Things 'round here have been getting kind seamy....
Say what you like about how sexy a girdle and stockings makes you feel, sometimes we all need a bit of a break. Some mornings I just can't bear the idea of spending my 8 hour working day gussied up in a girdle with my suspender straps digging into my legs and I'd also rather save my vintage nylons for more worthy occasions. Luckily. we live in a time where we have some options...
There are a few manufacturers making seamed tights, a great alternative for winter warming (I know, hardly seasonal) or for those days where you want to wear a frock but can't face being constricted. But which to choose? Which give the most accurate vintage look without laddering at the first hurdle. I won't be hurdling though - can you imagine if I tested these by running the hurdles. Lummy!
Well, luckily for you I decided I’d go out there and test run some of the more widely available seamed tights; and thanks to the kind people at Pamela Mann, Stockings HQ and What Katie Did I had quite the selection to get through!
I rated these on colour, seam quality, durability on wearing and washing and then rolled this into an overall score.
For colour I was looking for something slightly darker than a pale skin tone. I have personally never found a pair of actual vintage nylons that are as pale as my skin, often they fall between a rose pink to a tan shade.
I also wanted something that looked like it had real seams, rather than just a knit in line and ideally I wanted nude on nude seams rather than contrast. Personally, while I’m happy to wear contrast in the evening, I don’t really feel these are correct for a daytime look. Someone please tell me if I’m wrong here – I am happy to stand corrected (with my seams on straight too!)
For durability I considered how long they lasted without ladders and holes and also how they survived washing – both by hand and in the machine (come on, while it isn’t recommended I bet we have all done it from time to time).
So, with no further ado, and in reverse order of preference:
6) Silky Seamer:
Colour: the nude/nude is very pale, not really a vintage shade at all. also nude/black, black and black/red.
Seam: Just knit into the fabric so not very realistic looking
Durability on wearing: ripped on first putting them on (darn my vintage-style pointy nails) so I wasn't too impressed.
Durability on washing: fine handwashed but when machine washed they emerged as a little tangled ball
Price: very cheap at only £4.49
Verdict: Poor quality, just what I expected from the price. Might be good if you only wear these to events where your nylons would likely get trashed anyway – clubs, dance classes etc or if you just need some seams to complete a fancy dress look. Certainly no good for a real period look and still fairly pricey for what you actually get.
5) Pamela Mann
Colour: Very pale again - 10 denier too - I tested the nude seam but several other colorways are available.
Seam: knit in and no very realistic looking but better than the Silky Seamer.
Durability on wearing: better than the Silky seamers but did snag easily.
Durability on washing: survived handwashing perfectly. A few areas of snagging after a machine wash
Price: £5.99 so not too bad.
Verdict: A pretty good basic, not really realistic looking but will last a few wears without falling apart.
4) Jonathon Aston vintage legs
Colour: Again, far too pale for my tastes, I again tried the nude/nude. The basic style are 15 denier.
Seam: Again a knit in look but slightly better than the Pamela Mann.
Durability on wearing: No ladders or snags on the day I wore them aside from at the toe. I was wearing peep toe shoes and the toe wore right through.
Durability on washing: fine by hand only a roughening of texture in the machine.
Verdict: Not bad at all, definitely a good day to day option, just a shame they rubbed at the peep toe.
3) Cervin Seduction Couture
Colour: a light main colour with a darker brown seam - gazelle/chocolate
Seam: this resembled a real seam but was still a contrast nude/chocolate look really
Durability on wearing: excellent, no holes or snags on the all day and evening wear I put them through
Durability on washing: came out perfect by hand but did roughen, (not ladder) with a machine wash
Price: The most costly at £14.25
Verdict: These felt expensive and luxurious - with Lycra for added cling, I could almost smell the cash as I put them on. The texture was a little more like vintage stockings too. Sadly the colour wasn’t quite right and for the money I’d have liked something a bit more accurate. Still, as a product they are lovely and the look is not bad at all.
2) Pretty Polly nylons
Colour: dark brown but looks lighter on with a sherry seam. 10 denier.
Seam:Still too dark for the colour of the tights really but a good realistic look
Durability on wearing: Excellent – I really liked these on but again worse through at the toe.
Durability on washing: excellent – came out unscathed from both hand and machine wash!
Price: Good for the price at £5.25
1) What Katie Did - retro seamed tights
Colour: A good, very slight tan coloured nude/nude was tested. Also available in black/black and nude/black
Seam: Not actually stitched in but the most realistic looking tested
Durability on wearing: Great, lasted well. enough Lycra for a good stretch too.
Durability on washing: Again, lasted well, but did snag a little from a machine wash
Price: £8.50 for nude/nude and £10 for nude/black
Stockist: What Katie Did
Verdict: Unsurprisingly the favourite comes from the vintage specialist, the best colour, texture and fit. Just a shame they are £8.50 a pair.
So, overall I'm a fan of the What Katie Did version with the Pretty Polly Nylons coming a very close second, only hampered by the too dark seam.
Can you recommend some nude/nude seamed tights for me to try?
And now for the giveaway! This is what you really wanted, after all.
- Pamela Mann nude/nude seamed stockings - one size
- What Katie Did nude/black seamed tights - M/L
- Seamer tights nude/nude - medium
- Grosvenor stockings - unseamed - medium
To enter please comment on this post with your view on whether seamed tights are OK or just cheating? ;-)
An extra entry to the draw for each of the below - please add an extra comment for each method used:
A tweet about the giveaway including a link to my blog (follow me @LisaSmuts)
A facebook post about it, with link included
A blog post about it, with link included
I'll be drawing the winner on 18 June so watch the blog for the announcement and to claim your prize!