The word “hosiery” was derived from the Anglo-Saxon term “hosen” which means covering, and it referred to every form of legwear, tights, socks, leggings, stockings, thigh-highs, and pantyhose. It is believed that hosiery has been worn as far back as 9th century Egypt. But if the decade-long history of the existence of hosiery isn’t enough to surprise you, perhaps the fact that hosiery wasn’t initially worn by women will.
Hosiery was actually first worn by men to aid better mobility while riding horseback. By most historical accounts, Queen Elizabeth 1 was the first woman to wear hosiery after she was presented with a pair of silk stockings which she wore and never wanted to take off again. And thus began the revolution of the hosiery industry.
With the invention of synthetic fibers such as rayon, then nylon and much later, lycra, hosiery became more durable and easier to produce – because they didn’t need to be custom fitted like its predecessors. They also became easier to wear because the elasticity of lycra was able to hold the garment up without the assistance of garters and suspension belts which the earlier models had.
Hosiery has come a long way from its days of belonging solely to the English male aristocracy and worn as a means to an end. In more modern times, hosiery now serves a more fashionable than utilitarian function. There are different types of hosiery that serve different functions, and every woman must definitely have at least one pair of these five different types of hosiery in their wardrobe.
The pantyhose is typically made of light, sheer or semi-opaque fabric and runs from the waist down to the toes. A pair of nude pantyhose is a must-have for every wardrobe, but make sure you get the right shade that matches your skin color, particularly your arms and/or chest/face.
Tights are thick, opaque full leg hosiery. They’re much like pantyhose except they’re much thicker. They’re also a great fashion accessory, especially when paired with a short dress or skirt. They’re a great, functional piece for every wardrobe, particularly for women living in high altitude climates with harsh, zero degree weather because they help with keeping warm.
Anklets are ankle length socks, not long, typically reaching above or just below the ankle. They’re great fashion piece, so they’re definitely a must-have in every woman’s wardrobe.
- Knee Highs
Knee Highs are Hosiery that reaches to the knee and designed to be worn under pants.
- Stockings/Thigh Highs
Stockings and Thigh Highs are more fashionable piece of hosiery. Both Stockings and Thigh Highs typically run from the toes to the upper thigh. But while Stockings require a garter belt to be held in place, Thigh Highs on the other hand have an elastic band with silicone that acts as traction. Thigh Highs are also called Hold Ups (British). They’re the ultimate stylish piece of hosiery and are perfect for creating that sexy look every woman desires and deserves to have once in a while, so they’re definitely one pair of hosiery every woman needs to have.
According to Style Clinic, a denier is a unit of measurement for tights. It is used to convey the thickness of hosiery by measuring the unit of density. The lower the denier of a pair of hosiery is, the more sheer it will be since the material or the yarn is finer and less dense.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet for you:
- Less than 10 denier = ultra sheer
- 10-20 denier = sheer
- 25-35 denier = semi-opaque
- 40+ denier = opaque
Generally hosiery can be made of different wool blends from thick, opaque to sheer and from plain to print and patterned.
Hosiery can be delicate you have to take appropriate care when putting them on. It is recommended that you take off any rings and bracelets and ensure your nails are smooth to prevent snags.
We love hosiery because they can help improve your overall appearance, from smoothing out the legs to hiding bulges and cellulite among other perks.
Still haven’t made up your mind on the style for you? Check out our collection of tights, stockings and thigh highs here. We think having a piece of hosiery is the perfect way to create that sexy look every woman desires and deserves to have once in a while.