Hosiery Explained

Buying tights online can be difficult if you're not sure what you're looking for, so we've put together some information and advise to help you select the right pair:

First trick: Denier refers to the thickness of the yarns used to knit a pair of tights. The higher the denier, the thicker the fabric!

We love to talk tights so if you have any questions about choosing the right pair, whether it’s technical, leg look or styling based just contact us via any of the methods listed on our contact page!

Denier - Explained

Denier refers to the thickness of the yarns used to knit a pair of tights. The higher the denier, the thicker the fabric!

Sheer Tights

Deniers lower than 20 are referred to as sheer tights Sheer tights are made of fine yarns, offering a light leg coverage. Sheer tights are available in a variety of finishes including matt (none shiny), gloss (shiny) and natural (somewhere in between!).

The delicate nature of low denier tights must be taken into consideration when handling your sheers. As each strand of nylon yarn is thin, they are susceptible to tearing if they are put under too much stress – say from a snagged finger nail for example – and so extra care must be taken when handling your sheers.

Our technical team are constantly working to improve ladder-resist technology so your sheers last longer! Often sheer tights are the perfect option in warm weather, when thicker tights may be uncomfortable and you'd prefer a light leg coverage rather than bare legs.

When considering which colour sheer tights to purchase, it's best to opt for a shade close to your natural skin colour, to give your legs a lovely sunkissed glow.

Opaque Tights

The world of opaque tights begins at 30 denier and above. As the word suggests, opaque tights offer a thicker leg coverage, meaning you won't be able to see the skin of your leg through the fabric of the tights.

Due to the thickness of the yarns in opaque tights, higher deniers tend to be much studier than sheer tights, and will therefore last longer than sheers if good care is taken when handling them.

Opaque tights are often plain designs, with little or no pattern, available in a huge array of colours.

Black opaques are a staple for any wardrobe as they are so versatile and go with just about any outfit.

Opaques are the tights of choice in colder weather – as a general rule, the higher the denier the warmer you'll be.

The highest denier available at Pretty Polly are the amazing cosy Fleecy Opaques range at a whopping 200 denier!

Stockings & Hold Ups

Stockings will need to be worn with a suspender belt as they do not stay up on their own. Try our sister brand Gossard for beautiful suspender belts and lingerie.

Hold Ups have silicone around the top of each leg to adhere the product to your thigh, eliminating the need for a suspender belt. Like stockings, hold ups are available in a variety of leg looks and finishes.

Some people may experience an allergic reaction to hold ups. This is very rare but if you do notice an adverse reaction, we advise that you remove the hold ups immediately, wash and dry the area thoroughly and seek medical advice should symptoms persist.

Knee & Ankle Highs

Below the knee hosiery is perfect for trouser days or for adding interest to your outfit in the warmer, ‘bare leg’ months. Our range covers everything from the very functional silver fresh (which helps to combat smelly feet!) to high fashion lace footsies and polka dot anklets.

‘’Our sheer polka dot anklets look great with cute brogues or peeping out under skinny jeans’’ Katie, sock designer.

Body Shaping & Control

We all need a little help from time to time. For everyday, comfortable smoothing we use a light control panel in a variety of our products. This can be worn comfortably for long periods and is easy to slip on and off.

For a more significant shaping effect, targeting specific ‘zones’ we have created our ‘Shape It Up’ range. This range is still very comfortable to wear but with a much more noticeable feeling of control. The range also extends to seamfree shaping garments. These items offer a smooth finish under clothes and are a perfect helping hand for outfits that do not require tights.

‘’We added lace and a hot pink colour into our seamfree shaping range, this means when your dress is lifted by that pesky summer breeze (it happens to us all!!) you don’t have to be embarrassed about what’s underneath’’ Jane, product director.

Heat Generating & Cooling

Our heatsense products trap the heat you naturally lose from your body, between your skin and tights, helping to insulate your legs and keep you toasty.

As a contrast to heatsense, our coolsense products contain yarns with a ‘cold core’. This incredible technology lasts for the life of the product and helps to lower body temperature by a degree. Perfect for the warmer weather!

‘’I love an opaque leg look and coolsense means I can still wear heavy deniers in the summer!’’ Lauren, National Account Manager.

Plus Size

Our Curves range is designed to fit up to a 60’’ hip. Each product boasts an extra back panel for added comfort and a great fit.

Compression & Support

A category many of us associate with air travel, compression and support can be of huge benefit to busy legs. Whether you’re on your feet all day, jetting off on holiday or stuck behind a computer our ‘Legs On The Go’ range helps to keep your blood pumping, preventing swollen and tired legs.

Hosiery Care

All hosiery items are delicate, particularly sheers. Here are our tips for keeping your hosiery in the best possible condition:

Try wearing gloves when putting on your sheer hosiery. It will help prevent sharp fingernails or rings from catching the product and creating a ladder.

Always roll your tights up the leg, never pull them.

Once open, try storing your sheer hosiery in zip lock sandwich bags. It will help keep them tidy in the drawer and prevent damage. If you’re super organised, you could even label the bags so you can identify your favourite product!

Make sure any lotion is completely dry on your skin before putting on hold ups. It can affect the staying power of the silicone if not.

Hand wash every hosiery product in cool water with a detergent designed for delicate items. Then let them dry naturally. The washing machine and tumble dryer will wreak havoc on your hosiery!

If you have any further questions about caring for your hosiery purchase, feel free to contact us via any of the methods on our contact page. 


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