Thursday, 30 January 2014

The A-string tights support device

At Hosiery For Men we are hoping to publish a number of guest features and reviews in the coming period. We have had a number of requests to do this.

We start with a guest feature by one of the readers of this blog, 'astringman', who has devised a simple device, the A-string, to improve the fit of tights when worn by men, and prevent slippage.

Our guest writer 'astringman' introduces the A-string below:

The A-string

Named after the G‐string, the A‐string is a thong made of two bands of elastic worn over tights to prevent slippage. It provides support similar to briefs, but without further material weight. The tights then perform comfortably as a single piece, lower‐body garment.

The A‐string is such a simple and effective solution to getting a good fit with ordinary brands of tights. I'm keen that men (and women) know about it so they can try and see if it might be useful for them.

The two bands required are the waistband and the thigh band. The waistband is best made from wider, 20mm elastic. A good source is a waist band cut from a wornout pair of underpants. The thigh band can use 5mm elastic.

As the bands are worn over tights, choose a suitable colour, such as black elastic over black tights. Here, for clarity, a black and grey A‐string is shown worn over tan tights.

The bands can be formed using a reef knot, which is self‐tightening but still can be unpicked as necessary. The picture shows how to tie a reef knot on wide elastic so that it is formed on the outside of the band. This is done by suitably fashioning the inner and outer surfaces of the knot’s loops before tensioning.

Be reasonably generous with the lengths of elastic as you cut them. The knot tails do not affect comfort but allow the bands to be re‐adjusted to get their size and tension right.

Size the waistband to give a bit more tension than a pair of briefs. The thigh band needs to go round both thighs and buttocks, so will be about 50% bigger than the waistband.

However, this depends on how much support the tights need. Different makes may mean having a particular thigh band to suit each.

To put the A‐string onLay the bands on the floor in front of you with the thigh band (grey) threaded through the waistband (black). Put a clockwise half‐twist on the thigh band.

It is important to get this and the next steps precisely right otherwise you will end up with a T‐string thong.

Now step into each of the thigh band loops with left and right feet. Then pull the waistband forward and step into it with both feet.

While doing this ensure that the thigh band crosses the back of the waistband as two lays, side by side.

Now pull the waistband over the thigh band and continue by pulling both up to the waist. Ensure that the thigh band crossovers are as shown……

...otherwise you will get the T‐string — which you may prefer! If not, then remove the bands and try again until you get the steps correct. Practice makes perfect!

Once the A‐string is in place it should feel like a pair of briefs. The gather of the tights top, the position of the crossovers and the tension in the sections can be adjusted for comfort.

Any knots have not been shown, but towards the front are good positions. After the final size adjustments, the band ends can be sewn together .

Here are some images of the A-string in place with the Marks and Spencer Autograph 60 denier grey opaque tights.

Note the final stage of folding over the tights top to keep the bands comfortably in place.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Reviewed: Couture Ultra Sheer Tights

Legwear International provided Hosiery For Men with a large selection of samples to trial and review for Hosiery For Men readers.

We have already published reviews of the following styles:

Couture Future 10 Denier Tights

Cindy 30 Denier Semi-Sheer Tights

Silky Dance Shimmer Full Foot Tights

Silky Medium Support Tights

Couture Ultra Gloss Tights

We also published a feature on Legwear International and an interview with Kirsten Taylor, their Product Development and Marketing Manager.

We now focus on the Couture Ultra Sheer Tights.

Materials and features

The Couture Ultra Sheer Tights are quite simply packaged. The tights are folded around a card rectangle, which is then housed in a cellophane bag. This is all then enclosed in a thin rectangular card sleeve.

Legwear International describe these tights as:

"Everyday and versatile, this tight can be worn through the day and into the evening.

"It is a 15 denier product which offers high durability and superb comfort together with a vast range of colour options."

These are 15 denier sheer tights made from 100% Nylon. There is no Lycra, Elastane or Spandex in the knit.

Despite the bargain pricing, these tights have some positive features. They are sheer to waist and are made with flat seams. Toes are reinforced.

The brief/panty in the X-Large size has a rear comfort panel made from the same fabric as the rest of the tights. The waistband is quite wide at 3cm and additionally has a 1cm reinforcement running underneath it.

The One Size size has a diamond gusset instead of the rear panel in the brief.

Appearance is matt with little or no shine. The fabric is quite soft.

Fit and sizing

The Couture Ultra Sheer Tights are available in two sizes: One Size and and X-Large.

I tested the X-Large size.

These tights fit heights up to 5'10" in the X-Large size. Sizing information is accurate as I had no difficulty getting a good fit. They would even fit someone slightly taller than 5'10" I feel.

There is a good amount of stretch and the brief was really deep and comfortable.

There is very little leg compression, and with no Lycra/Elastane in the knit these tights may wrinkle slightly in places like the knee and ankle.

Colour range

The Couture Ultra Sheer Tights are available in an impressive range of 18 shades: Baltic, Beech, Black, Bronze, Chantilly, Cosmetique, Dark Navy, Forest Green, Fouine, French Grey, Lyon, Mink, Natural, Nearly Black, Noblesse, Nuage, Pampas, White.

I tested a pair in the Mink shade.

With so many shades available, it would be useful if Legwear International published a colour guide/palette on the product page.

Price and availability
Couture Ultra Sheer Tights are priced at a very reasonable £3.99. The X-Large size is priced at £4.49.

In the Legwear International January Sale there is a 30% discount off all products if you use the voucher code JANUARYSALE.

These are basic sheer tights for everyday wear. Legwear International groups them in their 'Nylon Classic' range - they are very much like the tights that everyone worse in the 1970s and early 1980s before Lycra began to be used in hosiery.

I found them to be a perfectly comfortable pair of basic sheers. Some of the lighter, neutral shades would I am sure be excellent to wear if you want the tights to be less visable, as there is there is no sheen or shine.

However at a similar price, you can buy the 'virtually indestructible' Couture Future 10 Denier Tights, which we reviewed positively last year. To me these provide a much superior fit and overall wearing experience.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Reviewed: Couture Ultra Gloss Tights

Legwear International sent Hosiery For Men a large selection of samples to trial and review for Hosiery For Men readers.

We have already published reviews of the following styles from Legwear International:

Couture Future 10 Denier Tights

Cindy 30 Denier Semi-Sheer Tights

Silky Dance Shimmer Full Foot Tights

Silky Medium Support Tights

We also published a feature on Legwear International and an interview with Kirsten Taylor, their Product Development and Marketing Manager.

We now focus on the Couture Ultra Gloss Tights.

Materials and features

The Couture Ultra Gloss Tights are in a high quality card sleeve. The tights are folded around a card rectangle, which is then housed in a cellophane bag.

Legwear International describe these tights as follows:

"10 denier appearance Tights with reinforced body and toe for added comfort and durability. Beautifully soft and sheer hosiery for an elegant flawless leg finish."
The Couture Ultra Gloss Tights are 10 denier tights, made from 88% Nylon and 12% Spandex. The fabric is very soft and smooth to the touch. Although they are marketed as 'ultra gloss' tights, I didn't find that they were very glossy. They do have a definite sheen, but they were less shiny than I expected.

The tights are not sheer to waist but have a reinforced boxer-style brief with a denser knit.

Seams are conventional and toes are reinforced. The waistband is 2cm wide.

Fit and sizing

The Couture Ultra Gloss Tights are available in two sizes: Medium and Large.

I tested the Large size.

These tights had plenty of stretch. The sizing information is accurate as the Large size fitted by 5'10" well. But they wouldn't suit anyone much taller.

The high Spandex content provides a close fit with no wrinkling or bunching.

I found the brief/panty to be slightly lacking in depth for me. If you are looking for a more low-rise style then these tights would suit.

The Couture Ultra Gloss Tights provided a perfectly comfortable wearing experience. Glide was also excellent under trousers, as expected with the fabric's sheen.

Colour range

The Couture Ultra Gloss Tights are available in four shades: Black, Barely Black, Nude and Sherry.

I tested a pair in the Nude shade.

Price and availability

The Couture Ultra Gloss Tights are priced at a very reasonable £3.99.

In the Legwear International January Sale there is a 30% discount off all products if you use the voucher code JANUARYSALE.


Legwear International sell a wide range of tights and other hosiery, all at reasonable prices.

The Couture Ultra Gloss Tights are perfectly adequate pair of sheer gloss tights for under £4.00. With a 30% discount in January the price is even more reasonable.

They are a comfortable wear and seem to be quite hardwearing and resistant to easy laddering.

The Nude shade that I tested is almost invisible against the skin, so this style might be useful if you want to wear hosiery that is not immediately noticeable.

With excellent glide under trousers, these tights provide a comfortable additional layer of insulation on cool days when opaque tights would be too warm.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Marks and Spencer tights

I visited a branch of the famous British department store Marks and Spencer today. As always there was an impressively wide selection of tights, all of which are sold under Marks and Spencer's own brand.

Marks and Spencers is probably the store where the vast majority of Britain's women, and a good number of men also, buy their tights.

In recent years, I felt that the quality of their products had dipped significantly, but I can see many signs of improvement to their ranges, including more styles being made in Italy rather than in China.

I have also had some encouraging reports from Hosiery For Men readers about some particular M&S styles

I checked out some of the opaques in the premium Autograph range.

I purchased a pair of the Autograph 100 Denier Luxury Satin Touch Tights. I had some very helpful customer service from a sales assistant when I wanted to check the leg length of these tights. At £9.50 I wanted to be sure that these would be a good fit. I purchased the Black shade in the Large size.

You need to be careful with sizing with Marks and Spencer tights. The Large size fits up to 6'0"; the XLarge fits up to just 5'9".

It would be great to get more feedback from Hosiery For Men readers (male and female) on their experiences of buying tights at Marks and Spencer.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Just arrived: Falke Seidenglatt 70 opaque tights

I purchased a pair of the Falke Seidenglatt 70 opaque tights in the sale at Mayfair Stockings.

I already have this Falke style in Marine, Brenda (dark brown) and Anthracite shades. I have now added a pair in Black in the V (XL) size.

Falke have provided confirmation that they will be discontinuing the Seidenglatt 70s at the end of 2014. This is a huge disappointment as they are one of the best opaques around, and the V size will fit all but the very tallest women and men. So stock up now while stocks last.

I will post a review of these tights soon.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Oroblu Different 80 tights - views of waistband

We recently published a review of the Oroblu Different 80 Opaque Tights. We awarded these tights the accolade of Best Technical Innovation in our Best of 2013 awards.

A reader has emailed to ask for some shots of the innovative waistband that Oroblu have designed for these tights.

Rear waistband

Front waistband

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Reviewed: Glamory Microman 100 men's tights

The German brand Glamory has provided us with samples of the whole range of their new collection of men's tights.

You can still read our Part 1 and Part 2 of the Hosiery For Men feature on Glamory and interview with Manuela Sommer.

We have already reviewed the Glamory Support 40 tights for men.

Leading UK-based hosiery retailers Stockings HQ and UK Tights now stock the whole of the Glamory range of tights for men. You can also purchase them via the TightsFashion tights review website.

We now focus on the Glamory Microman 100 men's tights.

Materials and features
The Glamory Microman 100 men's tights are described at Stockings HQ as:

'Top quality cosy opaque tights designed especially to fit the male physique.

'Glamory’s 50420 Microman 100 tights for men have been specially designed to fit the male physique perfectly. Fully boarded, with a comfort gusset, flat seams, and a reinforced brief and toe, they are soft and easy to wear, and are ideal for sports activities, to prevent leg complaints, to keep warm in cold weather, or just for the pure enjoyment of wear. Growing in popularity, and now considered a fashion choice, they come in black and a great range of sizes from large through to XXXXL, giving full 100 denier coverage."

UK Tights say:

'The perfect item for winter. Men's tights have been emerging as a prominent and popular kind of leg wear for the past few years, but no one has made them like this before. These tights are designed by a company that have always specialised in plus sized leg wear for women. This makes Glamory the perfect brand for designing men's tights, the extra amount of material needed in the crotch and around the thighs being something that Glamory can supply with incredible skill. Glamory have made these tights with a robust 100 denier fabric, which insulates and protects your legs as well as fitting them perfectly. Ideal for adding comfort to your legs and keeping you warm throughout the winter.'

The tights come in simple but good quality packaging. The tights are folded around a card rectangle that provides instructions on how to put on tights (if needed). This is enclosed in a light card folded over the tights, and then housed in a clear plastic envelope.

The Glamory Microman 100 tights are opaque with a matt finish.There is just a very slight sheen. They are made in Germany with 90% Polyamide and 10% Elastane.

Toes are reinforced and seams are flat throughout. The waistband is 5cm wide.

The brief/panty is lightly reinforced and made from a slightly denser fabric; the demarcation with the legs is not particularly pronounced but still visible. The front centre panel is made of slightly denser fabric.

The brief has plenty of depth, indeed perhaps slightly more than is needed. There is no front pouch providing support as in the Glamory Support 40 tights. There is also no rear comfort gusset, but a conventional rear seam. The front of the brief has a male centre panel with two seams extending to the waistband, and an additional fabric panel with a fly opening on the right.

Fit and sizing

The Glamory Microman 100 tights are available in six sizes M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL and XXXXL.

I tested the XL size.

These tights are made from a very soft fabric that is very comfortable on the skin. Although they are made from 100 denier fabric, they do not provide a total opaque coverage, compared to the Falke Pure Matt 100 tights, for example. The appearance is more like a 60 or 70 denier tight.

The XL size was a good choice for my 5'10" height.

The brief had more than enough room and rises comfortably over the waist and hips. If you wear these tights under trousers, it is likely that the waist band will sit above the belt line.

I found them to be a very comfortable wear indeed. Insulation was good, without the overheating of some opaque tights styles. Glide under trousers was also good.

I feel that the fly opening could be improved slightly. Access is straightforward, but it is easier to pull the brief/panty downwards when using the bathroom. When a fly-opening feature is designed into men's tights, I do feel that it needs to be really well-designed. It would be interesting to know how many men see a feature like this as being essential. At least Comfort4Men provide that an option in all their styles.

Colour range

The Glamory Microman 100 tights are available in Black (Schwarz) only.

Price and availability
The The Glamory Microman 100 tights are priced at £15.99 at UK Tights and £16.50 at Stockings HQ.

They can also be ordered via the TightsFashion Glamory Shop priced at £15.99.

At Pantyhose HQ they are available for $22.88, with free postage to the USA and Canada on orders over $50.

If these tights are ordered directly from Glamory, a double pack with two pairs is available at €39.90.

Glamory have made a very comfortable pair of men's tights with their Microman 100 style.

I particularly liked the soft, microfibre fabric and the excellent fit. It's nice to have a brief that has been genuinely designed for men. Although there isn't a front support pouch, but a male centre panel instead,  I did find that these tights were very comfortable at the crotch and waist areas.

The fabric is also pretty robust and I am sure these tights will wear well.

The matt, non-shiny, appearance makes them suitable to wear in place of socks.

Well done to Glamory for making these tights in a wide size range, with the larger sizes fitting up to 6'7".

I feel one improvement would be provide a more realistic image in the packaging, as the current image makes the tights look like a hipster, low-rise style with a front support pouch. Website images could also extend this by providing images of the brief designed for men, as well as features such as the reinforced toes.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Sale bargains at Mayfair Stockings

Mayfair Stockings have an end of season sale with up to 30% off.

Our picks are the Falke Pure Matt 50 Tights, reduced from £16.00 to £14.00, and the Falke Seidenglatt 70 Opaque Tights.

Both of these styles have been reviewed at Hosiery For Men and are highly recommended.

Men wearing tights with shorts

Men Wearing Tights with Shorts is a collection of fashion photos that have been collected from the shows of a wide range of contemporary fashion designers.

The owner of the the website has assembled an impressive archive going back to 2008, demonstrating how embedded this trends has now become many designers including: Agnès B., Givenchy, Rad Hourani, Prada and Uniqlo.

Here is a small selection of the designs collected.