If you've been wanting to try out Gerbe luxury men's legwear, April is the month. ActivSkin is running a special where you can get 10% off your entire order if it contains at least one Gerbe item. BTW, Gerbe is pronounced with a 'g' sound like 'large') Gerbe is produced by a French hosiery company, who launched their men's line in 2007. ActivSkin is the U.S. distributor for their men's product.
I typically wear the ACTIVSKIN products, but this month I'm making a point of wearing the Gerbe line of full-length legwear so I can share a review with Nylon Gene readers. I've been a little delinquent in getting something written on my experiences so far, but I promise to get some more info on here very soon.
For now, let's just say that I've been quite impressed with the quality of the Gerbe products. I'll edit this post with more details this coming week...
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: OK, here's the lowdown on the Gerbe products I've been wearing this month. First up are the Satin20 (Product GS20) which I tested in beige. These are very comfortable and with 18% Lycra Spandex, they hug the contours very well. The flat seam construction is a nice amenity that is typically not found with U.S. manufacturers. (Since our ActivSkin products are made in the USA, we have not been able to incorporate this feature into them, as none of the U.S. knitters have this capability). All of the Gerbe products feature a wide waistband (about 2") with the name knit into it in a unique raised pattern (see photo). They also come with a well-designed fly, using a horizontal lower flap over the upper panel. This design works well in keeping things where they belong, if you get my drift. Both the Satin20 and the Voile20 (see below) have reinforced toe, and heel. Reinforced toe is not uncommon in other U.S. styles, but the reinforced heel is quite unusual. This style has a matte finish that is not very noticeable to others, if that is important to you. I was wearing the beige color, which is a little light for my skin color, and so was probably a little more noticeable than on someone with more pale natural skin color. They don't run easily, either--although I did manage to put a small snag in one leg with a sharp zipper edge on my zip-off pants legs. The good news was that the snag did not turn into a full-fledged run, up the side of my leg. That's a big plus when the inevitable sharp object meets such an expensive pair of hose. The Satin 20s cost $36.99 per pair.
The next pair were the Voile20 (GV20) in tan. The same waistband and fly are featured in this style, as well as the reinforced heel and toe. This style is constructed from 100% nylon. Obviously, I want to put the best face on all of the products we sell at ActivSkin, but I also want the readers of this blog to see it as an objective source of information that will tell it like it is. Therefore, I have to report that I did not care for the 100% nylon. They felt just great when I first put them on, although the Voile style does not claim to provide any leg support--and I knew that. You would not order these if you were looking for leg support. However, having no Lycra/spandex at all in them, they tend to not hug the leg very well as the days goes on. They were getting a little loose feeling by afternoon, and I found myself wanting take them off. The tan color I was trying out looked very good when over my slightly darker natural skin tone. If you happen to prefer the 100% nylon construction, you may like this style--as the other features common to all of the Gerbe products are present here as well (flat seams, wide waistband, good fly design, RT heel/toe). Retail price: $30.99
The next style to try out was the Drain-up40 in black (Style GT40). These are opaque, footed tights. The 40 denotes a 40 denier thickness (denier is a measure of sheerness or lack thereof). I have to say I really liked these. Even though I'm not much for wearing opaque tights except when it's really cold outside, I thought these felt great to wear. The 'Drain-up' style name is derived from a translation of the French that means that they provide full leg support, or compression, which causes the blood to 'drain up' into the rest of the body. (Yet another example of how we can wind up with some rather unusual words/names when using literal translations of words from one language to another). In any case, I could feel the leg support provided by these tights, and I liked the somewhat 'hard' yet smooth feel to the fabric, as opposed to the very soft feel of the next pair I sampled (just my personal preference). They are made of 74% Nylon and 26% Lycra/Spandex, and incorporate all the design features described in the foregoing paragraphs. This style retails for $49.99
The last of the group are the Opaque70 (Style GO70) tights, which I tested in black. (BTW, both of these last two styles of opaque tights only come in black). These also come in a footless version. While the 40-denier fabric retains a slight amount of see-through, these are completely opaque. If you prefer a softer feeling fabric, you'll like these (94% Nylon, 6% Lycra/Spandex). As I said above, I tend to prefer the 'harder' feel of the DrainUps--but that's just me. I also go for the ones with the leg support, but then again that's the original reason I first began wearing nylon legwear in the first place. The Opaque70 tights cost $44.99 each.
Obviously, the Gerbe products cost a good deal more than our own ACTIVSKIN products, but they do provide a certain luxury aspect that can typically only be found in European-made hosiery. Many of our customers consider that to be worth the price. I hope the foregoing reviews have been helpful to my readers.