Textured, printed, opaque, sheer and footless tights and leggings, fishnet stockings, and panty-hose... you've got tons of options when it comes to hosiery, but all that lingerie jargon - hold ups, control-top, knee-high - can get a little confusing. Hosiery can be lumped into three basic categories: tights (opaque or sheer, footed or footless), sheer or fishnet stockings (hold-ups or with garter belts), and leggings or footless tights.
Sheer & Opaque Tights
Before shopping for tights, familiarize yourself with the term, "denier." This refers to the sheerness of the tight. The lower the denier, the sheerer the hosiery will be on your leg. A high denier is of course more opaque, and will result in a thicker tight with more saturated color.
Denier less than 10 is barely there. Such tights are perfect for warmer weather or at formal occasions. Tights with a denier between 10 and 20 are the most popular sheer hosiery because they are practical, durable, and still leave your legs looking only lightly covered. Denier between 25 and 35 is semi-opaque and above 40 is totally opaque.
With not a glimpse of your skin visible through the tights, 40-plus denier is perfect for colder weather and bright, vibrant colors like red, burnt orange, purple, burgundy, hot pink, ballet pink, turquoise, textured nude black, brown and striped. If you're wearing color, keep your legs neutral with black, gray, or brown. If you're wearing neutral tones and feel like having a bit of extra fun, go ahead and jazz up your stems with an eye-popping pair of tights.
When deciding what color you're going to tint your lower half, anything goes... almost. Pick deeply saturated shades in season-appropriate colors. Deep burgundies, reds, purples, browns, grays and black are your top picks for the colder months, and eye-popping, vibrant tints such as turquoise and magenta fun warmer weather choices. Always avoid lighter tones like peach, beige or pale yellow, unless you're layering with a fishnet over top.
If you're not a fan of intense color, or if you just want to change it up, slip on a pair of top quality sheer tights in neutral tones or patterned textures to beautify your legs.
If you want to spice things up, pick up a pair of sexy stockings and an understated garter belt instead of full hosiery. With luxurious lace tops, sexy back seams and undeniably irresistible straps, stockings are easily the hottest undergarment you'll ever put on. Avoid unintentional peepshows by making sure that your hemline is long enough to prevent flashing innocent colleagues or other bystanders whilst crossing your legs. You don’t want to look like a hussy, so reserve such racy peeks for that special someone.
Thigh-High Hold Ups
If you can't be bothered with a garter belt, thigh-high hold ups are your best bet. The elasticized top, combined with a silicone band, keeps this stocking snuggly in place mid-thigh. Avoid common recommendations to slather your legs with moisturizer - the added product will only make the top slip annoyingly all day long.
Fishnet stockings, tights, and textured hosiery are an updated, more fashionable replacement old fashioned nylons or pantyhose. Check out Fishnet Stockings for advice on the size of the mesh, the shade of the stocking, and the footwear and clothing best paired with your choice hosiery.
Tights Leggings & Footless Tights
Cropped or footless tights are a fantastic option for casual looks, and are best worn under a mid-thigh skirt paired with a pair of flats in warmer months. Cropped tights and leggings are most flattering on ladies with longer legs, as cutting the leg at this place can have the visual effect of shortening the leg, so if you desperately want to lengthen your legs, stick with footed tights.