Thursday, 16 September 2021

Introducing Les Belles: Tights For Every Body And All Genders (Part 2)

Les Belles are a US-based hosiery brand offering sustainable, run-resistant tights for every body.




To coincide with the relaunch of the Les Belles website which showcases their range of tights, we spoke to Les Belles founder Cecile Antier. Here is 
Part 2 of our interview.



Like many hosiery brands, you take sustainability and environmental issues seriously. What is Les Belle's approach to recycling and sustainability?

All of our tights are “eco,” which means they’re made of 100% recycled yarn. Specifically, the yarn we use is crafted from waste material from our supplier’s main production cycle that cannot be reused in any other way and would otherwise be thrown away.

So we take that high-quality recycled Italian yarn and use it to make our luxe, robust tights that last (you know, “we make ’em like they used to”). But now, instead of using unsustainable cut-and-sew techniques, we craft our collants with precise 3D-knit technology in an emissionless, zero-waste factory that conserves and reuses water, and never uses hazardous chemicals or heavy metals (aka OEKO-TEX certified). Sustainability is indeed our top priority. 

Another step we’re taking to protect the planet is plastic-free packaging. Our packaging is 100% recyclable and can be used to upcycle your well-worn pairs. In every Les Belles package, you’ll receive a label addressed to an organization in NYC, a creative reuse center that provides free materials to NYC’s arts nonprofits, public schools and city agencies. All you have to do is throw your old pairs (of any brand, not just Les Belles) in the mailer, attach the label and voila! Set them free to be imaginatively transformed.


Currently, there’s no way to make new tights from used tights, but we’re keeping a close eye on the latest progress of our various partners. One day we’ll be able to recycle our tattered go-tos and make you brand-new ones. We’d love to rid the planet of run-and-done tights forever.

Do you welcome men as customers?

Yes! 100% yes! For us, that’s not even a question. We welcome every body and all genders. Inclusivity’s our main goal. This is 2021, so whether you identify as he/him, she/her or they/them, you should wear tights if you want to wear tights! End of story. As of today, about 40% of our customers are men. We're proud of that number.

Being a Belle is a mindset and attitude toward life more than it’s a gender. It’s a belief that style is not about hiding your true self for the sake of others but about showing the world who you truly are—fiercely, wholly and unapologetically. Belles bend rules and know who they want to be.

You’ll notice that our online imagery is more inclusive/fluid now. We strongly believe that our seamless Sheer and Semi tights offer unparalleled comfort for men. And, unsurprisingly, that’s the feedback we’ve been getting! 




For men thinking about trying tights, what are the benefits of wearing them?

Comfort, warmth and support. As mentioned previously, we strongly believe that our seamless design offers unparalleled comfort for men. And that's the consistent feedback we've received from them. Our size inclusive offering (up to 3 XL in American sizes) suits the particular needs of our male customers (with a comfortable waistband and wider and longer legs). There’s nothing like slipping into luxe, buttery softness that caresses your body at the start or end of your day. It’s ridiculously pleasurable. 



What are Les Belles planning next?

Within the next year, we plan to expand our tights collection, offering more seamless, classics and trend-worthy patterns and colors. We’ll also like to add gender-free and sustainable items like underwear. It's a lot of work, but we’re excited to give the gendered hosiery industry a fresh, new, inclusive look.

Thanks for talking to Hosiery For Men Cecile. We look forward to trying out some Les Belles tights soon.

You can follow Les Belles on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Just Arrived: Dark Chocolate Brown Tights From Brown Skin Essentials

Hosiery brand Brown Skin Essentials have sent us a pair of their Dark Chocolate Brown Tights to trial and review.





Brown Skin Essentials aim to provide perfect nude unisex tights for every skin tone and actively include men in their marketing.



To read more about Brown Skin Essentials check our interview with Brown Skin Essentials founder Kumutha Ramanathan.

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Introducing Les Belles: Tights For Every Body And All Genders (Part 1)

Les Belles are a US-based hosiery brand offering sustainable, run-resistant tights for every body.



To coincide with the relaunch of the Les Belles website which showcases their range of tights, we spoke to Les Belles founder Cecile Antier. Here is Part 1 of our interview.



Can you tell Hosiery For Men readers about Les Belles. Why did you create the brand?

Les Belles is an ultraluxe yet pocket-friendly tights brand on a mission to make tights for every body and all genders in a sustainable and responsible way. We’re forever inclusive, never conventional, a bit mischievous and a lot independent.

Our collants (that’s French for tights) are reimagined: 100% recycled, buttery-soft, "partially" seamless (i.e. our "basic" collection and some of our patterns are seamless), vegan and made with perfect-fit 3D-knit technology in an emissionless, zero-waste factory in Italy. Our goal is for all “Belles” (our customers)—he, she or they—to step effortlessly into their comfort zone and feel unapologetically themselves in our tights.




I was born and raised in France, a country filled with affordable, easy-to-find, très chic collants, and I was shocked to see what the US had to offer. I’d either pay $40 to $60+ for a nice, durable pair or $5 to $8 for ones that would annoyingly (and embarrassingly) run on first wear, fall and itch. And it was incredibly hard to find quality brands that prioritized sustainability and inclusivity (two things I value), so I created my own.

I aimed to bring my French tights experience to the US by offering comfortable, on-trend, high-quality collants at an accessible price. And I wanted them to be Earth-friendly and enjoyable to wear for all sizes, genders and personalities. By merging science and fashion, we’ve successfully created a superior, completely liberating, consciously crafted tights to live in and breathe in.

Love is Les Belles is love. We stand for self-care, self-expression and the freedom to just be you. Qui vivra verra, as we say in French.



How does the Les Belles subscription plan work?

It’s pretty simple: All you have to do is pick 1 to 4 pairs, select your style(s) and size, and voila! Comfy, chic collants will be delivered to your door (in a cute recyclable packaging) at a discounted price every month. You can pause, change or cancel at any time. No stress. No commitments. You can customize the recurrence, and mix and match our Sheers and new limited-edition monthly pattern drop. 

Prices start at $14.40/month for 1 pair (which is 20% off the regular "eshop" prices) and includes free US shipping and taxes. For now, international shipping is an extra $10.

Subscribing takes less than a minute. You can literally do it before falling asleep. I wish I had a service like this when I was a corporate lawyer. With a monthly Les Belles subscription, our goal is that you can check “shop for tights” off your to-do list for good.



What tights are currently available from Les Belles? What features do they have?

All of our tights are buttery-soft, unisex, available in wide range of sizes (XS to 3XL - in American sizes) and made of 100% double-covered recycled yarn (by industry-leader Fulgar, of course). Currently, we have two deniers: 20 (Sheer) and 50 (Semi). And we’ll be launching a warmer 80-denier Opaque in November. Crafted with the highest-quality of eco yarn on the market, our tights are made to last, which is step 1 of sustainability.

The Sheer is available in four skin tone-blending hues (Naturel 01, 02, 03 and 04) and Noir.

  

  

The Semi comes in Noir and Bleu. All are seamless, have a cozy no-roll/pinch/sag 3.5 in /9 cm waistband and are reinforced at the toe.






In addition to our not-so-basic Sheer and Semi classics, we’re dropping a limited-edition “extra” patterns every month. Subscribers are guaranteed to get it. Other Belles will have to snap them before they're gone. Note: Most of our patterned tights have flat seams; some are seamless. All are eco luxurious. And we sell really cute socks and other merch made of recycled and/or ultraluxe organic materials, too!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this feature.

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Reviewed: 50 Denier Recycled Opaque Tights From The Tights Club

We have been featuring the new range of recycled opaque tights that are now available from The Tights Club.



The Tights Club founder Leanne Goold told us about the new range in a recent interview:

"They are made in Italy from pre and post-consumer recycled yarn, so they make use of fabric that would otherwise go to landfill. By doing so they not only save water and energy usage but also drastically reduce emissions because the creation of new nylon releases nitrous oxide which is a potent greenhouse gas. That’s why I felt that recycled was the way to go, rather than biodegradable – it addresses a lot of the issues around sustainability rather than just waste, including raw material usage and other forms of ecological damage."

We recently reviewed the The Tights Club 80 Denier Recycled Tights.

This review now focuses on the The Tights Club 50 Denier Recycled Tights.



This is how The Tights Club describe the 50 Denier Recycled Opaque Tights:

"Our ethically made 50 denier black tights are made from pre and post-consumer recycled yarn which reduces emissions, energy consumption and water usage. And they save fabric that would otherwise have gone to landfill.

"Made from luxury Italian yarn, our 3D knitting technology provides ultimate stretch in all directions, not just length. That means our tights fit any body perfectly. In fact, if you’re not happy with the fit or the feel of our tights on you, we will give you your money back and you won’t even have to send them back to us."



Packaging

The Tights Club have created packaging that is environmentally-friendly.

"We pack the new tights in just tissue paper which although coloured is fully recyclable and obviously lighter for transport."



The tissue paper wrapping is fastened with a sticker that provides information on the colour and size.

Materials and features

The Tights Club 50 Denier Recycled Opaque Tights have been designed in the UK and made in Italy. They are made from 92% Recycled Nylon and 8% Elastane.

The yarn has been created with 3D knitting technology to provide enhanced stretch and an optimum fit.

As Leanne explains:

"Thanks to the 3D knitting technology they have a great stretch in all directions, so they should provide a good fit for all body shapes and stretch up as well as out for our taller customers! The 3D technology also makes the tights more durable which is another tick for sustainability."

Like the 80 denier recycled opaques, the 50 denier looked quite small when removed from the packaging. But this is deceptive as they do have a really impressive amount of stretch.

The tights feel really soft and warm.

The brief measures 24cm from the top of the waistband to the crotch. There is a 5cm wide waistband.



Seams are flat and there is a cotton gusset.

Like the 80 Denier style they are not quite sheer to waist, having a reinforcement band at the very top of the thigh. However this is barely noticeable when worn.

Toes are rounded and have reinforcement.



Sizing, fit and wearing experience

The Tights Club 50 Denier Recycled Opaque Tights are available in six sizes:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6


As well as hip and height information, each size corresponds to a UK size (8 to 34). The sizing has been created to ensure there are a wider range of sizing choices for men.

I wore a pair in Size 3 which was perfect for my 5'10" height.

Any worries that I initially had that the tights wouldn't be long enough in the leg were immediately dispelled. These tights, as mentioned above, have an impressive amount of stretch.

The 3D knit and the high Elastane content in the yarn enables the tights to mould comfortably to whatever leg shape you have. As you put them on you can feel a slight compression from the Elastane. The first thought is: "Wow, these are going on really well and feel great!"

Opaque coverage is fairly dense for 50 Denier and hid leg hair much better than expected.



Appearance is matt with just a slight sheen when caught in the light.

The brief is very comfortable, stretching easily above the waist and hips. The wide waistband provided good support without any digging in.

These tights feel great and provide a good wearing experience. The Lycra/Elastane 3D knitting contributes to the comfort as the stretch is both horizontal and vertical.



Colour range

The Tights Club 50 Denier Recycled Opaque Tights are available in Black only.

Price and availability

The Tights Club 50 Denier Recycled Opaque Tights are priced at £11.99. If you take out a Tights Club subscription there is a 10% discount.

Shipping is free on all orders (The Tights Club currently only ship to the United Kingdom). There is a 15% discount if you sign up for The Tights Club newsletter.

Conclusion

We were impressed with the 80 Denier Recycled Tights and the 50 Denier style also delivers.

The design, yarn and knit provide a great fit. The sizing options are genuinely welcome for guys who are be larger and taller.

They are well-priced at just £11.99.

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Hēdoïne Launch 'The Biodegradable' 30 Denier Tights

Today luxury legwear brand Hēdoïne launch their new The Biodegradable Tights.





To coincide with the launch of this new style, we spoke to co-founders of Hēdoïne Alex and Anna.

Can you tell Hosiery For Men readers about this new product from Hēdoïne?

Of course, we’re so excited about this one - it’s all about a *breakdown* ;) The Biodegradable is our first biodegradable product - but what makes it a world first is that we have also applied our (award-winning) ladder-resistant technology to these amazing tights!

Creating better tights that last longer (helping you to consume less) is a big part of our sustainability mission - which is why it was so important to us that we combine biodegradable yarns with our ladder-resistant technology. It was quite the journey, but we triumphed with a product we are proud of, and one we have wanted to do from the very beginning - a pair of 30 denier, biodegradable tights that are also ladder-resistant, seamless, super-soft and sag-free.



What makes these tights biodegradable?

They are crafted in Italy using the only polyamide yarn with enhanced biodegradability. This yarn means that The Biodegradable tights break down within 3-5 years - don't worry, they won’t break down on your legs, we promise!

To be more specific, which we like to be when it comes to sustainability, it’s the nylon content (which makes up 85% of the product) that can be completely decomposed by bacteria in an anaerobic state, i.e. in a landfill site, within 3-5 years. What remains is the Elastane (that last 15%). As 100% biodegradable yarn does not currently exist, for now, the small non-biodegradable Elastane component which is necessary to ensure our tights last longer follows standard waste management procedures..

You can find more information on https://hedoine.com/pages/biodegradable-tights-sustainable-fashion



What is Hēdoïne's commitment to sustainability?

Hēdoïne is committed to sustainable production and products - but also, to telling it like it is. We know fashion has a problem with textile waste, and we want to make sure that our products are the best they can be - so they are consumed less. That’s why we will continue crafting tights that champion quality craftsmanship and superior long-lasting materials while also looking to advances in technology (like biodegradable yarns) and community programs that close the loop (like our Recycling Project). We use recycled water and way less of it for our opaque collection - plus, all of our tights are Oeko-Tex certified so you can strut safely knowing there’s no toxic substances used in their making either.

The Hedoine Sustainability Agenda: https://www.hedoine.com/pages/sustainable-tights
The Hedoine Recycling Project: https://www.hedoine.com/pages/recycle-tights-here



What response have you had to the new Hēdoïne Recycling Project?

It’s very early stages, but we have had some incredible feedback from our community so far and will share some recycling stats in a few months. It is pretty exciting as we have wanted to do this project since day one. With 
Hēdoïne we want to set new standards in the legwear sector and help drive innovation to move as far away as possible from senseless throwaway culture through sustainable products and improvements along the entire supply chain - the recycling project is one part of this ongoing mission.



When are we going to see guys in a Hēdoïne photo shoot?

You’re absolutely going to see guys in one of our campaigns next year. Thank you for asking, you just got the scoop ;)

Thanks for speaking to Hosiery For Men! We are looking forward to trying out The Biodegradable.

The Biodegradable are available in three sizes:
  • XS/S
  • M/L
  • XL/XXL


The Biodegradable tights are completely seamless, and come with a high waisted (15cm/6in) shaping waistband with reinforced 40 denier toes.

They are priced at £30.00.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Threads For Men Launches Today

Threads have launched their new Threads For Men tights today!





Since Threads started it has been clear to them that men are a significant market for tights. Threads founder Xenia Chen described this market as "huge".

So this is an exciting development in the hosiery industry: a mainstream brand that already embraces its male customers launching a new product aimed at them.

Xenia introduced Threads For Men for today's launch:

"Men have been wearing hosiery for decades, but there’s never been enough representation in traditional brands or mainstream media. We’re ready to change that. Threads For Men are everything our community has loved about our original tights for years, but designed with a few new features with men’s comfort in mind."



To coincide with today's launch we caught up with Xenia.

Hi Xenia. How are the Threads team feeling now you have launched the new Threads For Men Tights?

We are feeling really excited! This has been in the works for almost a year now so it feels really good to release the first product in the Threads For Men line. We started working on the prototype in October 2020, when we surveyed our male customers and asked them about what they would want in a “wish list” of features for the tights. So this launch has been a long time coming!




Can you give us more detail about the product itself - what features do these tights have and what makes them especially suitable for men?

At the beginning of our design process, we spoke to 150 of our male customers to get their feedback on what they would want most in a pair of tights for men. Our tights have everything our customers already know and love about our original tights, plus more features that specifically are designed to fit the male anatomy and enhance comfort. For example, we included more fabric and room in the brief area, along with a pouch (to make bathroom trips easier). This pouch is hand sewn with flat seams, for optimal comfort. Another feature is the legs are longer and the calf and foot areas are boarded to average male proportions. I’m also excited to tell you that this line will feature extended sizing with two additional sizes: E and F.



Are they made in Italy like the rest of the Threads range? Did the manufacturers face any technical challenges in making a tights design specifically for men?

Yes! These tights are made in the same factory in Italy like our other tights. Because this was the first time we were making a product like this, it took many iterations to get the product exactly right. Due to the intricacies of the brief area, it had to be handsewn (vs made through a machine).



What marketing are you planning to get consumers aware of Threads For Men?

Right now, we have a waitlist of over 1000 people and those on the list and on our social media channels will be allowed priority access to pre-order the tights. We also will advertise these tights on our regular social channels. We are also ramping up our affiliate program - so those who really love Threads and want to spread the word can also make some money on the side while spreading the word (you can apply for it here). We are also planning a broader photoshoot in the Fall, where we plan to have more male models in our various products.



So do head over to the Threads website to pre-order. The first 100 orders will include a small gift from Threads.

You can also read Part One and Part Two of our recent conversation with Xenia Chen, the founder of Threads

For lots of feedback on Threads tights from male customers check out their videos here and here.

Sunday, 15 August 2021

Interview With Male Tights Model Alex Santana

On the blog we recently profiled three brands who were including guys wearing tights in product and marketing imagery.

We featured the brand Brown Skin Essentials, who recruited model Alex Santana to showcase their tights.



We recently caught up with Alex and here is our conversation.

Hi Alex. Can you tell Hosiery For Men readers a bit about yourself?

Hi thank you for having me. I’m 30 years old from Scotland and I’m a hairdresser and aspiring entertainer.



How did you get to model tights for Brownskin Essentials?

I got this opportunity by seeing the advert online and thought it would be a brilliant purpose for a photoshoot. Not long after I applied I was chosen and it was exciting!



What was it like taking part in the shoot?

The experience was amazing it was in a studio in SE London and they selected three pairs of tights for me to wear. The director and photographer were very professional and made me feel at ease being photographed. I loved it.



You have modelled two styles from Brownskin Essentials - the box pant tights and the new sheer to waist tights - how was the fit and wearing experience?

When I was wearing them I had actually forgotten for a split second it was a lingerie shoot! They were so comfortable and the material was soft and fitted perfectly.



Was this your first experience of wearing tights or do you wear them regularly. If so, what style or brands do you prefer?

I have worn tights before in the past but nothing like wearing the tights from Brown Skin Essentials. I got to keep mine also so I have worn them sense. In the past it’s been thermal tights.



Are you up for modelling tights for other brands? You could be in demand!

Absolutely! Sign me up again. I love everything about being in front of a camera. Wearing the tights was the icing on the cake for me and I’d definitely do it again. 

Great to talk to you Alex. Let's hope other brands might get in touch with you.

Brown Skin Essentials
 are consciously aiming product publicity to men. They are disseminating this on their social media channels with the stated aspiration that they "want men to feel as comfortable in their tights as women."



Check out our interview with the founder of Brown Skin Essentials, Kumutha Ramanathan. We also recently featured the new Sheer To Waist Tights from Brown Skin Essentials.