Buying leg-wear for those of us who stay in cooler climes can be a daunting task. With a plethora of options available, one can’t help but feel a bit lost at times. Don’t chastise yourself for it - the best of us have often made mistakes in this department! But we decided to help you leave the errors of the past behind. So, as we (and our wardrobes) get set for a beautiful winter, we decode the top four must-have leg-wear options for you - stockings, tights, pantyhose, leggings. Pay close attention, and say goodbye to all your confusion!
What Are Stockings?
Simply put, stockings are a women's garment, typically made of translucent nylon or silk, that fits closely over the foot and is held up by suspenders or an elasticated strip at the upper thigh. In this case, both legs are worn separately.
POPxo recommends: Shop Clues Footless Stockings, Rs 140
What Are Pantyhose?
Pantyhose (called "tights" in the United Kingdom and a few other countries) are sheer, close-fitting leg wear, covering the wearer's body from the waist to the feet. In lay language, they are leg-wear consisting of underpants and stockings that come as a set.
POPxo recommends: Pepper Closet Sheer Black Pantyhose Stockings Pack of 2, Rs 699
Pantyhose vs Stockings - What to Wear When!
- The terms are often used interchangeably or synonymously; but as we just explained, there is a fair amount of difference. Pantyhose are the more "evolved" version of stockings and preferred more these days.
- Though stockings are lauded for the sensual appeal, pantyhose are deemed as the more utilitarian and functional counterpart as the stay-ups make it convenient to keep them in place.
- While both are acceptable in the workplace, it would be advisable to clip your stockings using suspender belts, else you risk them slipping down at ill-timed moments such as in the middle of a presentation!
- Black and nude are the most popular colours for both. Though nude is often a tricky one to buy. Make sure it matches your skin tone exactly; else you risk your legs looking like a hue that’s far removed from the rest of your skin! And also buy the sheerest version you can find when it comes to nude. Once you have your basic black and nude in place, you can experiment with other colours too. (POPxo recommends: Love Charm Anklet Pantyhose, Rs 499)
- Once you have these basics in place, you can experiment with variations. There are plenty of options to choose from (for both stockings and pantyhose) - glossy, lace, fishnet, textured and other patterns. Fishnet is a no-no in the workplace but a big yes after-hours! (POPxo recommends: N-Gal Black Fishnet Stockings, Rs 250)
- You can experiment with more demure patterns such as minute floral lace or polka dotted ones for the workplace. (POPxo recommends: Pretty Secrets Black Stocking on Jabong, Rs 399)
- When choosing stockings, make sure your hemline ends well below your garter belt, and doesn’t ride above it when sitting. Revealing your garter belt equals to not-done in our books!
- Never compromise on quality when buying pantyhose or stockings. Especially if you’re hoping they’ll be comfortable and last you long! Invest in brands you know won’t disappoint.
- Don’t be afraid to get yourself fitted at the lingerie store to figure out your perfect size.
- In formal set-ups, always wear closed shoes with your pantyhose or stockings. Choosing footwear in the same shade as the legwear creates an elongated effect.
What Are Leggings?
Leggings are tight-fitting stretch trousers that are opaque in nature.
POPxo recommends: United Colors of Benetton Women Black Nylon Stretch Leggings on Myntra, Rs 1,099
What Are Tights?
Generally between 40-120 denier, tights are usually footed, which means that they cover the entire leg from toes to waist. Think of it as second skin. Unlike leggings, which can be worn as a form of trousers by itself, the purpose of tights is to layer.
POPxo recommends: Marks & Spencer Autograph 60 Denier Velvet Touch Opaque Tights, Rs 792
Tights vs Leggings - What to Wear When!
- Leggings should be a go-to when the weather is as its coldest, as they provide maximum warmth considering they are made of thicker material. That said, apart from layering, leggings can be worn by themselves too. For instance, in the gym, or with a long tunic. Tights are made of more insubstantial fabric and are less structured to be worn by themselves.
- While black is always a good bet to have in the closet, leggings give one more room to experiment when compared to stockings and pantyhose. Tights can be worn in climates where stockings and pantyhose fail to provide enough warmth.
- Go all out with colours and prints with leggings. Those with thicker calves should, however, opt for darker colours as they have a slimming effect. Subtle prints are okay for the workplace, but save the more bold ones for your outside-office shenanigans. Team them with solid-coloured ensembles for maximum impact. The same is true when opting for tights that move beyond conventional black or nude. (POPxo recommends: Youshine Monochrome Print Leggings, Rs 1,299)
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