Oct 29, 2009

Petra’s Pantyhose Parade – The Softer Side of Sheers

Well my lovelies, those were some heights I attempted to climb earlier this week. The air was pretty thin up there above the theoretical clouds.Stretched as I was by the whole effort, I suffered a pulmonary edema on my descent which required some attention to my circulatory system.

Well nothing quite so right for the circulation than a nice new pair of control tops, and so, thankfully here on Thursday, it is time to ponder on and prose about the nearly weightless but always enduring virtues of pantyhose.

The softer side of … North American readers may remember this line as a Sears campaign from the distant past. Many of us think of Sears as a fine place for tools and appliances, and perhaps a little less fine a place for items of fashion. That was certainly, and remains the case for me. The stores suffer from a pedestrian selection of styles, laboratory quality lighting, and sight lines that extend unbroken over vast prairies of indifference to expressions of style. Not ideal shopping environments in my view. However, given that the Sears catalog was my original passport into the world of feminine foundation garments, it felt like time to give this grand old dame a try.

As is the case with most general merchandisers in these hard times, there was not much in the way of sales assistance on the floor, but I am a fairly independent shopper, and found the Sears private label
Nice Touch SlimShapers without too much trouble. The sales assistant at the cash register was a complete sweetheart and warmly welcoming of the drab fellow with the nice tights and a fistful of cash. Practically begged me to come back and shop with her anytime. That wins points with Petra.

How much cash? Not much. The Slim Shaper Control Sheers clock in at a mere $5.50, which set me up for an expectation of reasonable quality, but not much of a fashion and feel experience. Now, home for the trials.

This is a day sheer I would guess somewhere in the 15-20 denier range, that can stretch into evening, not a super-special evening, but a nice night in a good outfit. A highly reinforced toe promises durability, and limits us to closed toe shoes, but our choices are still rich within those pointy confines. The leg portion is a run resistant 11% Lycra with good, clingy memory and a surprisingly luxurious, comfortable, and cool feel. Great feel in fact to both the leg and the hand, and again, unexpectedly so for the price. They have a subtle matte finish, but in very direct light give off a just a faint glimmer at the defined lines of the leg. Again, not, red carpet ready, but dressy enough for most outings.

It is up top in the highly reinforced panty portion that these smoothers really come to life though. Seams are well finished, and the overall effect is sleek and attractive. An extra front panel flattens and smooths without over constricting. And credit to these pretties for the absolutely unnecessary and entirely adorable lace detail effect at the thigh top. They possess a class of construction quality and function that stands out in any price bracket. The closest panty portion I have worn in the last year comes from Donna Karan’s’ Maximum Controls which retail at 3X of the price of our Sears entry. Terrific value for the money.

There really is nothing to pick negatively at here. Cared for, they will last. When on, they look elegant and feel like a little indulgence. The fit is superb, with a caution: Please be sure to go up a size if you are close to the margins on the height and weight chart, particularly if you are tallish. Yes, the packaging could be a little sexier, and the web site navigation is terrible, but these are concerns that disappear like so many blemishes beneath a fine, flattering sheer yarn.

And so, to the rankings. The Nice Touch line of pantyhose stride proudly up onto my personal Podium, missing the gold standard by inches, and toeing out current Silver medal holder, Calvin Klein by the slenderest of threads, 196.4 to 194.0 Petra Points. Our new top 3 are featured here.

It has been a while since I tested out so high ranking a pair, and it is a really refreshing moment for me. The Hanes Silky Sheers remain safely atop the rustling range of contenders in my top drawer. The Hanes just possess a certain je ne sais quoi relative to the Nice Touch sheers that keeps them on top, and never too far from reach. Can’t put my finger on it exactly, just something about the intensity of their aura. But silver is nice too, no?, and I have a new brand and venue to explore further. Competition and choice are wonderful things, yes?

A hearty endorsement all around. And my circulation seems to be back to (what passes for me as) normal. If you are looking to complete a Halloween ensemble you could barely do better, and with the Sears Nice Touch not taking too big a bite out of your purse, perhaps have a little spare cash to buy a nice girl a drink this weekend.

Happy dressing, Halloween and everything else….

1 comment:

Couture Carrie said...

What a deal, darling Petra! Fab review and endorsement...

Happy Halloween!
I am going as Serena from Gossip Girl :)


P.S. I am so in love with that Blumarine dress too!

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