Sunday, 16 August 2015

Tights And More

Tights And More, the sister website to Stockings HQ has just relaunched.

There is a superb selection of tights available including many of our favourite brands such as Oroblu, Nylonica and Falke.

You can also purchase the Glamory range of men's tights here as well.

There are some great offers and features as well.

You can win £50 to spend at Tights And More in a competition.

You can also win free tights by writing reviews.

Hosiery For Men featured in Legwear Safari blog

We recently published Part 1 and Part 2 of our interview with Tracy Kruger of South Africa's leading hosiery retailer Legwear Safari.

Legwear Safari have now published a long and detailed interview with Hosiery For Men on their blog!

The interview with us covers a wide range of topic including why the Hosiery For Men blog was started, advice for men and their partners as well as our choice of all-time favourite tights.

DressMyLegs features Hosiery For Men

The Irish hosiery retailer DressMyLegs has featured Hosiery For Men in their most recent newsletter to their customers.

We were delighted that DressMyLegs decided to feature us and provide such a positive description of the blog.

You can read the full newsletter here.

DressMyLegs provides a great service to customers of any gender, and also stock a range of men's tights by the Adrian brand.

The newsletter links to each review we have written of tights that are currently stocked by DressMyLegs.

Thanks DressMyLegs! It's great to see a major retailer being so positive about men wearying tights.

Video: Glamory Microman 100 Tights

German hosiery manufacturer Glamory makes a wide range of men's tights.

You can read Part 1 and Part 2 of the Hosiery For Men feature and interview with Glamory.

Glamory have recently released a promotional video for the Microman 100 men's tights.

The Microman 100 men's tights are available from UK Tights and Stockings HQ.

You can read our review of the Microman 100 tights.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Video: Glamory Support 40 Men's Tights

German hosiery manufacturer Glamory makes a wide range of men's tights.

You can read Part 1 and Part 2 of the Hosiery For Men feature and interview with Glamory.

Glamory have recently released a promotional video for the Support 40 men's tights.

The Support 40 men's tights are available from UK Tights and Stockings HQ.

You can read our review of the Glamory Support 40 men's tights.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Spotlight on Legwear Safari, Part 2

We recently published the first part of our interview with Tracey Kruger of the South African hosiery retailer Legwear Safari.

We are now pleased to published the second and final part of this feature. In Part 2 Tracy discusses the support that Legwear Safari provides for male customers, and reflects on some of the backward attitudes that still exist in relation to men wearing tights.

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

We are currently making some improvements to the store and our development team is streamlining, tweaking and giving a facelift to some of our functionality, look and feel. Along with the new features is a brand new category which has been exclusively designed for our male customers. Size and buying advice: how they can buy for themselves and what they need to know when buying for someone else.

Along with a dedicated blog section to help our male customers get more comfortable with the idea and provide them with the right information they need.

Our male customers receive the same extra special service that all of our Legwear Safarians receive and we absolutely encourage requests for inquiries and advice when making purchases or just shopping around.

Consumer engagement is everything and we strive to make every customer feel more like a friend than a number on an invoice. We are highly service orientated and if we do not stock anything that someone is looking for, we will always do our best to source something to their requirements.

What brands and styles are particularly popular with your male customers?

Silky Silky and Falke are high up on the list in terms of popularity with our male customers. Pamela Mann coming in as a close third.

Sheer to waist is currently our most popular seller with the men all year round. But most definitely our sheers are top of the list. Sheers in white, nude or champagne with a lesser demand for navy or black.

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

People seem to forget that once upon a time it was men who wore tights – it was an essential part of every man’s wardrobe. In recent decades we may have all been socialised in believing these are now solely garments for a woman’s wardrobe. Some people are not comfortable with the concept of men wearing tights are immediate label them as gay or a cross dresser…or all sorts of things.

Where people got the idea that wearing hosiery is an indication of sexual preference is beyond me. Everybody from ballet dancers to cross dressers to nurses, teachers, and students, moms, dads and your gran wear tights.

At Legwear Safari we fully support our male customers and their privacy. So while the idea of men wearing tights takes off, our customers know that they can shop with complete discretion in our store.

Discrimination on the basis of hosiery is a ridiculous idea anyway, very last year. If you have a look at what is coming off the catwalks, hosiery for men is not only alive and well, its high end and trendy.

It is time for people to get with the times.

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

Warmth, comfort and support are the main reasons I would say men should try tights. Winter can be seriously cold and if you are on a motorbike in the icy morning traffic trying to weave your way to work, a nice pair of thick opaque’s will save your sanity!

For men that stand or sit all day, support hosiery for circulation is a must. Office bound desk jobs are very much a reality for everyone these days and while sitting is the new smoking a pair of support hosiery could really help with that horrible achy leg syndrome keeping you awake at night.

Men who travel a lot could really benefit from our anti-fatigue range from Falke: we sell a large amount to the local air hostesses so that speaks for itself.

From a tactile point of view, which I have learnt over the years is very much a priority for our male customers; the feel is that much nicer than the rough seams of jeans or work trousers. Try a few brands and sizes until you find something that you love and stick with that. And don’t be shy about asking questions or for advice.

What are your plans for the future at Legwear Safari? Are you planning to stock any tights specifically made for men?

It is most certainly high on our list! However, the unfavourable exchange rate has made us change direction slightly and we are still in the review process but thanks to blogs like Hosiery For Men, we are able to draw some real time quality scores directly from the consumer.

We have a number of brands in the wings, ready for their Legwear Safari debut, and hope to start rolling them out by next season.

Thank you Tracy for speaking to Hosiery For Men. It is fantastic to know that there are retailers like Legwear Safari that have such a welcoming and positive attitude towards male customers. I hope readers will check out the store and support you in whatever way they can.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Spotlight on Legwear Safari, Part 1

Legwear Safari is South Africa's leading online hosiery retailer, and stock a wide range of legwear brands.

We were delighted to have the opportunity to speak to Tracy Kruger of Legwear Safari and are now pleased to published the first part of our interview with her.

In Part 1, Tracy speaks about how she started Legwear Safari and how the business now has a large amount of male customers.

Can you tell Hosiery For Men readers about Legwear Safari Why did you start the business and how has it developed?
The South African consumer has a strong hosiery market, which has been dominated for decades by one local manufacturer. In terms of availability, there isn’t much to choose from. Plain black, navy and a few shades of sheer. But nothing exciting is easily available and there is a high demand for quality and design.

As an offbeat creative, I was crying out for something more riveting than black tights and started shopping overseas. My hosiery world immediately expanded into a range of choice of colours, designs, textiles, different yarn densities and finally something that suited my personality and my body shape. Far removed from anything I had ever seen here.

I had just opened my first online store in South Africa, Jar of Mielies, selling local handcrafts from South African artists, creatives and entrepreneurs and had just dumped a ton of our savings into getting the business off the ground. The interest from the overseas market was incredible and before long my daily routine was taken up a lot by international shipping, lead times and dealing with couriers and postal services all over the world.

It was just after we opened that my husband suggested that I open another online store, this time bringing goods into the country and selling hosiery. I thought he had lost his mind, where on earth were we going to get the money for a start?

But he was insistent that there were more of “Me” out there who also wanted good quality hosiery with a range of exciting designs and colours that were not the cheap and cheerful kind that one could only purchase at a party shop.

So cautiously, I compromised and suggested we start a Facebook page and start testing the water for the demand.

So three months after Jar of Mielies was born we did exactly that and in a few weeks we were absolutely blown away by the response. It literally blew my expectations out of the water and suddenly we were very frightened and extremely excited all at the same time.

Our customers couldn’t wait for our store to open and we were already servicing orders through our Facebook page while we built our second store.

A year later in 2013 we opened our second store and both stores are going strong and steady! Despite our national Postal Strike, loadshedding and ups and downs with the local economy, it has forced us to get creative when making sure our customers get everything they need.

What are the main brands of tights that you stock? Are these local brands as well as imported ones?
Initially when doing our research, we approached a lot of brands that I had bought from during the years I had built up my own collection of hosiery from overseas. We received an overwhelmingly positive response from all of the international brands who offered support, suggestions and assistance. It was fantastic and we were greatly encouraged by the support.

However, every local supplier we approached was not interested in supplying us. They turned their nose down at us, despite us going to great lengths to meet with them, explaining the concept of an ecommerce retailer, we were turned away, which was greatly disappointing for us.

However, this year, the local Falke manufacturer came on board and it has been a very successful season with them thus far, despite production delays compliments of loadshedding. They have moved themselves into first place as our best seller this winter and we are delighted!

We currently stock Pamela Mann, Trinny & Susannah by Cette, Falke SA, Gerbe, Intimidea, Leggies Amsterdam and Silky Silky.

Do you have male customers who buy tights for themselves? Is this an important part of your customer base?
Our customer base has a large amount of male customers – around the 40% mark, which is fantastic! We welcome and encourage our male customers to engage with us, talk to us and provide us with feedback so we may assist them in making the right purchase.

We have a small percentage of male customers who purchase under the guise of buying for someone else, but a large number are quite open and comfortable with us knowing that they are purchasing for themselves, which is a huge compliment for us.

Although South Africans in general are quite open minded as a culture, there is still a somewhat timid approach, when it comes to men purchasing hosiery to wear for themselves. It is certainly not as common practice as it is in Europe, but as more and more men start feeling comfortable with the idea, so will everyone else.

Our male customers are very important to us; they offer a completely different view point to our female customers and shop in a completely different way to women. Which in turn makes us think differently and completely changes our way of working, planning and sourcing – making it that much more progressive.

When you have the opinions, requirements and engaged feedback from a full consumer perspective – both male and female, you are literally able to tailor make a store designed for and by the consumer.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our interview with Tracy.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Reviewed: Wolford Cotton Velvet Men's Socks and Knee-Highs

The top European hosiery brand Wolford asked us if we would review and feature two of their hosiery products for men:

Wolford Cotton Velvet Socks

Wolford Cotton Velvet Knee-Highs

We have previously reviewed the following Wolford products:

Wolford Long Distance Knee-Highs For Men

Wolford Velvet De Luxe 66 Tights

Wolford Velvet De Luxe 50 Tights

Wolford Cotton Velvet Tights

Wolford Satin Opaque 50 Tights

Material and features (Wolford Cotton Velvet Socks)
Wolford describe the Cotton Velvet Socks as follows:

Extraordinary yarn mix – combines the natural properties of cotton with the softness of the exclusive velvet yarn.

The socks are made from 55% Cotton, 37% Polyamide and 8% Elastane. The fabric is opaque, smooth and soft against the skin.

It is interesting to compare these socks with the yarn used in the Wolford Cotton Velvet Tights, which is 49% Cotton, 46% Polyamide (Nylon) and 5% Elastane.

One things noticeable immediately about the socks is that they are anatomically shaped to fit the calf and foot.

The Cotton/Polyamide mixture provides a very fine knit, much denser than normally seen in cheap cotton socks.

The toe and heel are reinforced, but this is done very carefully so that it is almost invisible.

The top of the socks, which sits mid-calf, is doubled over and sewn into a 6.5cm wide cuff.

The sole is stamped with the Wolford logo and sizing information.

Material and features (Wolford Cotton Velvet Knee-Highs)
The Wolford Cotton Velvet Knee-Highs are described in the same way as the Cotton Velvet Socks.

The knee-highs are also made from the same yarn as the socks.

They are shaped slightly differently, with the area between the heel and the top band being straight, rather than tapering towards the heel. The knee highs also have a wide top band, which is slightly wider at 7cm.

Fit and sizing

Both the Wolford Cotton Velvet Socks and the Wolford Cotton Velvet Knee-Highs are available in four sizes:

39 - 40

41 - 42

43 - 44

45 - 46

I tested both pairs in the 45 - 46 size (corresponding to UK shoe size 10 -11; USA shoe size 11 - 12).

The socks were a perfect fit for my shoe size, with no wrinkling or bagginess. The fabric has good elasticity and this enhanced the fit.

The socks were quite light and breathed well. I wore them on quite a warm summer day, and they kept my feet cool and comfortable.

As mentioned above, the socks sit mid-calf; the wide top kept them in place without any discomfort or squeezing.

The knee-highs were also a great fit, and stretch over the calf and right up to the knee. In the knee-highs one can really see how superior the fabric is to 'normal' cotton socks and how it moulds itself to the leg.

Again, the wearing experience was comfortable all day. The look on the leg is very similar to the Wolford Cotton Velvet Tights.

Colour range
The Wolford Cotton Velvet Socks and the Wolford Cotton Velvet Knee-Highs are available in the following colours: 

  • Deep Brown 
  • Admiral 
  • Dark Blue 
  • Black 
I tested the Cotton Velvet Socks in the Dark Blue shade, and the Cotton Velvet Knee-Highs in the Admiral shade.

Price and availability
The Wolford Cotton Velvet Socks are priced at: £20.00.

The Wolford Cotton Velvet Knee-Highs are priced at: £23.00.

Both styles are available from the Wolford UK shop.

Purchasers in other countries can also buy these tights from official Wolford Shop.

My normal day to day socks (when not wearing tights in cooler weather) are usually cotton ones, purchased like most British men in multipacks from Marks and Spencer.

I am a huge fan of Wolford tights, as readers of this blog will be aware. So it was a great to have the opportunity to try more of their men's hosiery products.

Both the Wolford Cotton Velvet Socks and the Wolford Cotton Velvet Knee-Highs are made to the same exacting standards as other Wolford hosiery styles that we have tried. Basically this comes down to Wolford's use of top quality and innovative yarns combined with design excellence.

Both of these products take the simple cotton sock for men to a new level, with attention to every detail. To paraphrase the slogan of a famous British department store: 'These aren't just any cotton socks; these are Wolford socks!"

I am going to enjoy wearing these socks and knee-highs for the rest of the summer, as well as beyond.

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

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Video: Glamory Support 70 Men's Tights

German hosiery manufacturer Glamory makes a wide range of men's tights.

You can read Part 1 and Part 2 of the Hosiery For Men feature and interview with Glamory.

Glamory have recently released a promotional video for the Glamory Support 70 men's tights.

The Glamory Support 70 tights are available from UK Tights and Stockings HQ.