Slip your legs into lovely stockings, and you instantly spice up your appearance!
Whether for daily wear, special occasions, or for intimate moments, lovely stockings add real excitement and glamor to your look!
There are so many types and varieties of stockings, nylons and tights available to women today; from exact reproductions of hose made in the 1920's onward, (for that "retro" look) to the exotic and sexy modern stay-ups that can super-boost your sensuality at work or at play!
To help you decide what you might like, and to help you understand what is available these days, I have made this page to show many of the different styles and types of hosiery, with special emphasis on stockings, (vs., for example, panty hose).
Before we start into the photo glossary, here are some good terms you should know:
Hosiery is a general term that pertains to clothing that covers the foot and/or leg. It includes such things as tights, pantyhose, stockings, stay-ups, thigh-highs, knee-highs, and... socks!
Stockings are leg-wear that covers from your toes to your thighs; each leg is separate and they are held up either by a garter belt or, in the case of stay-ups, by the elastic band(s) in the thigh area. I call this page the stockings photo glossary, because most of the information here pertains to them.
Pantyhose are stockings woven with a built in pair of "panties", which serve to hold the stockings up, among other purposes.
Tights are similar to pantyhose, but made from thicker and opaque material.
Sheerness: The sheerness of hosiery is usually measured in a scale called "Dernier". The smaller the Dernier number, the finer the material is.
For example, the very sheerest hose ever made was Dernier 7.
What we call "Ultra Sheer" is usually Dernier 15, or less. It is very translucent, allowing your leg to show through the material.
Hose made for daily/work wear are usually Dernier 15-30. This thickness tends to smooth out the appearance of the legs.
Semi-opaque hose are 30-40 Dernier. Fully Opaque hose are 40 Dernier, and higher.
Below you will see examples of some of the beautiful hosiery that is on the market today. Some you may be familiar with, but others may be new to you.
Bridal stockings are traditionally white and sheer, but can be any color of course. As in this picture, they are often decorated with embroidered designs. Also, the top is decorated with lovely lace, matching (if possible) the lace on the dress.
In many weddings (or actually, during the reception), the stockings are sure to be seen by many people all the way to the top during the removal of the garter.
Not just for hookers and cabaret dancers, fishnet stockings are now being seen on women who just like the look and feel.
Maybe they are not for everyone, or for all occasions, but I am glad more women now have the fashion boldness to wear them far more often than just a few years ago.
Fishnet stockings worn with a dress that comes to just above the knee look stylish and exciting; but when worn with short skirts they can still scream trashy (in my opinion).
The patterns of the mesh are no longer limited to a simple fishnet; there are so many lovely patterns to choose from, it is beyond belief; some are just stunningly beautiful!
The fineness of the mesh is also wildly variable; some are so fine they look like regular stockings until you get closer. The ones in this picture seem fine enough to catch a guppy, but I have seen some with a mesh so wide a halibut could swim through! See more Fishnet Stockings, at HerRoom.
So much can be said about garter belts, that I don't know where to start! Firstly perhaps is that the wearing of a nice garter belt with stockings seems to just supercharge your sense of erotic power and sensuality!
Most men find them fantastically erotic; a nice bra/panty/garter belt/stockings set will have you feeling like the queen of the world, and your lover in total agreement.
One thing to note is that some garter belts are just for fun (not intended to really support stockings in normal daily wear) whereas others are designed for actual support of stockings throughout a busy day.
One easy way to tell them apart is that the daily wear garter belts have more garters, at least 3 per leg, often 4. This does a far better job in preventing the stocking from slipping or twisting throughout the day. Also the belt itself is wide, to prevent it from sliding around your waist during the day. The lovely garter belt in this photo, is more for fun.
Garter belts of course are color matched to the panties, and stockings. Also, they look best when matched with the total outfit that is being worn; not only in terms of color, but also in style and material. See more Garter Belts, at HerRoom .
Many women who do not enjoy pantyhose, nor an actual garter belt, etc. find garter hose to be an excellent alternative! You can pull everything on at once; no fussing with garter clips or other details is needed. Another advantage of garter hose is that, if organization tends to be a problem for you, you will never have to go searching through your drawers for each of these pieces.
Garter hose are a single item of stocking legs, garter straps, and a waistband. All of these are made together in a fixed set, as opposed to separate pieces. When worn, garter hose resemble the classic garter belt-and-stockings combination, both in the way they look, and the way they work.
Though black, nude, and white are the most widely offered colors, they are also offered in other hues. Common styles include sheer, ultra-sheer, and fishnet stockings, with everything from plain welt to lace top stockings. Fabric content also varies, though nylon-Lycra blends are the most common for garter hose. See more Garter Hose, at HerRoom. Return to Top
Lace stockings are an elegant and exciting type of hose; you could think of them as a style midway between fishnets and patterned stockings.
They are subtle but thrilling; you could confidently wear them to most any formal event, where they would add a great deal to your look, without going too far.
One thing to note is that most lace stockings do not have the stretch needed to hold themselves in place; a garter belt is often required to keep them in place during normal wear. This applies to real (such as Chantelle) lace; there are patterned stockings that look like lace stockings, which do not require a garter belt.
Pantyhose, (in the UK called Tights) first came on the scene in 1965. It was a combination of two events that pushed pantyhose into the fashion mainstream, and stockings off to the side; the creation of inexpensive and more comfortable types of pantyhose, and the popularity of the miniskirt.
The miniskirt looked best when worn with hose, but thigh high hose and a garter belt did not give the desired look (in the 1920's and 30's the flappers had the same experience with their high hemlines). Then, in 1965 the better pantyhose were first mass produced, worked perfectly with the miniskirt, and the rest is history! In 1970, the sale of pantyhose first exceeded stockings, and they have been #1 ever since.
The pantyhose shown in this picture are the most common style sold, but there are many other types; various thicknesses from ultrasheer to opaque, patterns, sheer to waist, footless, and so many more! You can buy pantyhose with a faux seam running up the back of the leg, to give a retro stocking look.
Many women prefer pantyhose over stockings, for various reasons: the look, comfort, warmth, simplicity, lower body support (with support pantyhose), to name a few! See more Panty Hose, at HerRoom.
Now your good old stockings can get get bold and beautiful! Plain, simple stockings have their place, but modern patterned stockings are just delightful; they can truly transform your look.
When worn with a simple outfit, say, a short, elegant skirt or dress, these patterned stockings look chic, stunning and oh-so-gorgeous! It's just a matter of matching your outfit to the stockings to make your look really pop.
The variety of patterns is so great; everything from hippie chic to soccer mom; I have even seen some that look like snake skin! You will find many lovely patterned stockings that you like, as you sort through others that you would never be seen in!
Beautiful seamed stockings are very popular today, because of their look; they attract the eye and lengthen the look of the leg. Also, there is a romantic aspect to them; they speak to something within us, some yearning for classic sophistication, or a different style of life.
Until the early 1950's, seamed stockings were the only ones available. Stockings were made in one flat piece, and sewn together in back, forming the seam. Then, weaving advanced to the point that stockings could be made in a circular tube, and the seamless stocking was born, though not widely worn until the early 1960's.
Today you can still buy real seamed stockings, made the old fashioned way, on the original looms. Also, you can buy stockings and pantyhose that have a faux seam sewn up the back of the leg, giving you all the good looks of the originals, with none of the draw-backs (they were more expensive, more difficult to wear and keep straight, could bag in certain areas, such as ankles, etc.) Of the two choices, I go with the faux seam in regular stockings.
Also, modern seamed stockings have a new flair, "contrasting seams"; where the seam color (such as, red, etc.) contrasts with the stocking (which may be black, etc.) This brings out the seam more, and draws the eye more strongly to the leg.
My favorites; for comfort, style, and excitement; I prefer Stay Ups over any other type of hosiery, except maybe socks!
"Stay Ups" and "Thigh Highs" are two terms for the same item: stockings that extend to the thigh, and stay up by themselves, without the aid of a garter belt, or garter band.
In the stocking, at the stretch lace top, a silicone band inside the lace helps to grip the leg, and hold the stocking in place.
You can imagine that this is not 100% effective for all women, for daily wear. A lot depends on the shape of her thigh; it will be less effective on a lady with "tapered" thighs, because they encourage the band to move to a lower position. They will work better on a woman with more "cylindrical" thighs. Even then, depending on how active she is, she may need to readjust throughout the day.