If money was no object, I’d be buying Falke most of the time. But alas, their price point is a bit too rich for me. Across the last few months of my expedition through the world of hosiery, looking for brands and styles that would fit me, I find myself coming back to DKNY/Donna Karan. Apparently this brand seems to be the best overall in matching up to my proportions on an affordable level. There is also an interesting history of many different styles that have since been discontinued, which is generally the tenuous nature of fashion. Occasionally, some interesting styles come around at very attractive prices, as closeout items. And if you get lucky with few bidders to compete with, a great price may be had indeed.
I recently managed to find a pair of DKNY satin rib silver tights. Although the denier is not stated, I would venture to say that they’re about 60 to 70 denier in appearance. The stripe pattern is rather masculine, so I figured I could wear these in place of dress socks.
The material feels like good quality, with a raised stripe texture and slight sheen. It is called “rib”, but usually that’s for closely spaced lines and they are well spaced apart here, like stripes. I wasn’t expecting that they would stretch much, but the Lycra content proved to be reasonable and allowed for a good fit. The toe seams are rounded, which allows the material to conform nicely to the foot, but the toe area does not appear to be reinforced.
I’d not heard of the Elly brand until I discovered it on Hosieree. Elly is an Italian company that was founded by Mr. Ubaldo Elli in 1963. They started producing just stockings, but then moved to compression stockings and then finally pantyhose and tights. Today they produce 400,000 pairs per month. The brand is subdivided into two prominent product lines: Antistress and Carezza. I also discovered that they have a sub brand called LUI & LEI, a unisex line for both women and men. However, it is mentioned into just two places on the website and not identified prominently as a separate line alongside Antistress and Carezza. The Elly website is rather simple in design and the English side was not well checked for grammar and spelling. I really think their web presence and website could do with an overhaul! If it weren’t for Hosieree (and Shapings), I think Elly would pretty much be an unknown brand in the USA, because searches on the brand hardly show anywhere else.
I received a pair of Elly Carezza Luna Piena 60 denier style tights from Hosieree. The packaging comes in a box, similar to the Fiore Elite styles, and is rather good quality. The front looks quite old style, but classic European. The tights are very well packaged, wrapped around card stock and inserted in a cellophane sleeve inside the box. You definitely get the impression that these are meant to be very good quality.
This review is something a little different. A guest reviewer, named Irene, conveyed to me her impressions of Donna Karan’s Ultra Sheer Control Top pantyhose. OK, I know these aren’t tights, much less opaque. But I figured the ladies reading this blog would appreciate this one. So, take it away Irene!
Thanks! There was a time when my legs were perfect, near modeling perfect, and I didn’t cover them with anything. Not tights. Not pantyhose. If it got cold outside I’d simply wear pants, long dresses, or a very nice full length coat! Well the ravages of time bring about minor imperfections in our skin and although my legs still look terrific, or so my male friends say so, a few small permanent blemishes here and there has encouraged me to wear hosiery more often. Especially when out on the town! I do like the feel and appearance of tights, now that they’ve become so much more comfortable compared to years past. But I also like the sheer look and feel of quality pantyhose. I never thought I’d say that. Yet I gave pantyhose one more try last year and realized the game has totally changed. Either hosiery makers finally get it, or as my friend here says the textiles have improved a lot.
I have to tell you that I really don’t like the idea of spending $20 on a package of pantyhose that lasts just a few wearings, if that. Very sheer pantyhose has a very short lifespan, and it doesn’t matter if it’s Wolford or L’Eggs. When you plan for a night out, consider very sheer pantyhose as a temporary accessory. If it lasts the night, bonus. If it doesn’t, oh well it wasn’t meant to anyway. So the only way I’d be buying top quality fragile pantyhose would be on sale.
Well, I wouldn’t have expected it, but my “Tights are not pants” series has proven to be one of the most popular on my blog. With two installments so far, I think it’s time for a third… although it will probably be the last, as one can beat a dead horse only for so long ;-) . I wouldn’t have thought it possible to continue, except that this fashion faux pas just keeps generating so much material. Isn’t “faux pas” a great expression? It literally means “false step” in French, the language of origination. And it dovetails well with the premise, taking a false step by forgetting that you’re not wearing pants.
Don’t get me wrong–I think tight leggings or thick tights can be worn on the right body with little else, but there should at least be some coverage of the derriere and crotch by a short skirt, shorts, long shirt, or shawl.
Do you even need to ask?
SAMBURU is a subsidiary brand of Cecilia de Rafael, a lower priced economy line targeted for the younger generation. The general impression has been that you get CdR quality without the higher CdR brand price in lesser packaging. The Samburu hosiery line is quite small compared to the CdR brand, but there is a growing range of styles being offered.
I decided to sample a mid-range opaque style offered in the Samburu line; the Crys 80 3D. These tights come on a thick card stock hang tag with the material exposed, so you can see exactly what you’re getting. My order was rapidly fulfilled and quickly shipped from Hosieree.
Shown here in granate, extreme magnification
I received these tights from The Stylish Fox, a USA based hosiery retailer that specializes in European hosiery brands (such as Trasparenze, Cecilia de Rafael, Fiore, Marilyn, Silvia Grande, and Veneziana).
Fiore is a very nice quality Polish hosiery brand with a wide range of offerings from sheer to opaque and solid to patterned. Their hosiery is divided into several tiers, with the Marla style as part of their Street line. This is the fourth style of tights by Fiore that I have reviewed.
I received two pairs of tights from Hosieree, by Elly Carezza and Samburu. Reviews will be forthcoming in a few days.
I received these tights from ItSocks in size 5 (extra large) and in the color bronze. This is described as a sheer style, with an ample percentage of Lycra for good stretch.
The tights come in a nice looking traditional card stock envelope with large photo on front and basic details on back. The tights are tucked inside a clear cellophane sleeve, wrapped around a smooth card stock support. The construction and material appears to be very good quality.
Sometimes your tights get damaged and there’s nothing you can do about it. No hope for the patient. Either you toss them out, or cut them up into cleaning rags (which by the way, can be terrific for all kinds of things where minimal scratching is essential, like an LCD screen). Yep, I’ve cut up the leg of some microfiber tights and used a swatch as a laptop screen cleaning rag, with nobody the wiser as to what the material’s previous life was.
But what if the damage is minor and there’s some hope left for the patient? Certainly you’ll want to do what you can to save your tights, especially if you spent a relatively small fortune on them (like a $59 pair of Falke or Wolford tights).
There is hope. I’ve had a little experience in this matter, so I’ll share with you some of my tips. I don’t guarantee that they’ll work for every situation, and longevity is always subjective. However, if 15 minutes of repair work extends your tights for at least a few more wearings, that’s time well spent.