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10 Different Kinds of Stockings - What is Your Style?

I love complete outfits and that includes educating others on how to choose the perfect stockings.

The Wild Prints by This Next

The Wild Prints by This Next

Nowadays, the correct stocking has become as essential to fashion as an up-to-date shoe. Whether it is to hide the scars/blemishes on bare legs or to make changes in appearance, stockings leave no stones unturned in transforming a woman's personality to a totally different level.

There are different kinds of stockings coming in various colors and styles. Modern variations come in royal blue, yellow, tangerine, pink, and the sophisticated purple color. The challenge is buying the right one for you.

Luckily, there are a few pointers and tricks to help even the most vociferous hose-hater find her perfect fit.

Different Kinds of Stockings

Seams at the back of the leg

Seams at the back of the leg

1) Classic Seamed Stockings

Seamed stockings carry a vintage appeal that once rose to prominence during the 1940s and peaking into the 1950s. Today, they remain a classic favorite that goes fine for all occasions.

But aren't you wondering why there has to be a seam up the back of the leg?

Their beautiful story began as plain vintage hosiery known as Fully-Fashioned Stockings. They were knitted and sewn together in the back to form the seam. The top is folded and then sewn again to create a darker section of double fabric intended to support suspenders. More layers of nylon were added to reinforce the sole and heel area.

These days, this classic hosiery is ideal for both business attire as well as evening wear. For the savvy woman, seamed stockings provide an air of sophistication as she conveys an ultra-feminine appearance.

2) The Reinforced and Open Toe Styles

The Reinforced Heel and Toe style (RHT) means reinforcing the heel and toe section with a separate fabric to make them more durable. The heel splicing can be a fashion asset.

Open-toe on the other hand has a peep-toe design that allows the toes to breathe and move much better. This helps reduce the discomfort brought by tightness on the toes. This style is perfect during summer and holidays when you can enjoy sandals, flip flops, and peep-toe flats.

The 15-denier shimmer is better than the bare look

The 15-denier shimmer is better than the bare look

3) Transparent or Sheer

Transparent is plainly a layer of nylon that covers the legs but can still be seen. This style has three classifications: Ultra-sheer and sheer.


The ultra-sheer is the bare leg look that feels like a second skin. They are from 7, 6, and even 5 deniers. Sheers are also called the see-through leg tights as they come like simply smoothening the legs for a suave look.

Because your legs look like not wearing hosiery at all, an ultra-sheer will likewise look like some sort of makeup for the legs. Although they can slightly mask light blemishes, they do not completely hide scars and veins on the legs.


While ultra-sheer is the customary "natural look" appearance, sheers are thicker and more durable. They come between 10 and 20 deniers with nude tones that look natural from a distance. Black sheer tones in a dress or suit will give you a polished office look.

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Super sheer: The Famous 15 Denier

How come women around the world love the 15-denier tights or stockings?

Known as the standard hosiery denier, the 15-denier sheer gives you a balanced thickness and weight ideal for casual wear. Working women who simply like a flawless leg appearance and a neat outfit like the 15-denier tights. It also helps to mask imperfections in the legs.

I too find 15 deniers as the best option for everyday work. While they look almost identical to the sheers - still the slight difference in thickness adds to the heaviness ideal for daily wear. Are you also using this spectrum on your casual and special occasions?

4) Compression Stockings

From the term itself, compression means very tight and wraps around the legs for medical purposes. These are worn by women to alleviate tired legs and ankle pains through the application of active pressure on the veins of the leg.

Compression stockings or socks (as they are commonly called) boost the blood circulation in the legs and decrease swelling if there is any. They support the veins by preventing blood from looking in the veins. Since they help venous ulcers or vein thrombosis, wearing them as well reduces orthostatic hypotension, which causes lightheadedness or unsteadiness when you stand.

Compression stockings are also known as maternity stockings.

The full coverage of opaque

The full coverage of opaque

5) Opaque Tights

If you think your legs look pale and pasty during the colder days, wearing opaque tights creates a balance in the tone of the legs, giving them the glow that you may be lacking at this time of the year.


These tights will give your legs a complete, even appearance. They are thicker, stronger, and heavier in 30 to 40 denier. That is somewhere between a high and low denier that feels either slightly light and denser.

While this category is stronger than sheer, they are not yet opaque and is still showing your skin through the texture. You will love wearing their kind of thickness if you want to visually slim down calves and knees for a good cover.

Semi-opaque tights are popular with women who are active yet prefer low maintenance in their hosiery as the thickness in this range is less prone to runs. The semi-opaque will be your best friend to keep you cool on warm days and warm during cold days.

Thick Opaque

The perfect alternative to legwarmers, opaque tights are stronger and a lot denser that will keep your legs warm in cold temperatures. Many women wear them under jeans on a freezing day to keep them warm.

100 to 120 denier matte-finished tights are becoming popular for their maximum protection when the weather gets really cold. The unique temperature control makes them among the favorite winter tights.

Can you wear thick opaques in summer? Yes! In fact, black opaques can be used to bring out floral prints and vibrant summer patterned dresses with a balance of sultry class and sophistication. With opaque, you can wear minis all the time.

Light, airy, and colorful tights

Light, airy, and colorful tights

6) Printed Tights

It’s quite unexpected, but soft patterns and colors uplift the mood. They strike a beautiful balance of sweetness and rich earth tones that seem to make the day.

For this casual look, you would want to dress your legs in nice and fun prints. Some say blending different prints looks crazy but if you look at it, there's nothing wrong with a fashion sense that feels spontaneously charming.

To me, spicing up any outfit with prints whether tiny, flowery, or bold patterns bring the springtime and sun into your outfit of the day. While you can go straight forward with traditional sheers in facing the business world, then have fun with soft florals, polka dots, and sweet lines in your free days.

The lacey look

The lacey look

7) Lace Stockings

Lace stockings as well possess an "ultra-sexy" look that you can wear with your favorite dress or skirt. They are 100% made of nylon with a fishnet-like weave that creates floral patterns.

Lace stockings are typically thigh-high. With additional floral details, they come with a lace garter band on top to hold them in place. For the fanciful girl, the beautiful floral net pattern is a voguish alternative to the classic stockings for everyday wear. It's a fashion legwear perfect for date night.

Other than a retro-glamor look, lace stockings bring femininity to any outfit. Whether it's black, colored, or neutrals, they add an interesting surprise in a top-to-toe sartorial. They give a sophisticated look when worn with shorts, mini skirts, and flowy dresses.

Create a whole new look with fishnets

Create a whole new look with fishnets

8) Mesh or Fishnets

Fishnets make a difference for their open, diamond-shaped knitted design. With fate that started with some controversy as a sensual garment, their constantly life-giving effect in the costume of cancan dancers in the 1920s era made them an important piece in the mainstream of fashion.

But are fishnets acceptable to wear at work?

These tights are more on the fancy side due to their eye-catching appearance which may not be suitable in a conservative work environment. If you work in a field that allows high fashion, then make a subtle statement in a conservative dress and a simple pair of shoes.

I think fishnets have the capacity to revive a bland outfit. Daytime or nighttime, they are chic, sophisticated, and simply perfect. If you're an adventurous woman, here are more tips on how to wear fishnet stockings.

Dress your legs in lovely patterns of spring and summer

Dress your legs in lovely patterns of spring and summer

9) Heavy Tights

Country dwellers prefer a stouter stocking like the lattice. They find it ideal and convenient for shopping forays, household chores, sending the children to school. A 30-denier stocking will look versatile and durable. For walks in the woods, find a sleek and stretchy hose, or those textured patterns that you can team with gleaming leather brogues.

If you live in the town or country and like things gay and giddy, there are latticework stockings to choose from plain-colored or fancy-patterned. Keep your mind open to all the new designs.


10) Stay-ups and Garter Stockings

Stay-ups or thigh-highs are stockings that stay up by themselves without a garter belt. They come with an elasticized or silicone band to ensure they stay above your mid-thigh.

Like a thigh-high, a garter stocking also lies on the middle thigh but is designed with a narrow band of fabric fastened about the leg to keep the stocking from slipping. Four (or more) movable straps are attached to the stockings with specially crafted clips from a garter belt.

Enjoy Reading More

© 2011 Tonette Fornillos


Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on February 29, 2016:

Hi shinyhose1. It's barely 2 years! very late reply, lol... anyways -- wearing what you love is the game -- makes you feel good every time, when you feel good you feel beautiful when you feel beautiful, you become beautiful! Great collection for a straight male! You're unique! Thanks for sharing that to us... I really appreciate....and goodluck! -Hugs.... Tonipet

shinyhose1 on November 04, 2014:

love the post interesting reading I just love wearing all colors and styles to me no color is off limits have close to 400 pairs of tights and pantyhose and yes straight male not a CD or anything else just someone that adores wearing is a piece of clothing I love to wear

jaswinder kumar from Chandigarh on May 01, 2013:

Very very interesting post. I read this post. Thank you for making this post...

Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on May 22, 2012:

Amazing how hosiery can be that spell-binding and you bet it's going to be both elegance and comfort in your going places. Me too, I have never measured my foot to determine my size, it seems the ones I've bought fits all, you just opened my mind, lol.

Judy Specht from California on May 22, 2012:

Fascinating, sitting in the coffee shop Saturday at least 3 young ladies caught my eye with their fancy hosiery covered by denim shorts.

I have never measured my foot to determine the size, but I shall begin.

Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on May 21, 2012:

You're an adventurous girl! Bright colors and patterns mix with contrasts definitely make a dynamic look. I love wearing dark-colored tights and the vividness of purple seems so sophisticated giving me almost always a holiday feel, it's my favorite. Even with plaid prints, it goes really great. Thank you for leaving such a warm comment daisydayz. Keep that bright spirit up all the time. Take care!

Chantele Cross-Jones from Cardiff on May 21, 2012:

Interesting post! I love my tights, in bright colours and patterns!

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