I checked the mail and found a large envelope from one of my favorite hosiery retailers, Hosieree.com. Inside were a couple of pairs of their new seamless pantyhose. One pair for me, one for my model to show off in front of the camera. I love my job.
Europeans do it better. I don’t know what the deal is, but European hosiery mills just create nylons, tights, and pantyhose that look and feel vastly better than anything from American hosiery companies. Those of you who say you hate wearing hosiery owe it to yourself to try some of the better European brands. Here’s the kicker – they are often the same price as the garbage you are buying from American hosiery makers. “Where can I buy these fine European nylons that you speak of?”, you ask? Hosieree.com is my favorite, because they are based in the USA (New Jersey), and they ship very quickly.
Today we are reviewing one of Hosieree’s in-house styles, the Angel 15 seamless pantyhose. It’s a seamless style, which means that there are no seams in the panty portion. Normal tights have a seam that runs up the front and back and is joined in the crotch area with a cotton patch called the “gusset”. NONE of that exists on these. The same sheer, silky fabric of the leg just continues all the way up to the waist, every square inch, uninterrupted. It’s kind of crazy to look at them and wonder how in the world they knit these things. I have no clue. Magic, I suppose. The result is that they FEEL like magic.
Wearing tip: Go commando when you wear these. Wearing anything underneath them totally defeats the purpose of a pair of nylons that won’t create lines, and, they just feel really good on your skin. I’d consider these low-rise, as they will sit pretty low on your hips. For those of you that are used to old school pantyhose that go half way up your rib cage, this is a completely different situation. There is plenty of length in the leg. For those of you who are a bit taller or hate feeling your nylons sag in the crotch, you will love the Angel 15’s.
Construction features: They are billed as being 15 denier (denier refers to the thickness of the fabric, the higher the number, the thicker and more opaque it is). They feel more like a 12 denier, for what it’s worth. Some hosiery feel slippery and shiny on your skin – these feel soft and have a more matte appearance. My model, Allison obviously is wearing a black pair.
Ever seen a man wearing nylons and heels? Here you go. I’m wearing them in Daino, which is their slightly darker nude tone. I have very fair skin, and still these managed to disappear onto my legs, making them look more even toned and like I actually spend time in the sun. They do have a seam in the toe, but no reinforcement, so if you want to wear open toed shoes, it’s possible – just tuck that seam away. Let’s be honest though. If you are going to wear hosiery, wear closed toe shoes. If you MUST wear open toed shoes, it’s not a hosiery day.
All of these photographs are my work. If you’d like to book me for photography, click here. Okay, a few more pictures of Allison. She’s just so pretty….
90% of the time, I’m the one asking the questions. Chris Holifield, host of I Am Salt Lake podcast, did the asking this time, and I did the answering. We talked about my mailman years, why doing stand up comedy is better than any drug, and how my wardrobe came to include nylons & heels.
Ah, I’m so excited to write this post! For a little over a year, I’ve had something on my dream board: I’ve wanted to take my signature look to the next level. Jacket, tailored shorts, dress shirt, tie, pantyhose and heels. That’s how I roll. I like how it looks, I like how it feels, and I love what it represents. That being said… I have always known that there is room for improvement in how I execute my personal style. I have a strange build, certain parts of me are a bit long, some a bit short. Some too big, some too small. Consequently, it’s hard to find things that really well. Every now and then I find something off the rack that seems to do the trick; these few items become prized possessions. I’m betting you have the same things in your closet. It’s one thing to find a suit that fits you really well; it’s quite another matter to be crafting this crazy gender-blending look and to find pieces that a) coordinate b) fit well.
This is where SheSpoke Custom comes into the picture. SheSpoke Custom is creating a custom suit for me, to my exact specifications. Every dimension of my body was measured. Every detail down to the color of the stitching on the button holes is a custom feature of this new suit.
My suit gal from SheSpoke Custom, Shantel Sorensen, measured me in 28 different places to create a shirt and suit that is fits me perfectly.
Every last detail of the suit is customizable, including my name monogrammed on the inside of the jacket.
We had what felt like hundreds of fabrics to choose from. Shantel made it easy to find combinations that fit my style and personality.
I’m having a suit made, comprised of a custom jacket, matching tailored shorts, and a custom dress shirt. I can’t wait to experience quality clothing that’s been made just for my unique shape.
Shantel came to my place to measure me and help design my custom suit. She made the process of choosing all of the options super fun. She’s knowledgeable about current trends, classic styling, and what works best for various body types.
Here’s the deal… Get in touch with my suit gal, Shantel Sorensen – Tell her that Paul Duane sent you. She will take amazing care of you. (I know that many of you who are reading this live outside of the Salt Lake City Metro area. Shantel is available to travel nationwide for suit fittings. Ask her for details on that). You can reach her at: Shantel@shespokecustom.com or, at 801 891 9168 or www.SheSpokeCustom.com
If SheSpoke Custom can make a custom suit like this for me, just think what they can do for you!
The finished product!
When should I, shouldn’t I wear pantyhose, nylons, or tights? What are the fashion rules for hosiery?
Clinton Kelly from “What Not To Wear” answers:
“I can talk about pantyhose for an hour straight. There are better ways to wear hose than others. One way is to trick people into thinking you’re not wearing hose but they need to match your skin tone — if your legs are two shades darker than the rest of your body, that looks weird. The other option is to go completely opposite with fishnets, or pattern tights, or opaque.”
And he elaborates in this video:
So there you have it! Either wear them like you mean it, or go with the super sheer styles that disappear on your legs.
Even though business casual has enjoyed it’s heyday in the professional work environment for many years, the pendulum has been swinging back toward dressing up more for work. This often means legwear for the ladies. During the fall, winter, and spring, it’s not too hard to justify wearing a second skin over one’s legs, but in the summer time, the question becomes more visceral. “Do I really need to wear pantyhose to work in the summer?”
In this great article by blogger Melissa Henderson, she shares some perspectives from a few high caliber women on when pantyhose / tights are needed at work. She shares insights from a couple of different women on the subject:
Mona Lisa Jackson, Owner of Coeur Lingerie and Toy Boutique says:
“I believe that you are not fully dressed unless you have on stockings. Dressing down is one thing, but when you are getting fully dressed up—when you have your heels on, and you have somewhere that you need to go—it’s not appropriate to not have on stockings. If it’s a corporate setting, they should have stockings on. It’s unacceptable. Even in the summer? Absolutely! As much as you don’t want to hear that, and it’s hot as hell, it’s appropriate. Nowadays, I even see the newscasters doing their TV segments and they don’t wear stockings—you can tell, and it doesn’t look nice. I would recommend Fogal from Switzerland. I’m going to start carrying them soon…”
Jennifer Gach, Accessories Editor at ELLE Magazine, says:
“I think that hosiery in the summer is perfectly appropriate [especially in the workplace]. It’s more a matter of personal preference and comfort, but I think it’s best to stick to sheer options during the warmer months. Sheer, nude, or black can be nice with a summer dress—especially with a bit of texture, like a ladylike pointelle.”
Genail McKinley, a mid-level senior executive at PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC), says:
“I spend over three hundred dollars a year on stockings and I only wear them in the winter, fall, and spring. I don’t wear stockings in the summer—it’s too hot, and I like to wear open-toe heels. I usually go to Duane Reade or Century 21 for bargains. I go through like three pairs a week! They always rip; I should adapt to a better brand, but Duane Reade is everywhere! My co-workers don’t wear stockings in the summer either. That’s an after-thought. If I have a big meeting with clients, or a review, I usually just wear a pants! Case solved.”
Read the entire article here: http://www.levoleague.com/fashion/pantyhose-in-summer
I’ve tried a few different styles of Hue hosiery in the past, and though the product seemed to be decently made, the sizing was never quite up to par, so I have not given them much attention. I was in Macy’s recently and noticed that Hue had redesigned their packaging. I was curious if the product had been redesigned, too. Upon further inspection, I found that they had some new sizing options that looked interesting, so I picked up a pair for myself and one for a friend.
First impressions: This is a 90% nylon 10% spandex construction. In my experience, this is a yarn constituent range in which a lot of very different outcomes are possible in terms of look and feel. Sometimes it goes really well, sometimes it’s a disaster. Upon removing them from the packaging, I noticed that this is not a boarded pair of pantyhose. The most curious thing about these pantyhose is the
panty section. It’s labeled as a “french lace with invisible control top”. It might be easier to show you a picture before I try to describe the effect:
Yep. That’s a “french cut lace panty” along with some good old fashioned control top lines. A complete contradiction in aesthetics. Hue failed hard here. The whole idea behind the lace panty section is to allow outfits that may show a lot of leg, so that pesky control top line doesn’t show up. I wore them with some very short dressy shorts, and occasionally when I was sitting, the panty portion was visible, peeking out from the shorts. This is not hot. As I pulled them on, the fabric seemed to stretch and distribute nicely over my skin. It was black yet had some transparency to it still, which is how a good pair of jet black hosiery should be. The more transparent whilst still giving color on the outline of your legs, the more elegant they are. The toe has an invisible reinforcement, which lived up to it’s name nicely.
Wearing: The sizing chart proved to be very accurate and my pair fit very well. They stayed put all night long. The non-control panty was very comfortable. As for feel (or “hand”, as they say in the business) – these pantyhose felt pretty good. They felt reasonably silky to the touch. When rubbing your legs together, they don’t feel all that silky against one another. A silky feeling when rubbing your legs together is the hallmark of a truly excellent pair of pantyhose / tights / stockings. They are slightly less silky than Hanes Silk Reflections. I wore them with some 3 1/2″ heels and had a long night out – started at a photo gallery event, then a busy night club, and finally to an after party. I’m not going to lie to you – I fell asleep in them, and the next morning I found some very small holes starting to develop in the upper thigh section of the the legs. It looked like some of the weave started to pull apart.
Summary: Even if you overlook the ridiculous panty section, at $8.00 / pair, you should just pick up Hanes Silk Reflections, as they are the same price but with a slightly silkier feel and better durability. In all fairness, I’ve had Hanes fail after one wearing, but I’ve also had pairs of them that last for 4 wearings. In the low and mid grade hosiery world, the quality can be a bit random. If HUE wants to send over 4 more pair for me to re-audition, I’ll be happy to post a new and improved review.
A review of the Preson & York control top sheer pantyhose:
For those that aren’t familiar with this brand, it’s the store brand offered by Dillard’s department stores. Dillards is a fairly nice establishment, so I was very curious to see how their private label hosiery brand would measure up.
I’m kind of picky about the color of my hosiery. Out of the package, these had a sort of traditional “tan” look to them. As they stretched out over my skin, they took on a nice, sheer consistency, almost disappearing on my legs. I have fair skin and these were not super obvious on my legs to the naked eye. However, there’s something about flash photography that makes them look a bit pasty and unnatural as you’ll see in this photo (left).
Sheer hosiery fabrics have a certain reflective quality to them. In real life, those reflections are coming from light sources at varying angles of attack. When a flash photograph is taken, the light source is immediately next to the lens, or what will essentially be your “eye” into the scene. This causes the reflection to bounce off the fabric and straight into your eye, essentially. It’s like seeing a glare in a mirror. That being said, take the photos with a grain of salt. For more really geeky discussions about photography, visit my photography website.
Back to the hosiery at hand: To the touch, these pantyhose have a reasonably silky feel. I’d give them a 7/ 10. When rubbing your legs together, they fall short, being kind of rough. I’d give them a 5/10.
The control top was gently firm. It wasn’t too restrictive, but kept everything in place.
As for durability, I put them through a long night of attending a film screening, doing a photo shoot at a busy night club, and some afterpartying that went into the wee hours. The reinforced toe held steady. The fabric on the leg stayed intact, without any spontaneous holes developing, which was promising. Somehow a 1.5 inch hole developed in the very middle of the panty, right behind the gusset. I still can’t figure out where that came from. It’s an odd thing to have happen to a control top, and rendered them unworthy for a second wearing.
Being a $9.00 pair of pantyhose and developing a hole on the first wearing is not good news for Preston & York. That puts their cost per wear at $9.00, which is a cost per wear that should merrit a far more luxurious pair of pantyhose. I’m sure I just got a bad pair, but even so – bad pair or not – this is a real world expense that any customer will have to be prepared for.
In summary: don’t waste your money. There are far superior pairs of hosiery to be had out there.
If Preston & York would like to send more pairs for additional evaluation, we’ll be happy to check them out and revise this review.
I was at Wal Mart a few days ago and noticed that they now carried a variation of Hanes Pantyhose. As someone that’s worn countless pairs of Silk Reflections, I absolutely had to try these out to find out what the situation was. I’m not all that interested in domestic (American) made hosiery anymore, but HEY… why not just give them a shot? At $5.95 / pair, it would be worth finding out. I purchased the above pictured pair in XL, Nude. As I put them on, I noticed a few things. The color was a pretty middle of the road nude. It more or less disappeared on my skin from a distance. The control top was moderate. As for the feel…. it was on par with what I’ve come to expect from American made hosiery. Not HORRIBLE, but worlds different from the luxury of similarly priced European styles from brands like Pretty Polly or Gabriella. As I was running around trying to get ready to leave, the heel from my left shoe made contact with the top of my right foot. and the fabric quickly succumbed without any protest, leaving a big hole on the top of my foot. They never made it out of the house.
Moral of the story? Don’t bother with them. They are essentially repackaged and rebranded Leggs Silken Mist pantyhose (both are owned by the same parent company and undoubtedly come from the same hosiery mills).