Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Cette Dublin Plus Size Tights: 20% Discount at Tights Please

I have previously reviewed the Cette Dublin Plus Size Tights.

I have just seen that these tights are now on sale at Tights Please with a 20% discount which makes them particularly good value.



Why not grab some while the weather is still cold? Remember that at Tights Please there is free UK delivery.



Hosiery For Men is kept going by hosiery retailers and manufacturers who generously provide samples for review. Readers can also support this blog by clicking on any of the advertisements displayed and checking out the products on offer. Each time you do this you are making a valuable contribution and help to ensure that Hosiery For Men continues. Thanks for your continued support.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Reviewed: Maximus 100 Denier Opaque Men's Tights

UK Tights are one of the leading online hosiery retailers in the UK. Commendably they have always catered for men buying tights for themselves.

They state that:

'Gender at UK Tights is not an issue, a large part of our customer base are in fact men and we welcome them. Whether you are looking for everyday tights or something for a special person or occasion, we will help you find the best quality products as well as providing a discrete and personal service.'


UK Tights used to sell the Gerbe men's tights, as well as the WoMan range of unisex tights. Both are sadly now discontinued. Luckily I managed to acquire several pairs of both before they became unobtainable. UK Tights now sell a range of styles from the Activskin brand.

UK Tights have now also developed their own Maximus brand of men's tights. These tights have been developed exclusively for UK Tights and are made to their specifications by an Italian hosiery manufacturer.

Currently there are two Maximus styles available: the 100 Denier Opaque Tights and the 70 Denier Footless Tights.

Materials and features

The Maximus 100 Denier Opaque Tights are described as:

'... the perfect outdoor tights for men. At 100 denier they are incredibly thick and keep you warm in sub zero temperatures. Ideal for anything that involves being outdoors, Maximus know that men leading an active lifestyle need the very best equipment, gear that won't fail them and that doesn't take up any of their time.'




The tights are quite robustly packaged in a silver card sleeve. Inside the tights are wrapped around a card rectangle and housed into a clear plastic bag.

The packaging doesn't provide any further information, part from some limited sizing information on the reverse.

These tights are made from 90% Nylon and 10% Elastane.

First impressions of the fabric are very positive. The tights feel soft, but the material is also quite dense and heavy. Opacity is excellent with a dense, even coverage throughout.

Legs are straight. Toes are lightly reinforced and rounded.

The tights are sheer to waist with no visible demarcation between the legs and the brief.

The brief is quite deep and generous. There is a gusset and a 4cm wide waistband. Seams are conventional.



Although these are marketed as men's tights, there are none of the customary additional features that some manufacturers provide such as a front comfort panel or fly opening. I can't see why the Maximus tights wouldn't also be suitable for women as well as men. They are quite similar to the Gipsy 100 Denier Opaque Tights, which I have reviewed previously on Hosiery For Men.

Fit and sizing

The Maximus 100 Denier Opaque Tights are only available in one size: Medium/Large.

There is currently no sizing chart available on the UK Tights website, but I have been informed that this will be appearing shortly.

The Maximus tights fitted me really well. The high Elastane content means the tights mould themselves to your legs; there is no sagging or wrinkling.

Length was generous and I feel these tights would stretch comfortably for someone taller than my 5'10". The brief had plenty of room and stretched comfortably above the waist.

The Maximus tights are a very comfortable wear indeed. They are very soft against the skin and hold up well all day. Best of all they are very warm and perform superbly well in extremely cold temperatures. I have been testing them in the recent late February cold spell and the thermal properties are excellent.

Colour range

The Maximus 100 Denier Opaque Tights are available in Black only.

Price and availability

The Maximus 100 Denier Opaque Tights cost £9.95.

Conclusion

The Maximus 100 Denier Opaque Tights are a very decent mid-priced pair of men's tights. The fabric is good quality and they fit well. They will provide everything that most guys will be looking for in a pair of black opaque tights: fit, warmth and comfort under trousers, shorts or sports clothing. These tights are also hard-wearing and therefore represent good value.

The matt appearance, with only a slight sheen, means they can be worn with confidence instead of socks.

A review of the Maximus 70 Denier Footless Tights will be published shortly.

Hosiery For Men is kept going by hosiery retailers and manufacturers who generously provide samples for review. Readers can also support this blog by clicking on any of the advertisements displayed and checking out the products on offer. Each time you do this you are making a valuable contribution and help to ensure that Hosiery For Men continues. Thanks for your continued support.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Spotlight on Lumen Tights: Part 2

I recently published the first part of an interview with the founder of Lumen Tights, Jurgita Preiksaite.

Lumen Tights are an online hosiery retailer, based in the UK. They stock a range of men's tights manufactured by the Bulgarian hosiery manufacturer TIM Legwear.



In Part 2 of the Lumen Tights feature, Jurgita provides more information on the TIM Legwear brand and discusses some of the features she looks for when stocking men's tights.

At Lumen Tights you stock the TIM Legwear brand of men's tights. This is a brand that we haven't featured or reviewed yet on Hosiery For Men. Can you tell us more about the brand and the TIM Legwear styles that you currently have on sale?
The concept of tights for men, especially as an everyday item, is still quite new when it comes to having a sizable customer base. When I was researching possible manufacturers there weren’t a lot of hosiery businesses dedicated solely to men's legwear. As you know, there are quite a few manufacturers claiming that their larger women's sizes will fit men, but that isn’t always the case. Men are built differently from women and some design changes are usually required. What is comfortable, healthy and meets the needs of a man is sometimes different from what women need.



My first acquisition of men's tights was aimed at testing the quality and features. I wanted to get as wide a variety of thickness - from sheer to opaque, from thinnest to thickest as possible. TIM Legwear offered exactly what I was looking for.





I use the same criteria when sourcing men's legwear products as for women: high quality, affordable pricing and a wide range of styles are my key requirements. When I ordered from TIM Legwear, I bought the full range of styles they manufactured. The TIM company representative was also very helpful and informative about sizing and other issues.

I look for the same features in men’s tights as I do for those made for women. Quality. Style and Uniqueness. Affordability. Quality is first and foremost in my mind. There is nothing worse than buying something only to have it fall apart after one washing. I always test every brand prior to putting it on Lumen Tights. I wear the women’s styles and my husband tests the TIM tights.

I also check to see if the tights still fit properly and look good after washing.

In relation to men's tights, I specifically look for a superior fit and durability. Men, by and large, are not accustomed to dealing with tights, so the durability aspect is really important.





Are there any other brands of men's tights that you are looking to stock? 

I’m always looking for new quality lines for Lumen Tights. I would like to add additional selections of workout tights and meggings / leggings for men and women in the near future.

Are there any brands and styles of women's tights that you are selling on Lumen Tights that you feel men might also like to try? 

As mentioned earlier, it was men purchasing the heaviest denier women's tights that prompted me to add tights from the TIM Legwear range. Since including men’s tights, we have expanded shipping availability to Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Mexico.

Have you had many enquiries from male customers so far? What styles are they buying?
To date, the bulk of enquiries from men have been about warm tights for wear in cold weather.





To men thinking about trying tights, what would you say are the main benefits of wearing them? 
I think there are three reasons why tights have benefits for men. Firstly, health: tights provide leg support and can also improve circulation. Secondly, they can provide additional warmth when needed. Lastly, they can improve the fit of clothing.

What kind of service will male customers receive at Lumen Tights? Do you welcome enquiries and requests for advice?
 Men will get the same personalised customer service as women do. From the very start, superior and personalised customer service has been a core element of how Lumen Tights operates. I will personally answer every email.

I’ve answered questions ranging from fashion advice, to care instructions, to helping guys buy Valentine’s Day presents for their partners.

I spent many years in retail sales and management and I know how imperative top-notch customer service is. It really is very basic – without your customers being happy and comfortable you don’t have a business. Nothing makes me feel happier than when a new customer places an order and tells me who referred them to Lumen Tights.

Thank you very much Jurgita for speaking to Hosiery For Men. I hope readers have found the interview interesting and that they will check out Lumen Tights.



Hosiery For Men is kept going by hosiery retailers and manufacturers who generously provide samples for review. Readers can also support this blog by clicking on any of the advertisements displayed and checking out the products on offer. Each time you do this you are making a valuable contribution and help to ensure that Hosiery For Men continues. Thanks for your continued support.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Spotlight on Lumen Tights Part 1

Lumen Tights is a relative newcomer to online hosiery retailing in the UK. A positive aspect of the business is their commitment from the outset to sell a range of men's tights as well as provide a first class service to male customers.


Hosiery For Men recently spoke with the founder of Lumen Tights, Jurgita Preiksaite. In Part 1 of the interview Jurgita talks about setting up Lumen Tights, why tights are a unisex garment and the growing visibility and acceptability of tights for men.

Why have you used the word 'Lumen' as the name of the business? Lumen is the Latin word for Light and the basis for étoile, French for star, estrella in Spanish, stella in Italian, but in any language Lumen carries evocations of romance, glamour and that special mystique we all long for. So naming the business 
Lumen Tights was my romantic side surfacing!

It's great that a mainstream hosiery retailer is committed to providing an extensive selection of tights for men. Are men a segment of potential customers that you aimed to target from the start of the business? It was something I thought about, but in all honesty, targeting men was not initially high on my priority list. For a start-up company (at the end of January 2013, Lumen Tights will celebrate its first birthday) the concentration had to be on breaking into an existing market as opposed to helping to develop a new one.

During the cold winter months I saw a sizeable increase in sales of the warmest tights we carry – the bulk of them in extra-large and with orders coming from Northern and Eastern Europe. As you know, families share credit cards so the number of men ordering the warmest tights would not have caught my attention – except for the spike in sizing.



That was when I started doing some serious homework on men’s hosiery. I knew Lumen Tights would be going ‘against the grain’, but I thought it was important to offer men a way to be warmer, more comfortable and healthier.

Were blogs like Hosiery For Men helpful when you considered selling men's tights? Hosiery For Men, more than any other source, opened my eyes to the possibilities in that you confirmed what I intuitively felt. Men were not averse to wearing tights.

Yes, it is new market as well as a challenge and a bit of a gamble, but one I felt worth exploring. In many ways the door has been opened by the fact that a lot of men do wear tights when running or biking. The core awareness of muscle warmth and cooling was pre-established. Convincing men to wear hosiery as an everyday garment is a work in progress but the fact that very athletic men do wear tights for sports broke the initial barrier.

On the website you state that 'there's nothing gender-specific in men's tights; they are, by definition unisex.' Can you say more about why you think tights are a unisex garment?
If one is to be factually accurate, tights and pantyhose for women first appeared in the 1960’s as an alternative to stockings and suspenders. The general assumption that tights are the domain of women is incorrect – it was just great marketing on the part of women’s hosiery manufacturers.

When one considers the world of dance - ballet in particular - we recognize immediately that tights have been accepted as unisex attire for hundreds of years. Tights were and are worn primarily for health purposes. Keeping muscles warm during physical activity is a primary means of preventing muscular injury; allowing muscles too cool down properly is crucial. Tights succeed in doing both.




In the non-theatrical world tights were originally conceived for and worn by the noblest of men for horseback riding. To quote something we wrote on the Lumen Tights blog:

“Throughout Europe, the upper echelons of the peerage wore tights made of fine silk. Silk is an adaptable fabric for both heat and cold as it breathes. For bitter cold, the finest wool was the material of choice. Fashion being what it is, the trend spread quickly and soon men of all classes were wearing tights; the materials differed but the look and intent were the same. Remember the word “pantaloons” from French or Spanish class? They were tights – men’s tights.”
It should be noted that dance tights have always been 100% unisex in construction. Some styles of men’s tights also do not have a front fly opening. A no-fly design provides added support and comfort; no slippage so to speak.

In fact, it has only been in the last ten years or so that a few manufacturers have been making men’s tights with a fly. I believe the fly option was more an acknowledgment to male habits than to reasons of comfort, health and optimal fit.



There has been a huge amount of media coverage of 'mantyhose' (tights for men) in recent months. What are your thoughts about the greater visibility nowadays of men buying and wearing tights?
My personal opinion is that if a man is healthy and in shape, tights and/or meggings (leggings for men) look great.

As for men wearing tights or mantyhose under business or casual attire, there really is no way to tell that they are wearing them even to my practiced eye. Seriously, other than the man’s clothing fitting better you can’t tell.

When guys are working outdoors in wet and cold weather, I hope they all are wearing the warmest pair of tights they can buy!

Part 2 of the Lumen Tights feature will be published shortly. Stay tuned.

Hosiery For Men is kept going by hosiery retailers and manufacturers who generously provide samples for review. Readers can also support this blog by clicking on any of the advertisements displayed and checking out the products on offer. Each time you do this you are making a valuable contribution and help to ensure that Hosiery For Men continues. Thanks for your continued support.