Loss Leader this Weekend – Klara by Fiore

August 19, 2017 under Fiore

As many of you have already seen on twitter and Facebook, I am running a $4.99 blow out sale on Klara by Fiore tights with a French cut lace panty. Don’t miss it and stock up, the sale will be over on Sunday night.

Klara tights by Fiore close up

Klara tights by Fiore close up feet toes

KLARA 20 den french cut lace panty pantyhose by Fiore sheer to waist

P.S. Domestic shipping for both Canada and USA, as usual! All American orders have tracking numbers.

P.P.S. My sky blue pedicure is still lasting, I got it done in Boston with my fan and friend, Charlie. He took me out to a salon and both of us got our nails done. I got to pick out the shade I want for myself and for him.

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Fishing Time – Do Sheer Tights Protect from Mosquitoes?

August 18, 2017 under Seasonal, Travel
helene fishing in pantyhose

Helene wears pantyhose under leggings for her fishing trip.

by Helene, Mexico

Summer heat. I love water… any water, even if it is just a puddle after rain.

So, you can imagine how happy I was when my friends announced that they are going fishing. Tomorrow. Early in the morning, before the dawn. I am a night-owl, getting up in the morning for me is a torture, but…  fishing equals being near water, probably, a large body of water, like a river or a lake.

Have I mentioned by the way that I have a fishing rod? That’s a funny story; no, am not into fishing. I was coming home from a small trip in my car, when I saw something strange – many people, maybe a hundred of them, like ants, are crowding on a small bridge. I thought something happened, stopped and went to check if I can be somehow useful. And yes, something was happening there, right at the moment – they had a fishing tournament, in a small stream. I even asked to take a photo with them, and the organizers presented me a fishing rod.

So, I have a fishing rod. I unburied it from piles of things that are still loaded in the corner after moving, found my backpack that I was using for hiking in Norway – and am ready to the trip! Though…  Mexico is famous for its mosquitoes, those small ugly creatures that are able to spoil all the pleasure. But I had a solution! Sheer tights, I had read that they protect from insects, and I wanted to believe in that, as I did not have time to buy repellent.

After some hours, when we arrived to a sleepy yet mountain lake, I regretted that I had tights on instead of jeans as well as that I went to that trip at all. Mosquitoes were happy to see me, I had never seen so many of them before. They were flying around me trying to bite, and I was trying to remember what I know about malaria, zika and other illnesses that mosquitoes transfer: I was sure that I will get at least one of them. That lasted several minutes, though it felt like a year for me…

Then I noticed it.

Mosquitoes, they were coming, checking and… flying away. I thought that tights were helping till I noticed that those insects ignore me – I did not get a single bite: hands, arms, legs – nowhere! While my friends (none of them came to an idea to put on tights of even thin socks, all were wearing jeans or thick clothes to protect themselves from insects) were suffering badly. Mosquitoes were practically eating them up.

So, what`s wrong with me? Maybe because am not a Mexican, a “strange blood”? Do not know, but after the trip one thing became evident: local needle-nosed pests dislike me. The trip was good, the amazing mountain lake was worth writing poems about. But I am feeling offended.

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Wearing Raula tights by Fiore in Cappuccino Shade

August 16, 2017 under Fiore

wearing Raula by Fiore glossy tights, shiny

Here is a photo of my legs in glossy Raula tights by Fiore. I took this photo today on my deck, wearing high heel shoes and denim shorts. Later I changed into flats and went to do some grocery shopping still wearing these, catching some looks of course. This style is sheer to waist with a cotton gusset.

 

 

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Slava Zaitsev, Ethnic Colour Explosion

August 14, 2017 under Runway

by Helene, Mexico

Slava Zaitsev Spring 2017 collection Russian ethnic costumes

Recently I have read a post about successful celebrities. The author was insisting that for success just talent isn’t enough. One shall have a proper background, implying that his or her parents were able to invest in the child’s development. Otherwise, doesn’t matter how talented the child is, he or she will be a failure.

While watching this fashion show, I was thinking to myself: “Yes, in this case the post author was 100% right, creating such stylish outfits would be impossible if Slava had poor parents… Taste and this fine feeling of beauty and elegance do not come from nowhere.” The diversity of his outfits, most of which could serve as an icon of style and elegance, inspired me to read little bit more about the designer, Slava Zaitsev.

I was amazed and to some extent shocked: his mother was a usual housewife, and she has never had any beautiful clothes. Actually, that is why Slava creates such looks, rich and elegant, to somehow compensate for that mum`s feeling of, probably pain and hope that once at least her child will be able to have what she couldn’t afford. Inspired by richness and brightness of Russian national colours, Slava creates masterpieces (yes, and I am not afraid of using this word!) that can be worn in everyday live and for women of all sizes. Each of his creations is well-balanced, elegant and distinctive at the same time.

Slava Zaitsev Spring 2017 collection Russian entire red outfit

I am not a fan of red colour, I practically never wear it because my shyness dampens the joy, even if this of high quality and of truly elegant style. My mum always taught me never to wear everything of the same colour.

Perhaps I am too old school? If I would be a celebrity, like a famous TV host let’s say, I’d probably easily flaunt something like this in front of the paparazzi, with an expensive car to match. That would be a real gutsy statement!

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 13: A model walks the runway at the SLAVA ZAITSEV fashion show during day five of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia SS17 at Manege on October 13, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)

A row of models dressed in white parade down the catwalk in crisp white tights and nostalgic hats. I would say, elegance is a key word to all looks created by this designer.

Slava Zaitsev Spring 2017 collection Russian fashion week white tights

Any shade of pink is quite a controversial colour. These outfits, however, show this shade in a different light, rather not connected with all the Barbie glamour, but with the elegance of a mature lady that isn’t afraid of experiments. Confident and yet charming.

Slava Zaitsev Spring 2017 collection Russian checkered gingham skirt

This skirt would look equally nice on a slim woman and on a fuller figured woman or a woman coming from a cultural background that requires full body coverage (ex. Chechen republic). Slava Zaitsev is famous for also creating clothes for women who are “just bigger than average”. His work is very versatile, he even designed athlete’s uniforms for 1980s Moscow Olympic games.

Slava Zaitsev Spring 2017 collection Russian checkered gingham jacket

Here is a one more casual style for the ladies with fuller figures, it accentuates the feminine lines. It would, in my opinion, be more interesting to see an actual plus size model wear something like this to show women of all sizes that it is not difficult to select good styles for their shape.

Slava Zaitsev Spring 2017 collection Russian neon colours

Wait a second here, what a daring design, but didn’t my mum teach me not to wear more than three colours at once? I would like to get a better look at the dress underneath the jacket because this orange/black combination with stripes on the side seems pretty cool.

Slava Zaitsev Spring 2017 collection Russian Asian influence jacketjpg

Slava’s designs show a lot of cultural roots to them. He uses very unusual combination of accessories, scarves, and so on to create his looks.

Slava Zaitsev Spring 2017 collection Russian blue and gold outfit

Here is a luxury mix of royal blue and gold.  Hosiery matches the rest of the outfit and adds a special elegant touch as if it is a business lady heading to some artistic exhibition.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 13: A model walks the runway at the SLAVA ZAITSEV fashion show during day five of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia SS17 at Manege on October 13, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)

Here is another example of a dress that would be appropriate for a woman with a fuller figure. The head piece is pretty avant-garde in my opinion, but it nicely finishes this whole Mongolian-like concept.

Slava Zaitsev Spring 2017 collection Russian red dress

What a classic colour combination – red and black, with mesh for elegance. Romantic and mysterious, but so different from the rest of the collection.

Slava Zaitsev Spring 2017 collection Russian dress

In my opinion Slava Zaitsev has his own unique signature, just like the iconic Dior and Chanel who were his inspirations. His designs are so well composed that they don’t require any cheap shock factors in order be remembered.

My client models Vanity stockings by Fiore

August 12, 2017 under Fiore

I am so happy to have this wonderful Canadian woman as a customer. She sent me these photos of her legs wearing Vanity stockings by Fiore. Her lucky boyfriend took these photos. I like how these stockings has a slight shine to them.

model wears Vanity stockings by Fiore with cuban heel and backseam 3

model wears Vanity stockings by Fiore with cuban heel and backseam 2

model wears Vanity stockings by Fiore with cuban heel and backseam 1

 

 

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Where do flight attendants buy their tights?

August 10, 2017 under Practical

Satin Touch 20 pantyhose on the airplaneJust recently I returned from my trip to US and I wanted to write about two conversations I had with flight attendants on the way there and back about pantyhose. I was curious to hear whether why they choose not to wear compression hosiery even though it is fully covered by their work benefits and where they buy their regular ones.

On my way to JFK one of the flight attendants was very friendly to me and I asked her, out of professional interest, what hosiery she wears. She said that she actually buys her tights at the dollar store! Somehow whether she buys it for $2 or for $15 from the department store, she still ends up getting snags in them the first time she wears. Thus, she figured, why spend more.

When I asked about compression, she said that she has one pair that she got through the company. It helps her legs and she really should wear it, but it’s too much hassle. Compression hosiery needs to be put on wearing latex gloves and it has to be washed in a specific soap solution.

My suggestion to her was to buy a few more of those compression tights and alternate them, so she can wash them all at once. I also gave her my card and offered to give her some free Fiore hosiery to try out and review. There are moderately priced options out there that don’t have as high of a mark up as the ones at the department store.

On my flight back I asked another flight attendant about her tights and the story was almost the same. She buys her regular hosiery from Aldo shoes. Exactly like the lady before her, she also owns one pair of compression hosiery that she was specifically measured for. However, she lost weight and her compression tights no longer fit her properly.

For all the flights I wore pantyhose myself, it’s doesn’t look credible to ask someone a personal question, claiming you are from the hosiery industry, if you don’t look the part. On my flight to JFK I wore Wolford tights and on the way back out of Boston I wore a pair of thicker Taiwanese ones that were a gift from a friend. Fiore tights make up the majority of my personal collection, but I also like to try on different brands in order to be able to compare and give people good feedback in terms of benchmark brands.

Lack of Refinement at the NYC Wolford Boutique (Columbus Circle Location)

August 3, 2017 under Wolford

Wolford boutique New York City NYC Columbus Circle reviewI got to visit New York City on my vacation and I couldn’t resist to see their local Wolford boutique near Central Park, at the Columbus Circle shopping center). Despite the crazy heat this Tuesday, I put on my Satin Touch 20 pantyhose (a gift from a special fan), a lace white skirt, and a black thong bodysuit that I just recently purchased (more about that later). Not intentionally, but I actually ended up wearing the bodysuit style that is called “New York”. I thought I was all set for my visit. My expectations were soaring high and I knew exactly what style of pantyhose I wanted to buy.

I walked into that boutique and noticed two women talking to each other at the entrance, both of them turned out to be Wolford employees. Only after they finished their conversation and I already had my back to one of them while looking at the display, I heard a greeting from Kathleen. Here comes the first strike. Greeting a customer without eye contact.

No matter how long I circled the boutique, trying to solicit any further response in my address, I still felt like I was invisible. At some point I even took the liberty to pull out the drawer of Neon 40 tights and started checking their shades and sizes, hoping that the woman watching the screen of the desk top computer would turn to me and help me pick out the right size and shade.

The day before I sent my guy “undercover” to scout the boutique. His experience was actually quite pleasant, but it was not the same sales person welcoming him though. Right away he was informed that there is a sales section with 70% OFF. At least it would be nice to also get the same information! I figured if I bring up the price, perhaps I’ll heard back which items are on sale as a way to accommodate budget-conscious customers.

I walked up to the rack with some tops and finally asked the sales person why the items are so expensive. She came up to me and highlighted some valid points about Wolford’s quality and reputation. I thought to see how she will respond to a tougher question and pointed at the snags all over the collar of a shirt that was still hanging there with a regular price tag – “Really, you say they make good quality items? Look at this damage.”

Kathleen (forgive me if I spell this wrong, I had to ask her what her name was because none of the staff wore name tags) was very polite and offered to give me a damage discount on the top. She also pointed out that even though that rack is still regular price, this is what’s left of the summer collection and it is getting shipped back to Austria tomorrow. This is just my opinion, but here is the 2nd strike – damaged merchandise should be spotted immediately by staff, not by customers, and either taken off the floor or discounted accordingly.

Third strike for me was that both of the workers on the floor were with bare legs. I brought up the question and got the answer that it is not part of the summer uniform because it is so hot outside. Of course, Kathleen pointed out that whatever she is wearing is made by the Wolford brand. Did Wolford really change their policies or is she just not aware of the dress code? Most of my Wolford boutique visits happened during the summer and I don’t recall seeing staff with bare legs. At least if the front window is occupied mainly by mannequins in fishnets, I would assume that such hosiery would be a great solution for a hot day.

I told Kathleen everything as is, pointing out that I am also wearing Wolford and that I am planning to blog about my visit. She offered me some information to take with me about the upcoming collection and I gladly agreed. But here came the fourth strike – the phone rang. Those of you who worked in customer service know that there are techniques to handle a phone call and an in person customer at the same time by picking up the phone and asking the caller to wait a little bit, then to wrap up the discussion with the person in front of you, and move on to the phone call. In this case I was still standing there, waiting for the conversation to come to an end so I could get that promised brochure.

That moment I saw my guy turn up at the door looking for me, so I was about to leave and Kathleen caught up to me and gave me that brochure to take home. I haven’t seen whether the phone call was over or whether she in fact did put the caller on hold.

My visit, regretfully, ended without a purchase. I only buy if I feel satisfied with the service. It is a little bit sad for me, I was hoping to get a pair of Neon 40 tights in Midnight shade because this is one of the shades I haven’t tried yet. If even more good deals would be pointed out to me, perhaps I’d buy a few other things too. My experience did not live up to my initial excitement based on the courtesy I’ve seen in other Wolford boutiques across the country.

 

 

5 years since Sweet n Pantyhose blogger passed away

July 28, 2017 under News

Today is July 28, exactly 5 years since one of the greatest contributors to the hosiery community has passed away from cancer – Sharri Ratcliff, otherwise known as Sweet n Pantyhose. She’s been cremated and part of her ashes were spread in some of her favourite spots and the rest are kept by her husband.

Let’s spend a minute of silence together, remembering her.

I asked her husband, Robert Ratcliff, a.k.a. Outlaw, if there is anything he would like to mention. Here is what he said:

“…(July) 28th 3:40pm EST she passed over peacefully with me and all 5 of our children around her. She regularly contacts me in dreams and through psychics. She starts off mentioning that she will be the first one I see when I pass over.” Robert Ratcliff

Sweet and Pantyhose

I also wanted to share a few beautiful comments I got on social media when I informed my audience that this day is coming up. Here is what they had to say:

“I remember her work. It was so sad and is still so sad to think about. She fought hard, but cancer is a horrible miserable bitch. I still have her review page saved on my eBay account. Thanks for making this post. I hope her widower is doing okay. They seemed like a very happy couple.” Matthew Wilson, via Facebook

“I had several conversations with her, she was truly a sweet lady who had the pantyhose gene.” Dom Oregon, via Facebook

“She was such a wonderful and genuine person.” Nylons99, via Twitter, who met her in Las Vegas in person

“She was a beautiful woman with great legs in pantyhose. She is always missed and I enjoyed her work very much.” Joel Barber, via Twitter

“Her name said it all. She always managed to have mischievous fun in her hose and was a tireless promoter of women’s embrace of them.” David, via Twitter

“She was the first pantyhose girl I found who embraced it. I sure was sad for her husband. They had a really good thing going.” Shawn, via Twitter

“Oh no, where have I been. I didn’t even know. She was a very lovely lass who had a great passion for tights.” Linda, via Twitter

Sweet n Pantyhose on the beach in shiny pantyhose

Sweet n Pantyhose 1 year since she passed away

A few months ago Alan from Canada wrote to me the greatest compliment of all. I was pretty moved by it because for me to be seen somewhere near the level that Sweet reached is a big accomplishment.

“Do you remember the lady who went by Sweet NPantyhose?  I always viewed you as her successor after she sadly passed away from cancer.  Like Sweet, you fill the role of non xxx rated pantyhose appreciation that both women and men can enjoy.” Alan, Canada

Sweet n Pantyhose blogger passed away

 

Manolo Blahnik Shoes

July 24, 2017 under Famous

I was just browsing through Vogue and I found a few photos of Manolo Blahnik designs involving his shoes paired perfectly with stockings. This Spanish designer for sure knows how to put the two together. Latex, nylon, or who knows what, it adds that fantasy dimension to the image.

Manolo Blahnik shoes and hosiery

Manolo Blahnik started his career in the 70s and brought back elegance and femininity by popularizing and perfecting the stiletto heel once again. Even though platforms were extremely in fashion in those days, he just didn’t like them and up to this very day you will find any platform shoes in his collection. In his opinion, platform shoes don’t go well with female body proportions.

 

Manolo Blahnik shoes

Guelaguetza Mexican Festival – culture, dancing, and some “dare to eat” delicacies

July 21, 2017 under Travel

By Helene, Mexico. A little detour from pantyhose for the sake of the love of culture and festivals. This event happened on July 15th, meaning last weekend.

Can heavy rain can be an obstacle for a holiday, even the most waited for?

This Saturday we went out to catch the last calenda of Guelaguetza – an amazing procession of representatives from all corners of Oaxaca, a state in the very heart of Mexico.

This was an unforgettable plunge into centuries ago, when people believed that each stone is alive. It’s like having a flash back to the times when indigenous tribes were the masters of their lands, the times of great civilizations which are believed to have vanished.

Though, here, in the heart of Mexico, old traditions are kept even in everyday life, and during Guelaguetza they come alive like hundreds of years ago.

Guelaguetza Mexican Festival 2017 Oaxaca 1

Wearing gold? Why not, as gold was as common as dirt at the festival.

 

Guelaguetza Mexican Festival 2017 Oaxaca 2 parade VIVA breadkmakers

These are our local bread-makers. We can find their bread in markets and specialized shops.

 

Guelaguetza Mexican Festival 2017 Oaxaca 3

Are you from far mountains? Welcome here to dance!

 

Rain? You have already forgotten about it, and some mezcal in an improvised chili-glass that dancers are giving to anybody willing to try will make you want to dance as well. Just take off your modern shoes and put on the hand-made sandals that dancers are wearing. Now you are one of them, those indigenous who came to visit their successors. Take a ripe pineapple and dance with the girls from Pineapple valley. Or do you prefer the bright colours of Villa de Zaachillla?

Guelaguetza Mexican Festival 2017 Oaxaca 4

Dancers representing Villa de Zaachillla region in bright costumes.

But all ends sooner or later. The calenda is over, the dancers went to have rest before tomorrow`s performance – the last day of Guelaguetza.

I returned home and changed out of my soaked clothing and shoes into a slim black dress, a pair of ultra sheer tights, and my favourite high heel sandals. Inspired by all that I saw, I decided to go out for…

Guelaguetza Mexican Festival 2017 Oaxaca 5

Guess what for?

Have you ever tried grasshoppers? Fried, with chili, this time they were served with pasta and cheese and were not so grasshoppish. And well, that was OK, even very fine. Ok, OK, just for a change…

Guelaguetza Mexican Festival 2017 Oaxaca 1 sweet plum jam treat

Plum jam with chili.

The plums were delicious! I got it in a small plastic bag – just caught it during the procession, as the dancers were throwing in crowd all that they make or grow. Thus I came home with a bag full of home-made bread, a sombrero, and many little things of I-don’t-know-what, like these plums (if those were indeed plums).

I am already looking for the next Guelaguetza, even though this one has finished just today, several hours ago. Moreover, am sure that I will come to visit it wherever in the world I am. Just to plunge once more in childhood where we were watching films about ancient civilizations and dreaming of visiting those times and places. Here, in Oaxaca, it became my reality.