Long promised, overdue, derailed by the holidays and the fluff ‘twixt my ears, I am today getting around to fulfilling an editorial promise made on 10 December in a post you might review here while your nails dry.
In America, we are but weeks away from the culmination of the Collegiate basketball season and so I thought to stage a mini-tourney of tights in a bracketed format to help get you in practice for March Madness with my own brand of Sheer Madness. The sheer part is easy, and I expect that my madness will be fully confirmed by the time I publish the concluding post sometime in late January. The tournament runs through 3 preliminary rounds, after which Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be handed out. A virtual set of steak knives and flowers to the plucky also-rans.
This week our Ivy League Competitors, Ann Taylor and Donna Karan go sandal-toe-to-sandal-toe in our first high-pressure, low-denier slim-fest. Next week, it’s the SCC (Sara’s Corporate Conference) featuring an epic intra-brand battle of the bulge between marquee brand Spanx, and her value priced sibling, Assets by Sara Blakely. We will wrap it all up with NCAA (Nice, Cheap, All-American) Division 2 upstarts and crowd favorites L’eggs whose Silken Mist and Profiles entries have garnered no small amount of pre-tournament prattle and buzz. Got your pom-poms and popcorn and pomegranite martinis ready? Lets have at it, shall we?
Round 1: The Ivy League.
Donna Karan and Ann Taylor truly are the Vassar and Wellesley of the tournament, sleek, polished, refined and ready to gobble up an inheritance of any magnitude.
AT strides onto the court with The Perfect Sheer Modern High Waist Control Top available online or in stores at a retail price of $25.00. They are very true to the size chart, and this I do not mind telling you will come as a bit of a surprise once you have pulled them out of the package. They are the tiniest little things, positively elfin and cute beyond words. They look to have the same dimensions as a dressy little infants one-sey that you might see at a baby shower if the soon-to-be-born was expected to require evening wear in between feedings. The 23% Spandex content provides all the stretch required to hoist them high, up and over knees, hips, waist and well north of this Adam’s rib to rest comfortably just below the bra line.
The slimming thoughout the panty portion is provided solely by the high elastic content, as is the position of the panty top. The good news is that this simple approach to figure fixing leaves clean lines beneath your outfit. The bad news is that there is really nothing for the garment to find purchase on and cling to. You can expect a gradual loss of altitude over the course of the evening, but in fairness, the loss is evenly distributed and does not create an unsightly spare tire about the waist line.
The leg is a pretty, matte sheer that I would guess to be in the 15-20 denier range, so dressy yes, attractive by all means, but not really red carpet ready. The run resistant weave does show a tell-tale horizontal thread, but clearly you are on friendly terms with anyone close enough to notice that level of detail. It is good that run resistant durability is built in at $25.00 a throw, but Ann's durability comes at the price of a little elastic heat. They feel better to the hand then they do to the leg, not really wicking heat and moisture away very effectively.
Team DK takes the court with the Body Perfect Collection Waist Embrace Perfect Sheer, evenly matched from a price perspective at $24.00, but ready to outclass Team Taylor right from the tip off. The art direction of the packaging is alluring, and the feel of the garment is nothing short of superb even before the long delicate climb in and up. The 90% nylon shaping panty portion has a polished silken feel, and is buttressed by a reinforcing midriff panel and some extra determined butt lifting hydraulics in the back field. The rear half of the high waistband is augmented with silicon grip, and the front half by a clever, subtle bra clasp mechanism. This is a structural slimmer, not simply a an elastic one. Once on, they stay in place. I do advise you to avoid environments where nervous impulse drinking urges may strike. I imagine it is easier to suit up for a space walk than to disrobe for a call of nature in these. All beauty at a price though correct?
And the beauty really shows in the leg. 10 denier sheer to my practiced guess, 12 tops, delicate, light catching and faintly glimmering sheers, there is no room in my social circle that the DK’s would be outclassed in. Even with the high (23%) Spandex content, there is a cling and glide about the leg that is cool and comforting, and to the hand, luxurious as leggings get. Appearance and feel that rivals the very best of the premier European hosiery vendors at a very competitive price.
Ivy League performance all the way. Our clear-cut conference winner, Donna Karan moves on to the playoff round, assured of a spot in the Final Sheer Three.
2 up, 1 down, 4 to go. Stay tuned here for the Spanx tip off.