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The GS Style Guide: 2. Hosiery Types



Hosiery - Generic term to describe everything worn on the legs that has nylon as its core component.
Hosiery doesn’t just mean Stockings; it includes tights, hold-ups, stockings, knee-highs, ankle highs and socks.

In British English, the word "tights" (pantyhose in American English) is for leg coverings from the waist to the feet, such as those worn by ballet dancers. Most American women use the word "stockings" generically, to refer to any sheer leg covering, whether pantyhose, thigh highs, or stockings held up by garters.

Wikipedia defines the stocking as a garment that covers the "foot and lower part of the leg," and tights as "sheathing the body from about the waist to the feet." Their definition of pantyhose begins with "also called tights."

When it comes to legwear, modern wearers have a huge selection of options to choose from. The right choice of hosiery adds an undeniable sense of sophistication, class, and style to any outfit, no matter what time of year.



While socks and their purpose may be obvious, there are so many options and choices other than just white crew socks. There is a huge selection of colors, materials, lengths, and patterns and the right pair can really set off that outfit with that edgy sassy look!

Knee Highs
A knee high is between a stocking and a sock. They can be either sheer or opaque. Elasticated top, reaching the knee, and are great to wear with the right dress, skirt, trouser-suit or cropped trousers. 

Hold-Ups or Thigh Highs


If you’re looking for comfortable practicality combined with a sexier look - with less coverage than tights or pantyhose, try a pair of thigh highs. Thigh highs reach your mid thighs and have elastic or a silicone grip around the leg openings to hold them in place. Lace is common around the top. Pair these with skirts or dresses – but avoid putting too much moisturiser on your legs before wearing them as the may end up sliding to the floor!



Traditionally by far the sexiest look of all. Like hold-ups or thigh highs, stockings also reach the mid-thighs, but are secured in place with a suspender or garter belt to avoid any possibility of them falling down. Also hugely practical when in the powder-room because briefs are worn over the top. Pair these with skirts or dresses to feel elegant, classy, secure and in total control at all times.

Tights & Pantyhose
Can be useful in winter and can also even out the tone of the legs. Pair with skirts and dresses to keep legs warm and give a beautiful finish. Many also come with the option of a control top to smooth the tummy and waist. Can be used for fashion, coverage, or warmth. Useful for winter to wear with skirts
and dresses or under trousers for extra warmth.

Hosiery is made of different fabrics like Lace, nylon, nylon/lycra blends, polyester, viscose and wool blends. 

Stretch Hosiery
This is hosiery made with fabric in which lycra is added to for extra stretch – it will cling to the body like a second skin. The stretch hosiery will look shrunk and small when you get it but on the body it expands to fit as closely as possible.

Nylon Hosiery
This is non-stretch and knit hosiery made of Nylon fibers. It can also be microfiber yarn which has a soft matt finish.

This is hosiery knitted with a very wide open knit Different types of hosiery according to the toe finish.

Sandalfoot hosiery
This type has a sheer/nude heel and toe. It can be worn with open-toe or open back shoes or sandals. No one will even know that the wearer is in stockings due to the sheer and seamless look.

Open toe
This type of hosiery ends just before the toes. This makes it easier to be worn with open-toe shoes and sandals.

Reinforced Heel and Toe hosiery
This type has a reinforcement added to the heel and toe – to increase the durability of the hosiery and to protect the feet. It can be made fully reinforced or just the heel or reinforced under the toes in the shape of a circle or teardrop, half toes etc.

Different types of hosiery according to the hip portion

Sheer to waist
This refers to sheer hosiery from waist to toe – there is no extra reinforcement or any feature added to this type.

Brief style waist
This type has a brief style portion around the hip area and lower pelvis. Boxer brief has a boxer short style waist portion – the fabric around the hip is of a different fabric (denier). A V line brief has a V line portion which is reinforced or of a different denier.

Gusseted crotch hosiery
A gusset is a reinforcement added to the crotch area in the form of a triangular piece of self-same fabric or cotton or silk fabric. It gives durability to the hosiery and comfort to the wearer. A gusset is not a necessity in hosiery but it can help to prevent rips at the crotch area and nearby from pressure on the central seam.


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