Sometimes, the universe aligns two busy and highly driven bodies to intersect at the exact moment when they need to.
When we meet, I tell Vienne how much I love to wear skirts and so I have many pairs of tights and pantyhose. But I’ve never owned a pair of thigh highs.
Vienne looks at me rather knowingly. Here are the reasons why this admission doesn’t surprise her:
ONE: “American women, a lot of the time, are somewhat unfamiliar with thigh highs and they think of it as a Halloween costume or something that’s more scandalous.”
Vienne is looking to disabuse women of this parochial notion. Her Fall Winter 2011 Collection, for instance, includes Work and Play categories. The former feature stocking for professionals, with classic black and nudes as the everyday, most popular, color choices. The latter caters to more playful, statement making professional women, willing to add a bit of pop to their plain dresses and been-there-done-that skirt suits with more pattern and unconventional color choices.
When I wear the Gisella, VienneMilano’s super festive and sparkly thigh highs with a velvet lace stocking top that’s so well crafted and pretty that I show it off a little, on purpose, whenever I cross my legs. I feel playfully scandalous, not slutty. I look sexy, not costumy. The proof is in the looks I get from men and women at Beehive: I can tell they like it. This isn’t scientific, I know, but sometimes you just know what you know.
TWO: “I hate pantyhose. Those control tops are basically muffin tops.”
So true. It’s really tough sometimes to wear waist-clinging dresses if I have to wear pantyhose or tights. Usually I try to pull up the waist band to halfway up my ribs where the fat layer is thinner and less likely to bulge from a little squeeze.
THREE: “They’re restrictive and…”
It’s something I’ve gotten used to. But who hasn’t heard women complain that, “I can’t breath and they pinch.”
Or, “They make me feel like I’m wearing a girdle.”
FOUR:”… not hygienic.”
When I question this claim, Vienne assures me there are “a couple of articles out there” about the unhygienic pitfall of pantyhose.
I can’t just take her word. My Bachelor’s degree is in the sciences, after all. So I look into it. The Good Old Days says, “pantyhose are unhygienic. Women who wear pantyhose or slacks have more, er, personal infections than women who wear skirts and stockings” This article also complains about the ever falling waist band of pantyhose that cinch at your hips to give you the dreaded muffin tops as pointed out by Vienne.
Another website offers a more official explanation, blaming “nylon or synthetic pantyhose made of non-absorbent material, which are too tight contributes to unhygienic virus infection.”
FIVE: A lot of other thigh highs out there don’t have the silicone lining on the inside of the stocking tops. It’s what keep VienneMilano stockings from sliding down, no garter belt necessary.
And it’s true. They don’t! The silicone band on the inside of the stocking top stays snug against my skin all night and not so hard or with so much tack that it pulls at my skin. They don’t budge, not once. Not even when I sit down and get up, sit down on the couch and get up, sit down in the cab and get up, walk down the stairs, walk up the stairs, sit down at the table and get up to use the ladies room, walk down the stairs, walk up the stairs, sit down in my friend’s car and get up and out of it. I am amazed. By now, I would have had to pull up my pantyhose waist back up over my lower ribs at least twice.
SIX: “I’ve tried other thigh highs without the silicone band,” says Vienne, “and even some from Victoria Secret. They’re super”—makes a choking sound and motion like she’s squeezing the life out of, well, a fat thigh.
This has always been a deterrent for me whenever I’ve come across thigh highs while shopping for pantyhose. Muffins tops are ungainly, but I know how to deal with it. Muffin tops on your thighs, however, look like tumors on tress. You know what I’m talking about: those trees that look like they have a hump back or got knocked up.
“No,” says Vienne, to my are you sure, “these [VienneMilano thigh highs] don’t squeeze your thighs.”
And then it’s Saturday night. I meet up with a few friends for a birthday celebration at The Beehive, a cool, live jazz joint in South End. They’re hosting a Venezuelan jazz group tonight.
I know exactly what to wear based on a poll I took of my readers on Facebook, where you can see all the other outfits. I don’t normally ask for advice when I get dressed, let alone play democracy roulette with my outfits, but in this instance the people chose wisely:
And here I am (above), true to my word of honor, wearing the people’s choice.
Vienne told me she likes to show the band a little bit with her outfits because it’s flirty. So I show it off a little, too, for my sweetie. He likey a lot a lot.
“Fashion itself is a kind of creativity; you’re making a statement, saying something about who you are.” I remember Vienne saying this to me when I try to think of what I’m saying with my outfit.
I’m saying: I like my yams and I like them glam.
Big thanks to Vienne Cheung. Your product is superb.
And as promised, VienneMilano is extending an exclusive offer to Saveur Days readers.
Go to VienneMilano and enter code: SAVEURDAYS. You’ll recieve 15% off your entire order. And as always, free shipping anywhere in the contiguous USA with your order of $50 or more.
For more photos, go to Flickr.