It was in my late teen years when I briefly and passionately wanted to be Siouxsie Sioux that I took on a fondness for English hosiery looks. Edgy, unconventional, and fashion forward statements from tip-toe to sometimes shredded thigh-high, sheer attitude astride between tall heels and short hems.
These happy thoughts were in the back of my mind recently when (whilst?) I greedily shredded open a smart parcel full of English tights found at Tights Please from noted hosiery designers, Jonathon Aston and Pamela Mann.
Catwalks, look-books and red carpets are crawling with faux-garter looks and big, big dots this A/W. Why shouldn’t we too? First up, from Jonathon Aston, Tuxedo Tights.
The Tuxedo’s are a dressy 20d sheer, in the perfect tuxedo color, black, sandal foot ready for the party shoes, the LBD and a big night. The Tuxedo part, is on nicely on display just below your hem in the form of adorable applique bow ties snugly sitting mid-thigh.
I love the look, part cheeky, part sexy and a playful appropriation of a very mannish look for a very feminine effect. The broad front and back seams have a nice leg lengthening effect and don’t wave the “come hither” flag quite so provocatively as do the traditional back-seamed stocking. A very nice tip of the cap to tradition in a very contemporary fashion statement.
The seams stop smartly at thigh top when they meet a fully opaque panty top that smooths but does not reinforce the midriff. They do however reinforce a nice nostalgic garter & stocking look which does help complete the long walk from big night to boudoir gracefully.
The details? 12% Elastine content for stretch and resilience, very well finished toe and top seams, a super comfy waistband and a caution from Mr. Aston (and myself too!) to please, pretty please take the time to hand launder them. Well made, but not indestructible and well worth the little extra care. For just a little north of $20, you too can own a Tux. Good value for a premium look.
Next, from Pamela Mann a nice entry in a look category that I must confess I have not been all gooey about. Dots. Big Dots. Love, love, love small subtle pin dot looks on my sheers, an enduring classic look, but the big dots? They really did not capture my heart. There just seemed something a little cartoony, a little girl-pop, a little loud about them. I then challenged myself to summon my inner Siouxsie Sioux, to just get over myself, and to get into the Big All Over Spot sheers in the right frame of mind. The frame offun.
Once committed to an overall feeling of fun, it is a little easier to get a little gooey about this playful look. And then it becomes a little easier to start to put together looks that show off the featured dots without overwhelming the rest of you. I think this is a great look for OTK boots and a funky belted tunic. Or booties and a longer sweater dress. Or who knows what else. I have so more experimenting to do. I am happy to have pushed my limits a bit with the big dots. This is an easy, inexpensive way to breath a unique look into an outfit.
From a comfort, fit and construction perspective, good, good and good, just not great. For a super high nylon content sheer (96%) they have plenty of cling, a good quality feel on the leg and the dots themselves (which you simply have to touch) have a nice flocked velvet feel to them. The reinforced panty portion and flat seams at the waist finish things off nicely. To me, getting much of the visual effect of a much more expensive premium brand look (hello Wolford!) for a quarter of the price is good shopping too.
And yes now, back to the shopping. You can find, like I did, a wonderful broad selection of Pamela Mann, Jonathon Aston and a whole host of English and other smart vendors online at Tights Please wherever you are. If, like me, you happen to live in the US, Tights Please fulfills orders in local currency and ships overseas reliably and rapidly. Wherever you are, you are only a couple of clicks and a few patient days away from a having a great leg look that simply cannot be found in a nearby mall.
In fact, I am not quite done with Tights Please. I promise to be back next week with some words about warm looks for cool days. I found some gorgeous new opaques that are just begging for a drop in the thermometer. See you here soon!