Hosiery Terminology


Tights these days refer to basically any tight-fitting item of legwear that covers the entire leg from the toes to the waist. Everything from dance tights to opaque tights can be classified as such. Sheer tights are just the thinner version, usually referred to as pantyhose.


Pantyhose or sheer tights.... People often confuse pantyhose with stockings, which are hosiery items that rest on the thigh and require suspender belts in order to stay put. Pantyhose are sheer hosiery items that go up to 30 denier. After that they are referred to as semi-opaques, or opaques.



Shapewear also comes in the form of hosiery. The specific suppotr and push-up fit helps to shape and mould your legs, waist or pelvis are and enhances your figure. Smoothing out all of those sweets and wine sins we don’t love that much. Perfect for evening wear or when you need to look amazing in a flash.


A definitive in the legwear world, stockings remain a timeless choice. Synonymous with glamour, elegance and magnificently sexy, stockings can be worn as part of a corporate outfit and go very well with a bottle of bubbly and some sexy lingerie.


Denier is the thickness of the yarn used in the manufacture of hosiery. Denier is the measure of the density of the weave which defines how opaque or transparent the garment is. One denier is equal to one gram of fiber per 9,000 meters. The lower the number, the more sheer they are in density. The higher the number of denier the thicker the tights.
As a quick guide you can work it out as follows:
Extra Sheer: 8, 12,15 Denier
Sheer: 20, 30 Denier
Semi Opaque: 30 – 50 Denier
Opaque: more then 50 Denier

Sheer to Waist

Sheer to Waist means that no matter how thick your tights are – sheer or opaque – the thickness of the yarn is exactly the same from toe to waist. Perfect for wearing with short skirts and preferred by dancers.


A gusset is a panel added to the crotch area for comfort, fit and personal hygiene. Gussets are usually made from cotton. Cotton gussets are favoured for their superior hygiene and breathability,  natural, skin friendly materials.


Hosiery comes in a range of different finishes.
High-Gloss, high shine or high sheen is any hosiery or legwear that is very shiny. Very noticeable high gloss items often have a higher percentage of elastane or lycra making them supremely comfortable with a velvety feel against the skin.
Matte items have no gloss. Matte is elegant and simple and can be worn at the office or on a night out.
Soft sheen means the hosiery has an understated gloss that’s just a bit livelier than the matte version. It is very flattering and a versatile legwear finish that is perfect for everyday wear.


Hosiery with flat seams are considered higher quality products. Flat seams are not visible even under tight clothes, lie flat against your skin and no markings on your body when you take your hosiery off.


Open toe / Toeless - pantyhose with open toes have an opening at the foot area making the toes completely exposed – perfect if you are planning to wear sandals or peep toe shoes. Usually it is ultra sheer summer tights.
Reinforced toedenier are some thicker on the toe which makes these garments far more durable and stronger than their sheer toe counterparts.
Sheer toe - the fabric on the toe is the same thickness and color as the rest of the garment, which means that the toe area is more prone to snags and tears.


Pantyhose can also be classified according to the height the waistband sits at on your waist:

Low waist - finish at your hips rather than directly on your waist – perfect if you want to wear low waist clothes

Regular waist - are designed to rest directly on your waist line, at the same level as your belly button.

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