Spring-cleaning your clothes part 2: Hosiery help (tights, socks & stockings)

April 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

I hope you enjoyed the first part of my current ‘Spring-cleaning’ your wardrobe series; a light-hearted insight into caring for your clothes from shoes upwards.  If you haven’t yet read the first part, check it our here.  We’ve covered boot, shoes and other now the spotlight’s on hosiery.  We’re talking all garments worn on your feet and legs encompassing leggings, socks, stockings and tights!

The easiest way to avoid hosiery depreciation – according to various tight manufacturers – is to handle with care.  Some suggest washing bags and protective gloves as a precautionary measure!  Realistically, who has time to handle hoisery gently, I know I don’t.  Usually my mornings are spent desperately seeking out a pair of tights that A. Don’t have any holes in the crotch  B. Don’t have ladders which are far beyond the realms of a coat of clear nail varnish and C. Oh, so I now have NO tights.  Great.  I decided to sort out my tight/sock drawer to avoid these morning issues and use the extra time to tend to my blooming flowers.  Yep, Im growing flowers in my room which will eventually (if they continue to grow) be replanted into bigger vessels and displayed beautifully on my window sill just in time for Summer.  If anyone knows where I might find rustic terracotta, possibly chipped, round plant pots please let me know!  So that’s what i’ll be doing instead of searching for a pair of matching socks.  What will you do with the extra time in the morning??

I began by sorting through a mountain of colours & an array of patterns and discovered that a serious scale-down was in order.  Im getting rid of any garishly printed socks as they have no use for me now.  I don’t need to consult my socks to determine the day of the week, whether or not I’ve ‘popped my cherry’ or for anyone else to discover who my favourite cartoon character is.  Leave those numbers for nearby Dads!!

I’ve kept 3 pairs of trainer socks for exercise, which I have been partaking in a lot of late since joining Edinburgh City Bootcamps which I can highly recommend to anyone keen on fast fitness and renewed motivation!  I also kept 3 pairs of short socks (ranging from grey t0 black in shade), 4 pairs of knee high socks (grey, navy, black, orange), 3 quirky pairs (black lace, black fishnet, white with lace trim) and 5 pairs of 100 denier tights.  I’ve figured that if I don’t do any washing for 2 weeks, I’m covered.  What will I do with the socks which didn’t qualify I hear you say?  I’ll be keeping a few odd socks for dusting purposes – they are brilliant because you can simply pop them over your hand and clean an array of surfaces – fits like a glove!  The rest I’ll pop into my local clothing bank as well as keeping 1 pair of inadequate tights for daylight robbery AKA driving lessons, train journeys, petrol etc…

I did come across one useful tip to take into consideration when caring for your tights, “do not dry on or near direct heat” ie the radiator, something which I have always done because I love the feeling of putting on warm tights in the morning, this is a habit I’m willing t kick if it means one less pair of tights to replace!  With socks, the key is to put them into their pairs as soon as they’re dry so you don’t end up with mismatched pairs, if this is something you can’t favthom you might want to consider purchasing THROX, the foolish idea from Edwin Heaven, “if tyres come with a spare, why not socks?”  Hmmmm.  Moving away from pratticalities and back to practicalities – socks and tights are supposed to be folded as opposed to tied in a knot, the elasticity becomes weaker when using this method so it’s not advisable!!  There you have it.

If you have nothing left to wear on your feet it might just be time to invest in some beautiful new leg-wear.  With tights you definitely get what you pay for, I find they hold their elasticity for longer, remain opaque and snag-free and don’t end up around your ankles.  I would recommend John Lewis’s own brand of 80-100 denier* tights but having recently splashed out on Wolford’s 80 denier matt opaque tights there’s no going back.  I have washed and washed those bad boys and they truly remain perfect – walk away from the £2 multi pack, you’ll not regret it!  On the web, my personal favourites are Henry Holland’s new fringed hold-ups, Asos’s mildly unwearable yet confusingly satisfying tabaco tights and Jonathan Aston’s sweet rose anklets.

Happy folding!

*Denier:  Technically denier relates to the weight or thickness of the yarn from which the tights are woven.  The lower the denier the sheerer the appearance and the more likely the material will snag.  Denier ranges from ultra sheer (10 denier) to mega thick opaque (don’t think that’s the exact technical term) which is 100 denier and my personal denier of choice!.  Tights are functional as well as asethically pleasing.  Nope, not only do they serve the purpose of hiding hairy, white or bruised legs but they keep you cool, warm and can even make you slim!  Wayhey!  Look out for Scala Bio-Fir leggings and tights which claim to slim hips and thighs by as much as an inch and are available in John Lewis.

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