Feb 12, 2009

Petra's Pantyhose Parade - They got their Hanes on me

One hears a great deal on the news these days about the demise of American industry. We don’t make things anymore. We are a service economy. Once, we were a nation of producers. Now, we are a nation of consumers. And not so hot at that at present. Well lets not put a tear in our collective gusset here ladies. I am here today not only as the Editor of Petra’s Pantyhose Parade, but also as the Cheerleader in Chief for good old American ingenuity, industry and value.

And I am held aloft today on a downy cloud of silk, of light catching, glimmering and wonderfully comfortable Hanes Pantyhose Products. Let me share with you some observations and my delight.

But first the ground rules. On a weekly basis I buy, wear, evaluate, rate and rant about a brand of pantyhose. Why? Well for starters, it feels good. But beyond that, with a systematic approach to this groundbreaking and necessary research we may together build a map of the whole wonderful universe of Pantyhose. And what would we be if we did not try? No need to answer that.

Petra’s Pantyhose Parade is a public service. There is no commercial gain in it for me. But if you are a hosiery wholesaler in a terrible overstock pinch who is looking for a little temporary storage and keeps loose inventory records, well, hello there. Look me up

Ahem. Now back to
Hanes. At a quick glance, Hanes is the General Motors of Pantyhose. Except, that if Hanes were managing General Motors, I would be driving a Buick, not a Subaru. Hanes is a massive, multi-brand, hosiery conglomerate. The L’eggs and Hanes lines run in the family, and each of these prolific brands run 20+ unique models deep, not counting the wonderful color palettes within each style. There is additionally an unknowable number of designer and retailer labels stitched onto Hanes product built to those private label specifications. Hanes are everywhere. And believe me I am not complaining.

This week I have pulled a couple of Silk Reflections products from the racks for our test. Silky Sheer Control Top and Waist Smoother Control Top. Again, this is just the tip of the Hanes Iceberg. Lets review what they have in common:
  • Packaging – Attractive photo imagery on the package.
  • Comfort and Fit – Really first rate feel on the leg and at the panty portion. A light touch that breathes, but with a real feeling of fixedness on the body.
  • Appearance – Really gorgeous, even, and beautifully colored legs. These are very dressy day sheers that can hit red carpets at night without blushing.
Where do they diverge? Here is some detail:

The $7.50 Silky Sheer focus is all on the leg. The control top is all function, and low on aesthetics. Good choice. Very snug panty portion that won’t peek over waist bands. Completely luxurious leg with a cool and liquid feel. Looks and feels like a 15 Denier leg, but has a relatively high 15% Lycra component.

The $9.00 Waist Smoother focuses more on the panty. The control top is all fashion, all clean and smooth to eye and hand. The leg has an equally good appearance, but at a high 23% Lycra component, it lacks some of the slinkiness, some of the lovely glide that the Silky Sheer possesses.

To me though, unless you need to look great once your dress comes off, the Silky Sheer is your sure bet.

And now for the ranking exercise, which I am pleased to report, confirms my feelings about the Hanes products, and the calibration of the ranking formula.

Here is what we get. A new Champion. The Hanes Silk Reflections Silky Sheers knock
Calvin Klein off the high perch with our very first 200 point score (205 over 194 for the Calvin’s). The Silky Sheers score consistently lower, point by point measured against the CK’s but at ~ 60% of the retail price, they nose past on value. And they win fairly I believe.

The Waist Smoother is a great looking and very comfortable pair of pantyhose, but with the best thinking in the panty, the hose are not what they should be for the couple of dollars more. These come in at a respectable 7th place with 127.7 points.

Both products get a nice little merit point from me just because the perfect fit is size CD. Irony can be so ironic you know.

I feel much more confident about the future of American manufacturing after this weeks invigorating exercise. O who the hell am I fooling. I feel better about my legs. And with that, together we cannot help but survive.

Next week, I will take a no nonsense look at No Nonsense. More proletariat pantyhose for the times. What hose are getting you through the days? Drop me a line, make a suggestion, and do be careful pulling your stockings up friends. Till next time…..


a t by the name of S said...

Love to see you review fashion tights! Your rating system is smashing!

Petra Bellejambes said...

Thanks S! Appreciate the shout out. But now, how about a suggestion? Tell us all your favorite brand. I will put your name up in flattering light.... Happy Dressing - Petra

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