Fashion Hosiery Styling & Shopping Tips

"Fashion Advice on How to Buy & Wear Womens Hosiery"

Whether it's your party, office or everyday outfit, fashion hosiery will definitely take your outfit up a notch or two!

Fishnet tights by Jonathan Aston
Courtesy of Jonathan Aston/ MyTights

I just love how it adds a fun and trendy look to any outfit. Select among a vast and exciting array of womens hosiery - from fashion stockings to leggings, pantyhose and tights, and in various prints, textures, fabrics and colors.

Want to look for the latest hosiery styles and shop instead?

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This page will give you shopping tips and fashion advice on what how to buy the best hosiery for your personal style.

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So before you go shopping here are some of the most important factors in buying womens hosiery:

What Type of Fashion Hosiery to Invest In?

If you want to keep yourself covered all-year-around and get the most out of your money, I recommend that you first secure hosiery in simple, versatile styles and colors to cover all occasions as well as major daily activities.

Examples are: Sheer pantyhose and stockings without any fancy or complicated details. The color should be neutral such as black and nude! In this way, you'll be able to wear them with the rest of your wardrobe without worrying about if they match, as well as you'll always have something versatile to cover up your legs with for every occasion.

The wardrobe hosiery essentials are:

Wardrobe essentials hosiery
  • Sheer pantyhose (and stockings if you prefer their practicality) in black and skin color
  • Black tights for your Fall outfits. Add wool tights if needed
  • Black leggings for your long tunic tops and slightly too-short dresses
  • Socks in black and skin color (for your dress pants outfits)

And to ward off laundry day (and the inevitable rips!), secure two of each color for each hosiery type.

Stretch Your Style Envelope

After securing the hosiery basics, it's time to build on them based on your major daily activities (work, casual evenings, traveling, parties, etc.) and personal style.

For example if you've secured basic sheer pantyhose in black and nude, you can stretch your comfort zone with a pair of lace tights or sheer tights with black polkadots and/or vertical stripes. Try fashion leggings in various textures and finishes such as faux leather and lace.

Show off your personal style with rendy fashion hosiery

You can also further grow your hosiery collection with bolder colors such as as red, blue, purple and mustard!

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Will It Flatter Your Legs?

Long and slim legged women are primed for all kinds of of legwear, and can handle the bulk most fashion hosiery give them. Short, thick and shapely legs on the other hand, run the risk of looking stumpy - which is why strategic styling and the right choice of hosiery are super important in perfecting the chic hosiery-look!

Here are a couple of guidelines to making sure you select the right pair that flatter your legs and body figure:

If You Have Skinny Legs

Lace tights from
Courtesy of

Add volume to your very lean legs with print tights (lace, leopard, polka dots, etc.) but make sure the scale of the print matches the scale of your slim legs, so avoid super huge prints that will look too much on them.

For daily wear or simple hosiery styles, look for tights with some shimmer on them. Or try tights with a richer texture (eg. ribbed texture wool tights) to add some width and shape.

    fashion tip Tip: If you have long legs consider wearing capri leggings. Capri length widens your calves but will shorten them a little so make sure you have long limbs.

If Your Legs Have Skin Imperfections

Sheer pantyhose form Nordstrom
Courtesy of Nordstrom

If your legs have razor bumps, spider veins, stretch marks, discolorations or dry skin, cover them up with semi-opaque or sheer hosiery in neutral colors such as black and nude.

You can also camouflage the imperfections with subtle vertical prints. For example, vertical stripes or ribbed wool patterns.

Ultra-sheer pantyhose is perfect when you need to wear a skirt to work but it's too hot to wear regular hosiery.

If You Want Leaner and Longer legs

If you want leaner and longer-looking legs (who doesn't?), choose fashion hosiery that slims.

Examples are:

    How to wear hosiery if you want to look taller or make your legs look longer
  • Vertical details - stripes, vertical rib knit and lace texture
  • Fashion print leggings with a dark color base can help break up your legs but you may need some heel to counter the slight shortening effect
  • Color that blends with your footwear
  • Leggings that end right above your ankles
  • Stockings with a vertical Cuban backseam

Mini notebook icon Note: These guidelines apply to anyone who wants leaner and longer looking legs. Especially for petites and anyone with full/shapely legs.

If you're a plus size or have gained some extra weight around the hips and thighs, you also might want to look into silky control top pantyhose which offers slimmer legs and hips, comfortable slimming control and light leg support. See Style & Shopping Guide to Body Shapers.

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Select the Right Fashion Hosiery Fabric

To help you select the right style, let's take a look at some of the basic terminology on hosiery fabric:


Nylon is man-made with a durable material thread, known for its resistance, dimensional stability, elasticity and easy washing characteristics.


And then there's silk which is the most elastic thread and also boasts of smoothness, strength, and luster. It's a natural fiber which lets the skin breathe and is ideal for warmer weathers.


I recommend that you take note of the percentage of Lycra or Elastan(e) when shopping for hosiery. They're both high-quality fibers that are woven into tights to give a better fit and finish to the garment. And not least, they're comfier!

The amount of Elastane of Lycra used in hosiery vary between manufacturer. Generally cheaper hosiery will contain less Elastane or Lycra ( 2% to 5%) than more expensive brands commonly containing 10% to 30%.

    fashion tip Tip: If you're planning on buying fashion hosiery for everyday daily wear, then established brands, although expensive, are the best. Such as Wolford and Jonathan Aston.

Understand How "Denier" Works

The term "Denier" indicates how sheer a piece of hosiery is. Basically, the lower the denier, the more sheer the hosiery and vice versa. You need to decide if you prefer a lighter and less saturated or a more covered and "thicker" look.

Denier hosiery terminology

Sheer Tights and Opaque Tights/ MyTights

It works like this:

Ultra Sheer: less than 10 denier
It gives the appearance of bare legs. Perfect for summertime without making your legs and butt sweat in the hot weather. Ultra sheer hosiery is subtle and very elegant.

Sheer: 10 - 20 denier
It is stronger than ultra sheer with a similar look and must be the reason why it's the most popular denier range. Sheer evens out the appearance of your legs. Practical for everyday wear and looks elegant for evening.

Semi-opaque: 25- 35 denier
It's stronger and longer lasting than sheer. Still elegant for dressy occasions (you can still see your legs through the weave). Warmer than sheer, but not yet opaque.

Opaque: 40 denier ++
Very durable and long lasting, practical for everyday wear. Very warm, ideal when you want to wear a skirt in cold weather. It completely covers the leg, so you cannot see your skin through the weave.

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How to Wear Fashion Hosiery

There are several ways to wear hosiery - from creating a fashion statement, looking trendy or for that alluring feel and vibe that attracts the opposite sex.

If you don't want to draw too much attention (like for special occasions and office work wear), you can never go wrong with basic sheer hosiery in black or nude. They're simple but styled right, you'll immediately boost your sex appeal.

However if you want to have fun with fashion and create a statement, experiment with splashy colors, prints and textures.

Look Classy-Chic

For a classy but casual-chic ensemble, pair your denim pencil skirt with black sheer pantyhose, a pretty dressy blouse and a pair of ankle booties. Top it off with a tailored blazer for an ultra-polished but fun & flirty look.

How to look classy with fashion hosiery

The goal is to mix classic with casual but with a alluring twist.

Trendy & Money-Saving

Flow easily from Summer to Fall by wearing your shorts and skirts with semi-opaque tights or thigh high socks.

How to style shorts as a winter outfit with fashion hosiery

Thicker hosiery is great for dresses too. Make your outfit more Winter-like by adding knits (knit sweater, knit scarf, etc.). You'll get the most out of your leg-baring clothes and at the same time achieve a trendy, layered look!

Create a Fashion Statement

Want to show off your fearless and in-the-minute sense of style? Try a pair of print or textured tights with a sweater!

How to create a fashion statement with hosiery

I'm not a fan of loud and trendy leggings, so I stick to the chic and alluring but on-the-edge fashion hosiery such as faux leather leggings or lace tights.

Lightbulb More Tips on Buying Fashion Hosiery

  • In the summer, consider investing in footless tights or knee high stockings.
  • When buying thigh-high stockings, include a pair of garter belts. You'll feel extra sexy!
  • If you'll be working in hosiery all day choose ones with reinforced toes for exatra comfort and durability.

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Time to Shop for the Latest Fashion Hosiery

Now that you've gone through my fashion tips and shopping advice on womens hosiery, it's time to shop!

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More Shopping & Chic Inspiration at the TCF Blog:
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The Chic Fashionista's Latest Trends Picks - Chic Runway Looks and Must-have Trends and Trendessentials The Chic Fashionista's Chic Inspiration-blog - Outfit ideas, celeb style and trend styling tips The Chic Fashionista's Stylish Finds - Latest trends and shopping picks, sales & discounts, link round-ups and featured posts & blogs/sites Learn more about the fashion basics on how to look your best and dress stylish

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