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.
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.
I recently reviewed a pair of DKNY Super Opaque control top tights and found them to be very acceptable for the price. This was a pleasant discovery, as in the past I had found the plain opaque DKNY tights to be less generous in sizing. I then decided to have a look at the Donna Karan line and noticed several styles that appealed to me. They have a “Luxe Layer” version that is micro fleece lined and results in a very deep and uniform opaque appearance. But unfortunately the sizing offers only two choices, the larger being M/L, reduced by 30lbs in maximum weight from Donna Karan’s Tall size.
Donna Karan seems to experiment a lot style naming, resulting in a little confusion about what their product names really mean. I’ve noticed “Perfect Opaque”, “Signature Luxury”, “Signature Lux 90”, and “Sueded Jersey”, all looking to be about the same in terms of description. I decided on the “Perfect Opaque”, after being able to feel the material first hand at the Bloomingdale’s flagship store. This has a 90 denier material, heavier than the Sueded Jersey style that is described as 70 denier. They aren’t control top, but there is mention of the brief offering light support.
NOTE: I changed the title… it turns out that the “Signature Lux 90” is not some exclusive style made for Neiman Marcus. It is the “Perfect Opaque” style, simply labeled differently.
I was a bit confused by a number of naming variations that Donna Karan had come up with for a line of opaque tights. You would find “Perfect Opaque”, “Signature Luxury”, “Signature Lux 90”, “Luxe Layer”, “Luxury Layer”, “Sueded Jersey” and so on. They’re all opaque tights… so what’s the difference? Well, in some cases the same style is just being resold under a different name. But, in other cases, there are some physical differences (ranging from slight to more substantial). And some hosiery makers will create a style that is distributed to only a few select stores.
I recently came to learn about the “DK Luxe Layer” tights, which are a very solid looking opaque style (could pass for 120 to 200 denier) with an inner micro fleece layer, sold through Bloomingdale’s. They have a terrific looking front panel that can serve both women and men very well. These are different from the “Luxe Layer” style also offered by Donna Karan, as the Donna Karan website shows a different panty/brief design (seam is up the front).
NOTE: This review is from the male perspective, but should be applicable to women of tall and muscular physiques. There are also qualities applicable to all customer types.
You may have read my long term review of Donna Karan’s Satin Jersey tights. I had taken a long break from buying new tights and only recently started refreshing my collection. In the past, my experience with Donna Karan was that the DKNY brand was sized a little smaller than her primary brand. I lucked out with a couple of styles that had fit me, but this changed with some newer ones. So I stopped considering DKNY. Fast forward 15 years, I decided to give DKNY another try. Hanes is the manufacturer (and all customer support goes through the Hanes help desk), which is generally regarded as a lower tier brand for hosiery, but these tights definitely show mid tier quality. I’d read a comment from a customer who said the Super Opaque style was generous in fit, so this was the style I bought.
If you read some earlier parts of my blog, you know about my appreciation for Donna Karan. She was truly an innovator in the area of opaque hosiery back in the late 1980’s into the 1990’s. She was putting modern materials like micro fiber and Tactel nylon to good use before many others did. One of the styles that I think was a major success was the “Jersey” line, consisting of Satin and Matte Jersey opaque tights. The fit, finish, and material quality was simply first rate, for a good bit less than the prices for similar hosiery offered by the well established top tier hosiery makers like Wolford and Falke.
Fortunately, I just happened to find the packaging for these, tucked away in a box. As you can see from the size chart, 183cm/6’0″ was capped at 79kg/175lbs. But I found the sizing more generous, capable of filling up to 35lbs more. The printing date on the back of the package shows 1988, and these were purchased in 1990-1992. I don’t know exactly when they were discontinued, but searching on the Internet for them turns up absolutely nothing–no text or images (well, until now!).
How do they compare to the hosiery made by Donna Karan today? I don’t know. But from what I’ve seen, the material blend of fibers is different and photos of models wearing her opaque tights show less opacity than I remember. Anyway, I’ll have to give a pair of modern Donna Karan/DKNY opaque tights a try, to see how they compare. Meanwhile, if anyone connected with Donna Karan just happens to be reading this, tell her to bring back the Satin Jersey! 😉