What are the rules for wearing pantyhose / nylons / tights?


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What are the rules for wearing pantyhose / nylons / tights?

When should I, shouldn’t I wear pantyhose, nylons, or tights? What are the fashion rules for hosiery?


Clinton Kelly from “What Not To Wear” answers:

“I can talk about pantyhose for an hour straight. There are better ways to wear hose than others. One way is to trick people into thinking you’re not wearing hose but they need to match your skin tone — if your legs are two shades darker than the rest of your body, that looks weird. The other option is to go completely opposite with fishnets, or pattern tights, or opaque.”

And he elaborates in this video:

So there you have it!  Either wear them like you mean it, or go with the super sheer styles that disappear on your legs.

Hanes Pantyhose from Walmart

wpid-IMG_20130807_020301.jpgI was at Wal Mart a few days ago and noticed that they now carried a variation of Hanes Pantyhose. As someone that’s worn countless pairs of Silk Reflections, I absolutely had to try these out to find out what the situation was.  I’m not all that interested in domestic (American) made hosiery anymore, but HEY… why not just give them a shot?  At $5.95 / pair, it would be worth finding out.  I purchased the above pictured pair in XL, Nude.  As I put them on, I noticed a few things. The color was a pretty middle of the road nude. It more or less disappeared on my skin from a distance.  The control top was moderate. As for the feel…. it was on par with what I’ve come to expect from American made hosiery. Not HORRIBLE, but worlds different from the luxury of similarly priced European styles from brands like Pretty Polly or Gabriella.   As I was running around trying to get ready to leave, the heel from my left shoe made contact with the top of my right foot. and the fabric quickly succumbed without any protest, leaving a big hole on the top of my foot.  They never made it out of the house.

Moral of the story?  Don’t bother with them.  They are essentially repackaged and rebranded Leggs Silken Mist pantyhose (both are owned by the same parent company and undoubtedly come from the same hosiery mills).

Best Legs Contest on The Paul Duane Show

GBEX10_lgI wear a few hats during the course of a month. Aside from running Hosiery Review, I am the creator and host of a late night talk show, The Paul Duane Show. It’s a late night talk show, live in Salt Lake City.  Readers of this blog will be interested to know that I wear outfits that incorporate pantyhose and heels on stage as I host the show. I decided that it would be fun to share the love of legs with the audience, so we did a Best Legs Contest.  I invited women from SLC to come and compete on the show, and compete they did!

shapings logoWe were very fortunate to have the show and contest sponsored by Shapings.com.  They sent some wonderful pantyhose for each of our contestants to wear; the Gabriella Exclusive 10’s.  This is an “entry level” hosiery from the Polish maker, but let me tell you – they feel and look 10x nicer than anything you can buy from an American hosiery maker, all price considerations aside. They are the silkiest feeling hosiery I’ve ever worn. A more complete review of them will be forthcoming in a separate post. For now, just know that if you want a real treat in the hosiery department for under $8.00 USD, this is what you need to buy. Get them here: http://www.shapings.com/pantyhose/exclusive-10-pantyhose.html


Many beautiful ladies on stage…

lmsorenson_17may2013-1The final two contestants. The girl on the left was decleared the winner by our celebrity judges.

Below is a highlight video of the contest:

Review: Nordstrom Sheer Gloss Pantyhose


On stage while hosting The Paul Duane Show. You can see the sheer and glossy character of them in this shot.

With summer approaching, I began a search for some new go-to nude pantyhose to rely on this summer. I wanted something that was very sheer, very lightweight,  long lasting,  something that gives my legs that little something extra that makes people look three times, and – something with a luxurious, silky feel.  In the past I’ve been able to find hosiery that meet any 2 of these criteria at any time, finding all traits in one pair has been elusive.

I noticed on Nordstrom.com that they had a new style of Nordstrom branded pantyhose: Sheer Gloss.  That piqued my curiosity. I bought a pair and have been very pleasantly surprised at the results.

Out Of The Package:

Right out of the package, they seemed appropriately long in the leg. Sometimes this points toward a pair of pantyhose that will be a tad tall in the sizing, and this proved to be the case. It wasn’t by much, but it made me wonder if I could have gotten away with wearing one size smaller than I usually would expect to buy.  These pantyhose are made in Italy for Nordstrom, and that became immediately obvious. The Itallian hosiery mills are well known for their superior quality.  This is an $11.00 pair of pantyhose that has a low rise panty portion, flat seams, an invisibly reinforced toe, and a 10 denier leg.  I bought them in black.  As I pulled them up, they fit perfectly. The fabric appeared to be silky right out of the package, and as they stretched over my legs, the silkiness really became obvious. They are both very silky to the touch; they also feel really nice when you rub your legs together (not all ultra sheer hose can brag this).

A Quick Lesson About Hosiery Manufacturing:


Nylon is extruded kind of like this, but on a microscopic scale.

Pantyhose are typically made up of two kinds of yarns that are woven together to create the fabric that makes up pantyhose: Nylon and a more elastic thread such as Lycra, Spandex, or Elastane. Nylon is typically being the major component in pantyhose, comprising 75% – 95% of a typical pair. When Nylon is manufactured, it is extruded into tiny threads of different shapes. Some threads are round, some are oblong, some are square, some are triangle shaped. Different shaped threads impart different characteristics to the final fabric. Think of the Play-dough extruders that you used to play with as a kid, and you’ll have the right idea.  When the hosiery mill wants something that has a more matte finish, they will use a round thread. The round threads refract the light in different directions, lending the non-shiny, matte appareance. If they want a glossy finish, a triangle shaped thread is used.  These Sheer Gloss pantyhose  had a nice transparent quality to them, although due to the inherent glossy finish of the fabric, they can make one’s legs look kind of blanched when photographs are taken using a direct flash.  Photos aside, to the naked eye, these pantyhose really live up to their name: sheer gloss. Most certainly a triangle shaped thread at work.

In The Real World:

I wore them on stage as I hosted my talk show, The Paul Duane Show, and then to an afterparty that lasted into the wee hours of the morning. They completed the first night of wearing without any damage.  I washed them and wore them for a second night. At the end of the second night, they developed some very small pinholes where a few yarns had broken, but runs did not develop. A small, almost invisible dot of clear nail polish secured the threads and set the stage for a third and fourth wearing.  They did not actually fail until after I had come home from the fourth night out in them. I was walking around without shoes on, and a hole was created in the foot. I live in a place with old reclaimed wood floors that are wrought with imperfections: not a place to wear hosiery without shoes. 537454_10151318746061862_1967522928_n

These pantyhose cost $11.00 per pair (or 3 / $30 ) which brings the cost per wearing to $2.75 (or $2.50 if you buy in bulk).  This is an excellent value, in my opinion, especially when compared with the copious failure rate of what I used to consider the old stand by, Hanes Silk Reflections (they are pretty nice to wear, but I often only get one wearing out of them, at $8.00 per pair).

Fit: 9 / 10

Feel: 9/10

Look: 9/10

Longevity: 4 solid nights out on the town!

Cost per wear: $2.75

I’m a fan. I’ll be purchasing some of these pantyhose in nude shades soon. If my experience with them changes in the future, I’ll update this review accordingly.



Review: L’eggs Silken Mist Run Resitant Ultra Sheer

A new varation of nylon / lycra fiber has hit the market that is being billed as “run resistant”. L’eggs Silken Mist is the first widely available pantyhose in the states to utilize this new yarn and weaving technique. It’s touted as being sheer, silky, and incredibly durable.  Naturally, at Hosiery Review, we had to test these claims.

I picked up a pair of the L’eggs Silken Mist for $3.78.  At this price, my expectations are not terribly high. I bought them in “black mist” Ultra Sheer Leg style.  I’ve yet to encounter an off-black variant that I’m really crazy about.  They usually end up looking grey or an odd taupey-grey.  This pair was the latter, and although not a deal breaker, you do want to be careful what colors you wear them with, as this is not a color-neutral fabric. It leans to the warm side of grey.

Construction features were as expected: a control top panty,  sheer toe, and conventional “round” seams (as opposed to the more luxurious flat seams in higher end hosiery). The control top panty was actually quite comfortable. It provided some degree of firmness, but it was nothing I felt the need to escape from.

Going on, they stretched to a very sheer consistency. L’eggs doesn’t ever specify a denier rating for their products, but I’m going to estimate these around 12 denier. This is a very sheer yarn; for the first time I was actually looking forward to getting a run in them to see how they’d handle it. To the touch, they were very silky, i’d give them 8/10.  When rubbing your legs together, though, they showed a very different characteristic, being a bit rough. Leg to leg silkiness is  5/10 .   They were just a tad bit matte in terms of sheen. The weave is very fine and this pair really seemed to want to disappear into my legs. I’m guessing that a nude pair of these would truly disappear and look very natural on one’s legs.

I wore them to a party, a bar, and an afterparty, wondering when they would meet their fate.  I ressisted the temptation to stick a ball point pen through them in the name of science. It wasn’t until the wee hours of the night, right before going to bed, that I discovered a very small hole in the toe area of one foot. I am guessing that it developed from walking around barefoot sans shoes on some rough antique wood flooring. At last, a hole! In almost any other pair of pantyhose (especially this cheap and sheer), a run (or “ladder”, as they call it in europe) would have screamed skyward up my leg. True to their promise, this run really did resist expanding. Of course, one could easily force it to run, but let’s keep in mind: any hole that doesn’t explode into a 24″ run is kind of a miracle of science.  It remained about 1″ long. I dabbed a small drop of clear nail polish on it and I’m certain this pair will be more than sturdy enough for another night on the town.

Summary:  I think this is a wonderful utilitarian pair of pantyhose. They look rather elegant, they feel very silky to the touch, and if they were just more pleasant when rubbing one’s legs together, I’d be incredibly stoked on this new revision of the Silken Mist line.  At an initial cost of $3.78, they are on the better side of average for cost-per-wearing.  Overall, I give L’eggs Silken Mist Run Resistant Ultra Sheer Leg a 7 / 10.

Review: Secrets In Lace Signature Pantyhose

photo courtesy of Secrets In Lace

I recently took some new hosiery out on the town: Secrets In Lace Signature Pantyhose (in black, of course!).  The Secrets In Lace product photography and branding is so gorgeous and elegant, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some actual product. They retail for $19.99, and after shipping, we are talking about a $25 pair of pantyhose. In this price range, there are certain expectations of quality that must be met.

Out of the package:  Removing them from the package, they loosely roll off of their packing card to reveal some interesting details:

  • fully boarded
  • flat seams
  • RHT (reinforced heel and toe)
  • “Secrets In Lace” logo embroidered at the waist
  • 20 denier
  • non-control top / sheer to waist

In the world of hosiery, there are growers, and there are showers: Some hose come out looking tiny but stretch immensely to fit your body. Others come out looking quite large and thus don’t stretch much to create a perfect fit on your legs.  These pantyhose are
the later. I was somewhat surprised at how long and roomy the legs looked.  Sliding into them, I noticed that the fabric seems to be well woven and dyed: the color distribution was nice and even. The panty portion slid right up and sat squarely on my hips as if they were custom tailored just for me. In terms of fit, this pair was superb. The panty portion isn’t at all restrictive, yet it felt perfectly secure throughout the night. The sheer to waist panty meant that these hosiery felt good on your nether region skin. Ladies, don’t bother wearing panties with something this nice – enjoy the ride.   Let’s talk about the feel of the fabric:  In terms of silkiness to the touch, I’d rate them a 7. When you rub your legs together, they don’t feel particularly silky together; I’d put them around a 6  in that department. They are slightly less silky than Hanes Silk Reflections. In terms of looks: I’d say they are on the robust side of 20 denier. They are sheer, but they are definitely not ultra sheer and don’t quite have the elegance of a nice pair of 10 denier hosiery.

After a long night of being out at a busy bar, and then back in my office for several hours, it was time to take them off and assess the situation. They held up perfectly. No unraveling, no spontaneous micro holes developing, none of the seems showed signs of stress. I’m betting that this pair of pantyhose has 4 more wearings in them. Should that figure change, I’ll log back in and update this last section to reflect the actual longevity.  If we are to relate these pantyhose to cars, I’d say these are like a Honda Accord with every upgrade available and a few after-market upgrades. Solid, utilitarian, reliable, and beautiful in many ways – albeit not as elegant as a fine German automobile.

We are an affiliate with Secrets In Lace. If you’d like to purchase these, or any of their other fine vintage styled stockings (or the ridiculously sexy  Pamela Anderson signature line of stockings!), click through this banner to reach their online store.

**** UPDATE ****

I don’t think Secrets In Lace carries the Pamela Anderson line anymore. BUT, if you’ve made it this far, you deserve to be rewarded. Pamela, in her day, was a goddess. Here is some eye candy to reward your journey:


Product Review:Hanes Silk Reflections Transparent Sheer

‘Tis the season for ultra sheer hosiery.  Black pantyhose is a bit heavy handed for spring time, so I’ve been breaking out some of the super sheer styles.  I’m a pretty big fan of Hanes Silk Reflections, as I think they are a very nice meeting of looks, feel, durability, and price.  I had high hopes for the Silk Reflections Transparent Sheer pantyhose.

Let me preface this by saying that I have noticed some serious inconsistencies between “batches” of this style.  I’ve worn several pair, in both nude and black. These various pairs were purchased at different times and places.  I’ve notices some slight variations in the fit and feel of the regular Silk Reflections, so, it comes as no surprise to me that the Transparent Sheer line had some inconsistencies too.

Fit: The yarn composition that is used to achieve the ultra sheer look also brings a problem: they hose just aren’t as stretchy as a more conventional sheer hosiery.   They also tend to become slightly baggy around the knees and ankles.  It seem that they have a higher nylon / spandex ratio than other hosiery.

Look: The nude pantyhose I have do a nice job of disappearing on my skin. They have a slight sheen to them that catches a bit of light. I kind of like it – your legs look bare, but.. just a bit better. That subtle shine gives your legs a little something extra that will keep people looking at you a second and third time.

Durability: I’m averaging about 2. 3 wears in these. That does bring the cost per wearing down quite a bit to around $3.30 per wearing.

Feel: These are the kind of pantyhose that give pantyhose a bad name. Although they actually look pretty good, they feel awful on your skin. When I say that they feel like burlap, I’m really not kidding.  The nude pair were the worst offender. Some of my black pairs were less guilty of the offense. I even had one black pair that actually felt okay.  Just OKAY though. I made it through a night out at the club wearing them without any complaints, but it wasn’t a particularly enjoyable experience, like the Pretty Polly 10 Denier Gloss Tights were.  I was sad to take them off.   Hanes, I don’t know what happened here, but the Silk Reflections Transparent Sheer are a flop –  particularly when there are far superior hosiery offerings from the European hosiery mills.   I know that you guys can do better than this.

Fit: 6.5

Feel: 3

Look: 7

Longevity: 8

Cost Per Wear: $3.30

Conclusion:  When it comes to ultra sheer tights / pantyhose / stockings, There are far better alternatives to Hanes Silk Reflections Transparent Sheer. If I find that they have changed thier formula and put a better product out, I’ll let you know.

Are expensive hosiery worth it?

We all know about the cheap store brands of pantyhose and tights…  Take a moment and look in the photo credits in any fashion magazine, and you’ll see some very high end hosiery being used. Falke, Gerbe, Wolford… many of these high end European hosiery brands are very expensive. Are they worth it?  Is there any way that it’s even remotely sane to spend $49 on a pair of tights?  Read what blogger Tracie Egan Morrissey has to say about it:

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Worth It: Keep It Tight

by Tracie Egan Morrissey  at http://jezebel.com/5887402/worth-it-keep-it-tight


Much unlike many a magazine editor who recommends you buy all sorts of crap that they most likely got for free, your Jezebel staff doesn’t get jack shit (other than books, unsolicited). And that’s how it should be. But on our own time, in our personal lives, we still buy stuff. So this is Worth It, our recommendation of random things that we’ve actually spent our own money on. These are the things we buy regularly or really like, things we’d actually tell our friends about. And now we’re telling you.

Yes, Wolford, the Austrian hosiery brand is expensive, with tights averaging about $50 a pair—but hear me out! As someone who wears tights about four or five times a week, I need them to be durable because I spent the better part of my 20s ducking into Duane Reade to frantically grab a pair of tights after discovering—always at the last minute—that I’d already torn through the cheapies I was wearing. Now I’m simply too old for that shit. I have a kid. I don’t have time for pit stops and running-around nonsense. Every. Second. Counts.

I keep a rotation of about five pairs of Wolford tights, varying in thickness and color (although my preference is either black Velvet de Luxe 66 or Mat Opaque 80). It’s a practice I began back in 2007, when I purchased my first pair—which finally just got a run in them last week. They lasted five fucking years. Can you believe that? And I haven’t been kind to them, either. I’ve traveled in them, crawled around on floors (don’t ask!) in them, literally walked miles in them without shoes, and even subjected them to my annoying-ass dog who jumps up on me and scratches at my legs whenever I walk through the door. That’s a lot of wear with no tear.

But beyond pure utilitarian purposes, I like Wolford tights because I passionately hate tights that are too “shiny.” You know how when tights look too Spandex-y and get that shiny line down them? Wolford tights are truly matte, truly opaque. This is one of those cases in which you get what you pay for.