At LissKiss we understand the complexities of buying hosiery so we’ve created this handy glossary to help you out.
Tights - a tight-fitting garment that covers everything from the toes to the waist Please note, American English differs in terminology. In the US, "pantyhose" refers to sheer items (30 denier or less) and "tights" refers to only thicker items. In the UK, "tights" refers to all items that fit the above definition, no matter the denier.
Footless - these are items that end at the ankle, leaving to foot free. Ideal for warmer temperature so your feet aren't over heated.
Hold Ups - alternatively, "stay ups" or "thigh highs", hold ups cover the leg up to the thigh. They are often decorated with a floral lace cuff at the top of the garment. They use silicone to stay up and require no suspender belt. Please note, those with sensitive skin or allergies may have irritated skin when using silicone based products.
Stockings - a classic in the hosiery world, stockings were the first type of leg wear available and they remain a classic choice. They require a suspender belt, which clips to the welt. Stockings can be worn under a business skirt or can go hand in hand with a bottle of champagne and some sexy lingerie.
Socks - normally refer to the ankle socks variety. They cover the toes and foot and end over the ankle or part way up the calf.
Over The Knee Socks - are socks reach several inches above the knee-caps, reaching the bottom of the thigh. Knee highs sit under the knees.
Fishnet - this open net structure is made on specialist knitting machines and can be as classic fishnet or patterned lace fishnet.
Toes - reinforced toes prevent damage that can occur in the toe of some hosiery. Manufacturers include a strengthening panel, preventing tears and rips. This can be sometimes seen so it is often worn with shoes that cover the toes. Sandal toes use lighter coloured or sheerer material, mimicking the sheerness of the rest of the garment. This provides strength and invisibility. Perfect for shoes with open toes. Open toe means a garment where your toes are free of material entirely. These can be perfect when wearing toeless shoes or any footwear with straps that go in between your toes.
Gussets - a panel added to the crotch for comfort, fit and personal hygiene. Gussets are usually cotton or made from the same material as the product. Plain gusset are panels made from the same material as the rest of the item. Cotton or silk gusset are ideal for tights because they are natural materials and ensure superior hygiene and breathability. No gusset designs simply have a seam instead of an oval shape panel. This seam can sometimes be sewn into a v-shape to provide greater fit. Open gusset refers to items where the gusset is removed, leaving them crotchless. This is preferable for hygiene reason.
Waistbands - the top of an item of hosiery can be low on the hip (hipsters), sit on the waist as normal (regular) or can continue until just under the bra (high-waist), these often provide extra support.
Finish - hosiery can come in a range of different finishes. Matte items have no gloss. Matte is elegant and simple and can be worn at the office or on a night out. Slight sheen or soft sheen means a subtle gloss that's livelier than matte. Its subtlety makes it look almost like you have nothing on your legs and makes it very versatile. It looks great on a night out or for a business meeting. Shiny refers to leg wear with a sheen that is noticeable enough to show you are wearing hosiery. They are perfect for enhancing your legs but they are still tasteful. High-shine is any leg wear that is very shiny, including wet look items. This is for making your legs very noticeable and to attract attention to your outfit high gloss and other similar terminology.
Denier - it's important to note, denier actually refers to fabric weight. Ttechnically this French term means the weight in grams of 9000 metres of the yarn. However, denier is most often used to measure the thickness of items. The lower the denier, the more sheer and fragile the hosiery product is. Denier does not effect material finish. Bronzing effects and gloss are available for both sheer and opaque tights. It also does not effect an item's support factor.
Sheer Hosiery - 5-20 denier. Sheer hosiery is perfect for achieving a ‘bare leg look’ and keeping cool in spring and summer. Opt for a matt finish for a natural look or gloss with a dressier, evening outfit.
Semi-Opaque - 30–40 denier. Semi-transparent or semi-opaque hosiery is stronger and warmer than sheer, giving legs a little more coverage but leaving the skin visible.
Opaque - 40 denier or higher. Keep your legs warm in winter in extra durable, super-soft opaque hosiery. They give legs good coverage so skin is hardly visible. They’re a great alternative to trousers in winter, or can be teamed with shorts and skirts on warmer days.