Sunday, August 31, 2014

All Dressed Up and Somewhere to go




This is what I wore out to a nice little dinner last night.  I decided to wear my new 7 diamonds vintage shirt, with my Kenneth Cole jeans and Kenneth Cole Shoes.  Underneath I finally wore my Pretty Polly Secret Socks tights.  They are wonderful and great for cooler weather.  I have the knee high version which appears to be a knee high sock and tight all in one!  They also have a over the knee sock version as well as a knee high version with a diamond patterned tight instead of plain black.  I must say that the tights kept me nice and comfortable the whole evening!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Purple is the color of the day




Today I decided to wear my new Jela Tights by Platino.  They are 60 denier and thee color is called Berenjena.  I love the pattern and the color very much!  I decided to wear my black quicksilver shorts and a simply t-shirt as I wanted the tights to stand out.  They are quite vibrant and colorful, there for I let them shine in my outfit.

Cost


The cost of hosiery can vary widely as there are different types, brands and styles out there. Over time of amassing 280 pairs of pantyhose/tights, I have found that patterned pairs will likely cost more than basic pantyhose tights. In my opinion some the patterns and styles that are made by the European hosiery manufacturers are very beautiful and well worth the money you pay for them as they are unique and very fashionable! Another factor that determines how much the hosiery will cost is the fabric that they are made out of. Most pantyhose are made up of mainly nylon, but if they are made of wool, silk or cashmere than chances are that you will pay a premium for them. Chances are that any brand you buy at the drug store or supermarket will not cost a lot. There is a reason for this, they probably will not feel very nice and be comfortable to wear. I find that buying cheap hosiery is like going out and buying cheap underwear. I have found that taking the time to do some research on what you are looking for and what best suits your needs will help you in finding what hosiery will work for you. Hosiery can be very cheap, a couple of dollars a pair all the way up to about 350 dollars a pair. Now one thing that I have learned is that buying pairs of hosiery which cost more, does not mean that they will last longer in any way! I spent 28 dollars on a pair of spanx support pantyhose only to have them run in the first day. Denier can have a big part in how well the pair of hosiery will hold up. If the hosiery is very sheer, 5-10 denier, I would not expect them to last long regardless of how much they cost. I have noticed that some of the luxury brands like Fogal, Wolford and Falke which may cost a little more in price, are always a pleasure to wear as they use good quality yarns which are smooth and soft to the touch. One thing that I have noticed is that hosiery made in Europe tends to be more comfortable to wear and they typically look better on the legs. I typically spend between 10-20 dollars on a pair, and they are in my opinion more comfortable than any available at most of the department stores in the U.S. I have seen brands like Donna Karan go for about 18-20 dollars a pair and cannot wrap my head around that, as I tried them once and thought they were not very comfortable at all. Now I love brands like Platino and Cecilia de Rafael which cost me about 10-16 dollars a pair and are some of the best feeling, wearing and even can be very durable! I never have any doubts about buying their hosiery as I know they always do such a nice job and do not cost all that much!
Another thing I have found over my time wearing pantyhose/tights is that I look at the enjoyment and comfort I get out of wearing them. If I splurge and spend 30-50 dollars on a pair of pantyhose/tights, sure I would like them to last as long as possible, but that is the way I feel about all my pantyhose/tights! I feel that some of the pairs that I have by the French hosiery brand Gerbe feel so elegant with the reinforced heel and toe. They may run about 33-45 dollars a pair, but sometimes I think it is always nice to have a pair that will look great, feel wonderful and elegant to wear. I can picture, the quality that goes into to making the European brands such as Gerbe and cannot fathom why people would not want to wear them more often. I have been wearing them as often as I can for the last 2.5 years and have never looked backed!

Myths and Sizes


There are what I believe to be some myths regarding pantyhose/tights. The first one is that they are hot. Yes, this can be true some of the time, but it depends on how thick the pantyhose/tights are and what the temperature is outside. Personally, I would not go outside in thick black tights when it is 90 degrees outside. I would never be comfortable myself and know that it would be too hot! The whole thing that I have to say about this is that there is different hosiery for different weather temperatures. For the hot days, there is hosiery that is designed to keep the legs cool. For the cold days, there is hosiery designed to keep the legs warm.
The second myth is that they are itchy and uncomfortable. I have found this to be untrue almost every time. There are some brands like Donna Karan, Hanes, and Leggs which I would not think about buying. Ever since I have started to wear the European brands of hosiery, I have found out how wonderful and comfortable they can really be! I have pairs that are so comfortable I would rather not take them off once I am wearing them. It seems the European brands tend to use better yarns that are smoother and silkier than the American brands! Another aspect as regards of them being uncomfortable and not fitting right is that buying the right size is crucial to ensure the proper fit and comfort when wearing.
When trying to figure out what size of pantyhose/tights to buy, you take a look at the package for the size chart and find where your height is and weight is. Once you locate your size and height, you find where the two intersect and see what size it falls under. If the you are right on the line in between two sizes it is better to a size up. I would rather make sure the pantyhose/tights go all the way up versus having to wrestle them on and pull hard to get the crotch all the way up to only find out they are ripped! I have noticed that some of the European brands also indicate the size on the waistband by using dashes. So four dashes means a size four, etc. Most of the European brands will use a numerical size system with the sizes varying by brand. So While I am a size 3 in some, I might be a size 4 in others. I have also seen S, M, and L used for pantyhose/tights. Another way which seems to be used mainly in the U.S. Is sizing by letter starting with A. Regardless of what system is used to denote the sizes, the way to determine your size is the same by finding your weight and height on the chart and finding the intersection point.
A third myth that I would like to debunk is the fact that pantyhose have the reputation of being for old ladies. I have found in my time spent learning all I can about hosiery that this is simply untrue. I found that there is an amazing world of hosiery out there that puts emphasis on making the legs look nice, especially the European brands which can have no sheen, a more subtle sheen, or be so blatantly shiny it is obvious you have them on! I have found that wearing pantyhose/tights with even just a subtle sheen or very shiny have the tendency to really make the legs look wonderful and be a great way to show off your legs. These are probably not the pantyhose you saw your mother, aunt or grandmother wearing! They look so nice on the legs and seem to smooth things out while offering a nice shine to enhance the look of the legs in order to provide a more flawless look. Also with all the patterns and styles out there, there is a market for the younger generation and these patterns tend to be fund and colorful!
My final thoughts are that there is something out there for everybody, the only requirement is you need to look and find it.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Patterned Tights




I just love the pattern on these tights!  I love the way they have the contrast between gray and black.  They are Janne by Platino and are 60 denier.  They are very comfortable and warm for those cooler  days.  Also a great way to dress up the legs with a cool fashionable pattern in the cooler weather.

Skull Patterned Tights



I just love these tights so much!  They are by Emilio Cavallini and are made in Italy.  I had never seen anything like them before, and therefore I just had to try them as I love the pattern so much on my legs.  They are very comfortable to wear and warm also.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Layered Hosiery Look







These pictures were also taken a while back.  I decided to layer hosiery this day, and am wearing Oroblu Arline tights in black over Platino Luxe 40 in Ultravioletta.  I love the feel of the Platino pantyhose on my legs as they are very soft and smooth to the touch.  They are also 40 denier and are not as likely to run!

It was a plaid day!




These pictures were taken a while ago of the pair of Bonnie Doon tights I wore.  They are a wonderful pattern of which I had never seen on hosiery before, an just had to have them!  They are very comfortable to wear, along with being cozy and warm. 

Outfit Details:
Shorts- Quicksilver
Shoes- Puma
Tights- Bonnie Doon

Monday, August 25, 2014

I am feeling Blue

Hi,

Today I was feeling in a blue mood, which is why I picked my Wolford Satin Touch 20 Pantyhose in color Blue Allure.  I love the way they look and feel.  They are nice, shiny and smooth.  Also, they are a pleasure to wear all day, and are incredibly soft.  They are 20 denier, so they are a nice weight for the warmer weather!  Normally, they cost about 35 dollars a pair, but I was able to get them on sale for 19 dollars!




Outfit Details:
Shorts- Quicksilver
Shoes- Puma
Pantyhose- Wolford
Shirt- Jimi Hendrix



My 10 Favorite Brands


I have a list of my 10 favorite hosiery brands. These are not necessarily in the order of my 1 favorite to 10 favorite as I cannot choose one brand that I like better than the others.

  1. Trasparenze- An Italian brand that makes wonderful basic hosiery, and every season comes out with beautiful new patterns. I cannot resist their patterns! They look great and feel wonderful. Their patterns can be moderately priced 20-30 dollars a pair, while the basics will usually be between 10-20 dollars a pair.
  2. Cecilia de Rafael- A Spanish brand that makes wonderful basic hosiery for all types of weather! They have wonderful semi-opaque hosiery, and opaque hosiery. Also, they make beautiful sheer, and even sheer shiny hosiery which are perfect for the warmer weather. They are reasonably priced usually between 10-20 dollars a pair. They look and feel amazing!
  3. Platino- Another Spanish brand which is also very nice. They too make wonderful basic hosiery, both for the cooler weather and even the warmer weather. They are always a pleasure to wear. They also run about 13-18 dollars a pair. Some of my favorite patterned pairs are made by Platino, and they look amazing and are very nice and warm! They were about 23-25 dollars a pair but I think that is reasonable for the look and feel.
  4. Gerbe- A French brand which makes great basic hosiery, which look and feel so elegant. They are always a pleasure to wear, and they even made pantyhose for men complete with an anatomical fly. They are one of the few brands that I have seen put a reinforced heel and toe on a number of their pantyhose models. They are more expensive about 33-50 dollars depending on what pair you buy.
  5. Oroblu- Another Italian brand which makes great patterns, basic hosiery, and even compression hosiery. They are moderately price depending on what you buy. Maybe 33 dollars at the high end for a pair of fashion tights, but they always seem to do a nice job!
  6. Fogal- A Swiss brand that I tried earlier this year, and fell in love with. They are pricey, but the two pairs that I bought of the Brilliance 20 line are a pleasure to wear! I would definitely like to try more of their hosiery should the opportunity arise. They can be about 33 dollars all the way up to about 350 dollars for the silk tights they make.
  7. Silvia Grandi- An Italian brand which makes wonderful basic hosiery, which are a pleasure to wear! About 15-20 dollars a pair.
  8. Pretty Polly- A British brand which seems to be leading the way for patterned hosiery each season, and offering them at a reasonable price about 25 dollars.
  9. Emilio Cavallini- An Italian Brand which is the first one I have seen to make fashionable tights for men! I love mine with the skulls, and the other ones with the barbed wire on them! They are a little more on the pricey side but my tights at 45 dollars a pair are worth it in my opinion.
  10. Wolford- An Austrian brand makes a wide variety of basic pantyhose and tights, both matte and shiny! They come in almost every denier out there. They also make some of the most beautiful patterns but are also the most pricey I have seen with the patterns starting at 55-65 dollars a pair. The cheapest pair I have seen was in the basic hosiery at 30 dollars a pair. They always are a pleasure to wear.

Hosiery Season Wear


Wearing hosiery is something that is usually associated with colder weather and mainly during the fall and winter months. These days this is absolutely not true as there is hosiery out there for the different seasons and thus can make wearing hosiery all year possible and a pleasure! For example, higher denier tights can be wonderful for keeping legs warm during the fall and winter months. They make tights with fibers like wool, cotton, and other blends specifically designed for the colder days of the year! If black and brown seem a bit boring to you in terms of color, there are always hosiery manufactures making very fun colors and patterns in nice opaque tights designed to keep legs nice and warm during the winter months. These tights can add a nice bit of color, brighten up the outfit and even provide a much desired texture or pattern to keep things interesting. Also during the cooler months wearing pantyhose/tights underneath pants can be a great way to keep the legs warm without being to bulky. They can be nice and smooth and make it very comfortable to wear pants.
For the inbetween days when it is somewhat cool, there are always lovely patterns that are not too thick or thin which can really make the legs stand out and spice up the outfit. I have found semi-opaque pantyhose to be perfect for this type of weather, typically about 30-40 denier. Those with a bit of sheen to them are my favorite as they add a nice gloss to the legs instead of plain matte hosiery. These days patterns can be worn most of the year in an effort to really stand out and be fashionable when it comes to legwear. For the summer there are very nice sheer pantyhose designed to keep the legs cool even when the weather is warm. The brands Cecilia de Rafael, Platino and Dusen which are from Spain do a wonderful job at making great affordable hosiery that can be worn in the summer. They usually are nice and sheer, and have a shine to them which will make the legs look amazing. They also will be sheer enough to not be too hot and provide just a hint of color on the legs which is always a plus. What type of hosiery to wear can depend on factors such as the temperature and what your day will consist of. Working in an office environment can typically mean that you will be in the air conditioning with your legs possibly subjected to this cool air for hours at a time. Hosiery can be a great way to keep yourself comfortable in this environment. Yes, it might not be as comfortable outside wearing them, but I would rather be comfortable for most of my day! The whole point is that there is hosiery that can be worn during any month and not just during winter. The lower denier pantyhose would be great for the summer, 20 denier or less. During the Winter, wearing hosiery with a denier of at least 20 would be best and on the colder days maybe tights with 50+ denier would be perfect. During the fall, you could transition from the summer hosiery into the winter hosiery. The same thing for the spring, transition from the Winter hosiery into the summer hosiery. Wearing hosiery should be comfortable and picking the right pair for the right weather and outing will keep you comfortable and enjoy wearing your hosiery.

Proper Hosiery Care


Taking care of hosiery can be very important to making them last as long as possible. Although they can in theory be washed in the washing machine, I do not recommend this as hosiery is delicate and should be treated with the utmost care. If you really want to wash them via a washing machine, then the use of a lingerie bag is a must and the delicate cycle must be used otherwise there is the risk of them getting all tangled, even possibly ruined. My preference is to wash them by hand as I like to try and take the best care of my pantyhose/tights as I try to get as many wears as I can out of each pair. Now I have about 280 pairs, but I still would rather get maximum wear out of each pair. Regardless of how you wash them, it is important to note that hot water should never be used in the process. I sometimes use warm water, but to be safe cool water would be the best. The process for washing hosiery is very easy once you know how. When I plan on washing my pantyhose/tights, use the bathroom sink and put a little lingerie soap in and start running the water. I usually let it fill up most of the way if I have more pairs to wash. First thing is to gather all the hosiery to be washed. Next, you can take each pair and inspect them quickly to check for runs, snags or holes. The ones with runs, snags or holes can be set aside. I put each pair into the soapy water and let them get completely saturated with the water. I only wash about 10 pairs at the most, at one time due to the size of the sink and it is more manageable this way. This is also why I wash my pantyhose/tights every week so that I do not end up with a massive pile that needs to be washed! Once the hosiery pairs of hosiery are in the water, I work them in the soapy water to help clean them. I do this a few times, then I let them soak in the soapy water mixture for a few hours. Once they have been soaking for a while, I go back in there and let the water drain. I put the pantyhose/tights back in and then I take each pair one by one and ring out the excess soapy water. After I ring each pair out, I rinse them with cool water to clean them. The only way to dry them is to let them air dry, and I let mine dry on the towel bar in my bathroom overnight. Most of the time, they are dry by the morning, but thicker pairs of tights may require a little extra time to dry.

Another important aspect of taking care of your hosiery would be to make sure your nails are properly taken care of. If you have sharp edges on your fingernails and/or toenails, this could cause a run, snag or hole in the hosiery. Treat them with the utmost care, and I have found that more often than not you will get plenty of enjoyment and wear out of your hosiery!!

Hosiery Organization and Storage


Figuring out the way that works best for you to store you hosiery can be a big help in you being able to locate and find any pair at any time. An easy way would be to organize them by the denier, and have all the sheer ones together. You could also go and organize them by shade on top of this. You can also have all your patterns together so you know exactly where to go when you want to wear patterns.
However you decide to organize them, it is important that you make it easy to find the pair you want to wear. For this, I suggest rolling them up. I take the pantyhose/tights and lay them flat, all stretched out. I have one leg of the pantyhose laying on top of the other. I take them and fold them in half with the toes up at the waistband now. Then I start at the bottom rolling them up. I have found this is the easiest and most efficient way to organize your hosiery. I also use a series of compartment organizers in my drawer which are designed for things like socks/hosiery and this method of rolling them up really works well for this. I use these compartment organizers due to the fact that I like to be able to open the drawer and see exactly what I have without have to dig around through the drawer to find the pair I am looking for. It keeps me from having a big messy pile inside the drawer which would really be a pain when it comes to finding the right pair! When I have a bunch of unopened pairs still in the package, I organize them Alphabetically so I know exactly what I have and can do my best figure and find what pair I might want to wear if I am going to try one of the pairs still in package. However you decide to store you hosiery, it is important to make sure that you do not have any rough or sharp edges which could cause runs snags or holes in them. 

Here are a some pictures of how my hosiery drawers look.

Denier of Hosiery


Now, picking out pantyhose/tights can be incredibly overwhelming with so many options out there. First the decision is what denier of pantyhose to choose? Now, denier is how pantyhose/tights are classified as it is the weight of the yarn. It does not mean the pantyhose/tights are thicker. There are different ways in which pantyhose can be woven together depending on what the desired effect is so the denier just gives you the weight of the yarn used to make that specific pair of hosiery. In theory a 5 denier pair of pantyhose are going to be more sheer and delicate compared to a pair of 20 denier! The ranges of denier can be from 5 at the low end all the way up to 500 at the high end. Picking the right denier is important since you will find out what works best for you.

History of Hosiery


Hosiery has been worn for hundreds of years, and has always had its place in the wardrobe. The earlier versions of hosiery were made of natural fibers like silk and were even worn by men. This form of hosiery was stockings which was all that was available at the time and would most likely have been considered a luxury item not every person could afford.
Modern hosiery came about in the 20th Century, and came about with the seamed stockings which are very classic and the look is even considered trendy today. Most people would be apt to wear seamed pantyhose or tights today instead, but the look still stems from the vintage seams! These early Modern stockings were made of nylon.
During WWII all of the nylon was used to support the war efforts so woman had to resort to having the seam painted on the back of their legs, or wear the stockings they still had left! It wasn't till about 1960 that pantyhose were invented by taking two stockings and attaching them to a panty brief so they could be worn as one. The early forms of pantyhose might not be very comfortable compared to the types of pantyhose/tights available today. Over the years yarn technology has improved greatly and a lot of the pantyhose made by European companies are some of the best feeling, wearing and most reasonable in price. They have pairs which are great for summer weather, and help to keep the legs cool. There are some with aloe in the yarn so they moisturize while you wear them. The European brands seem to be more advanced with their yarns and hosiery, which makes them more of a pleasure to wear. Today most are made with some sort of composition of Nylon, and Lycra. In tights it is still not uncommon to them made with natural fibers like cotton. They also use Cashmere and Silk if you are willing to splurge a little bit.