How to Choose Stockings

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How to Choose Stockings. The world is full of hose, not all of them a girl's best friend. A few key strategies can take the fear and mystery out of adorning your legs.

Consider color. (See "How to Choose Stocking Color.") When in doubt, go with nude or black.

Consider texture and opacity.

Consider whether you want pantyhose or stockings. Wear pantyhose with short dresses and skirts, and with anything clingy. Stockings, especially the kind that stay up on their own, can be fun, sexy and more comfortable than pantyhose.

Consider price vs. durability. Good hose can be very expensive, but sometimes are worth it.

Consider flair vs. subtlety. Usually the right choice in stockings means no one will notice them. Occasionally, stockings can make a dramatic statement - a pattern or a seam up the back, for example. Use these judiciously as they can easily overwhelm an outfit.

Tips & Warnings

  • Hand wash all hose or put them in a lingerie bag so they have a fighting chance.
  • Put lotion on your hands before you reach for the hose to avoid snags.
  • If you are wearing support hose, make sure the darker part of the hose doesn't show, even when you sit down.
  • If you are wearing sandals, make sure your hose have a sandal toe. Sandals are even better without hose, if the weather allows.
  • Sheer hose are generally considered sexier and more elegant. They're best for evening, higher heals, and summer outfits, and have the added benefit of slimming the leg. Opaque hose are heavier and warmer, so they're good for winter. They're also more durable.
  • Wolford is famous for unusual patterns and construction, silky weaves and durability. A pair of their heavier stockings can last for years and is worth the investment. All sheer hose, however, will snag, run and stretch out with wear. When it comes to sheer hose, you are paying for a very delicate weave and smooth texture, not necessarily strength.
  • Boots usually rub snags and marks into the shins of even top-quality hose. Avoid wearing your best new stockings with boots.

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