4 Factors to Consider When Shopping for Hosiery

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Hosiery is a powerful piece of clothing that can add a finishing touch to your look. It can make or break the outfit you’ve put together, even if it isn’t as visible as, say, your tops or bottoms. After all, it’s best if all parts of your outfit complement each other so that you can stand out in a good way. Additionally, your attire should match the occasion or the season to avoid a fashion faux pas.

That said, shopping for the right type of hosiery for your skin, body type, and preference can prove to be a challenge, especially if you don’t know where to start. Fortunately, we’ve got a few tips to consider as you search for the right pair for you.

Before Anything Else: Determine When and Where You’re Wearing the Hosiery

When it comes to dressing right and picking appropriate articles of clothing, it’s important to know what you’re dressing up for. Knowing what type of hosiery is suitable for the occasion is a skill in and of itself. Before you go online to shop hosiery, consider the following:

Check the Time of the Year

It should go without saying, but the time of the year will play a big role in the thickness or sheerness of the hosiery you should choose. If you’re going out in the winter, for example, it would be best to wear something a little bit thicker to protect yourself from the cold weather. Should you plan to use your hosiery during the summer, then you’ll want to do the opposite and buy a few lighter, thinner pairs instead.

Determine the Type of Event

Wearing bright and attention-grabbing hosiery may be fine on a casual day, but it definitely won’t pass during a more formal and somber affair. Remember: you wouldn’t want to stand out in a crowd for the wrong reasons. So, before you go shopping specifically to put together an attire for a certain occasion, review the invite and make sure you know what type of event you’re going to.

Check If There’s a Dress Code

Dress codes are often strictly followed, and unless you want to be ejected from the event, you’ll have to comply with them as well. When shopping for hosiery, be mindful of any restrictions or dress codes that need to be followed. If the event doesn’t call for a statement piece, for example, you can do away with the patterned hosiery for now.

Once you’ve determined all the above, you’re all set to start shopping. Here are four specific characteristics you’ll need to think about when buying new pairs of hosiery:


The thickness of a pair of hosiery is measured in deniers. Deniers range from breathable ultra-sheer hosiery to thicker, opaquer ones that feel warmer on the legs. While you can choose the appropriate hosiery thickness based on the weather, the deniers can also be simply a matter of preference.

If you want to show off your legs while also highlighting your silhouette, then you can opt for sheer shaping hosiery that emphasizes your figure without covering up your legs. On the other hand, if you’re stuck in freezing weather, or if you want something closer to tights than stockings, a thicker denier would suit you better.

However, do note that you don’t always have to go to extremes. If you want added support and a bit more warmth, you can always go for somewhat translucent shaping hosiery. Ultimately, you call the shots when it comes to what deniers to stock up on.


A hosiery’s finish is the veneer that adds a silk-like quality to the garment. When worn, certain finishes can make your legs look smooth and shiny, which is great if you want to bring people’s eyes to your legs while also minimizing any noticeable bumps or flaws on your skin. Another popular type of hosiery finish is matte, which, unlike most sheerer hosiery, minimizes the shine on your legs.

So, when is it appropriate to use a specific type of hosiery finish? In general, hosiery with sheer and high-sheen finishing is best paired with longer outfits, like dresses that go an inch or two beyond the knee. These hosieries are also good choices if you’re wrapping yourself up in a long coat during the colder months. Sheer and high-sheen finishes also work well for formal events, as they can give you an elegant look that helps you stand out without making your legs appear too visually distracting.


Often, you’ll want to choose hosiery in a color that closely matches your skin. This will result in a more natural appearance while also minimizing any skin imperfections on your legs. To give off the impression of a tan, opt for a pair that’s a tinge darker than your skin tone.

If you really want to wear dark or black hosiery, make sure it’s appropriate for the situation or venue. Some workplaces consider dark or black hosiery a little too risqué, so it’s better to stay on the safe side and double-check with your employer regarding the office dress code.

Toe Type

Hosiery toe types include open-toe, reinforced toes, visible toes, and invisible toes. What type you should get will depend on the footwear you wear often or the type of events you’ll be attending.

For instance, open-toe hosiery is recommended if you plan on wearing sandals or peep-toe shoes. If you still want a bit of coverage on your toes while wearing these kinds of footwear, though, you can try invisible toe hosiery. For an extra durable toe area, you can go a step up to visible toe hosiery. If you’ll be wearing closed shoes, though, you can’t go wrong with reinforced toe hosiery.

Indeed, your hosiery is a subtle but essential part of your outfit. The right pair can instantly upgrade your look without being too distracting. That said, it can also bring down your entire attire if you don’t pick the right hosiery for the job. But just keep all the tips we’ve shared in mind, and you should be good to go!