Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Reviewed: Chaffree Ankle Socks

Chaffree, the underwear and hosiery brand that offers a range of seamless, sweat absorbing and chafe reducing garments for men and women, sent me several new items to trial and review.




I am really going to enjoy doing these reviews as Chaffree products are great quality, and I already own several of them. For underwear, they are my go-to brand.

We have already reviewed the Chaffree Men's Briefs and the Chaffree Men's Boxer Shorts.

We now focus on the Chaffree Ankle Socks. I decided to review these first as the weather is hot and this is the time of year most people, including me, wear ankle socks.



Packaging


The Chaffree Ankle Socks are packaged simply. The socks are held in place with a nicely-designed card clasp. A thin polythene sleeve encloses everything.

The packaging does provide very clear product information: product description, key features, sizing information and care instructions.





Materials and features


The Chaffree Ankle Socks are described as "a premium garment designed for comfort without any compromise."

"These friction-free comfort socks are an everyday essential. They have been designed for maximum comfort and sweat control. Made on seamless technology with 76% Coolmax® breathable fibre to wick away sweat, keeping your feet feeling fresh, dry and comfortable all day. The ankle lip will also help keep the socks in place so you don’t keep losing the sock down your foot/shoe when wearing."


Readers may not be familiar with COOLMAX®. It is a specialist performance wicking fabric which aims to keep the skin cool and dry. The use of COOLMAX® fabric is one of the key features that makes Chaffree products unique.

CoolMax fabric is breathable with an inbuilt moisture management system that keeps users dry and cool when they start to perspire. The COOLMAX® fabric moves and transports perspiration outside of the body where it quickly evaporates thus reducing the skin to irritation and other attributes that cause the skin to chafe, leaving you to get on with your life in comfort and confidence. COOLMAX® fabric also has anti-bacterial qualities.



The Chaffree Ankle Socks are made from 76% Polyester (COOLMAX®), 22% Polyamide and 2% Elastane.

Let's take a closer look at the impressive features of these ankle socks. You are probably already realising that they are not the pack of 5 for £5 that you can pick up on market stalls and lower end department stores!

This graphic from Chaffree summarises what you are getting.



I will comment particularly on the following aspects:
  • The ankle lip and soft grip cuff are particularly notable, and probably quite unique ankle sock features. The ankle lip is very useful for keeping the sock in place. 
  • The cushioning, as you can see in the graphic, extends across the whole foot to include the heel, toe and insole. 
  • They are anatomically shaped for the feet. 
There is a real attention to detail here. You can see that the whole concept of the ankle sock has been thought through, with design features created to provide maximum comfort.



Sizing, fit and wearing experience 

The Chaffree Ankle Socks are available in five sizes:

  • S: UK shoe size 4-5
  • M: UK shoe size 6-7
  • L: UK shoe size 8-9
  • XL: UK shoe size 10-11
  • 2XL: UK shoe size 12-13


I wore the ankle socks in the XL size. My actual shoe size is 10.5 (European 45).

The Chaffree ankle socks feel soft but they also really quite robust. They definitely don't feel like those cheap and thin cotton ankle socks that you can buy everywhere.

They are very easy to put on. I didn't find that they had a huge amount of stretch. But I realised that they didn't need to as Chaffree have got the sizing spot on.

I have quite wide feet and a high instep, but the fit was really perfect. It was almost like a pair of socks had been bespoke crafted just for my feet.



Because the fit was so good, the wearing experience was excellent.

Firstly these ankle socks definitely do stay in place. There is no need to take your shoes or trainers off during the day, and pull the sock up and back into position.

Secondly the cushioned fit is really noticeable and extraordinarily comfortable.

Lastly they are really effective at managing moisture. I wore them with trainers on a day with almost 40 degree heat, and my feet stayed cool. The breathability is very effective.



Colour range

The Chaffree Ankle Socks are available are available in five colours: 

  • Jet (Black) 
  • Arctic (White) 
  • Blue 
  • Dark Grey 
  • Light Grey 


I wore a pair in the Jet (Black) shade.

A mix of colours is available if a pack of three or pack of five is ordered: 

  • The three-pack dark colours pack is made up of one of each of the following colours: Black, Dark Grey and Blue. 
  • The three-pack light colours pack is made up of one of each of the following colours: White, Light Grey and Blue. 
  • The five-pack colours pack is made up of one of each colour: Black, Dark Grey, Blue, Light Grey and White. 

Price and availability

The Chaffree Ankle Socks are priced depending on what kind of order you make.

An individual pair of socks (pack of 1) is priced as follows:

  • UK size 4-5: £6.59 
  • UK size 6-7: £6.59 
  • UK size 8-9: £6.59 
  • UK size 10-11: £6.99 
  • UK size 12-13: £6.99 
A pack of three socks is priced as follows:
  • UK size 4-5: £17.79 
  • UK size 6-7: £17.79 
  • UK size 8-9: £17.79 
  • UK size 10-11: £18.87 
  • UK size 12-13: £18.87 
A pack of five socks is priced as follows:
  • UK size 4-5: £28.01 
  • UK size 6-7: £28.01 
  • UK size 8-9: £28.01 
  • UK size 10-11: £29.71 
  • UK size 12-13: £29.71 
Postage is FREE OF CHARGE for all UK orders over £60.00.

For international customers shipping costs are calculated and displayed in your shopping cart during the order process.

Conclusion

Firstly, thanks to Chaffree for sending the sample of the Ankle Socks.

There are several things I would like to say about the Chaffree brand, having been connected with them for some time now. 
  • New products are released slowly, once they are ready and meet what seem to be exacting quality standards. 
  • Customer service is second to none. You really feel they are paying personal attention to you. Feedback is always valued and if you are a regular customer you get discounts and special offers. 
  • The garments are exceptional value for money given the quality. 
This last point applies to the Chaffree Ankle Socks that we have reviewed here. If you buy the larger packs of three or five, they are tremendous value. For example, with a pack of five the cost works out at less than £6.00 per pair.

Each time I have tried a Chaffree product I have ended up ordering more later. I will be getting more of these so take that as a recommendation from me.

To get more information and news on Chaffree products, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also contact Chaffree via their website. The owner of the brand, Amanda Whaley, will happily answer any questions you might have.

More Chaffree reviews are on the way.

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Guest review: Snag 50 Denier Tights

We are always pleased to publish guest reviews at Hosiery For Men. They just need to be thorough, sufficiently detailed and more or less aligned with our review format.

Hosiery For Men reader George has just contributed a review of tights from the range at Snag Tights. Snag tights are branded as "tights that fit". You can read our introduction to Snag Tights here.



Last year we reviewed the 80 Denier Opaque Black Tights by Snag.

Hosiery For Men contributor George now focuses on the Snag 50 Denier Tights.


Introduction

Produced by hosiery newcomer Snag, the Snag 50 Denier Tights is but one of a number of variants in their range. I also purchased their 30 Denier Sheer Tights and 80 Denier Tights too – reviews to follow.

Having seen the initial review on Hosiery For Men for the 80 Denier Tights (goes to show manufacturers that the reach of Hosiery For Men is indeed influential in the purchasing decision of men) I was especially pleased to see a range of denier and an even greater range of colour. Hands up everyone fed up with a choice of Black or Black? So, what differentiates these tights from others readily available?

Let’s begin with the shopping experience. While many men who wear full length hosiery still find shopping in a store an uncomfortable experience, shopping on-line is a convenient alternative but the drawback is one of not being entirely sure what you’re purchasing until you receive the item unless it’s a product that you’re already familiar with.

Snag come to the rescue with an intuitive and very informative site that really helps the decision making process in terms of denier, colour and especially important - size! Snag are an innovative company in many respects but at last we have a manufacturer that recognises that people can be any combination of height and size around the waist/thighs, as such the sizing permutations are considerable so there is going to be a size for everyone; being 5’ 11” and with cycling thighs I opted for size ‘G’.



The website is easy to navigate, and it is also here that you will find information on the construction of the tights, materials and care instructions as none of this information will accompany your purchase (I found this to be a slight negative).

I ordered 10 pairs, confident that I would not regret it having read the Hosiery For Men review, and my purchase entitled me to a considerable discount. This is conveniently calculated and automatically applied in your shopping cart. The order was acknowledged, offering text/SMS updates for the order status, and shipped quickly. My package arrived just a few days later in a heavy brown bag made from recycled material – this approach to packaging is carried throughout the product offering and is to be welcomed.



Packaging

The tights are presented in a tissue paper wrapping with an adhesive tab securing it that also denotes colour, denier and size. The tights are neatly folded within the tissue paper with no additional card insert or cellophane bag and no washing/care instructions (refer to the Snag website for this information.



The minimal packaging, all of which is recyclable, is a sound environmental move, although I do like the cellophane bag provided with other brand tights so that they can be protected from snags etc while being stored after washing.





Features

On unwrapping the tights you are immediately aware of the nice soft feel of the material, as is the case in many of the higher priced tights, and it is apparent that these are very well constructed.

The tights feature a nice deep and comfortable waistband of 6cm that prevents the tights from digging in or rolling. I find that they require no adjustment during wear and in so doing provide an altogether very comfortable wearing experience. Seams are flat throughout, and there is a cotton gusset, a nice feature given that the majority of extra-large tights today have the much dreaded back panel.



Worthy of particular note is the depth of the brief section. It is considerably greater than 30cm and has a phenomenal amount of stretch.






There is a slight reinforcement of the brief which is barely noticeable and the toes are lightly reinforced. These tights are not fully boarded and as such there is no definitive front or back. Toes are rounded and very well stitched. Furthermore the size of the toe ensures complete width coverage which adds to the comfort experience.



Appearance

Being semi-opaque (they are 50 denier), these tights provide an even degree of coverage, although generally matt in appearance they can have the very slightest soft satin sheen in direct light due to the Elastane content. I noted no sag or wrinkling at ankles or knees.



Wearing experience

Being 5’11” and of large build, I find that the G size is true to the description on the Snag size chart with very good leg length, with a very soft and comfortable brief that has enough stretch to fit very comfortably at any point from just above the hips to up as far as the chest. The waistband is inspired – at first thinking it may be too soft to keep the tights in position throughout the day, the wearing experience is fantastic with absolutely no roll and no digging in whilst holding position.

The material is that ideal blend of being very robust and at the same time velvety soft to the touch with no itchiness.

Summary

An outstanding product from Snag. I purchased these for €6.37 (£5.70) after my discount which is unbelievable value for a product with such quality features and superb material which is considerably less expensive than my go-to opaque tights form Wolford and Fogal. These tights are priced to compare with your average pair from M&S and I have to say that I love them. 

I’m now really looking forward to trying my 80 Denier and 30 Denier pairs in the vibrant colours that Snag offer.

Go on, be brave and make a statement!

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Introducing Taylor Dewosky: Male Hosiery Model

At Hosiery For Men we recently profiled the Garni hosiery brand.



You can still read our introduction to the Garni tights brand, as well as our interview with Elina Tunyan, the founder of Garni tights.

The responses we had to both pieces have been pretty amazing, with such high numbers of page views that they are amongst the most-read posts since the Hosiery For Men blog started in 2011!

When we conducted our "men buying tights survey" several months ago, one of the things that respondents said they wished to see was hosiery brands showing a commitment to gender inclusion and connection with male customers by using male models.

Well, as you may have read, Garni recently included a male model, styled in Garni tights, in a recent photoshoot.

Garni tights founder Elina Tunyan was clear that this was a conscious move to "redefine beauty as freedom: freedom that is meant for everyone!"

That hosiery model is Taylor Dewosky, and we are thrilled to have had the opportunity to interview him recently.



Hi Taylor! Can you tell Hosiery For Men readers a bit about yourself?


I was born in Arkansas, raised in Georgia/North Carolina, but now living in NYC to be closer to my twin brother. Former college cheerleader turned yogi.

The most important thing about me, I would say, is that I recently became a 2019 Athlete for Equality for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. I’m aiming to raise $5,000 for them and will be running in the 2019 TCS NYC Marathon on their behalf. I’m raising money until November, feel free to donate or share!

How did you get to be a hosiery model for the Garni hosiery brand? 


The brand wanted to emphasize the fact that their tights are for anyone! During the scouting process, the photographer asked my friend if he knew any models that were both flexible and fluid. I sent my measurements and the rest is history!

How was the experience on the photo shoot as the only guy on the modelling team?


The founder of Garni, her husband, the design team, MUA, hair team - EVERYONE WAS AMAZING! I felt honored to help fulfil the owner’s vision- freedom to be whoever and do whatever you want in these tights! To me, it meant I needed to maintain an equipoise between put together and free/unrestricted. The whole crew made sure I was comfortable and couldn’t have created a more open, accepting, liberating, and empowering environment on set.

The founder was telling me how extensive it was finding the perfect hosiery yarns and how many tours she had to do, and she also has a really inspiring family background that I think goes into detail on her site.


Image by Garni


Garni are pretty much out in front of most hosiery brands in having a guy model their tights. Do you think this is a step forward in helping hosiery brands improve their marketing to male customers? Does this contribute positively to more gender neutrality in fashion?


That is exactly what they were going for! They created a whole shoot brief/presentation that I read before the shoot; it really put the marketing mission into perspective, which was completely geared towards this motif of freedom. Gender bias in fashion is absolutely toxic and the implications it has had on past and present generations is innumerable. I myself am fluid with my gender and saw this shoot as an attempt to deconstruct the policing of gender norms through fashion and how one presents themselves.


Image by Garni


So, how were the Garni ‘Ganache’ opaque tights that you modelled on the shoot? What are your opinions on the quality and fit?


Very, very good quality and fit! It molded to my body perfectly and was very soft. I talked to the founder about it actually. She put a lot of effort into every detail of these tights, from the materials to the production. I actually kept a pair of the Ganache tights from the shoot because they’re so comfy!


Image by Garni



Image by Garni


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


I did this shoot because I want to make sure people know where my voice stands with gender inclusivity and diversity. I think that’s the whole reason I was selected to be one of the models.

All men, including cishetero men, should not have to think twice about wearing tights. We should not be attaching gender to fashion apparel. Men deserve agency in this regard in the same capacity that women deserve to wear whatever clothes they want as well!



Image by Garni


What are you planning next Taylor? Are you open to doing more hosiery modelling?


I love any opportunity to be flexible and free, especially if it’s spearheading a movement that I have compassion for! In the meantime, I am going to focus all my efforts on raising money for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation because the future I want includes gender diversity, both in identity and presentation. I will always consider work when offered. We will see where the wind blows me to next!

Thanks so much for speaking to Hosiery For Men Taylor. I am sure this post is going to get loads of interest. What you have achieved is really important. Respect to Garni too for making this happen.


Readers: do consider making a donation to Taylor's fundraiser and show your support against hate and for equality.


Remember also to check out Garni. We should be supporting inclusive brands like this.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Reviewed: Gipsy 30 Denier ECO Recycled Yarn Tights

The long-established and respected British hosiery brand Gipsy recently launched two brand new styles of tights made with Eco Recycled Yarn.



Gipsy sent us both the Gipsy 30 Denier ECO Recycled Yarn Tights and the Gipsy 50 Denier ECO Recycled Yarn Tights to trial and review.

We have already reviewed the Gipsy 50 Denier ECO Recycled Yarn Tights.

We now focus on the Gipsy 30 Denier ECO Recycled Yarn Tights.



Background to the ECO tights range


The range of ECO tights is new from Gipsy Tights.

To create this range Gipsy worked with Fulgar, a leading Italian manufacturer of top quality, high performance yarns.





To create the 30 and 50 Denier ECO Recycled Yarn Tights, Gipsy have used two specialist yarns developed by Fulgar.

The Nylon used is Q-NOVA®, a special fibre using material left over from the hosiery manufacturing process.

Q-NOVA® yarn has unique properties:

  • Lightness: It can reduce the weight of a product by 25% but still maintain the same coverage.
  • Moisture management: It has good moisture management properties that help maintain freshness and skin hygiene.
  • Dye performance: Q-NOVA® yarn is designed to obtain the maximum dye-ability performance and colour fastness.The Elastane used is ROICA Eco-Smart™, part of a unique family of eco-friendly stretch yarns.
Packaging

The Gipsy 30 Denier ECO Recycled Yarn Tights are packaged simply, like many products in the Gipsy range. The tights are folded and held in place with a simple card clasp that is designed for retail display.





Materials and features

The Gipsy 30 Denier ECO Recycled Yarn Tights are made in Italy with 90% Nylon and 10% Elastane.

They feel light in the hand and soft to touch.

As with the 50 Denier ECO tights, the 30 Denier do not have a gusset or flat seams and this is reflected in the pricing. The overall features of both versions of these tights are pretty similar.

The body is deep, measuring 28cm from the waistband to the crotch.




The waistband design is also the same as the 50 Denier. It is 5cm deep.



As with the 50 Denier these tights are not sheer to waist. There is a very noticeable demarcation between the leg and the body. This is not quite as high on the leg as with the 50 Denier. Indeed from the crotch it is about a further 9cm to the demarcation on the leg. Unless you pull the tights up high, the brief will be visible Unless of course you are wearing them under trousers).



Toes are lightly reinforced.



Sizing, fit and wearing experience

The Gipsy 30 Denier ECO Recycled Yarn Tights are available in three sizes:


  • Small/Medium
  • Medium/Large
  • Large/XL


I wore them in the Large/XL size.

As with the 50 denier ECO style, I found that a bit of time and care was needed to get them comfortably into place.

The high Elastane content gives a lovely fit on the leg, with no wrinkling at all. They feel very soft and comfortable when on. The observation we made in our review of the 50 Denier applies here as well: this particular recycled yarn is good quality and provides a nice wearing experience.

Opaque coverage, at 30 denier, is not total but even throughout. Appearance is matt, with very little shine.



In terms of fit, my experience was similar to the 50 Denier version. I am 5'10" and the leg part of the tights was extended almost to full stretch. I also needed to stretch them a bit more so that the darker brief was sitting nearer the crotch. I wouldn't say they are too small. The sizing information is accurate.

The brief was good with plenty of depth. It stretched comfortably above the hips and waist. Overall however I would have appreciated more length in the legs.

Colour range

The Gipsy 30 Denier ECO Recycled Yarn Tights are available in Black only.



Price and availability


The Gipsy 30 Denier ECO Recycled Yarn Tights are priced at £6.00. This is slightly cheaper than the 50 Denier which are priced at £6.50.

You can purchase them directly from Gipsy Tights.

They are also available from retailer Tights Tights Tights.



Conclusion

The Gipsy 30 Denier ECO Recycled Yarn Tights are a decent pair of semi-opaque tights at a very fair price. £6.00 is probably a fair reflection of what kind of quality you will get.

Indeed that is one of the features and attractions of Gipsy tights: quality at an accessible price point. They probably do this better than any other British hosiery brand.

However from a male perspective, the 30 Denier ECO tights might not provide the leg length that most men will need. This could be addressed with an XXL size option.

A Gipsy style that works particular well for men size-wise is the Gipsy 60 Denier XL Opaque Tights. We really recommend these and you can read our review to learn why.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Just Arrived: Chaffree Ankle Socks and Mid Calf Socks

Chaffree is the underwear and hosiery brand that offers a range of seamless, sweat absorbing and chafe reducing garments for men and women.



Chaffree have now sent us more items to trial and review

Chaffree Men's Mid Calf Socks



Chaffree Men's Ankle Socks



Lots of Chaffree review are coming soon. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Hēdoïne Announce New Limited Edition Shade For Summer

Luxury hosiery brand Hēdoïne have just launched a new limited edition shade of their ladder-free seamless tights for summer.


The new Martini Olive shade is now available in two of Hēdoïne's styles: The Nude and The Edgy.

The new shade is described as being "a little darker than Vivid Champagne, a little lighter than Smoky Whisky."





Hēdoïne tights are available in Low and High waistband versions, and in three sizes including the new XL/XXL size. The High waistband can be seen in the images above.

You can read our detailed recent review of The Nude.

Monday, 8 July 2019

Reviewed: Aristoc Ultimate 10 Denier Ladder Resist Matt Tights

We have recently started reviewing tights from the new range of Ultimate tights from hosiery brand Aristoc.



Our initial impressions are very positive indeed. The design, quality and packaging all score highly.

Our first review was of the Aristoc Ultimate Smoothing 15 Denier Tights.

We now focus on the Aristoc Ultimate 10 Denier Ladder Resist Matt Tights.



Packaging

The Aristoc Ultimate 10 Denier Ladder Resist Matt Tights are packaged in the new packaging that has been created for the whole of the Aristoc Ultimate collection..

The tights are folded around a plain white card rectangle. This is then sealed in a plastic sleeve.







Material and features


Aristoc describe these tights as:

"The Ultimate in sheer luxury, these beautiful and resilient Aristoc 10 denier Ultimate Matt Tights in black add a sheer flawless foundation with a ultra fine appearance.

"Designed to withstand the knocks of your busy life, they are knitted with a revolutionary yarn that prevents holes turning into ladders, enabling you to carry on wearing them for the rest of the day."


The Aristoc Ultimate 10 Denier Ladder Resist Matt Tights are made in Turkey. I was slightly surprised to see this, but Turkey now has a very well-established hosiery sector and the quality seems to be getting better and better. If Aristoc are getting products made there as well as Italy, you have to trust that the quality will be good.

The yarn used in these tights is 63% Nylon, 36% Elastane and 1% Cotton.

A key feature is the use of a yarn technology that prevents holes from turning into ladders, so they can be worn for longer.

For an XL size (which is what I wore) the tights looked really small once removed from the packaging. But the stretch is really impressive. The "three dimensional construction" aims to offer "extreme comfort" and "an exceptional fit".

The Ultimate 10 Denier Ladder Resist Tights feel light, but it is their softness that really stands out as you put your hand in them preparing to put them on.

They are sheer to waist, with no demarcation between the leg and brief/body.



The depth of the body looks quite shallow, and in fact measures just 21cm. However, when worn this stretches impressively.

Aristoc have made a number of upgrade features with the Ultimate range, particularly with waistband design and comfort. In the Ultimate 10 Denier Ladder Resist Tights, the waistband is 4.5cm deep with a 3.5cm finger band running below it.

Seams in the body are flat and expertly finished. There is a reinforcement band on either side of the central seam.

A nice touch, which again reflects the quality and attention to detail of the Ultimate range, is an Aristoc tag sewn into the rear of the body.



There is a cotton gusset.

Toes are sheer with no reinforcement.

Sizing, fit and wearing experience


The Aristoc Ultimate 10 Denier Ladder Resist Matt Tights are available in four sizes: 

  • Small 
  • Medium 
  • Large 
  • Extra Large 


I wore the Extra Large size.

As mentioned above, they looked small when I took them out of the packaging. But they stretch impressively, aided by the high (36%) Elastane content of the yarn.

The high level of Elastane make them fit beautifully, with no wrinkling at all. It's that complete "second skin" fit and feel that you get here.



Colour range


The Aristoc Ultimate 10 Denier Ladder Resist Matt Tights are available in three shades: Illusion, Nude and Black.

I wore them in the Illusion shade.



Price and availability


The Aristoc Ultimate 10 Denier Ladder Resist Matt Tights are priced at just £8.00.

They can be purchased directly from the Aristoc website.

You can also buy them from UK Tights, one of our recommended retailers.



Conclusion

This is our second review from the Aristoc Ultimate range and we remain impressed with the quality and value on offer here.

I would say that Aristoc, along with its sister brand Pretty Polly, have made significant improvements in quality in the last couple of years. Pretty Polly with the premium opaque range, and Aristoc with the Ultimate collection.

The Aristoc Ultimate 10 Denier Ladder Resist Matt Tights are priced at just £8.00, which is a real bargain for the quality you get: 36% Elastane, flat seams, comfort waistband and gusset. What's not to like?

We are looking forward to reviewing the rest of the Aristoc Ultimate tights received. Next up will be the Aristoc Ultimate 10 Denier Matt Tights.