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Putting on socks and stockings with vertical stripes can be kind of a hassle. You want the stripes to be straight, but it’s hard to keep them that way. It’s a special kind of frustrating to pull on a pair of tights with a vertical design and realise once you look in a mirror that they’re zigging AND zagging, instead of staying on the straight and narrow.
With our helpful assistant, Mrs. Half-Mannequin (“Half” is her maiden name) and a pair of Sheer Vertical Striped Pantyhose, I’ll share a couple tricks to help you guide those stripes. The wonderful Dreamer Zaf of our Tumblr took most of these pictures, since I only have so many hands.
In trying to keep those stripes straight, particularly with tights, sometimes the legs get twisted and that makes it awful up in areas that you really don’t want bunching. So here’s the key: keep the pattern straight from the start.
As you gather up the stocking or tights to slide them on, make sure you’re gathering everything evenly. Keep those stripes in line as you gather, starting from the top of the sock or leg of the tights. If you’re dealing with panels or designs, pay attention to what part is made to go in the front or back. What you’re doing is making sure your tights don’t get twisted.
Okay, now you’re ready to get fancy. Ease your little toes in and carefully put the stockings or tights on. It should be a lot easier now that you’ve essentially “prepped” them to keep their stripes straight. You may need to do a bit of adjusting as you go, but it should be pretty minimal.
Now they’re on! You may find that the toes are a little wonky. This is fine! You were focusing on getting things straight. Just adjust the toe seam to your comfort and pickiness—it’s a lot easier to get tights on straight then adjust the toe than make the toes perfect and try to keep the designs straight.
There, you look fabulous! For a twist you can do just that with socks and stockings (as opposed to tights), purposefully twisting them as you put them on for a new spin on vertical stripes. I think the Fast Lane Knee Highs are particularly well-suited to this.
Do you have any tips or tricks for putting on difficult patterns just right?
Though we do have a rather wide selection, sometimes we just don’t have exactly that stripe or pattern that you need. But a steady hand and a little patience can take you a long way. I’ve got two quickie guides on adding your own drawn details to socks and there’s a bonus DIY at the end too!
Drawing on nylon
Drawing on nylon is the easiest, so let’s start there. Say your costume needs some sort of specific pattern on the legs. A good example would be Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas. Her stitched-together legs are a huge part of costume accuracy (which maybe I’m a big nerd about). Here’s what you’ll need:
• A good reference picture (I like this one of assorted Sally parts) •
• A permanent marker—they make Sharpies in about every colour now, which is awesome! •
• white or off white tights, like the Opaque Tights •
Always test in an inconspicuous place, to make sure that what you’re using and what you’re using it on don’t hate each other. The Opaque Tights and Sharpies get along pretty well!
It is way easier to do this with the tights on, so suit up. Keep in mind there will be a little bleed through from the marker.
Now, keeping an eye on your reference image, start drawing! Try to go as smoothly as you can. Sometimes I found that the felt marker tip wanted to catch on the nylon.
Ooh, the detail really makes it. I wasn’t trying to get too-too accurate with the stitches, just going for the overall feel.
And, done! So easy! If you wanted to earn extra points, just add a blue-grey shade to ‘em with the skills you learned in DIY: Dyeing Nylon.
That’s tights, but what about socks? Join us after the jump for more tips and tricks! Read more »
A couple weeks ago we released two tights into the wild with little more than their supplier images to get them going. Our worry was that the weather for tights was drawing to an end and we wanted to get the Tatiane Diamond Microfiber Tights and Deanna Cotton Ribbed Tights out to you as soon as possible. And, at $15 (on sale from $20), they’re the cheapest B.Ella tights we currently offer!
It can take a while to get enough pictures of tights with multiple sizes and we just couldn’t wait any longer to make them live. So most of their pictures aren’t very exciting because they’re the ones we get from the supplier. They’re kind of pretty in a minimalistic way.
Supplier images of the Tatiane Microfiber Diamond Tights
But, we know that pictures like that don’t help you know how something will look on you. So a bunch of Dreamers suited up in these fantastic tights and we shot some quick snaps of everybody being fabulous. We put them up in an album on our Facebook, but I know not everyone uses Facebook, so I wanted to be sure that folks who follow the journal know about these tights (and about what great models the Dreamers are!)
The Tatiane have the signature silky softeness of B.Ella’s microfiber and a unique diamond pattern that alternates between ribbed and solid in an almost chain-link look that was flattering on all our legs.
We found that they were snug going on, sort of like how support tights feel. They fit everyone pretty well, but we think that if you’re not a fan of a snugger fit you might want to order a size up from your normal choice.
Solid-colour patterns like the Tatiane are a great option when you’re looking for a more sedate tight to pair with your outfit, but don’t want your regular ol’ ribs or plain solid colours.
Before we dive into talking about maternity tights, I do want to note that you don’t have to have been pregnant to be a mother, of course. A lot of folks fill the role of “mom” and it’s those wonderful folks who inspired us in putting together our Mother’s Day Favorites collection. Loving Omas, mothers-in-law, older friends and mamas, give them an extra hug on Sunday—and if you haven’t been able to find the perfect thing for them yet, you still have time to send an email gift card!
Now, about those maternity tights! We’ve been asked about maternity tight options and recommendations over the years. It’s tough to have your body change so dramatically over such a short time, requiring new, comfortable, additions to your wardrobe. Nor is it fun to feel like how you dress is limited because of what options are available for your growing tummy. So we’re glad that we have found not only the light support maternity tights from Therafirm, but have found some “regular” tights that work well with a lot of pregnant bellies.
We’re excited to offer the Preggers Maternity Light Support Tights, designed especially with pregnant folks in mind. They have a unique top that should fit all stages of pregnancy.
Both the tights and the Preggers Maternity Light Support Footless Tights have built-in light support. Their 10-15mmHG gradient compression in the legs helps with swelling and fatigue. “Graduated compression” has the most support at the ankle, decreasing in pressure as they go up the leg, encouraging better bloodflow. In the tummy area a support panel gives added stability and the stretchy top can be worn folded or unfolded to cover the belly.
These styles from Therafirm are pretty fantastic, with reinforced toes (well, the footless tights don’t have toes!) and wicking ability to make them as comfortable as possible.
Solid tights are great, but what if you want wool tights, or something pretty and lacy? Join us after the jump for more options that aren’t designed for pregnant bellies, but fit them fine anyhow! Read more »
Pretty much the go-to for bright striped tights, the Leg Avenue Striped Tights are a great, budget-friendly way to sass up your derby uniform, going out clothes, or every day wardrobe. Though most of the colours are only offered in a “one size fits most” that fits waists up 35 inches around (with a couple more inches stretch in the hips), four colours come in two more sizes with an amazing range of fit. The Black/Purple, Black/White, White/Red and Black/Red are also available in a “1x-2x” and a “3x-4x”.
You may notice in the image below that the red is a little different between sizes. The “one size” is more of a tomato red and the 1x-2x is more of a lipstick red. The other colours of the 1x-2x and 3x-4x aren’t as different when compared to their “one size” versions.
There are some other differences between the “one size” and the “plus” sizes. Though it isn’t dependable that the stripes go all the way up to the waistband on the one size (which is why we love when you drop us a line to ask if the current batch do), both the 1x-2x and the 3x-4x sizes always have stripes that go all the way up.
And that’s true for the other end too. The stripes go all the way to the toes on the 1x-2x and 3x-4x.
You’ll notice that the one size legs are longer than the plus size in the image below. Don’t fret! There is some magic stretch in the plus sizes of the Leg Avenue Striped Tights. If you have a longer inseam and any curves, the 1x-2x size may be a better option. Our tester with a 32 inch inseam found that the legs of the “one size” just fit—they maxed out the stretch of the “one size”, both hips and inseam.
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