Ask the Bean: Making Peace with Pantyhose

December 10, 2006 • Magazine

Ask the Bean: Making Peace with Pantyhose

Ask the Bean: Making Peace with Pantyhose

Sun, 2006-12-10 14:00

Dear Bean,

I used to wear skin tone fishnets to avoid ever having to wear pantyhose again in my life, but are they out of style? If I have to succumb to wearing regular hose, what are some styles that I can look for that are more comfortable and won’t run the first time I wear them? So with all of the tights and stockings out there, what type would work best when you want to wear something very neutral?

Stocking Quandry

Dear Quandry,

Ode to the hatred of pantyhose! The feeling of trying to squeeze yourself into a barely-there piece of fabric like a sausage casing without ripping right through is never a highlight in the routine of donning these leg coverings. Yet most of us can’t avoid skirts and dresses altogether so we succumb to the hose and just deal with the sagging fabric or the squeezing control top making a seated position nearly impossible.

Lucky for you, fishnets are far from out of style. In fact, I’ve seen them around more and more over the past few seasons. Fishnets are definitely a good substitute to the classic hose. Plus with their construction alone, they are far more durable than the standard hose — I have owned my brown fishnets for over a year when I need to toss my torn pantyhose after an average of two fittings.

A great pair to keep on hand for the fishnet stocking fan is the Spanx Control Top Fishnets. The fishnets are smaller in size to avoid stretching, and are made with 85% nylon and 15% lycra spandex for more flexibility and comfort. Also, this is one of the only pairs of fishnets I have found with control tops. Halleluiah to the body-conscious retailer!

You also might want to check out thigh-highs, also called hold-ups. These are not stockings with the garter belt, mind you. This wonderful replacement option features a band of silicone on the top of each leg that helps keep these up all day long. You can even find nude fishnet hold-ups like this pair by Levante. Constructed out of 80% nylon and 20% Lycra, these hold-ups come in black and natural and feature a matte finish with a sheer toe and lace top measuring 9.5cm/3.5″ wide.

Now there are women who need to tolerate hose all day for work, and others who need to endure them for a mere few hours for evening affairs. If you suffer the working daily battle, one brand of hold-ups you might want to grab is the Aristoc 15D Ultra Soft Hold-Ups. These hold-ups are absolutely fabulous for extended comfort. Made from breathable satin, they are constructed with super soft 15 denier yarn and have a whopping 28% amount of Lycra (the average is 15-20%) for extra durability and flexible fit. They also feature a matte finish and a reinforced toe and come in black, chocolate and nude.

Now before you get too excited, you need to be careful with hold-ups. If you buy the wrong size, you could either find a pair that cuts off circulation around your thigh or fall down around your ankles. Some things to look for according to the experts on the My Tights website are as follows:

• When wearing hold-ups, ensure that the lace band fits snugly but not tightly onto your leg. The lace should be positioned mid-thigh for maximum comfort and fit.

• Avoid body lotions, talcum powder etc. as these hinder the effectiveness of the silicone grip, and your hold-ups could slip out of position. (Similarly when washing, use of fabric conditioners is not recommended)

• Turn the top of the hold-up over so it is not touching your leg until it is in position, then flip up and smooth onto your leg

But you are also right, my dear Quandry, that it is getting colder outside and fishnets might be a suitable leg covering for the spring/fall months, but might be a bit more frigid during this winter season. For a warmer leg covering, look to the Opaque tights.

For comfort and warmth, probably the best option is the Levante Soft Opaque tight. They are made with 50 denier yarn and feature a matte finish, reinforced toe, cotton gusset and are sheer to the waist. They are made with 86% Polyamide (meryl/microfibre), 11% Lycra and 3% cotton. Colors include anthracite, blumarine, créme, mocca and nero.

Hopefully these styles can get you started on your hosiery wardrobe. I admit though, I love the fun patterns and styles of all the tights I’ve seen along with the natural looks. So for one final option, I will leave you with just one pair of patterned tights by Falke in case you feel like stepping out into the cold while showing a little leg.

Spanx Control Top Fishnets

Levante Fishnet Hold-Ups

Aristoc 15D Ultra Soft Hold-Ups

Levante Soft Opaque Tights

Falke Nobility Tights

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