Feb 11, 2010

Petra’s Pantyhose Parade, Round 3: High Waisted L’eggs

When last we spoke, dear friends, about this brace of bustline brushing tights, two winners had emerged from the preliminaries and one fierce intra-corporate battle was left. To recap, Donna Karan emerged triumphant in the Ivy League Basketball tip off with Ann Taylor in Round 1. Assets by Sara Blakely had aced big sister Spanx in the courtly Round 2 Tennis showdown. Here now, with mere hours remaining before the lighting of the Torch in a beautiful and oddly snow free Vancouver, I will shift sports metaphor to the Olympic arena.

Curling is the game this week, largely on the strength of it being the only Olympic sport outside of figure skating for which some of the ladies still wear a skirt. Not so often these days as in olden tymes, and how sad this is with such a terrific array of leggings on the market. More typical gear is pictured here. At least a fashion effort is being made. Curling additionally has the benefit of a score keeping model which cannot be corrupted, which is something I like to hold myself to. The battle (bonspiel for you ice geeks out there) is a short, alternating shot 4 throw sprint to the finish, complete with the required breathless play-by-play commentary.

Our last hopeful, fresh-faced competitors in this fierce fashion fight-out are products from perennial hosiery powerhouse L’eggs, and represent the NCAA (Nice, Cheap, All-American) Conference. L’eggs today fields entries from two distinct lines, with legacy product
Silken Mist Waist Cinching Shaper and the recently launched Profiles Waist Smoother Toner leg wrestling for final round privileges.

Gone, sadly, long gone is the terrific packaging of yesteryear that was the L’eggs brand signature, but their position as mass merchant of well made, value priced hosiery remains practically unchallenged. As with the Sara Blakely products, there is a great deal of shared DNA in these sheers. The toe (sandal foot) and waistband construction (silicon gripper) are identical, as is the price of $8.00 at your neighborhood drug store. Predictably though, as with any offspring of the same parents, a few stylistic and behavioral differences emerge in a desperate sibling grab for differentiation.

Lets see how they fare ...

Round 1 – Compression: The Silken Mist have a uniform stretch panty that distributes errant body mass evenly, but not drastically. The Profiles field a much more robust elastic-rich panty portion with an amazing 37% Spandex content, replete with additional belly and booty panels. Additionally, the reinforced thigh slimming component covers a full 4” more leg than the Silken Mist, again distributing upper leg flesh more evenly and comfortably. Profiles are left alone in the scoring house with a 1 point advantage.

Round 2 – The Battle with Gravity: The Profiles curl first with their slender lead, but all of their stretchy armament leaves them too, too prone to gradual southbound migration under their own matte mass, missing the house entirely. Silken Mist, not so much burdened by structure, stays higher, longer on the torso, and knocks the earlier Profiles stone out of the house. Silken Mist has the house alone, with a stone in the half-point outer ring, taking the barest of leads.

Round 3 - Finish and Appearance. Both of these rise to the moment and put their best feet forward. Truly, for the price, they both look terrific. Very even matte finishes, with the silky hand feel of much costlier and haughtier products. Not a showy legging, perfectly suitable for daytime and professional settings. Even with a practically unnatural 20% Spandex leg content (with Silken Mist @ 15%), the Profiles possess a softness and breathability that surprises. They show just a little less of the tell-tale run resistant threading of the Silken Mist entry too though, and as such gain back the half point, knocking Silken Mist out of the house, and clinging to the ring. The match is drawn.

Round 4 – Petra Points. These points are not quite so arbitrary as those rendered from nowhere by French Figure Skating judges, but they are grounded in inherently mushy subjective considerations, on matters that are difficult to quantify. Here, with things deadlocked, I claim editorial privilege to pick the winner. These tights both promise to shape the torso, slim the thigh and shine the leg, and both do it well. In this game of inches and ounces, I believe that the Profiles threw a final round bonspiel winning stone. At the end of the match, they emerge, by a gossamer margin over the Silken Mist.

A tip of the pillbox cap with gloved hand to the nice people at L’eggs for making a terrific line of products here in the good old US of A that can help a big girl on a budget look like a slender one who isn’t. For the concluding entry of this (admittedly odd) series, I will invite all the high-steppin’ competitors back, line up the scores from tip-top to buff-bottom, and generally wax (opinion-wise, not Brazilian-wise) on the merits and demerits of high-waisted hosiery.

Happy dressing in the meantime.


Leah said...

I jumped to the Petra Points... your input is the most important for me. I know this brand but I haven't tried it yet. But based on your review and your positive feedback, a definite must-buy. xoxo

Treacle said...

I'm really glad that you review pantyhose at all price points. I focus so much on the high end stuff that I tend to forget about budget alternatives. Great review! :-)

Couture Carrie said...

OMG that L'eegs egg is such a blast from the past! Love it!
Fab review, per usual, darling Petra!
Enjoy le weekend!


Petra Bellejambes said...

Dear Ladies ...

Leah - hold onto your purse. I have some wrap up notes on this whole class next week.

Treacle - It is hard to have Wolford taste on a Worthington budget :(. I will go anywhere on the price ladder as long as the tights don't (ladder)

Carrie - you are not old enough to remember the L'eggs Egg. Next thing you will try to tell us that you recall Joe Namath advertising Beauty Mist tights.. :)

Anonymous said...

Terrific, useful advice, and an eh! for effort from up here in Canada to a southern girl on the curling metaphor. Curling is well known hereabouts as one terrific beer-drinking game... query why Canadians are among the best curlers in the world. Go Team Canada!

Leslie Ann said...

Assuming that you continue to wax more obscure with each review, I am expecting a cricket metaphor for the finals. A sticky wicket, eh?

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