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Sunday, October 19, 2014
Hosiery is manufactured in a wide range of fabric weights, knits and colours. In general, heavier weight fabrics are stronger and more durable, but are thicker and show less of the natural skin tone. Lighter, sheerer garments look and feel more luxurious but are not as strong as their heavier cousins. Reinforced toes and heels will add to the life of your hosiery, but it's a fact that the lighter and sheerer the hosiery is, the more delicate it is and the more care it requires. All in all, customers will find that price is not an indicator of durability.
Women's hosiery falls into the following categories:
Sheers are made with lightweight fabric composed of very fine yarn, usually nylon. Sheers are very flattering to the leg but more delicate than hosiery made with heavier fibres. Ultra sheers are the most fragile and allow the most natural skin tone to show through. For the crossdresser, meticulously shaved or waxed legs are essential.
Support hosiery comes in a range of fabrics usually in a combination of nylon and Spandex. They have gentle, graduated compression to provide a massage-like fit that can reduce fatigue in the legs.
Control Tops provide a slimmer silhouette and add strength to a high-stress area of the garment. If you're wearing hip padding, be sure to get a size large enough to prevent the top from rolling down.
Opaques are heavier than sheers, more durable and have recently gained tremendous popularity as a fashion accessory.
Tights are even heavier than opaques, more durable and are worn for dance, exercise or as a ready-to-wear accessory, and provide added warmth during cold weather. Both opaques and tights offer colour coverage of the leg - helpful when you're between waxings or shaves!
Stay-ups are individual stockings with an elasticised top that has a special lining to grip and stay up. More expensive than pantyhose, but somtimes just what you want.
Stockings are separate, unlike pantyhose. Lacking the grip of stay-ups, they require that you wear a garter belt or a girdle or corset that has stocking clips.
Maternity pantyhose are specially designed to provide extra room and comfort in the top as well as support to help blood circulation in the easily tired legs of mothers-to-be.
Run-Resistant garments are usually made of thicker yarns and sturdier knits than sheerer pantyhose. But even these will develop holes with wear. Many women prefer the appearance of sheer pantyhose.
Pantyhose Makes Fashion Sense
The kickiest, least costly way to update your wardrobe is with a new pair of pantyhose: the key is versatility and style. Here are some fashion "Dos" and "Don'ts":
DO: Wear dark, solid colours and ribbed textures with dark clothes to slenderize and elongate your figure.
DO: Match hosiery and skirt colours to elongate every silhouette.
DON'T: Wear pastels or white pantyhose with a dark skirt unless you are six feet tall or want to cut your figure in half.
DO: Try something new. Want to look clunky, chunky, or funky? Wear shoe boots or Oxfords with light opaques covered with anklets to protect the hose and provide a fashion statement.
DO: Wear sheers for a touch of sophistication and elegance.
DON'T: Be timid. Patterns, crochet and lace pantyhose can add a touch of whimsy to your wardrobe.
DO: Go to the hosiery counter a
t your department or specialty store. Check out samples/swatches for texture and colour. (If you're buying hose for a special pair of shoes, bring them along so you can see first hand how they match.) Finding the right brand and style of pantyhose is a little like finding the right lipstick or the right man. There's something to appeal to everyone, but you may have to sample a few!
DO: Mix it up. Sheers don't have to be the standard for the work day. Even the most conservative offices are filled with women wearing opaques and tights and other more durable hose.
The Right Way to Put on Hosiery
There is a right way to put on hosiery. Most importantly, take a few minutes to put them on properly, and follow these simple directions:
Remove all jewellery, and check fingernails and toenails for rough edges. (This greatly reduces those maddening "they ran as soon as I put them on" mornings.)
Roll each leg of the pantyhose down and place the toe of the garment over the foot. Gently smooth one leg all the way up, then repeat on the other leg.
Pull the rest of the pantyhose up to the waist but don't pull too tight! Smooth fabrics while checking for twists and sags.
Last, take off your hosiery just as carefully as you put them on.
Sizing Things Up
Selecting hosiery that fits properly is one of the best ways to ensure maximum wear life. If your hosiery is too tight, it is more susceptible to wear and tear, and it minimizes your flexibility.
Most pantyhose have a chart on the back of the package that gives height and weight ranges for each size. You may have already discovered that a size A in one brand of pantyhose is not necessarily the same as a size A in another brand. That's because many brands use different yarns from different sources with different characteristics, and also may use different machinery and knit fabric constructions. with different characteristics, and also may use different machinery and knit fabric constructions. This is why we don't publish a size chart for pantyhose in thie Guide.
It's all right to stretch the truth about your weight when talking to a friend. But, you have to be honest with yourself when buying pantyhose in order to ensure the proper fit.
If you are at the upper end of a size range, it's often wise to get the next size for best fit and comfort. Larger or full-figured women should look for larger-sized or "queen size" products, which are designed for them.
Washing and Care
Care of your hosiery is a simple equation: if you take good care of these garments, they'll last longer.
Wash pantyhose gently by hand, using a mild detergent that doesn't contain chlorine bleach, which will remove colours and damage fibres. If you prefer the washing machine, place them in a hosiery bag or pillowcase and wash on the gentle cycle with a mild detergent.
To dry, place one or two pairs of pantyhose on a towel, roll up and squeeze towel gently. This eliminates stretching when hanging hosiery to dry. Never attempt to dry pantyhose in the dryer.