Friday, 27 July 2012

Vintage men's tights adverts: Wolford 'waist socks'

Back in 1998 Wolford produced a style of tights for men, which they curiously called 'waist socks'. I recall that at the time they were quite expensive. 

It's a shame that Wolford don't make any tights specifically for men. I have, however, reviewed the Wolford Opaque 70 tights and they are excellent.



Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Spotlight on Stockings Direct

Stockings Direct are one of the leading online hosiery retailers in the UK. I recently tested and reviewed two styles of tights from the wide selection they have in stock:

Gipsy Diamond Opaque Tights

Aristoc 80 Denier Luxury Opaque Tights



I am now pleased to publish a recent interview with Jenny Bryant of Stockings Direct.

Can you provide Hosiery For Men readers with some background information about Stockings Direct? 

Stockings Direct was born way back in 2004. Even though the 21st century was already four years old, the general quality of online stores was pretty terrible. We had a vision that we could do it better than most so decided to launch Stockings Direct. We had a passion for the products and the energy to ensure we provided the best service possible. Eight years on and it's gone from strength to strength, with customers across the globe.

Are male customers buying tights for themselves an important part of your customer base? Do you welcome their custom at Stockings Direct? 

A significant proportion of our customers are men. We have always welcomed them and really appreciate that they have chosen to shop with us.

Are there any particular styles of tights or brands that are popular with your male customers? 

The styles men choose are wide and varied. Whilst some are looking for extra warmth, others appreciate the fine nature of the yarns and quality of manufacture. It would be hard to single out particular brands. Quality is a major factor really.

Which tights sell particularly well to your male customers? 

Semi opaque styles are very popular. A high gloss finish is another favourite.



What kind of service will male customers receive at Stockings Direct? Do you welcome enquiries and requests for advice? 

Men ordering from Stockings Direct will get the same level of service that we extend to all our customers. We try our hardest to ensure all our customers are happy with the products they receive and would welcome anyone with any queries to get in touch.

There has been a huge amount of media coverage of 'mantyhose' (tights for men) in recent months. What are your thoughts about the greater visibility of men buying and wearing tights? 

Any media coverage that increases people’s awareness of hosiery in general is always important. Right now it's exciting to see that legwear is crossing traditional boundaries. 

To men thinking about trying tights, what would you say are the main benefits of wearing them? 
If men are thinking about trying tights for the first time we would recommend they think about what it is they would like to get from the products. They can provide extra warmth and a more refined appearance compared to socks. If you spend lots of time on your feet then they can help with circulation. Cosmetically they can vastly improve the look of your skin. We must not forget also that they can feel fabulous on!



There are now quite a significant number of manufacturers of tights made specifically for men. Do you have any plans to stock a range of men's tights?

We will always stock products where there is enough demand from our customers. The vast existing range of tights we have on offer caters very well for our customers needs. We do however keep a close eye on the market and trends so will not hesitate to introduce a male specific range when the time is right.

Jenny, many thanks for speaking to Hosiery For Men and also for supporting the blog. I hope readers enjoy the interview and also take the opportunity to look at the Stockings Direct store.

Just arrived: Donna Karan Signature Collection Perfect Opaque Tights

I first read about these Donna Karan Perfect Opaque tights on the Tights For Men blog.

I managed to find a pair in TK Maxx for just £3.99.

I am looking forward to testing and reviewing these. Stay tuned.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Vintage men's tights adverts: His-Tights 1961

Here is another amazing advertisement from more than 50 years ago. This one is for 'His-Tight's.

Reviewed: Aristoc 80 Denier Luxury Opaque Tights

Stockings Direct recently sent me a pair of the Aristoc 80 Denier Microfibre Luxury Opaque Tights to test and review.



Stockings Direct is a small family run firm and are becoming a leading online retailer of tights and other hosiery. Male customers will certainly get a friendly and supportive service there.

Materials and featuresThe Aristoc 80 Denier Microfibre Luxury Opaque Tights are part of Aristoc's Ultimate Leg Luxury range. In the same range you can find the 40 Denier Microfibre Luxury Opaque Tights and the 100 Denier Cashmere Blend Tights


The Aristoc 80 Denier Microfibre Luxury Opaque Tights are very nicely packaged. A card box encloses a plastic sleeve containing the tights.



Made in Italy, the Aristoc 80 Denier Microfibre Luxury Opaque Tights are made from 94% Nylon, 5% Elastane and 1% Cotton. You can feel the quality of these tights as soon as you take them out of their packaging.

The microfibre fabric has a velvet softness. The colour is dense and the opacity even throughout. When worn your legs will have a smooth, completely matt appearance.

Legs are straight and the fabric has a uniform appearance from toe to waist with no demarcation.

Seams are flat throughout and there is a cotton gusset. The XL size, I tested has no rear comfort panel.

The waistband is 3.5cm wide, and deep and comfortable. The brief has an impressive amount of room and stretches comfortable above the hips and waist.

Fit and sizing

The Aristoc 80 Denier Microfibre Luxury Opaque Tights are available in three sizes: S/M, M/L and XL. 




I tested the XL size. The fit was exceptional. In the past I have found that Aristoc tights did not fit me particularly well, with the largest sizes often being Large or Medium/Large. The height limit of these sizes is usually 5'10".

The XL size for these tights is a great improvement, with heights up to 6'0" (183cm) catered for. There is plenty of length in the leg in the XL size and these tights would easily fit someone taller than my 5'10".

The deep comfort waistband is well-constructed and the brief has plenty of depth.

Colour range

These tights are available from Stockings Direct in six shades:

Bitter Chocolate
Black
Burgundy
Deep Purple
Midnight (Navy)
Pewter

The XL size is available in Black only.

Price and availability

The Aristoc 80 Denier Microfibre Luxury Opaque Tights are available at Stockings Direct for £18.00.

This might seem rather costly for a pair of opaque tights, but I feel that for the quality the price is justified. At this price point you looking at comparing these tights with Wolford and Falke products. To me they stand up well to the comparison and are a good alternative to those premium quality brands.

Conclusion
I haven't blogged or reviewed many Aristoc styles on Hosiery For Men. Perhaps this will now change now I have been able to test a pair from the Ultimate Leg Luxury range. These really are top quality opaque tights that fit superbly and are very comfortable. The larger XL size is a definite plus for many men buying them. The smooth matt appearance, with minimum shine, means they can be worn 'stealthily' under trousers.

When there is a product this good I do wonder why any men would still buy bulky and uncomfortable long johns.

I am looking forward to trying the other tights in the Aristoc Ultimate Leg Luxury range when I get the opportunity.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Vintage men's tights adverts: Falke 1974

I have been discovering that tights have been made for men for a longer period that many people might realise. They certainly predate all the recent discussion about 'mantyhose'.

Here is an advert for men's tights by Falke in 1974. Falke don't currently make tights specifically for men, but as readers of Hosiery For Men will be aware many of their styles for women are suitable for guys, in particular these styles:

Falke Pure Matt 50 Denier Tights

Falke Pure Matt 100 Denier Tights

I have found a few more cool vintage adverts that I will post soon.


Friday, 20 July 2012

Men's tights from Knittex: Preview #8

Here is the final preview of the new collection of men's tights from the Polish hosiery manufacturer Knittex.

This style is the 20 denier 'Dragon' tights for men.

I hope to bring Hoisery For Men readers more information about the Knittex men's collection when it is properly launched.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Men's tights from Knittex: Preview #7

Here is a further preview of the new collection of men's tights from the Polish hosiery manufacturer Knittex.

This style is the 40 denier 'Swift' tights for men.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Reviewed: Philippe Matignon Jade 20 Denier Sheer Tights

I recently published a feature on Philippe Matignon at Hosiery For Men. Philippe Matignon is one of the world's leading hosiery brands and has a well-deserved reputation for quality. I first discovered this brand in the hosiery department of the El Corte Inglés department store in Spain. Nearly every branch I have been into has an impressive Philippe Matignon display.



I have previously reviewed the following Philippe Matignon styles:


The Revitalise 70 support tights and the Dorella 40 semi-opaque tights.

I recently tested the Jade 20 Denier Sheer Tights and can now publish the following review.



Materials and features
The Jade 20 Denier Sheer Tights are part of the Philippe Matignon Elegance collection.

They are sheer tights with a shiny, glossy appearance. The fabric is 82% polyamide, 15% lycra and 3% cotton.

The tights are completely sheer to waist and have flat seams.

The waistband is 4cm wide and provides support without digging in.

The Sizes from 1-XS to 4-L have a cotton gusset. The 5-XL size that I tested has a rear comfort panel.





Fit and sizing
The Jade 20 Denier Sheer Tights are available in 1-XS, 2-S, 3-M, 4- L and 5-XL sizes. I tested the 5-XL size.



The 5- XL size was a perfect fit. What I particularly like about Philippe Matignon tights is the good length in the leg and the generous brief. Both are essential features for men buying tights for themselves. The Jade 20 also have an amazing amount of stretch.

The high Lycra content makes for a really snug fit. I found these tights to be extremely comfortable to wear and they needed no adjusting through the day.

The silky, shiny appearance also provides for an excellent glide when worn under trousers.

Colour range

The Jade 20 Denier Sheer Tights are available from the Philippe Matignon US store in six shades:

Cappuccio
Cognac
Nero
Miel
Avorio
Playa Nature



I tested a pair in the Miel shade.

Price and availability
These tights cost US$24.00 from the Philippe Matignon US store. Items can be shipped to international destinations.

Conclusion

I tested the Jade 20 Denier Sheer Tights in warmer weather (although our summer here in the UK is a complete disaster!). They are excellent tights in place of opaques if one needs an thinner additional layer, or just the comfort provided by a sheer tights. They feeling of these tights under trousers is really luxurious, quite sensual even. If you want some very high quality sheer tights these are highly recommended.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Hosiery For Men interviewed

Fantasy Stockings has just published an interview with Hosiery For Men.



You can read about why I started this blog, my thoughts about tights for women and men, and a range of other issues.

Do check it out.

Reviewed: Tesco Velvet Touch Opaque Tights

A few weeks ago I visited a branch of the UK supermarket chain, Tesco. The particular branch I went to was a 'superstore', an enormous complex quite different to the small Tesco supermarkets and branches of Tesco Metro that are everywhere in the UK.



I was quite surprised to see such a decent selection of hosiery on sale, including Tesco's own F&F clothing brand.

I bought a pair of the 140 Denier Velvet Touch Opaque Tights.

Materials and features

These tights are packaged in a simple card enclosure - one is able to feel the material without opening any packaging.

The 140 Denier Velvet Touch Opaque Tights are made of 95% Polyamide, 4% Elastane and 1% Cotton. They are manufactured in Turkey and are part of the F&F range.

The microfibre fabric is quite heavy and as you would expect these are quite thick tights. The fabric is soft and has good stretch.

The opacity is deep and generally even, although I noticed a little streaking in places. The tights are sheer to waist apart from a transition band at the top of the thigh. There is a cotton gusset.

Seams are flat and there is a wide and comfortable 3cm waistband.





Fit and sizing
The Tesco 140 Denier Velvet Touch Opaque Tights are available in four sizes: Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large.

I tested the Large size which according to the information on the packaging fits up to 5'10".

I would say that I was pushing at the limit of the sizing. The fit was good but really quite tight, especially in the brief, which was also slightly lacking in depth. The snug fit helped the tights stay in place.

I was disappointed that the fit wasn't a bit better as these tights are very well made and the fabric used is good quality. I think they would be quite robust and wear well.

I might give the Extra Large size a try next time to do a comparison.

Colour range

These tights are available in two colours: Black and Blue.

I tested a pair in Black.

Price and availability

The Tesco 140 Denier Velvet Touch Opaque Tights are available from larger branches of Tesco and can also be purchased online.

The price was an extremely reasonable £4.00.

Conclusion

This is the first time I have tested and reviewed tights from Tesco.

Although these were slightly on the small side for me and not the best fit, these are actually very good quality tights. The features and quality microfibre fabric used is similar to what one might find in more expensive tights.

If you are a guy who is smaller than 5'10" I would give these a try. They would be a very good opaque tight for colder weather and at the price, a bargain.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Men's tights from Knittex: Preview #6

Here is a further preview of the new collection of men's tights from the Polish hosiery manufacturer Knittex.

This style is the 100 denier Sporty footless tights.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Men's tights from Knittex: Preview #5

Here is another preview of the new collection of men's tights from the Polish hosiery manufacturer Knittex.

These are the 20 denier Fleet footless tights.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Men's tights from Knittex: Preview 4

Here is our fourth preview of the new collection of men's tights from the Polish hosiery manufacturer Knittex.

These are the 30 denier Smart tights.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Men's tights from Knittex: Preview 3

Here is our third preview of the new collection of men's tights from the Polish hosiery manufacturer Knittex.

These are the 40 denier Net tights for men.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Just arrived: Aristoc 80 Denier Microfibre Luxury Opaque Tights

Stockings Direct have sent me a pair of the Aristoc 80 Denier Microfibre Luxury Opaque Tights to test and review.



Stay tuned for the review and also a feature on our friends at Stockings Direct.

New men's tights from Activskin®

Activskin® is the legwear brand of G.Lieberman and Sons, Ltd. Activskin® legwear has a leading place in the men's legwear sector and their products are sold by many retailers, both in the USA and increasingly in Europe. 



You can still read the Hosiery For Men feature on Activskin®: Part 1 and Part 2. You can also read my review of the Activskin® A857 Thermofabric™ Ribbed Light Support Tights.
Activskin® regularly launch new products. Here are two of the newest:

A894 Camouflage Tights

These tights contain 90% nylon microfiber and 10% Lycra® spandex and are available in M, L, XL, and XXL. They are footed and with a fly opening.




A679 Microfabric Light Support Sheer Pantyhose

These tights contain 84% nylon and 16% spandex. 
They are available in sizes M, L, XL, and XXL. 

According to the information on the Activskin® website:

This is a whole new concept in Hi-Glide™ mantyhose. This fabric is unlike any of our other styles. We discovered it in a woman's product of one of our suppliers, and asked if they could make it in a men's style for us. They did, they sewed in a fly panel, and we are pleased to offer a light support style that now comes with a fly opening. The fabric glides exceptionally well, not only under trousers but also against itself. The brief provides light support, too, making it perfect for guys who want to be cool and comfortable and just a little bit of control at the abdomen. This style features no crotch gusset but has a reinforced toe for added strength and durability. The M and L sizes have an upper fly panel that tapers to a point a few inches below the waistband, and a lower fly panel that goes back under the crotch, providing all-nylon fabric that stretches to support your "male equipment," and it ends at the tailbone.

The XL size has an upper fly panel that continues all the way to the waistband to provide for extra stretch for bigger guys, and the XXL size has that plus a lower fly panel that extends up the back to the waist, providing even more stretch.


Men's collection from Knittex: Another preview

Here is another preview of the new collection of men's tights from the Polish hosiery manufacturer Knittex.

These are the men's Active Tights.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Magic Fashion tights from Stockings HQ - good news for tall guys

I have just seen the new range of Magic Fashion hosiery available from Stockings HQ.



According to Stockings HQ:

"Magic Fashion is new German company that specialises in fabulous quality plus size products in truly extra large sizes. The products are very similar (in name, colour, imagery, size, feel and quality) to the late lamented Levee, so former Levee customers should be right at home. We're exceptionally pleased they're here!"

What is remarkable about this range is the range of sizes for larger and taller people:

XL: 5'11" - 6'1"
XXL: 6'0" - 6'2"
XXXL: 6'2" - 6'4"
XXXXL: 6'4" - 6'6"
XXXXXL: 6'4" - 6'8"



The range includes:

20 Denier Plus Size Tights

These are sheer tights for taller and fuller figured people. They have a reinforced panty and toe and are made with comfort seams



20 Denier Plus Size Gloss Tights

These are satin sheer gloss tights in plus size for the fuller figure. A new knitting technique makes the panty fit very comfortable while comfort seams add to the general sense of style. Perfect for the taller and more generously proportioned.



50 Denier Plus Size Opaque Tights

These are comfortable soft sheen microfibre opaques in generous plus sizes. They have a beautiful sheen and flawless finish, and are made with flat comfort seams.

Reviewed: Gipsy Diamond Opaque Tights

I have previously reviewed two styles of diamond opaque tights at Hosiery For Men:

The Silky Diamond Pattern Opaque Tights and the Pamela Mann Diamond Opaque Tights.

Stockings Direct very kindly sent me sample of the Gipsy Diamond Opaque Tights to test and review.



Materials and features

The Gipsy Diamond Opaque Tights come in a simple card folder enclosing the tights. A very positive sign was the words 'MADE IN ITALY': tights made in that country always have something extra in terms of their design, construction and overall quality.



The Gipsy Diamond Opaque Tights are made of 90% nylon and 10% Elastane. The packaging doesn't indicate the denier, but in appearance they look to be 60 - 70.

The fabric is quite thick and robust, and has a very soft feel to it. The diamond pattern extends all the way to the waist.

Seams are flat and there is no rear panel in the L size. There is a well-constructed cotton gusset.

The waistband is a generous 3.5cm and is very comfortable.

A further plus point, for me and probably other male wearers, is the brief, which has plenty of room and stretches comfortably above the waist.



Fit and sizing

The Gipsy Diamond Opaque Tights are available in three sizes: S, M and L. The Gipsy website indicates that a 'petite' style is also available.



I tested the size L. I would say that although I was probably pushing towards the top end of the sizing, these tights have an impressive amount of stretch. Once on, the fit was very good, with even a slight compression effect. These tights tights stayed in place and didn't need any adjusting or pulling up

Overall they were a really comfortable wear, and the glide factor under trousers was good.

Colour range

These tights are available from Stockings Direct in Black only. That is the shade I tested.

The Gipsy website indicates that they are also available in Grey.

Price and availability

Stockings Direct sell the Gipsy Diamond Opaque Tights for a very reasonable £6.99.

Conclusion

Of the three styles of opaque diamond tights I have now reviewed, the Gipsy style definitely comes out on top. The flat seams, cotton gusset and robust construction are all plus factors.

These tights look and feel as if they will wear well and last for a good length of time.

Worn under under trousers, these tights would be a great alternative to socks in colder weather. I am putting these away now for the autumn, when I am looking forward to wearing them again.

New range of men's tights from Knittex

I have recently learned that the Polish hosiery manufacturer Knittex is bringing out a new range of men's tights.

I will report further on this development at Hosiery For Men in the coming weeks, and hopefully test and review some of the styles.

For now, here is a picture of the Knittex 20 denier men's tights. Stay tuned for more news and images of the Knittex Men's Collection.