Saturday, 31 January 2015

Men in tights: getting to the bottom of the latest trend

Men in tights: getting to the bottom of the latest trend - this is the story in The Independent newspaper today, Saturday 31 January.

In the second major feature in a UK national newspaper in one week, the writer Oscar Quine describes the experience of wearing men's tights for a day.

Oscar wore the Glamory Microman 100 Men's Tights, provided by one of our recommended retailers, UK Tights.

Last year we published a review of the Microman 100 tights.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Reviewed: Steven 'Laura' Cotton Rich Opaque Tights

The Irish hosiery retailer DressMyLegs recently sent Hosiery For Men a selection of tights to trial and review.

You can read our review of the Cecilia de Rafael Ave 70 Denier Opaque Tights, which were supplied by DressMyLegs

We now focus on the Steven Laura Cotton Rich Opaque Tights. This is the first time we have featured the Steven brand at Hosiery For Men. They are based in Poland, and you can read more about the company on their website.

DressMyLegs highly recommended the Steven Laura tights to us, and because of this we were eager to try them out.

Material and features

The Steven Laura Cotton Rich Opaque Tights are described by DressMyLegs as:

'Wonderfully soft, these cotton rich tights in a range of easy-to-wear colours will instantly wrap your legs in a blanket of warmth and luxury. With a super comfy waistband and flat seams, they fit like a second skin and stay in fantastic shape even after numerous washes!'

The Steven Laura tights are really well-packaged. The tights are folded around a card rectangle and then wrapped in cellophane. Everything is then packaged in a high quality card box that provided product details and sizing information.

The tights are made from 73% Cotton, 24% Polyamide and 3% Elastane.

The fabric is very soft and luxurious.

The tights loked quite long when removed from the packaging. The leg has been shaped to be thicker in the tight area and tapered towards the ankle. The heel has been shaped (boarded) also.

The tights are sheer to waist with no demarcation between the leg and the brief.

The M - tall size I tested had a single seam in the brief/panty and a gusset. The XL sizes have a rear comfort panel.

The waistband is 3cm wide. It is made from the same fabric but has been folded over and stitched.

Fit and sizing

The Steven Laura Cotton Rich Opaque Tights are available in an impressive 8 sizes:

  • S - regular
  • M - regular
  • L - regular
  • XL - egular
  • S - tall
  • M - tall
  • L - tall
  • XL - tall

You can see from the size chart that all the tall sizes fit up to 5'11", but are sized differently by the waist measurement.

On a recommendation from DressMyLegs, I chose the M - tall size.

The fit was good, but I am not sure the tights would have stretched to much taller than my 5'10".

The fabric is soft and provides a very comfortable wearing experience. The tights fitted very well on the leg, with the Elastane content ensuring that there was no wrinkling.

The tights looked quite matt when worn with just a very slight sheen when caught in the light.

The brief stretched just above my waist. It had sufficient room, but I think myself and most men might prefer if it was just slightly deeper.

Colour range
The Steven Laura Cotton Rich Opaque Tights are available in five colours, although only three are currently stocked at DressMyLegs:
  • Grafitto Melange: dark grey with marl effect
  • Black
  • Dark Beige
I tested a pair in Black.


Price and availability
The Steven Laura Cotton Rich Opaque Tights are priced at €14.95.

Service is excellent at DressMyLegs and items are despatched quickly. 

International postage is €5.95 and free for orders of over €50.00.


The Steven Laura Cotton Rich Opaque Tights are really good quality cotton tights. They are very soft and provide a comfortable wearing experience.

I wore them on a bitterly cold day and my legs were happy to be wrapped in them. In fact I noticed this week that when it is extremely cold, if you keep your legs warm then this is a big factor in how warm the rest of your body feels.

After writing this review I am going out and I will be putting the Steven Laura tights on again!

Tights for men for the cold snap from Tightsplease

The thermometer has been dropping sharply all over the UK. With snow and freezing winds have been blasting most regions, women and men will be focused on keeping warm and comfortable when they are outside.

Many men know that tights provide great insulation in cold temperatures. They are much less bulky than traditional long johns, and the yarns used in tights also provide a much more comfortable fit.

It was great to be asked by the retailer Tightsplease to recommend tights suitable for men from the huge range they stock.

All the tights recommended have been reviewed in rigorous detail on the Hosiery For Men blog, so you can buy with confidence.

Falke Pure Matt 100 Tights

The German brand Falke made superb quality tights. The sizing options are excellent, and they are designed for a perfect fit. The Pure Matt 100 tights are completely opaque and available in Extra Large for taller guys. Year after year these are usually our first choice when it gets really cold.

Cette Dublin Plus Size Tights

Cette have always been a favourite with male customers at Tightsplease. The Dublin Plus Size tights are just the thing if you need opaque tights in larger sizes.

Wolford Velvet de Luxe 66 Tights

Wolford have an unparalleled reputation for quality. Not many people know that in the 1990s they made opaque tights for men with the curious name 'waist socks'! The Velvet De Luxe 66 are one of the most popular opaques made by Wolford and rightly so. We were so impressed with the fit and how comfortable they are to wear that we awarded them 'Recommended' status on the blog.

Charnos 60 Denier Opaque Tights

These great value opaque tights from Charnos are always a good standby. At 60-denier they are not as thick as the warmest winter tights, but are great on cooler days. They have good stretch and a nice deep brief. If you are tall, go for the Large size rather than the Extra Large.

Falke Cotton Touch Tights

For our final recommendation we go back to Falke. Cotton tights have good breathability qualities and are a good choice to wear instead of socks. The Cotton Touch Tights have a matt appearance, so no one will know you are wearing tights. 

They are available in an XL size.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Men in tights: how chaps are reclaiming hosiery

Men in tights: how chaps are reclaiming hosiery was the headline of an article in The Guardian newspaper yesterday.

The writer Dean Kissick spoke to Hosiery For Men as part of his research for the article, as well as one of our recommended retailers, UK Tights.

UK Tights stock a wide range of men's tights made specifically for men, and one of these styles, the Activskin opaque tights are featured in the piece.

The article has had a massive amount of shares on social media, and there is a lively archive of comments to read also.

We hope Hosiery For Men readers enjoy reading Dean's article. He would, I feel, be keen to get further feedback, which you can leave here as a comment or at The Guardian.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Reviewed: Tabio men's 80 denier tights

The leading Japanese hosiery brand Tabio recently sent us samples of their new 80 Denier Men's Tights and the 80 Denier Men's Leggings to trial and review.

The first review we now publish is of the Tabio 80 Denier men's Tights.

Material and features
The packaging of the 
80 Denier Men's Tights is very good quality. The tights are folded around a long piece of card and then wrapped in a cellophane envelope. Everything is then housed in a sturdy card box. The overall presentation is understated, classy and quite 'masculine'.

The packaging and presentation as clearly been carefully thought-through for the target market of male customers.

The packaging also provides product information, although this is in Japanese.

The Tabio 80 Denier Men's Tights are made in Japan. According to the Tabio website they are made from 90% Nylon and10% Polyurethane. I wonder if this means that they are 10% Lycra/Elastane.

The tights don't look particularly long when removed from the packaging, but they do have an excellent amount of stretch.

The fabric is soft and smooth and provides even opaque coverage. Opacity is very good but not total, as when the tights are stretched at the knee and thigh, one can still see leg hair.

Legs are straight. The toes are rounded, with no reinforcement.

The tights are sheer to waist apart from a wide band, knitted to a slightly thicker density, at the top of each thigh as it joins the brief.

The brief is quite deep and stretchy. At the front and rear, it has been designed to support the male anatomy with a panel on both sides with conventional seams. The front panel, which has been constructed with double fabric, has a well-designed fly opening. Where the two panels join under the crotch there is a well-engineered flat seam.

The waistband is 3cm wide and has been sewn onto the tights. It is very robust and provides good support.

Inside the brief there is a label (in Japanese), that provides washing instructions as well as other information.

Fit and sizing
TheTabio 80 Denier Men's Tights are available in a single M-L size.

According to the Tabio website the tights will fit the following dimensions:

Waist: 72cm (28") - 88cm (34")

Height: 160cm (5' 4") to 180cm (5' 11")

As mentioned above, these Tabio men's tights have lots of stretch.

The fit was excellent even though, at 5'10", I am almost at the limit of the M-L sizing.

The fabric fits on the leg really well with no wrinkling or bunching.

The brief is deep and comfortable, stretching comfortably above the waist and hips.

They felt extremely comfortable through the whole day that I worse them and needed very little pulling up or adjusting. The warmth and insulation provided were also very good.

Colour range

The Tabio 80 Denier Men's Tights are available in Black and Navy.

I tested a pair in Black.

Price and availability

The Tabio 80 Denier Men's Tights are priced at ¥ 1,728 (Japanese Yen)

According to the exchange rates at the time of writing this is equivalent to:

£9.79 (UK pounds)

€13.00 (Euros)

$14.67 (US dollars)

According to my communications with Tabio, these tights are currently available only in Japan. I will check with them regarding international delivery if ordered from the Tabio website. If they become available at Tabio stores in the UK and elsewhere I will also provide an update.

The Tabio 80 Denier Men's Tights are a very welcome addition to the growing range of men's tights that are now available.

It is notable that yet another well-established and high profile hosiery brand has decided to develop a range of men's tights and leggings. Tabio should be applauded for this decision and the range deserves to be successful.

These 80 denier men's tights are excellent quality. Perhaps the only improvement would be to provide flat seams throughout. The brief, in particular, has been designed specifically for men and ticks all the boxes for comfort and functionality.

It might also be a smart move for the tights to be available in a L-XL size, particularly if they are going to be marketed and sold in European and north American markets.


Saturday, 17 January 2015

Interview with Wolford #UPDATE YOUR LEGS winner Kay Campbell

The top European hosiery brand Wolford recently held a contest on Facebook called #UPDATE YOUR LEGS.

One of the winners was a hosiery blogger from the UK, Kay Campbell, whose blog Tights and Ladders is gaining a growing readership.

We recently interviewed Kay for Hosiery For Men, and are pleased to now publish this.

Hi Kay, can you tell us a bit about yourself and why you decided to become a hosiery blogger?

Of course, I’m from Liverpool (UK) and my passions are most definitely gaming (PlayStation) and of course hosiery, which I have a vast collection of that is continually increasing!!

I started blogging because prior to purchasing any hosiery items, especially patterned/fashion tights. I would always ‘Google image’ the item to try and see what they looked like on in a ‘normal environment’ and what outfits I could actually wear them with. More than often I was left frustrated, as only the manufactures picture would show, so I thought I couldn’t be the only person who does this and gets the same result? That’s when I finally took the plunge and began my own blog ‘Tights and Ladders’.

Also my mum also worked as a tights machinist in the 1970’s, so I think I definitely picked up my passion from her!

What is your vision for the Tights and Ladders blog? 

Over the next year my ultimate vision is to develop my blog further by venturing into the world of YouTube and of course making time to do more regular updates. I have recently started to write more detailed reviews of my hosiery, which have been a massive hit…so I definitely will be developing this further too (thanks again to ‘Hosiery for Men’ for inspiring me!!)

Congratulations for being one of the winners of the Wolford #UPDATE YOUR LEGS competition. That must have been an amazing experience. Can you tell us more about it?

Thank you so much!!

Well in October 2014, Wolford launched a competition asking for people to enter their competition called ‘#UPDATE YOUR LEGS and four winners would be chosen to go to Rome and have their picture published in a book along with four short stories…so I thought why not enter?

Part of Kay's collection of Wolford tights.

The competition ran for over a month and I honestly didn’t expect to hear anything from it. So to receive an email from the lovely people at Wolford congratulating me and asking whether I would be able to go to Rome in six days time, was an absolute shock and of course I jumped at the chance! Within that same week, I was on a plane flying to the eternal city of Rome for a two nights stay in a 5 star hotel and an event hosted by Wolford to celebrate!

The whole experience was so magical (Rome was absolutely breathtaking, especially in December) and the event Wolford hosted for us was amazing!

Also made some amazing memories and made new friends, who I will treasure forever!

I’m actually still in shock that my legs are now actually published in Wolford’s book It sounds clichéd but not only do I admire Wolford, I love them! They have most definitely inspired me over the years with their amazing designs, so to win was so overwhelming!

You can download a copy of the book for free here.

What are your favourite brands of tights? We know you are passionate about Wolford, but are there other brands that you like?

During a normal working week I tend to wear opaque tights, so when I get a chance to just be me…I actually love any tights that are innovative and make a statement! I think that’s why I do have a passion for Wolford. But I also wear a lot of Falke, Pretty Polly, Givenchy, Gipsy, Leg Avenue and there are so many other brands that I would love to try too!

And any brands you are eager to try and review?

Where do I start…there are so many amazing brands available now!

To name just a few, I would love to try Pierre Mantoux, Oroblu, Cecilia de Rafael and Fogal.

I also think its great to support more British brands, so I will definitely be featuring more of Gipsy Tights, Pretty Polly, Pamela Mann and Pretty Legs on my blog.

There is always quite a lot of media coverage of tights for men. What are your thoughts about the greater visibility of men buying and wearing tights?

For years, I personally feel that there has been slight ignorance/stigma surrounding ‘men wearing tights’. So I think its great that it’s starting to gain more media coverage, it’s definitely about time!

Even as a child, I always remember my father wearing tights as he worked in the construction industry…not only would he wear them for the warmth that they provided but it was also for the additional support. As he was working on his feet all day this is something that is most definitely needed.

As a woman there are so many freedoms that I can enjoy in regards to fashion, so why should there be a double standard? I say the more coverage the better ❤

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

Go for it!! There are so many different ranges available, some specifically designed with men in mind. Not only do they keep you lovely and warm in the colder winter months, but they’re extremely supportive too (more so than socks!). I personally hate socks as I feel they often lose their support over time, so for the rest of the day I find myself constantly pulling them back up, making the whole experience quite uncomfortable!

Thank you so much for speaking to Hosiery For Men Kay. I am sure our readers will enjoy the interview and also your supportive comments about men wearing tights.

We hope that readers will check out Tights and Ladders and also follow you on Twitter.

Just arrived: Tights by Oroblu, Steven and Veneziana from DressMyLegs

The leading online hosiery retailer DressMyLegs, who are based in Ireland, have very kindly sent us some samples to trial and review for Hosiery For Men readers.

We have been sent the following:

Steven Laura Cotton Rich Opaque Tights

Oroblu All Colours 50 Denier 3D Opaque Tights

Veneziana Cover 100 Denier Matte Opaque Tights

Steven and Veneziana are brands that are new to us and come highly recommended. Stay tuned for reviews.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Reviewed: Wolford Cotton Velvet Tights

We were really pleased when the top European hosiery brand Wolford sent us a consignment of tights and socks late last year to trial and review. 

We have previously reviewed

Wolford Long Distance Knee-Highs For Men

Wolford Velvet De Luxe 66 Tights

Wolford Velvet De Luxe 50 Tights

We now focus on the Wolford Cotton Velvet Tights.

Material and features

Wolford describe these tights as:

'Opaque tights in a velvety soft cotton mix. Soft against the skin and comfortable to wear, thanks to its high cotton content.'

Packaging is similar to most Wolford styles, although somewhat bulkier.The tights are folded and enclosed in a card sleeve that is then housed in a cellophane envelope. The rear of the packaging provides product and sizing information.

The Wolford Cotton Velvet Tights are made from 49% Cotton, 46% Polyamide (Nylon) and 5% Elastane.

The tights looked impressively long as I took them out of the packaging. The XL size that Wolford sent me fits 6'1"+ and it is clear that this size would easily accommodate tall women and men.

The fabric feels really soft and quite different to the touch to most cotton opaque tights. 

Opaque coverage is dense and even throughout, without being completely opaque.

The tights are sheer to waist with no demarcation between the leg and the brief.

Toes are lightly reinforced and the reinforcement is scarcely visible.

Seams are flat and expertly engineered.

One interesting feature of Wolford tights in the XL size is that there is no rear comfort panel. There is a gusset that looks as if it has been made from the same fabric.

The waistband is 3cm wide and knitted to provide support and comfort.

As with all Wolford tights, there is a label attached to the inside of the waistband.

The brief is very deep and roomy. Perfect for men who need more space in that area!

Fit and sizing

The Wolford Cotton Velvet Tights are available in five sizes: XS, S, M, L and XL.

I tested a pair in the XL size.

The XL size in the Cotton Velvet Tights is very generous indeed. They provided a lovely fit for my 5'10" height but would easily accommodate a taller person.

These tights are a really comfortable wear. Although primarily cotton, they are not bulky at all especially when worn under pants. The fabric is so smooth that clothes glide over it with ease.

The brief is especially comfortable, stretching with ease over the hips and higher if needed.

Colour range
The Wolford Cotton Velvet Tights are available in a range of colours: 

  • Ecrue 
  • Mocca 
  • Admiral 
  • Black 
  • Black Chine 
  • Anthracite Mele 
  • Coca-Mele
I tested a pair in Black. The images below show the Cotton Velvet Tights in Admiral and Anthracite Mele.

Price and availability
The Wolford Cotton Velvet Tights are priced at £30.00 in the UK.

They are available from the Wolford UK shop, and the Wolford Online Shop where you can select the country you are based in. In the USA, for example, they are priced at $60.00.

They are also available from one of our favourite online retailers Luxury Legs, who have them in stock in Black, Admiral (Dark Blue) and Anthracite Mele.

The Wolford Cotton Velvet Tights are one of the very best models of cotton tights we have reviewed here. The fabric is superb and they are reflect Wolford's deserved reputation for quality.

The sizing options are excellent for men, who will find that L and XL sizes provide all that is needed for fit and comfort.

The price might be an issue for some people, but as we have said before at Hosiery For Men, you get what you pay for. Quality does not come cheap and good tights are always an investment as all of you Wolford fans will already know.


Thanks again to Wolford for the sample and for their support for the Hosiery For Men blog.