Nov 5, 2009

Petra’s Pantyhose Parade – It is all about Hue

With abject apologies to Cole Porter fans everywhere

I’ve got Hue over my skin
I’ve got Hue, clinging to parts of me
From waist to the tips of my toes, they’re really a part of me
I’ve got Hue over my skin

I took care to not ladder them
So fine and frail that I walked in fear they would tear
But they have survived and thrived the test of my normal wear
I love Hue's over my skin.

I would sacrifice anything come what might
For a fine thing, the perfect dress sheers
In spite of the warning signs, that I own enough,
Enough now to last all my years ….

Yes friends, Thursday it is, and time for another high-steppin’ Pantyhose Parade. For newish visitors, a recap of the protocols. I like hosiery. I purchase a pair or 2 time to time. I wear them, and objectively as possible grade them so that we may some happy day possess a Rosetta Stone, a reliable periodic table, a statistically sound barometer of the relative merits of these bewitching garments that give so much and ask so little in return. I use a mathematical model as complex a those employed to bring Wall Street to its very knees last year to generate a Petra's Pantyhose Parade value, and have not yet received any kick-backs or threats of physical violence from the vendors I have subjected to my withering and/or longing glances.

So this week, as the poorly wrought lyric indicates, we have Hue up on the slab. Hue had always meant colorful, opaque tights to me. Lovely, useful items, but not fully in my fashion or editorial sweet spot. I was prompted to look more closely at this brand after noticing, in too much of a hurry to drop in, a Hue boutique in a nearby mall some weeks back. When I poked about the
website, I found a much broader range of goods than I had previously perceived, including the stuff frequently featured here. The sheers.

Hue, as the name suggests is typically a brand more interested in color. You have likely seen massive walls of bright tights and funky leggings in your favorite shops and may have stayed away from them if you are more inclined, as I am, to dressier fare. Winter is coming on though, and great strides on the fashion tights front are being made daily, so perhaps it is time to broaden our horizons a little. More on that theme in a future post I am sure. But for now, a short review on the Hue offering for the pantyhose enthusiast.

Hue, as it happens, is a Kayser-Roth mills product. KR is the parent company, and Hue has a better known sister by the name of No Nonsense. No Nonsense has come in for some pretty harsh language from me in
prior reviews. Truly a brand that brings out my own much unloved talent for caustic criticism. The net outcome of my reviews was that No Nonsense are the perfect fashion accessory for an armed robbery, or perhaps as a temporary fan belt replacement, and better kept off ones legs.

Nice to see, and to say then that Mr. & Mrs. Kayser-Roth have one lovely daughter. If they can forgive me for treating the other daughter coarsely, I would like to begin a serious courtship.

The tested product, the
Ultrasoft Control Top is a 17 denier dressy sheer that straddles the day-to-night (ed. enough with the Cole Porter already…) divide confidently. With a subtle glimmer in natural light, that amplifies nicely under interior lighting, the leg arrives, announces and attracts.

Lets go to the name now: Ultrasoft. When you lead with “Ultrasoft”, they had better, and I mean better, feel soft. These do, curiously so with a practically downy feel to the leg, but to the hand, polished, sleek and glossy. Not often do you get the 2 feelings at once. Complement that with lightness and very sure wicking, and you get cool comfort which is a key consideration especially now in heated, dry indoor environments. Things can heat up quickly with those nice new boots on. You know the ones.

So, agreed, they look good, and feel fine. What else? Quality fabrication. Subtle sandal foot seam and clean finishing around the waist and through the gusset of a nicely firm, smoothing control top. Very sensibly, the Hue name is stitched into the waistband, making them easy to retrieve from crowded top drawers. The waistband sits, patiently, happily right at the waist. No roll. Nothing fancy or femmy in the private bits, no lacey or floral details to appeal to my aesthetic sense, and this is fine provided the best resources have been allocated to the look of the leg, and the comfort of the leggy. Which, I am happy to report they have. Abundantly so.

With a price tag of $8.00 ($7.00 each purchased in twins and trips) they are suitably priced for everyday wear, and do a better than everyday job at it. If you are a TJ Maxx shopper, keep your eyes peeled for these at a penny under $4.00. Unassailable value there, and still really good value at full retail. If soft is what you want, these will be your go-to-girls. As to the rankings, they earn a laudable 156.3 Petra Points and nestle into the middle of the pack at # 11 after a day nestled on my legs.

I am sorry to report though that they closed down that local shop. Walked by there hopefully the other day, and where once there was an ocean of nylon, lycra and general prettiness, there were dark lights. Was I too late to my realization? Again, Mr. and Mrs. Kayser-Roth, I beg your forgiveness.

Happy dressing and everything else….


Couture Carrie said...

I love Hue, too, darling Petra ~ and your rendition of Cole Porter's classic song, too!


Tights Lover said...

I'm a big fan of Hue. I own a lot of different brands, but every time I wear Hue I remember why I like them so much.

Petra Bellejambes said...

CC - I knew you you be a Hue fan, and am glad you still love Cole Porter.

TL - Amazing how far a small handful of dollars goes. We live in a terrific time to be hosiery enthusiasts.

Cheers all ... Petra

Anonymous said...

i dont knwo Hue and living in europe only see european brands but the essential point is no matter which brand it seems that price is not determinative of that feel/sensation quotient that one secretly ranks tights by. It is a combination of factors - definitely overall feel; but also look , the fit of the crotch the feel of the crotch the way the waistband stretches etc. Mt first recollection of cd was tan tights at age 13 and the indescribeable feel and mixture of emotions at the garment.

Petra Bellejambes said...

Dear Anon.

Exactement. Price is not determinative. It is a signal, but not an a perfectly clear one.

I am very grateful for your visit and comments.

And a little jealous of your more ready access to wonderful European brands...

Please visit again, and leave comments any time you like.

grant said...

Dear Petra

as regards European brands, I have tried many but one has to hand it to Wolford, Falke and Fogal for the intensity of the experience. whether the money is jusitified is a separate question. Do you remember your first time in tights? I do, quite vividly. Have you ever visited the better shops in Paris?

Petra Bellejambes said...

Yes, Grant, amen to the Holy Trinity of European hosiery. I think they are worth the money if you have the wherewithal. Luxuries are to me, and to most of us, periodic neccessisities too.

Do I remember my first time? Yes, but over the years I am sure I have altered the memory. Its with me still though for certain.

Shopping in Paris? No. I have focussed on food and art while in Paris. Next time par chance...

Thanks for your visit and views Grant.

tactilicious said...

Hue have some very nice products. For the cost they offer pretty good value for money. Many of their offerings are very soft and smooth. I like the various patterns they sell, vertical fine stripes, houndstooth, etc, all generally offered with a control panty that is reasonably low-waisted and reasonably soft.

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