Thursday, 30 January 2014

The A-string tights support device

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

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

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

The A-string

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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