As a woman you will most probably have worn hosiery of some description, at some point! For work they are an essential piece of your everyday kit.
Over the years I have worked in office, retail and studio environments. Some things I have picked up you might find useful.
When you go to purchase hosiery think about what you want first – looking at boxes and boxes of tights can become a little bit bewildering!
- Do you want a pair of tights, hold ups, stockings or knee highs?
(stockings you’ll need a garter to hold the stockings up, hold ups are like stockings but ‘stick’ to your legs and stay up on their own and tights offer full coverage of crotch, bottom and legs! Knee highs offer a great sophisticated alternative to socks for trouser suits)
- Do you want hosiery with support built in?
(some brands offer hosiery that stimulates circulation or that supports and lifts your body shape)
- What outfit will you be wearing?
(A figure hugging dress will require a different hosiery than a skirt suit. For a figure hugging outfit try a seamless pair of tights such as Fatal 50 by Wolford).
- How much leg coverage do you want?
(There are a variety of looks – a natural barely there kind of coverage all the way through to a thicker coverage like leggings. The smaller the denier the finer/thinner the tights are, for instance an 8 denier is very fine. The other end of the scale is opaque tights and these can be 60, 80 or 100 denier. This is a thicker substantial wintery hosiery that you cannot see through).
(Often outfit dependent but always good to think about your natural skin tone when purchasing a natural tone hosiery…..tan legs but pale white face could look a little strange, unless you’re making a fashion statement!)
(There are so many shades available now. If you need to match an outfit your best bet is to take the outfit into the shop and match the colour. Always stand by a window and use natural light to match colours and don’t forget the tights will be stretched on your legs – so may look slightly different to when they are in the box).
(your preference could be not shiny – so you are looking for a matte finish – low 8 denier fine tights can be shiny or matte, as can a thicker opaque 60 denier. If you are going for a fashion or vintage look then the world is your oyster; choose from a simple back seam line or go crazy with dots, fringes and flowers!But maybe not for a professional office environment!!).
- The best thing to do before investing in hosiery is to look at the samples first: department stores and individual brand stores will have samples to look at. Tell a consultant what you require and they should be able to locate the best options for you. Take your time to stretch the samples over your hand – look at the finish – is there a slight sheen, are they too sheer, is the colour right?
- For a capsule work wardrobe you’ll need a variety of tights and once your happy with your choice – purchase a couple of each style. I like to have a variety of denier in stock: 10, 20 and 50s. Navy, black and natural are the key colour staples I have in my drawer.
- If you’re based in an office it’s a good idea to keep a spare pair of nude tights in your drawer. If you have the sort of job that requires you to visit different offices, meeting rooms and locations have a spare pair stored in the internal pocket of your hand bag. There is nothing more annoying than catching your tights on an unfamiliar wooden desk and not have a spare pair!
I can recommend certain brands such as Falke or Wolford because of the quality and finish you’ll get from them (the price point reflects this).
Each pair of tights is hand checked in Wolford before packed, so you won’t purchase a pair of their tights, get them home and find they have a hole in (before you’ve even worn them!).
You will also find that because of their construction a pair of Wolford tights will give a superior coverage when stretched on your legs.
Autumn Winter hosiery definitions and top picks
Spring Summer hosiery definitions and top picks
Next… putting on and caring for your hosiery!