new beginnings.

Packaging

Wolford have designed new and very specific packaging for the Cradle to Cradle® collection.

The Aurora Pullover is folded and packed into rectangular white card box. This then slides into the outer packaging. It works basically as a drawer that can be opened and closed.

As well as sizing information on the outer packaging, there is detailed information (in English and French) on the Cradle to Cradle® sustainability process.





Material and features


The Wolford Aurora Pullover is made from 70% Modal, 26% Polyester and 4% Elastane.

The material is really soft and smooth to the touch, and noticeably stretchy. The garment feels quite weighty and substantial.

The knit is very dense. Even when you stretch the material it remains completely opaque.

As shown on the packaging, this a long sleeve, polo neck (or roll neck) sweater.



The design, construction and finish is all absolutely top class, as you would expect from Wolford.

The main body is one seamless tube, with seams attaching the neck and arms. All seams are conventional, with the stitching on the inside of the garment. This provides a smooth, sleek appearance.

Sleeves have narrow 2cm cuff, again with the stitching made inside. This makes the cuff all but invisible to the eye.

Sleeve are designed to be quite long and fall over most of the hand. But you don't have to stretch them out this far. They are, in effect, adjustable, and you can easily and comfortably either fold them back to me an additional cuff, or just pull them back onto the wrist.



When folded out the polo neck is 16cm long. When worn folded down, it was half this measurement.



Fit, sizing and wearing experience

The Wolford Aurora Pullover is available in four sizes: XS, S, M and L.



I trialled the L size.

Fit was really excellent. The pullover is easy to get on and will stretch and mould itself to your upper body.

It's not a loose baggy fit, but one that one that takes on your own shape and body contours.

It feels soft, warm, cosy and luxurious on the skin.

The Elastane content gives it almost a slight compression feel, which is very pleasant.

I wore the Aurora Pullover on two very cold days. Insulation was good, as well as breathability.

It worked superbly as a a second base layer over a T-shirt.

The other thing I noticed was how well it moves with you. I can see why Wolford use the term 'skinwear' to describe this range, as the pullover kind of adapts itself to you to and works with you as you move.

Colour range


The Wolford Aurora Pullover is available in Black only.



Price and availability


The Wolford Aurora Pullover is priced at £195.00.

Conclusion


This is actually the first time we have trialled and reviewed any Wolford clothing.

If you look at the website of any Wolford Store, you will see that as well as tights, socks and leggings there is also a wide range of clothing including bodies, tops, shirts, pullovers, cardigans and more.

Yes, we know that these have been designed primarily for women, we also know that Wolford tights work well for all genders. So there is no reason why guys should not consider these items as well.

I can't see any reason why the Wolford Aurora Pullover could not be considered a unisex item. It fitted me perfectly and it has all the qualities we admire so much in Wolford hosiery.

The highlights of this garment are:

  • Superb high performance material
  • Perfect engineering and finish
  • A pullover that mould itself to your body and moves with you.
  • Warm, soft and insulating.
I am going to love wearing this pullover over the remaining cold months.

Monday, 14 January 2019

Introducing Hosiery Retailer Leglicious

It's always a pleasure to welcome a new brand to the world of online hosiery retailing.

Apart from the wider range of choice available to the consumer, for me what is most pleasing is seeing people bringing an idea to fruition and realising their dreams and aspirations.

So let's welcome Leglicious, where you can now purchase unique, exclusive and luxurious hosiery from the most coveted brands.


We recently spoke to Nicola Forkes, the managing director of Leglicious.

Can you tell Hosiery For Men readers about Leglicious? When did you start the online store?

Leglicious was formed in March 2018 and has been a long term dream of mine. Legs are quite often hidden but doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be well dressed. I love the versatility of hosiery from the ever practical, sexy, fun or plain outrageous. Whatever the reason they have the ability to lift your mood

In a crowded hosiery retail market what is unique about Leglicious?

At Leglicious we concentrate on the high end luxury brands. Everything in store is of the highest quality and we have a strong bias to the unique fashion designs that are not found on the high street.

We have a very strong customer service focus and an online chat service for those looking for help. This has been invaluable for connecting with our customers and means customers can get help immediately without having to wait for an email response.

Can you tell us more about the tights brands you currently stock? Do you have any more brands on the way?

Currently we stock Wolford, Falke, Gerbe of Paris, Oroblu, Chantal Thomass, Girardi, Emilio Cavallini, Trasparenze, Philippe Matignon, Ballerina and Aubade.

Cervin will be in store February along with the men's hosiery collection from Emilio Cavallini

Do you welcome male customers at Leglicious? What kind of service can they expect?

Yes of course…..Men do have legs too! 

They can expect to receive exactly the same service, advice and support as any customer

Which tights do you have in stock that might be particularly suitable for guys?

This is a growth area for Leglicious so we are gathering information as to the products most in demand. It is my understanding that Wolford and Falke currently offer the best choice and fit and seem to be the most popular so far.

We are hoping that the addition of the Emilio Cavallini men's collection will also be well received and we are always happy to receive feedbackto help us expand in the right areas.

There is always quite a lot of media interest in the subject of tights for men. What are your thoughts about the greater acceptability of men wearing tights?

I don’t believe there should be a question of “acceptability” in the first place. If men want to wear hosiery for whatever reason why should this be any different than women. There are so many reasons why people choose to wear an item from practical issues of warmth to making themselves feel good. The reasons are theirs alone and not for anyone to judge.

So to answer you question it can only be a good thing

To men thinking about trying tights, what would you say are the main benefits of wearing them?

Again to reiterate the above reasons why tights are worn are many and personal but of course the obvious are for warmth and comfort, and to make yourself feel good

What are you planning for the future at Leglicious?

Leglicious is a very new company so lots of potential for growth. Eventually we hope to create our own signature brand of hosiery and very possibly include a dedicated mens range

Thanks Nicola! I hope Hosiery For Men readers will bookmark Leglicious and check out what's on offer. 

You can follow Leglicious at Facebook and Instagram.

MEN BUYING TIGHTS SURVEY: WHAT CHANGES SHOULD HOSIERY BRANDS MAKE TO TIGHTS DESIGN SO THAT THEY FIT MEN BETTER?

In our recent MEN BUYING TIGHTS survey we asked this question:

What changes should hosiery brands make to tights design so that they fit men better?
Here is a summary of the responses:




The key change proposed, and one that almost 60% of respondents agreed with, is improving waistband design to prevent rollover.

This suggests that current waistband design on many tights styles is less than comfortable, and doesn't stay in place well.


This is an issue that some hosiery brands have already been tackling. Heist, for example, have created an adaptive seamless waistband that aims to follow the contours of the body. It is designed so it won’t roll, twist, or dig in. It's also available in low wait and high waist versions.



Wolford and Hedoine have also notably paid attention to this issue.

The Wolford Pure 10 Tights, Wolford Pure 50 Tights and Wolford Comfort Cut 40 Tights are all examples of innovation in this area.





The seamless tights by I SEE YOUR LEGS also have a 10cm wide "super-comfort waistband".



Other suggestions that significant numbers of respondents agreed with are:
  • Provide more room in the brief/body
  • Make legs longer
  • Offer larger size options
These are all logical giving that men tend to be taller. Their different body shape means that they are also likely to need a brief/body with a higher rise.

The two brands (according to the survey), that men are purchasing more than others, Wolford and Falke, are also the brands that meet most of these needs. It seems quite simple doesn't it? Create a comfortable waistband that stays in place, offer larger sizes and offer a better fit for men's body shapes and more men will buy your tights!

The survey also confirmed that many men do value tights that are designed to provide a more comfortable fit for the male anatomy (genital area). More than a third of you identify that a specially-designed front comfort panel/gusset is something that would be appreciated.

Creating a fly opening on tights has some support, but doesn't appear to be a priority compared with other changes that brands might implement quite easily.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Reviewed: Falke Beauty Plus 50 Plus Size Opaque Tights

Last year we brought Hosiery For Men readers news of launch of the Beauty Plus range from FALKE.





We purchased 
a pair of the FALKE Beauty Plus 50 Plus Size Opaque Tights from hosiery retailer The Tight Spot






FALKE's concept for the Beauty Plus range is "fine tights in larger sizes that fit perfectly".

FALKE explain the background to the new collection:

"Tights specifically for large sizes – are they even necessary? Our answer is an unequivocal “yes”. Discussions with our customers showed that they had very specific wishes and requirements in terms of fit, quality and comfort, which had not previously been fulfilled. That's why we defined the specific demands together and developed a completely new tights concept. The result? The new FALKE Beauty Plus. They will win you over with their perfectly proportioned cuts with soft shaping at the hips, thighs and calves, exceptional comfort and of course thanks to the high FALKE standard of quality. In order to reflect individual proportions perfectly, they are available with both longer and shorter legs for the perfect FALKE fit."










Packaging

The FALKE Beauty Plus 50 Plus Size Opaque Tights are packaged in a similar way to most FALKE tights.

The tights are folded around a rectangular card that provides information on one side on the FALKE Leg Aesthetics range, and guidance on putting on tights on the reverse.

This is then housed in a hinged card with product information on the Beauty Plus 50 Tights. Everything is then wrapped in a cellophane sleeve.







Materials and features


The Falke Beauty Plus 50 Plus Size Opaque Tights are made from 92% Polyamide and 8% Elastane.

These tights have a number of unique and special features:

  • Even, matte finish
  • 5.5cm wide comfort waistband made with an innovative knit technology. It has an elasticated edge to prevent more rolling, pinching or digging in
  • A carefully-designed boxer brief panty/brief with flat seams and a gusset. The brief is also designed to reduce any irritation from rubbing at the the inner thigh
  • No rear comfort panel 
  • Reinforced toes
  • Effective moisture management for a comfortable feel, even on hot days
  • Light support in hips, thighs and calves.





There is quite a clear demarcation between the leg and the brief. Indeed the brief is actually black with a denser opacity in contrast to the dark blue of the leg.


Handling these tights you do appreciate the superb quality and finish. The yarns used give them a luxuriously soft feel. Everything is finished to a very high standard.

Sizing, fit and wearing experience


A key feature of the FALKE Beauty Plus 50 Plus Size Opaque Tights is their availability in TWO different leg lengths: short and long.


To find your size, you need to search the table for your usual inner leg length for jeans on the left (e.g. 32) and your weight at the top.

This is a step forward as men and female FALKE customers will both find this innovative sizing approach very helpful. Men are used to, for example, looking for legwear (trousers, jeans and more) to fit by using the inner leg measurement.

I trialled a pair in the D Long size.

The tights are easy to get on. In appearance they are genuinely semi-opaque. Coverage is even throughout. They are matte with just a hint of shine when caught in the light.

The light support can be felt in the calves and thighs, but it must be stressed that it is very light indeed and does not provide any serious compression. The sensation though is pleasant and combined with the soft yarn provides the legs with a feeling of wellbeing.

The brief/panty section is really excellent. It has plenty of stretch, loads of room and reaches comfortably above the waist and hips. It stays in place without any constriction or tightness, helped by the wide waistband.

Leg length was good but I think that I I bought these again I would go up a size to F Long. After wearing for a long period I found that the leg moved downwards and needed pulling up.



Colour range

At The Tight Spot, the Falke Beauty Plus 50 Plus Size Opaque Tights are available in two colours: Black and Marine.

I trialled them in the Marine shade, a rich dark blue.

  

Price and availability

The Falke Beauty Plus 50 Plus Size Opaque Tights are available from The Tight Spot for £25.95.

Hosiery For Men readers can use the exclusive code 'H4M' at The Tights Spot, which gives a 10% discount across the whole site.

Conclusion

The Falke Beauty Plus 50 Plus Size Opaque Tights are a genuine step forward in plus size hosiery. Every aspect of these tights reflects quality product design.

The choice of leg length gets a thumbs up from us, especially as the sizing information is aligned to inner leg measurements, which men are familiar with.

If you need more space in the brief area, you will really like the body on these tights - it provides space to move and accommodate a larger size but still fits snugly with no constriction.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Reviewed: Cette 50 Denier Cardiff Size Plus Tights

Belgian hosiery manufacturer, Cette, sent us a sample of the 50 Denier Cardiff Size Plus Tights to trial and review for Hosiery For Men readers.



The Cette Plus Size collection is primarily aimed at women who need a larger size. However Cette told us some time ago that they hope male customers will also be better catered for by this range.



Packaging


The Cette 50 Denier Cardiff Size Plus Tights are nicely packaged. The tights are folded around a rectangular white card which is then housed in a cellophane envelope. This is then enclosed in a hinged card box that has product images and information.

Material and features


The Cette 50 Denier Cardiff Size Plus Tights are made from 94% Polyamide, 5% Elastane and 1% Cotton.

The tights looked quite long as I took them out off the packaging: a good sign!

The fabric is soft, but doesn't have a very pronounced silky, velvet feel. Curiously they actually feel much softer on the leg than when held in the hand.

These tights have what is described as a "lozenge" pattern.



The pattern runs from the toe up to the brief/panty only, and doesn't extend to the waist.

Opacity is quite dense (but at 50 denier not total), in the opaque areas, and clearly less so where the pattern runs.

There is a quite clear demarcation where the pattern ends at the top of the leg, and where the brief/body starts. The brief is made from a warm with slightly lower opacity. In appearance it looks more like 40 denier.

The brief has flat seams and a 23cm wide waistband. There is a cotton gusset.

Fit, sizing and wearing experience

The Cette 50 Denier Cardiff Size Plus Tights are available in three sizes: XL, 2XL and 3XL.



I trialled them in the 2XL size.

The sizing information is accurate. The 2XL has good leg length and stretched comfortably for my 5'10" height.

There is a feeling when worn that these are genuinely designed as a "size plus" tight. There is plenty of room in the calf and thigh area. The brief also has plenty of depth and a rise that stretches comfortably above the hips and waist. But the fit isn't loose or baggy: the tights mould well to the leg with no wrinkling.

They provided a really comfortable wearing experience. The tights have good glide under trousers.

Colour range


The Cette 50 Denier Cardiff Size Plus Tights are available in Black only.



Price and availability


The Cette 50 Denier Cardiff Size Plus Tights are priced at €15.95. They can be purchased directly from the Cette website.

Conclusion


The Cette 50 Denier Cardiff Size Plus Tights have a really attractive pattern, that is an alternative to conventional "diamond" pattern tights.

They are a good example of how plus size tights work for men, as well as women. The fit is specifically designed for larger figures, and there is more room in the leg, thigh and body. The generous leg length is also a plus.

From my experience so far, the Cette Size Plus range can be recommended for men.

If you are looking for a warmer pair from this range, we particular recommend the Cette Sochi Cotton 120 Denier Tights. We reviewed these some time ago and they are a superb product.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

MEN BUYING TIGHTS SURVEY: WHAT CAN HOSIERY BRANDS DO BETTER TO CONNECT WITH MALE CUSTOMERS?

More findings from our recent MEN BUYING TIGHTS survey are now published.

In the survey we asked:

What can hosiery brands do better to connect with male customers?


Respondents were asked to chose up to five suggestions that they felt were the most useful.

Here is a summary of your responses:




Two suggestions stood out for the number of positive responses:

  • Improving marketing towards male customers 
  • Ensuring that packaging states that the tights product is unisex. 
These suggestions were reinforced by the strong responses to two other recommendations for hosiery brands:
  • Project an ethos of inclusion and gender neutrality 
  • Advertising and marketing imagery should show men wearing the tights product.
Another suggestion that attracted significant support was a request that hosiery brands emphasis the benefits that men can obtain from wearing tights. This would presumably include factors such as warmth, comfort and leg support.

The overall message coming across is that hosiery brands need to be much more open and visible in relation to male customers. They need to acknowledge that we exist, value our custom and project a more gender inclusive ethos in everything they do.


Here are a selection of your additional comments and suggestions for hosiery brands:

Anything to help comun√≠cate the benefits of and eliminate the “taboo” factor and preconceived notions and stigma.

Again, fit, fit, fit. I don't particularly like the specifically "for men" tights, instead preferring conventional designs but with a wider range of size options.

Publicity and marketing efforts should more often emphasize that fashion equality is important. Legs do not have a gender, and good legwear offers many benefits to any legs that wear it. This should be central to any marketing message. Until legwear is no longer perceived as "cross dressing" when men wear it guys who wear tights will, in the main I think, stay underground with it.

Packaging: If you look at the packaging from the newer companies (e.g. Heist, Hedoine, I See Your Legs) the packing is already neutral. Maybe add on the packaging the women/men symbol to indicate it is for both sexes.

Packaging showing female and male models (or at last add a male silouette) wearing the product.

Acceptance is key and that will only come by celebrities taking the first step. Sad, but true. I am not waiting for that though, and wearing tights and leggings in public. I also think they have to unite with designers to guide the way of wearing them.

I feel brands such as Wolford, Comfilon, I See Your Legs and Adrian are already doing a great job. Marketing guys wearing tights for whatever reason as normal. It is more the e-commerce merchants that could step up. Buying tights regularly on websites such as UK Tights, I would very much like them to customize the emailing marketing towards my choices as a guy. They claim they have a lot of male clients buying tights to wear themselves and they are very much aware I am a guy buying and wearing tights so it would be great receiving more dedicated male targeted marketing instead of receiving always the generic marketing emails.

Provide a size chart for men as they fit men differently.

Having been asked that question so many times by followers and two tights manufacturers i would mainly say connecting with male fashion bloggers.

I would emphasize the importance of finding popular public figures to showcase hosiery as a male/unisex garment.

Emphasise the benefits of support for your legs if you have a job where you stand all day.

I feel that many brands and online retail stores are still doing fairly poor when it comes to including men. Brick and mortar stores don't do anything when it comes to including men. In their advertising, brands (including many of those featured on this website) often speak of how great and inclusive their new plus size products are for all types of women, without even mentioning men. So much for inclusion. Some words of encouragement on a website or even just mentioning men would be very much appreciated and doesn't cost anything. A more gender neutral approach would also be very welcome.

Wolford for me have that subtle balance perfectly.

In general, all the above could well be considered, however, what I've noticed and what they really lack (not only manufacturers but also distributors) is that all the marketing is always towards women and there's no word or mention about suitability for men also. There's always this line: "...adds support and fashion for women....", nothing about men.

There needs to be a famous sports guy/s to promote tights as being good to wear and fashionable. This would encourage guys to wear. I know a lot of guys that have worn with fancy dress costumes say they are comfortable, but guys worry too much what others think. Skinny jeans and sports tights are helping move guys in the right direction.

Normalise tights as totally unisex.