Friday, 25 May 2012

New XL sizes in men's tights from Comfort4Men



Comfort4Men produce a wide range of tights for men with support.

They have just announced that new XL sizes in their support pantyhose/tights are now available.

These tights are available in 7 and 7+ sizes which will fit men up to 195cm ( 6'4").



The XL styles now available are:

XL Pantyhose with support 70 Denier C415M high waist



XL Pantyhose with support 70 Denier C415M low waist



XL Pantyhose with support 140 Denier C416M high waist



XL Pantyhose with support 140 Denier C416M low waist



As with all Comfort4Men tights for men, there is a choice of colours: for these styles Skin or Black.

Customers can also choose the gusset colour in Skin or Black. There is also the option of a fly opening.

Hosiery For Men readers may also wish to check our previous reviews of Comfort4Men men's tights:

60 Denier Luxury Men's Tights

70 Denier Men's Opaque Tights

80 Denier Men's Opaque Tights

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Spotlight on ACTIVtights.com

ACTIVtights.com is a web store based in the Czech Republic, specialising in men's tights and pantyhose.

As part of the Hosiery For Men series of profiles of retailers of men's tights and other legwear, I am pleased to publish this interview with Vladimir Dudak, the owner of ACTIVtights.com.




Can you provide Hosiery for Men readers with some background information about the ACTIVtights store? When did you open it and why?
The ACTIVtights.com store opened in summer 2010. The aim was to provide hosiery products for men and women from Czech based companies. The main brands stocked are Aries and Ela.

I had an idea for for several years to open a store with products for men. I spent quite a lot of time lobbying Czech hosiery manufacturers to bring their products for men to the market in the Czech Republic. In a meanwhile I tested many kind of tights for men manufactured overseas and saw that Czech products could compete on the global market. Since then this has been confirmed by our customers.

Do you feel that tights for men are becoming more popular? Is this a trend in the Czech Republic? Are tights for men particularly popular there? 

From my point of view, I would say yes. I see that people are more and more open to this trend; that men also can wear tights. I’m personally someone who has worn them for years now.

Last month an article on tights for men appeared in one of the most popular newspapers in Czech Republic.

It is interesting that there are at least two manufacturers of men's tights in the Czech Republic: Aries and ELA. Does that reflect local needs or are these manufacturers responding to a wider demand in Europe and further afield? 

Good question. I personally communicated with manufacturers a lot around years 2002 and 2003. Also I led a massive campaign in a forum at one of the biggest Czech website related to fashion www.moda.cz and a lot of people came and joined me that time. Also manufacturers noticed that, and the first one was I think Evona, who brought out sheer hosiery products for men. Since that time I think other manufacturers have realised that a lot of male customers worldwide would want products specially designed for men.

How do you choose which brands of men's tights to stock? 

We’ve chosen only Czech companies, which make tights and pantyhose for men. And in addition both Aries and Ela have products which are competitive in relation to the world market. Both companies offer products with antimicrobial treatment. Aries using Sanitized ® Silver; Ela uses Meryl ® Skinlife. Both work well and provide big advantages, compared to products from other brands.



ACTIVtights also sells compression tights. Do you feel that these provide particular benefits to men? Yes, definitely. Support tights and pantyhose help people with varicose veins to spend all day long in comfort. Varicose veins is medical issue, which doesn't discriminate between men and women. That's that’s why these products fit both sexes.

Many men continue to buy tights that are designed and made for women. What do you feel are the advantages of tights that are made specifically for men? The only advantage is from my personal view, that there is much bigger choice in colors and designs. I personally wore products designed for women for several years, but they don't really fit as well, particularly in the waistband area. Hopefully in few years, there will be a much bigger choice in products designed for men too.

Which tights are your bestsellers? 


1. Aries Goldwear Support 70

2. ELA Patrik 40 DEN

3. ELA David 20 DEN 







Do you feel that the market for men's tights is a growing one? Is that reflected in your sales? 

We can see that more and more fashion designers using pantyhose on male models. This predicts, that in near future we can expect more acceptance this kind of apparel as a mainstream item of clothing for men. This may also mean that more men are happy to wear hosiery openly.

What developments can we expect in the future at ACTIVtights? Are you planning to market any new styles? 

Since ACTIVtights.com is not actually hosiery maker, the new styles are not planned by us. However we are open to any kind of proposals from our customers, which we can present to manufacturers and then discuss with them about possible new styles.

Many thanks for speaking to Hosiery For Men Vladimir. I hope readers will check out the ACTIVtights store.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Reviewed: Comfort4Men 80 Denier Opaque Men's Tights



I have written two previous reviews of Comfort4Men tights for men on Hosiery For Men. They have both received a huge number of page views, so it looks like they have been useful to readers.

Comfort4Men men's tights are made in Germany. If you look at the background information on their website you will see that immense care and considerable time has gone into designing and developing a high quality product that provides an extraordinary level of comfort and fit for the male anatomy. These tights are genuinely tights made specifically for men; not women's tights repackaged for men nor unisex tights.

I have been extremely impressed with the Comfort4Men men's tights that I have tested so far. You can read my reviews of 60 Denier Luxury Men's Tights and the 70 Denier Opaque Tights.

Comfort4Men have sent me a further style for review: the 80 Denier Opaque Tights. These are part of the Comfort4Men range of men's opaque tights.

Choosing Comfort4Men tights

As I have previously written, choosing tights from Comfort4Men is always a different experience compared with buying tights online elsewhere. Each pair of Comfort4Men tights have different features that need to be considered.

For example, when choosing the 80 Denier Opaque Tights the first choice is whether they will be in high waist or low waist styles.



Then there is a choice of four colours: Black, Anthracite, Jeans or Natur.

The tights are also available with or without a fly opening. Theere is also a choice of gusset colour: Black of Skin.

Finally, there is a choice of sizes: 4, 5, or 6.

That makes a total of 96 possible combinations for the 80 Denier Opaque Tights!

The final choice I made was:

  • Style: C404M (80 Denier Opaque Tights)
  • High waist
  • Colour: nature
  • Gusset colour: Black
  • Fly opening
  • Size: 6



Materials and features

The 80 Denier Opaque Tights come in a cellophane sealed bag with cardstock liner.



The 80 denier opaque style is made from 90% Nylon and 10% Elastane (3D Lycra).

The overall appearance of the fabric is opaque, although somewhat less so where the material is stretched slightly more, such as on the thigh. The tights are completely matt with no shine at all.

The material is much less soft to the touch than the 60 Denier Luxury Men's Tights and 70 Denier Opaque Tights that have been reviewed previously.

There is a decent amount of stretch but again, perhaps less so than the previously reviewed styles.

As with all Comfort4Men tights, the waistband is very comfortable. The brief, which has a rear comfort panel, has plenty of room.

The crotch/gusset is constructed from different materials as can be seen in the picture above: a satiny fabric at the top and an extremely soft, stretchy material called Oeko-Tex. The fly opening, as in all Comfort4Men tights is extremely well-designed and provides easy access when required.

Fit and sizing

The 80 Denier Opaque Tights come in three sizes 4, 5, and 6.

I tested these tights in size 6 and the fit was very good. However, while these tights are an excellent product, I actually prefer the two styles I reviewed previously. In terms of sizing, I am not sure the 80 denier opaques would have stretched a great deal more than my 5'10" (178cm). The very soft and satiny textures of the 60 Denier Luxury Men's Tights and 70 Denier Opaque Tights also felt much more comfortable on the skin than the 80 denier style.

Colour range

The 80 Denier Opaque Tights are available in four colours: Black, Anthracite, Jeans or Natur.

The Natur shade that I tested is a creamy beige colour.

Price and availability

The 80 Denier Opaque Tights cost €37.70 plus shipping. Shipping rates vary depending on the destination.

Conclusion
I previously suggested that the Comfort4Men 60 Denier Luxury Men's Tights deserved a five star rating, if I provided a such a system on this blog (maybe I should - let me know readers). I would award the 80 Denier Opaque Tights slightly less at four and a half stars.

The plus points are the excellent overall design and styling for men, comfortable fit and the matt appearance which makes them suitable for 'stealth' wear under trousers or jeans.

However, I preferred the softer fabrics used in the 60 Denier Luxury Men's Tights and 70 Denier Opaque Tights and personally found these styles more comfortable. But the 80 denier opaques are great tights for men all the same.

I can only recommend readers to visit the Comfort4Men website and shop. The range of products there is very wide and you are sure to find something that meets your needs.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Just arrived: Pamela Mann Diamond Opaque Tights

I have just taken delivery of some Chocolate Brown Diamond Opaque Tights. I purchased them from Essex'ee Legs, an online shop based in Brentwood, Essex, UK.

I am looking forward to testing and reviewing these.



By the way, the owner of Essex'ee Legs has told me that she is hoping to stock a range of men's tights in the near future. Stay tuned for further news on this.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Spotlight on Astral Legxperience

Astral Legxperience is a web store based in Belgium that sells a wide range of tights for men, including leading brands such as Comfilon (Activskin), Doyeah and Adrian.

I have been been publishing a series of features and interviews with retailers and designers of men's and unisex tights.

I am really pleased to publish this interview with Mike Silver, the owner of Astral Legxperience web store, and hope readers will find it of interest.



Can you provide Hosiery for Men readers with some background information about the Astral Legxperience store?
Well the store was started about a year and a half ago. I have always had an interest in hosiery and was at a point in my life where I felt comfortable talking openly about it.


I know that most men wear hosiery in secret and thought it was time to show them that it is okay to wear what you find comfortable. So I made it a little easier for men to feel comfortable with themselves by offering a site that sells exactly what they are looking for.

Do you feel that tights for men are becoming more popular?

I personally have not been convinced that mainstream society has been converted. While the mainstream may be more aware that this product does exits, I believe few have been persuaded to start wearing hose.

I am of the opinion that guys who wear tights and pantyhose start doing so at a young age. It comes naturally and in my experience if you have not been wearing hose from an early age, it is rare that you start later in life.

It is always an uphill battle to convince anyone in my personal circle of friends to even entertain the idea of wearing hosiery!

How do you choose which brands of men's tights to stock?
I contacted all manufacturers that were making tights for men at the time I started this venture. I stocked what I thought to be a broad range of products. Over the year I have experienced good quality hose and the not so good.

Soon I will be adding more products while eliminating some. For instance the Bulgarian brand, Tim Legwear. I decided to phase out all sales due to the lack of customer service I receive on my end. Plus their product consistency is very poor. Yarns and colours change without any notice and I found this to be unprofessional. So we are offering a huge discount of all Tim Legwear products now.

Have you considered selling any brands and styles of women's tights also?
Recently I have. I originally was against it because I really wanted it to be male products made exclusively for males. I find that most men buy women's hosiery and are happy doing so. If they fit, I don't see why not. So including some women's hosiery may appeal to a wider audience.

Many men continue to buy tights that are designed and made for women. What do you feel are the advantages of tights that are made specifically for men?
Certainly that they are made in larger sizes is the biggest advantage. For bigger guys, most regular hosiery will not fit. Some tights are made with a fly opening and this is great for guys who normally utilize this option while going to the restroom.

They are also buying a product made for a man, because some guys just can't face the fact that they are wearing 'women's clothing'.



Which brands are particularly popular and sell well? 

Doyeah seem to sell the best. They are not too expensive and the product is of nice material that will hold up. They offer many sheer to waist products and that seems to be a favorite style of men. Adrian from Poland comes in second.



Do you feel that the market for men's tights is a growing one? Is that reflected in your sales?
I believe the market has peaked and has now levelled out. If we are basing this assessment on sales alone then the trend has maintained its course. Basically there are good months and bad months like many businesses.

What developments can we expect in the future at Astral Legxperience? Are you planning to market any new styles?
Well actually in a major way. As of next month the store will be relocating to the United States. This will make shipping within the US cheaper while European shipments will remain around the same price.

Also a much larger selection of Comfilon hosiery will be available. Here in Belgium the customs duty on items from the USA made ordering from them very difficult and the price prohibitive. I will be offering a full range of Comfilon products and will be proud to sell the original brands of tights for men.

I also hope to add a new manufacturer from Austria, Ufash. I have tested their range of tights and pantyhose and they are of the highest quality and appearance. Can't wait!



Mike, thanks for speaking to Hosiery For Men. I am sure readers will find this this feature of interest and I hope they check out the Astral Legxperience store. Good luck with the relocation of the store and do keep Hosiery For Men readers informed about future developments.

Mantyhose: Can it give you more energy and will it become fashion trend for men?

The Cleveland, USA news channel WEWS NewsChannel5 recently broadcast an item about tights for men.

It features an interview with Steve Katz, the owner of the company that makes Activskin®, G. Lieberman & Sons.

You can read the news story here, and watch the video below.



Friday, 11 May 2012

Tights for men at SockShop

SockShop is a familiar name in the UK for people buying socks, tights and other hosiery. It has been a leading specialist retailer since 1983.



Once a familiar sight on the high street and in airports and stations, SockShop still has presence in many concessions around the UK. Its main focus, however, is now online at www.sockshop.co.uk.

It was nice to read SockShop's history of tights and the acknowledgement that these were originally men's clothing:

Would you believe that tights were a fashion must for respectable gentlemen in Europe several centuries ago. They were made as tight as possible to aid comfort when riding horseback.


SockShop retweeted the question that has been buzzing around the Internet since the Daily Express article a few days ago: Can a man look good in tights?

SockShop have asked me to provide some recommendations for men from the extensive range of tights at www.sockshop.co.uk.

Falke tights are a big favourite here at Hosiery For Men and there is a great selection at SockShop.

The Falke Pure Matt 100 Tights are a very strong recommendation and these have already been reviewed on this blog. These are thick, warm opaque tights. The fit is superb and large and extra large sizes are available.



Also available at SockShop are the Falke Pure Matt 50 Tights which have also been reviewed at Hosiery For Men.



The Charnos 60 Denier Opaque Tights are great value at £5.15. I have bought several pairs of these over the years and the fit is always excellent. These tights are available in a range of colours, including shades that will be popular with men such as Black, Chocolate, Navy and Grey.


At Hosiery For Men I am keen to explore styles of tights that would be smart and fashionable for men. Ribbed tights look good under trousers and are a good choice instead of socks when it's colder. These Calvin Klein Ultra Fit Full Coverage Rib Tights are a new style for me, but look just the ticket.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Can a man look good in tights?

That was the question posed by Daily Express journalist Rob Chilton in an article published yesterday.



You can read the full story here.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Reviewed: Philippe Matignon Revitalise 70 support tights

Philippe Matignon is an Italian hosiery manufacturer with, in my opinion, a deserved reputation for quality and durability.


I have previously tested and reviewed the 40 denier semi-opaque Dorella tights.

The USA-based Philippe Matignon store have kindly sent me some more tights to review.

The first pair I have checked out are the Revitalise 70 tights.



Materials and features

The Revitalise 70 tights are semi-sheer 70 denier matt support tights with graduated compression.

The fabric is 77% polyamide, 20% elastane (Lycra) and 3% cotton.


I haven't tested many compression, or support tights, before, but when I have, I have noticed that once removed from the packet they always appear quite short. It was the same with the Revitalise 70, although the amount of stretch is quite impressive.


The 70 denier fabric is not fully opaque. Coverage is even throughout, but leg hair will be visible unless you remove it. The material is double covered Lycra, very soft and smooth with a mainly matt appearance.

These tights are not sheer to waist but have a completely opaque 200 denier brief that looks like ribbed shorts. The brief is deep and reaches comfortably over the waist as well as providing additional support for the upper thigh area. The brief has a 5cm wide comfortable waistband with ribs similar to the brief. Seams are flat and well-constructed.



The 5-XL size that I tested has a rear comfort panel. Sizes S, M and L have a hygienic gusset.

The feet are shaped and with reinforced toes.

Overall the Revitalise 70 are superbly constructed, with great attention to detail. I particularly liked the wide waistband (if only all tights had one as well made) and the depth of the brief.


Fit and sizing
The Revitalise 70 tights are available in 2- S, 3-M, 4-L and  5-XL sizes. I tested the 5-XL size. 

The tights took some time to get on - the fabric is tight and one can feel the compression effect immediately. I needed to stretch them over my feet, then slowly and carefully stretch the tights up the legs. With a bit of further positioning and stretching the tights were on. And once on they really do stay on, clinging tightly like a second skin. The brief is quite tight also.

I was amazed at the fit and comfort they provided. The compression effect is noticeable and your are conscious that you are wearing these tights. The effect is like a gentle massage of the legs and they definitely do keep you feeling energised and comfortable. I tested the Revitalise 70 twice and they did make a difference, especially when sitting at my desk for long periods.



I am not sure if the 5-XL would fit someone much taller than my 5'10". Philippe Matignon tights usually come up quite large in the 5-XL size, but in this case perhaps slightly less so.

These tights glide exceptionally well under jeans or trousers with no snagging at all.

Colour range
The Revitalise 70 tights are available from the Philippe Matignon US store in two colours: Nero (Black) and Playa Nature (Tan/Beige). The tights may also be available from other retailers in two additional shades: The and Cappuccio.

I tested a pair in the Playa Nature shade, which is what is shown above.

Price and availability

These tights cost US$37.00 from the Philippe Matignon US store. Items can be shipped to international destinations.

There is also a Revitalise 40 denier style available

Conclusion

After testing the Revitalise 70 tights I am now pretty much convinced of the benefits of support/compression hosiery. They were very comfortable tights indeed, and I didn't want to take them off at the end of the day. These would be very good tights for men who need leg support. Although they are not medical grade support hosiery, the compression is on the firm side. They would provide support for people who are on their feet for long periods or who sit while working.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Spotlight on Emilio Cavallini

There has been a huge amount of press coverage in the UK and internationally in recent months about 'mantyhose', a media-created term for men's tights.

A great deal of the media coverage, which in general has been positive, has been focused on the range of unisex tights developed by the Italian hosiery manufacturer Emilio Cavallini.

Hosiery For Men is pleased to publish an interview with Francesco Cavallini, the vice-president of the Florence-based company.

When was Emilio Cavellini founded? Can you provide Hosiery For Men readers with some background information?
It started when Emilio Cavallini visited London in the 1960s and met Mary Quant. He became passionate about tights and wanted to dress women's legs.

In the 1970s Emilio opened the Stilnovo stocking company in San Miniato, near Florence, where he produced hosiery for some of the biggest names: Mary Quant, Dior and Celine, and later adding Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Gucci. He also collaborated with major hosiery brands such as Pretty Polly and Elbeo.

In 1980 Emilio started his own Emilio Cavallini brand. It was an immediate success. Emilio has made Stilnovo into one of the most competitive hosiery companies in its field. The Cavallini style has become known as innovative and ahead of fashion trends.

Why did the you decide to move into making mantyhose-unisex tights?

When we started our online shop in 2009 we noticed that a lot of tights sized medium-large were being purchased by men. So I did a search on the internet and discovered there is a cult following for mantyhose. Many men in Europe wear tights for warmth under pants during cold weather months and also at home to lounge around in. Some men also wear tights with shorts.

Men’s tights, or ‘unisex’ tights, have since become an important niche business for us.

We recently decided to cater to our male customers by creating a range of unisex tights that allow for greater 'breathability', which is important since men perspire much more than women do.

The unisex tights collection was first introduced in 2009, made from a knitted blend of cotton and nylon that has more 'breathability'.


200 denier unisex cotton tights

How successful have the unisex tights been? Which of the styles in the mantyhose-unisex range have been selling particularly well?
Purchases by men now make up 2 to 3 percent of the company’s annual production of one million tights. That is up to 30,000 pairs of tights being purchased by men every year.

In the current unisex range, the tights with the side stripes are the best sellers, followed by the tights with the skulls design.


80 denier tights with white or grey side band


70 denier skulls tights

What developments can we expect in the future? Are you planning to develop and market any new styles of tights specifically for men, or are you planning to stay with a unisex range of products?
We are currently creating a new line that will be called Emilio Cavallini Cult for women and men.

It will feature all the historical patterns from the 80's designed by Emilio and will be presented in a special box. This line will be available shortly.

Do you feel that tights for men are a growing trend? What are the prospects of men's tights becoming more acceptable as a mainstream item of clothing?

Nowadays everybody is talking about mantyhose, but the quantities sold are still relatively small. Our idea is not to make a line just for men, but a unisex tight, because in many cases men and women can wear same item without any problems.


American model Tyson Beckford wearing Emilio Cavallini tights

Francesco, thanks for talking to Hosiery For Men. I hope readers will take a look at the unisex range in your online shop. We hope you can keep us informed about the new range and any further unisex tights you develop.