03 May
Clues for Solving the Great Hosiery Mystery

The word hosiery refers to stockings, tights, and socks collectively. I use the word tights when I am speaking about opaque or semi-opaque hosiery. I enjoy wearing an expanded offering of tights in the winter. The choices in colour, texture, and fibres add spice to a winter wardrobe and enhance the look of boots. In spring, I keep a couple of pairs of black tights in my drawer for chilly, rainy days, and I put the rest in storage until fall.

In summer, I wear lightweight pantyhose with fabulous features that perfectly meet my needs. I am always interested in what other women want in hosiery. While researching my 2014 blog, The Pantyhose Controversy, I discovered that loads of women don’t want to wear pantyhose at all. I think many women feel overwhelmed by the vast number of choices in hosiery departments. 

In an attempt to source the hosiery I like, I began to work with a supplier. I gave pantyhose to women of all ages, asking them to wear the hosiery and share their opinions with me. My goal for this panel of women was to collect their feedback so that I could share their thoughts, and my own, with hosiery suppliers, retail outlets, and my readers. I want to keep manufacturers meeting our criteria. I want more department stores to offer solutions for discerning customers. I hope to help women become discriminating consumers and to prevent them from making a panicked stop at a drugstore, on the way to a wedding, only to grab a constricting pair of pantyhose that ruin their evening. The pantyhose I wear are so comfortable I could sleep in them.

Technology has improved tights and pantyhose, and they can do much more than add a little colour to your legs. Fine hosiery softens lines, enhances leg shape, and offers a polished finish. Women should choose pantyhose that increase their circulation, but another side benefit is gentle firming. Also, wearing pantyhose on a walking tour prevents blisters because shoes can’t rub a nylon-clad foot. 

When buying hosiery, you need to understand the features offered and what you want in hosiery. Finding the perfect pantyhose might seem like a daunting task because the packaging is covered with tiny writing and a glossary of unfamiliar terms. For decades, women enjoyed the luxury of speaking with a hosiery specialist about the perfect legwear for a particular outfit. My mother-in-law always knew her hosiery saleslady by name. In the twenty-first century, we have too many hosiery choices, less shopping time, and no hosiery experts near the department store pantyhose section. 

For me, spring and summer hosiery must be 40-denier with an invisible control top, a sandal foot, and the tiniest waistband. I am sure that the only reason women haven’t embraced the invisible control top is that they haven’t tried it. The invisible top doesn’t squeeze or pinch; it gently firms your body while holding your hosiery up. The knit is light and, therefore, not too hot to wear in summer. I find the 40-denier knit disguises small blemishes and helps to increase circulation. I continue to scour pantyhose offerings wherever I go so that I can stay on top of new options.

   Notice this package and the information I have circled. Almost all of my hosiery panel members love Silks Energizers 19227. They have an invisible control top, have medium support, and help improve circulation. The other side of the package indicates 40-denier, which is a weight measurement for nylon or silk yarn. Ultra-sheer hosiery could be 10 to 15-denier while opaque hosiery can be 80 to 90-denier. The package indicates that the panty contains a higher percentage of elastin than the legs, but the change in stretch control, from panty to leg, is very gradual, and that results in smooth contouring, rather than creating a bump at the thigh. This hosiery has a fantastic combination of features. Keep this list in mind when you shop for hosiery.

Once you've found your desired hosiery, choosing your size is essential. If you are on the higher edge of the weight-height scale, go up a size. If you dislike the first pair you buy, don't give up. You will eventually find the qualities you prefer.  

Leave me a comment today, saying, “I’m interested,” and I will select three commenters to try a pair of Silks Energizers, free. 

Hosiery Tips:

1. Wash your hosiery before wearing them, if possible. The colour will lighten, and the texture will improve.

2. I wash pantyhose in a lingerie bag in the washing machine with other delicates, but I hang them to dry. I use a gentle detergent.

3. Always wear gloves when putting on pantyhose. Watch this how-to video for instructions on getting into your hosiery. 


4. For new ideas on how to wear fashion pantyhose, and to purchase them online, check out From Rachel.com, as seen on Dragon's Den. I subscribe, and I am always motivated to dress creatively on the days I receive her blog. 


Comments (9)

  • C. R.
    February 23, 2019 at 08:48 am

    "I'm interested!" Thanks for the great articles Maureen!

  • christine whitton
    October 27, 2018 at 08:43 am

    Having worked in ladies undergarments in the sixties when stockings and a girdle were a must. We gave advice and the ladies knew us. When I changed jobs to the hosiery department in the seventies, pantyhose was very popular and more and more styles came on the market. My advice was, "find the pantyhose and size that fits you best, and stay with the brand." I have worn the same brand of pantyhose for 42 years. They are Berkshire day sheers with a reinforced toe for everyday wear. I never ask a sales lady because they don't know anything about pantyhose.

  • Sakina Madini
    July 15, 2018 at 01:48 am

    I tried the pantyhose with my new dress and I like it. Before I had problem in my feet because I stand up 5 hours but now the pantyhose increase my circulation I feel much better than before. I hope all women will try it .

  • Margaret Jones
    July 9, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    Hi Maureen, Who knew, I'll try summer panty hose and cut back on the spray tan.

  • Verla Schmirler
    July 5, 2018 at 03:05 pm

    Since posting my May 6 comment, I have had opportunity to try a pair of Silks Energizers pantyhose. Based on the size chart, I opted for my usual size C, and they fit perfectly! They are long enough to comfortably reach my waist, with enough stretch remaining to be comfortable at my toes. My legs feel the “energizing” action, and the "Natural" colour blends well with my fair skin tone. They look very fashionable with my summer dresses and pumps!

  • Leona Romaniuk
    June 12, 2018 at 06:18 pm

    Maureen ,you are a fantastic ambassador for Hosiery!Your information is so genuinely accurate.I have sold hosiery many years as a rep/ merchandiser at every dept and independednt store in western Canada.It was always a rewarding experience to resolve a fit issue or guide the customer to the right product.

  • Verla Schmirler
    May 6, 2018 at 12:52 am

    Thank you, Maureen, for the wealth of information on hosiery, especially pantyhose! They have come a long way since my first pair that were "one size" and sold for $1.97. As ill fitting as they were, they still seemed like heaven compared with nylon stockings held up by a garter belt or uncomfortable panty girdle. Needless to say, I am already envisioning a pair of those Silks Energizers with two cute summer dresses hanging in my closet! Do you think they could transform my thighs into the shape I have always wanted?

  • Marion Murawsky
    May 3, 2018 at 04:34 pm

    Hi Maureen, Loved your article on pantyhose!!!!!!! I have now tried pantyhose & especially the knee highs that you are carrying. Loved them all. I am more of a pant wearer in the winter but maybe now I will get back into more pantyhose for the fall. Marion

  • Gayle Senger
    May 3, 2018 at 11:36 am

    Hi Maureen I always enjoy your reads . Very informative. Is this your secret for stylish legs in every outfit you wear. You rock them girl.

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