Choosing the right pantyhose can seem overwhelming with all the different styles, materials, sizes and features available. The key is understanding what factors matter most for your needs and preferences. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to find your perfect pair!
What are the main purposes and benefits of wearing pantyhose?
Pantyhose serve both fashion and functional purposes for many women. Here are some of the top reasons to wear pantyhose:
- Smooth out imperfections and enhance the look of legs
- Provide warmth in cold weather
- Give light control and shaping for a slimmer silhouette
- Reduce chafing between legs when wearing skirts and dresses
- Make an outfit look more polished and professional
- Help hold up or conceal socks under pants
- Cover legs when desired for fashion, religious or cultural reasons
What are the main pantyhose materials?
Pantyhose are commonly made from the following types of materials:
- Nylon: The most popular and inexpensive material. Nylon is fairly durable but prone to snags and runs.
- Cotton: Breathable and comfortable, but lacks stretch and durability over many wears. Mostly found in luxury or maternity pantyhose.
- Microfiber: Lightweight microfiber blends are very soft but not as strong as nylon. Provides a bare leg look.
- Spandex/Lycra: Added to nylon for maximum stretch and elasticity. Great for shaping.
- Silicone: Lines key areas for anti-slip shaping. Often found in control top styles.
What are the different pantyhose styles?
From classic sheers to opaque tights, there are many different pantyhose styles. The most common include:
- Sheer: Made from lightweight 10-40 denier nylon. Provides leg coverage while retaining a bare leg look. Available in different sheerness levels.
- Opaque: Thicker knit with 50-80 denier nylon for full coverage. Comes in matte and shiny finishes.
- Control top: Shapewear-inspired pantyhose with targeted compression areas at the waist, tummy, hips, thighs, and rear.
- Maternity: Designed with a soft stretch belly panel and no compressive waistband for expecting mothers.
- Support/compression: Graduated compression knits to boost circulation and reduce fatigue in legs and feet.
- Fishnet: Sheer knit hosiery with diamond or hexagonal open knit patterns.
What are the key fit factors to get right?
Consider the following elements to find the right pantyhose fit for your body type and needs:
- Height/leg length: Choose your correct hosiery size based on your height to get the right foot-to-waist fit.
- Size range: Choose hosiery labeled with your general size range, such as small, medium or large sizing.
- Weight: Heavier weights will fit larger sizes better. Look for 100+ denier opaque tights or queen/plus size lines.
- Control top compression: Higher compression slimming zones work best for fuller figures. Look for silicone lining if needed.
- Reinforced toe: For comfortable wear with shoes, especially high heels. Check toe seaming.
How do I match pantyhose color and opacity to different outfits?
Match your hosiery to your outfit using this cheat sheet:
|Outfit Colors||Recommended Pantyhose Type|
|Blacks, navies, charcoals||Sheer black or navy|
|Tans, browns, whites||Sheer beige or tan|
|Bright colors, prints, jewel tones||Sheer neutral or print tights|
|Greys, winter whites||Sheer grey or opaque white|
Some other tips:
- Match exact skin tone or go a shade darker for bare leg look.
- Go bolder with colored or patterned tights under neutral outfits.
- Pair black opaque tights with black dresses or under mini skirts.
- Try tan or nude opaque tights to elongate legs with shorts or lighter colors.
What features should I look for in high quality, durable pantyhose?
Look for these features to identify pantyhose that will hold up well:
- Type/denier: 15+ denier for sheers; 50+ denier for opaque tights.
- Reinforced toe: Usually a thicker piece of fabric at the toe seam to prevent holes.
- Cotton-lined gusset: More breathable and prevents bacteria buildup in the crotch.
- Control top: Should have enough compression strength to provide shaping without digging.
- Opaque coverage: No thin spots or visibility issues.
- Manufacturer reputation: Stick to well-known brands with good reviews.
How do I properly care for pantyhose to extend their life?
Proper care is key to prevent damaging your hosiery. Remember these pantyhose laundry tips:
- Hand wash only using gentle cleanser and cool water
- Never put pantyhose in the washing machine or dryer
- Avoidexcessive rubbing; handle gently
- Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap
- Roll in a towel to remove moisture, don’t wring
- Lay flat or hang to air dry, away from direct heat
- Store in a cool, dark place
Also be cautious putting pantyhose on and wearing to maximize their lifespan:
- Put on carefully using gloves or rubbing hands with talc
- Trim nails to avoid snags from sharp edges
- Wear cotton lined gusset when possible
- Avoid rough surfaces that could catch when worn
- Take off properly at day’s end and inspect for holes or tears
What are drugstore pantyhose brands I can try?
Many major pantyhose brands are readily available at drugstores. Some top options include:
- Hanes – Classic everyday sheers, opaque tights and control top styles
- L’eggs – Wide selection of sheers and innovator of all-in-one hosiery
- No Nonsense – Durable sheers, control tops and opaque tights
- Pretty Polly – Known for microfiber blends and shaping styles
- Leggs – Large size ranges and cotton gusset options
Expect to pay between $5-$15 for drugstore brand pantyhose based on materials and features. Quality varies so read reviews before purchasing.
What are high-end luxury pantyhose brands?
For those willing to splurge, these luxury brands offer premium materials, innovative technology and custom fits:
- Wolford – Uses high quality Austrian yarns and 3D knitting for shaping
- Falke – Leads in leg health support hosiery and seamless toe designs
- Fogal – Swiss brand with custom sizing and 100% pima cotton options
- Aristoc – Known for ultra sheers and diamond patterns
- Donna Karan – Seamless pantyhose with sleek modern styles
These luxury pantyhose brands start around $30-$40 and go up from there. Many sell exclusively online or in high-end department stores.
Where are the best places to buy pantyhose?
You can find pantyhose sold at:
- Drug stores – For basic sheers and tights from major brands
- Department stores – Broad selections and brand name hosiery
- Specialty shops – Rare luxury European brands
- Online retailers – Amazon, brand websites, specialty sellers
- Warehouse clubs – Bulk deals on multi-packs
Shop early in the season for the best color and size selection. Drug stores and online tend to have the most affordable everyday pricing on bigger brand name pantyhose.
What tips and tricks can help pantyhose last longer?
Use these handy ways to get more wears out of your pantyhose:
- Check sizing chart for your height and weight
- Wash after every 1-2 wears to prevent odor and deterioration
- Rotate between multiple pairs to increase lifespan
- Apply moisturizer on legs before wearing to minimize snags
- Bring spare pantyhose when wearing for important events
- Carry clear nail polish to fix small runs
- Store properly in original packaging
- Check for imperfections and damage before each wear
What are the best pantyhose colors for year-round wear?
These classic sheer pantyhose colors offer versatility across seasons:
- Black – Slimming neutral goes with any cool weather outfit
- Nude – Matches a wide range of skin tones
- Tan – Complements business and smart casual looks
- Gray – Alternative neutral shade for added dimension
- Ballet Pink – Softens leg look ideal for skirts and dresses
For opaque tights, black and colored patterns work year-round. In winter climates, add burgundy, hunter green, grey and navy opaque tights to your wardrobe.
Finding your perfect pantyhose match requires knowing your needs, preferred styles, shape and size range. Focus on quality construction and materials to maximize durability. With the right selection and proper care, your pantyhose can deliver flawless leg coverage wear after wear. Use this guide to demystify the choices and find your new go-to pairs!