For all the trolls, ignorant comments, and creepers, I still love how the Internet enables you to connect with people in such diverse and rewarding ways. For example, when Johnny Zapp and I first began chatting, he shared with me an editorial he wrote as well as his fantastic blog, The Chivalrous Life, and then earlier this year, he became a sales representative for Kix’ies Stockings. Kix’ies provides women of all shapes and sizes with comfortable, fashionable holdup stockings which stay put regardless of the activity. I confess my initial skepticism. Several years ago, the idea of wearing holdup stockings took root because I despise how pantyhose always have a “control top.” Call me a hypocrite because I can wear skinny jeans, wiggle dresses, and pencil skirts, but when it comes to a control top stocking, I draw the line. At the time, I was also watching Mad Men religiously and wanted to channel my inner Joan. Not only will I feel sexy under my clothes, I reasoned, but I will also solve this pesky control top problem.
The results were disastrous. First, every pair I tried cut into the softer tissue of my thighs to create a less than flattering muffin top effect which sure didn’t make me feel anything other than the need to pick up running. When I finally settled on the lessor of all evils, I wore them to the mall for a day of carefree shopping only to find they would slide or roll with walking. I spent more time ducking into corners, covertly lifting up my skirt, and yanking those annoying things back into place than I did anything else. Eventually I became so frustrated, I tugged with the full force of my irritation and created a sizable run down my left thigh. My next stop was the bathroom, and the stockings next stop was the trash can. I never tried them again, that is until Johnny offered to send me a free pair of Kix’ies. He assured me that I would love these stockings because they were well-made and catered to a curvier leg. With eyebrow appropriately hooked, I accepted.
Since I have, let’s call them “shapely” thighs, I typically take whatever the back of the tight box says I should wear and go one size up. However, when Johnny insisted the size chart was accurate, I opted to try the size B which is for women with up to a 25″ thigh circumference weighing between 125-170 and up to 6′ tall. To my utter shock, they really do fit perfectly! I selected the adorable polka dot version because my polka dot tights finally wore out last year, and I could never find a replacement. While I think they’re neat, I am not as into the bolder, graphic polka dot prints and instead prefer smaller dots on a sheer black background. My Kix’ies perfectly embody everything I loved about my old pair, without the control top!
The quality of the nylon is fantastic, and I have worn mine several times without creating any runs or tears. (Note: I keep my nails short and filed too which helps.) I would liken the lower portion to the quality of what you find at Nordstrom, which fits with the $22 retail price of Kix’ies, and the seaming on the toe is discreet and feels reinforced. Kix’ies also has other styles for the modern vintage vixen ranging from sheers with a back seam to quirky pinstripe prints to plainer flesh-tone options. Furthermore, they are plus-size friendly with the size D accommodating up to a 35″ thigh circumference.
Despite the importance of a quality stocking, the more vital issues is whether the “holdup” portion of the design actually works. I am pleased to report it does! Johnny originally sent these to me in May, but given the hot summers and warm early fall, I thought a review would be out of place. In fact, it took me a couple of weeks before I was even able to convince myself to put on stockings and test them (in an air-conditioned home of course). I started small and wore them around the house for about twenty minutes here or there, but one ambitious weekend, I suited up the Kix’ies and started dancing around the house. Not the one-two step either. I mean, full-on Hugh Grant in Love, Actually, and these babies stayed put with every dip, every shake, and jump. I didn’t have to adjust them one time. They also do not create that muffin top to which I alluded earlier, making it easy to feel sultry wearing them.
The secret to Kix’ies success is how they utilize a super wide band at the top with four rows of silicone gel. The wider band creates a smooth look across the thigh, and the reinforced gel makes sure the stockings don’t move or roll down. On mine, the rows alternate between black and white for a cute contrast to the polka dots, but on plainer styles, they keep the stripes uniform. I also want to note that on the models, the stockings frequently stop around mid-thigh, but mine go all the way up. I prefer this fit because it means they will not show with any of my back vent skirts or dresses, but if you’re taller than me (5’6″ ish), they may stop a little shorter. Overall, I love my Kix’ies and am looking forward to wearing them this fall and winter.
The moment of truth: Do you think this is something you’d like to see at the shop? They are on my buying agenda right now, and I’d love to hear your feedback!