We have put together a little glossary for those who have just been introduced to the amazing world of hosiery!

These are the items that you are likely to find in a hosiery shop:

  • Pantyhose or Tights
  • Hold ups (also called Stay ups or Thigh Highs)
  • Stockings
  • Knee-highs
  • Leggings
  • Over-knees
  • Footsies


Tights that extend to the waist, forming a one-piece garment. It is particularly comfortable to wear and for this reason it is
When looking at pantyhose, the sheerness or opaqueness is the first thing to decide on. This is expressed in deniers. Deniers define the transparency of the hose, therefore the look that the tights will have on the leg.

Ultra sheer: 5-15 den
Sheer: 15-20 den
Half sheer: 20-40 den
Opaque: 50 den and over

The panty (upper part) can be:
Reinforced: The panty is heavier than the leg. The reinforcing can be bikini shaped or shorts shaped

All sheer: The panty is constructed with the same yarn as the leg. The pantyhose has only a light reinforcing under the waistband and the T band. Very elegant version of pantyhose.

Seams and gusset: Sewing can be automatic or manual, with flat seams which are smooth and thin, an important sign of quality pantyhose. The gusset gives a better comfort to the pantyhose and is usually made in cotton, which is more hygienic.
A back panel with double sewing is used on bigger sizes, for better fit without tightening (generally indicated on the product description).

Hold ups
Hold ups or thigh highs are stockings with an elastic silicone band that adheres to the leg. The band can be in lace or smooth fabric. 

Stockings have to be worn with a garter (or suspender) belt, as they don't have a silicone band. 

Knee highs
Knee highs have an elastic band that keeps them under the knee. Comfortable to wear under trousers. 


Leggings are footless tights. They can be sheer or opaque. They are a great fashion accessory and come in full length or three quarter (generally called Capri).

Over knees
Over knees are long socks that stop over the knee and are ideal to wear with mini skirts and short. 

Footsies are socks that are invisible inside the shoes. Usually made in microfiber, cotton or even lace.

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