Ever wondered why there are so many types of stockings out there? Because women just love hosiery. The funny thing is that they fall under innerwear, just like underwear, when the whole point of a nice pair of silky nylons is to be seen and showcase your legs.
Centuries ago when they were invented they are meant to keep women warm.
Well, even men, too, used to wear various types of hosiery back then, and, boy, did they look funny in a pair of white tights!
In this article, we’ll be looking at various types of stockings to see the main differences between them, the various colors, deniers, and textures and we’ll find answers to some of your more pressing questions.
Should you pair your favorite LBD with opaque black tights?
Can you wear fishnet stockings at the office?
List of Different Types of Stockings
- Bridal Wedding Stockings
- Compression Stockings
- Fishnet/Fencenet Stockings
- French Stockings
- Full Body Stockings
- Garter Stockings
- Glossy / Shiny Stockings
- Lace Stockings
- Maternity Stockings
- Nylon Stockings
- Opaque Stockings
- Open Toed Stockings
- Polka Dot Stockings
- Printed Stockings
- Rhinestone stockings
- Scrunched Stockings
- Seamed Stockings
- Silk stockings
- Striped Stockings
- Suspender stockings
- Mock suspender stockings
- Thigh-Highs Stockings
- Transparent / Sheer Stockings
- Under-Cover Stockings
- Stockings FAQ:
Bridal Wedding Stockings
On the most important day of your life, hosiery matter even if you’ve chosen a full-length bridal gown.
What is going to wear your garter on if not on a pair of silky stockings?
Since they need to go with the bridal gown, wedding stockings are almost always white or any shade of it, cream, off-white ivory, you get the idea.
And they need to be exquisite if you decide to show some leg with a raised skirt.
For a heavily embroidered dress, best go with a pair of plain white stockings to avoid clashing designs that are hard on the eye.
If your dress is simple, accessorize it with laced stockings.
Look for good quality ones, never mind the price – you don’t want them to tear just as you’re about to take your first step on the dance floors.
Compression stockings serve a medical purpose primarily.
They are recommended for women who suffer from venous disorders.
Such legwear is usually very tight to decrease the diameter of distended veins and to improve blood circulation in the legs.
Wearing tight-fitting stocks prevents the formation of blood clots in the lower legs, which is a serious health concern.
If you often suffer from ankle pains and generally tired legs, you should also consider compression stockings.
However, they don’t have to be ugly.
Look for a neutral color that would go with many outfits.
Don’t think that you’ll have to wear old lady stockings for the rest of your life.
Modern compression stockings come in various trendy colors and prints, so there’s plenty to chose from.
Let’s be honest, fishnet stockings have little to do with keeping you warm.
If anything, they serve to make men hot and heads turn when you walk into a room.
The large fishnet pattern is quite eye-catching and it would be a pity to hide such hoses under a mid-calf long skirt.
You should wear fishnets with a short skirt or dress, or, at least, a skirt with an ample slit.
They are usually black, but you can also find them in red or beige.
A pair of white fishnet stockings will go well under a bridal gown.
This type of pantyhose is called French for a reason.
They’re extremely sexy.
French stockings are meant for romantic evenings and they’re perfect for a confident woman who dares to be naughty. Typically,
They are just like garter stockings only there’s not much of a belt.
You can go as far as wearing just two thin bands, just to have something to suspend the hose from.
Since they tend to be pretty revealing, don’t wear them under a very short dress!
Full Body Stockings
Now, this is something you’d definitely want to wear on a hot date.
Just as the name says, they’re more than legwear.
It’s basically wrapping your whole body in a sensual embroidered undergarment that makes a stunning impression when the dress slips to the floor.
Most often, full-body stockings come in a black color which is most seductive and flatters your curves.
Full-body stockings come with barely-there panties, plus a lace corsage.
Best worn under an elegant low-cut dress, just perfect for a night out.
Garter stockings were the norm decades ago before the pantyhose appeared.
However, they’re still very trendy if you’re going for a chic and sensual appearance.
They are worn with a garter belt which looks nothing like the thick and utterly plain undergarment your grandma used to wear.
A modern garter belt is sleek and sexy and you can wear it with matching panties.
The main appeal of garter stockings is that they cover the legs while leaving a bit of skin exposed, something which will raise up the heat a few degrees in the bedroom.
Glossy / Shiny Stockings
Glossy hosiery is prized for the shiny fabric that instantly draws attention to your legs.
They can be of any color, what matters is the gloss finish which goes well with sheer stockings, of a less than 20 denier.
They let your skin show quite a bit and the glossy look will make your legs look irresistible.
Since they’re very revealing and eye-catching shiny stockings do not go well with a formal outfit, but they’re exactly what you need when you’re going to a party.
Make sure the dress is long enough so the suspenders don’t show.
There’s nothing more perfect to underline your feminine charm than lace or a lace pattern.
Lace stockings capture the eye with their intricate pattern and look simply great if you’re wearing high heels.
They go very well with a classy pencil skirt, preferably with a slit at the back. If you have such wonderful hosiery don’t be afraid to show them.
If people also stare at your legs, well, what can you do?
You can wear such leggings for a party, a night at the restaurant, or some fancy social event.
They’re elegant, yet not all that revealing so nobody can fault you for wearing them.
Wearing any kind of hosiery in the second and especially the third trimester of your pregnancy is quite a hassle.
Normal hoses will feel uncomfortable over your growing belly, or they’ll tend to slip.
Time for maternity stockings, which are usually made of regular socks fabric but are large enough at the top to accommodate your baby bump.
The waistband should not be too tight. Preferably looking for a pair with a large soft waistband.
Also, during the last months of the pregnancy, you should consider compression stockings, specially made for heavily pregnant women.
It is often at this stage that women develop varicose veins and this is something you need to keep under control.
Before 1940, women had to wear cotton stockings, which could hardly be called sexy, or silk ones, which were too expensive.
Nylon stockings were invented in 1939 and they were way more affordable than silk ones.
To this day, nylon is the fiber of choice when it comes to hosiery since it is elastic enough for comfortable use.
Also, nylon stockings are usually sheer so you can show a bit of skin without appearing immodest.
They are great for everyday wear, mainly when you’re looking for something to keep you a bit warm.
If there’s a strict dress code at your office no one will object to a pair of nylon hosiery worn under formal two-pieces.
If you live in an area with long cold winters, opaque stockings are your best friends.
The term opaque refers to a fabric that will truly cover your skin.
They are of at least 40 deniers, with 100 denier hose being the thickest and warmest you can find.
Semi-opaque ones are between 20 and 40 denier and they do let a bit of skin show, but they’re still more reliable than sheer stockings on a cold day.
Opaque stockings go best with a mid-length skirt.
Keep in mind they’re quite thick and that might be a bit unflattering for you with a miniskirt.
On the other hand, semi-opaque ones go well with a uniform or cute autumn skirt. They’re sort of girly and will give you a youthful air.
Open Toed Stockings
Sometimes you just have to wear hosiery with a certain dress, but you still want to seem playful and carefree.
Open-toed stockings what you’ll want to wear when you just bought a gorgeous pair of peep-toe shoes and, of course, you want to parade your exquisite pedicure.
Besides leaving your toes exposed, open-toed stockings still do their main job of covering your legs and can come in any color under the sun.
Just make sure they don’t clash with the shoes.
Also, you can wear such type of clothing with a pair of sandals, not to keep you warm, but because they complement your dress. If they’re also glossy, even better, your legs will look divine.
Polka Dot Stockings
Polka dot stockings are a great choice when you’re aiming for a retro look.
Polka dots are playful and give you a youthful appearance.
For a classy look, choose a black pair of hosiery with dots of the same color, or perhaps gray or white.
Bright colors and polka dots give off a clownish vibe, so they’re only suitable for a costume party or a very funky outfit.
There’s also the question of size – if the dots are rather large they stand out so you don’t want to wear such leggings for a formal occasion.
On the other hand, small and discreet polka dots look refined and elegant so you’ll make a good impression no matter the occasion.
Printed stockings are both youthful and glamorous.
If you’re proud of your legs, go ahead and wear leggings with a playful print.
There are so many types on the market, it’s impossible not to find something you like.
For a suave appearance, choose a very feminine print, like small butterflies, red hearts, or dainty flowers.
You can also go with a colorful pattern of swirling colors, looking more like a piece of modern art than simply nylons.
Printed stockings deserve to be admired so wear them with a miniskirt or even shorts.
For a dazzling look, be bold and wear a pair of rhinestone stockings.
Such hoses decorated with small crystals will keep all the eyes on your legs.
It’s impossible not to look at a pair of rhinestone stockings as the tiny crystals reflect the light.
This is something you’ll want to wear for a night out, they’re great for clubbing, basically anywhere there’s plenty of lights to capture in the decorative pattern on your legwear.
Needless to say, they go well with a short skirt or at least a dress with a daring slit.
Also great for a romantic night, when the lights go dim and your legs dressed in rhinestone stockings get a chance to shine.
Scrunched stockings are sort of a novelty.
They first appeared on the catwalk as fashion designers found a way to break with the tradition of tight-fitting hoses.
Scrunched stockings are purposefully loose and this is a great way to attract attention to your legs.
They look out of the ordinary and make your legs look extraordinary.
They go best with a knee-high skirt as the scrunchy parts might not look all that flattering on your thighs, unless, of course, you’re some semi-starved supermodel.
Think Marylin Monroe in Some Like It Hot!
For today’s women, seamed stockings are meant to underline their perfect legs.
However, when the stockings were first invented they did not have circular knitting machines to create the seamless tights that are so common today.
They made flat nylon pieces in the shape of a leg, which was then folded in half and sewn on the back, hence the seam.
Modern tights have no need for a seam and in most cases, it’s a fake seam, only meant for aesthetic purposes.
Make sure your seam is always perfectly straight.
The first undergarments that would qualify as stockings were made of real silk.
Legend has it that it was Queen Elizabeth I who had the honor of wearing the first pair of silk stockings ever, back in 1560.
For the next four centuries, before nylon was invented, silk ones were the only option for elegant ladies.
Silk is a surprisingly resistant fabric and it has a natural shine to it which makes it just perfect for stay-ups.
Silk stockings are obviously pricier, but on the other hand, they will last you more than regular hosiery.
Striped stockings are a great idea when you want to stand out.
They can be in the traditional black-and-white zebra pattern, but any pair of colors work just as well, provided they go well with your outfit.
They look nice on teenagers and young women.
Obviously, they’re not for formal occasions, but they are perfect for a fun day with your friends.
However, keep in mind that a striped pattern is not very flattering on thick legs.
Just like garter hosiery, suspender stockings are meant to be worn with some sort of belt to keep them in place.
A suspender belt can be an elegant lacy undergarment, but you can also find something a bit more firm to give you a perfectly flat stomach.
Don’t worry, such items look absolutely great and no one will know your little secret.
Suspender stockings can come in many colors, but red and black are the sexiest ones.
Mock suspender stockings
If you want to look sexy but cannot be bothered to wear real suspender stockings, you can opt for a mock suspender one.
No suspender belt needed, it’s only a trick as it just a regular pair of thigh-highs with a clever design that imitates a garter belt.
Since you’ve bought such a fancy item, you should wear it with a miniskirt to show it off.
Such nylons are great for informal occasions and night parties, only don’t try to pass them off as real suspender stockings.
When you’re young and sexy, thigh-high stockings are great to show off your legs.
They’re less formal than regular ones and quite eye-catching.
Such legwear does not cover the whole leg.
They only go above the knee and are held in place with an elastic band.
For a greater visual impact, this elastic band can be covered in lace or decorated with cute patterns.
They are available in many colors and don’t be afraid to wear something bright.
You’re young, you look great, no need to hide those legs.
Transparent / Sheer Stockings
These are the most delicate piece of hosiery you can think of.
If you wear a flesh-colored pair of sheer stockings it will be hard to tell they’re there.
Sheer hosiery is between 5 and 20 deniers and they’re quite transparent.
They come in various colors and they’re usually also glossy.
Such stockings are great when you need to cover your legs, like a formal occasion, but it’s also quite hot outside and you don’t want to be uncomfortable in thick stockings.
This term usually refers to stockings with a reinforced upper part, meant to add a bit of firmness to your belly and buttocks.
They are very comfortable to wear, not like a garter belt, and they cannot be seen under your dress so no one will know you’re the secret to your fine figure.
Since the upper part of the stockings is a bit thicker they will stay in place no matter what, so they’re just perfect for a busy day.
As for colors, they are available in all the colors you can think of!
When should you wear stockings?
Women should definitely wear stockings on any type of formal occasion, even if the weather is too hot. Many companies require formal dress for their employees so stockings are a must.
If you have a business meeting or job interview, be sure to wear regular stockings, not too glossy and certainly not printed ones. For parties, garter stockings look very chic.
Why do you wear stockings?
The idea behind stockings was to keep women warm during the cold months. Keep in mind that it wasn’t until the 20th century that it became acceptable for women to wear trousers or jeans.
Nowadays, stockings are less of a necessity, but they remain quite popular among the ladies as they give them a refined look.
What’s the difference between stockings and hold-ups?
Stockings cover all the leg, from the toes to the waistline, while hold-ups only go up to mid-thigh. They are held in place with elastic bands.
Since they leave quite a bit of skin exposed, hold-ups are not meant to keep you warm, or not much, but they are worn for their aesthetic value, as they are really sexy.