Stockings and pantyhose are required wardrobe elements for women who work in conservative office environments, but their delicate texture often ends up getting torn. Preventing rips in your stockings requires careful handling from the moment you remove stockings from their packaging to the time you dry them after washing. Get a head start on stocking maintenance by choosing a pair of stockings with a high lycra or Spandex content, which means the stockings will have plenty of flexibility and be less likely to run.
Remove any bracelets or rings before putting on your stockings, as the edges of stones or the prongs on the setting may catch stockings and cause a tear. Smooth rough edges on your nails with a nail file to minimize the risk of tearing stockings as you pull them up your leg. If you are planning to wear press-on nail extensions or have an appointment to apply acrylic nails, put on your stockings before modifying your nails.
Take your time and work slowly when putting on your stockings. Start by bunching stockings in your hands until you reach the toe seam. Gently place your foot in the stocking and pull the stocking up your leg slowly, exerting light but even pressure the entire time. When the stocking reaches your knee, gather the other leg in the same manner and repeat the process with your other foot. Work the stockings up the rest of your legs by switching from one leg to the other. Before you gather the stockings, lightly spritz the toe seams and feet with hairspray to give the fibers extra strength.
Stop stockings from ripping further the moment you spot a small hole by applying nail polish. A bottle of clear nail polish is universally recommended as the stopper of stocking runs; a dollop of polish on a small hole will glue the fibers together and keep the gap from expanding. This works best for sections of the stocking that will not come into contact with your skirt, pants or your other leg, as the polish needs to dry in order to work.
Maintain your stockings between wear for added endurance. Wash them by hand or in a mesh laundry bag on a gentle cycle. Always hang dry stockings, as the heat of a machine will weaken the fibers. Store stockings in soft fabric pouches to keep them from catching on the surface of your interior drawers.