I began with part one, A Slip Of A Girl’s Ultimate Guide To Putting On Hose, and now I conclude with A Slip Of A Girl’s Ultimate Guide To Selecting Hosiery.
Believe it or not, the right style of hosiery can make a big difference in how you keep your cool. (Although, keeping your hosiery in the fridge or freezer is a great way to keep them cool & to look forward to putting them on too. *wink*)
I will not be discussing hose which only cover below the knee or ankle; technically it may be ‘hosiery’, but by my definition, they are just socks. This is for real hosiery, lingerie for legs.
Stockings: Hosiery that starts at the thigh, covering to the toes. Stockings are held up garters, requiring that girdles with attached garters or a garter belt (aka suspender belt) is worn.
Obviously, a great way to keep air circulating — and therefore keep yourself cool — in hot weather. Just remember, at the work place you’ll want to wear skirts that do not show a glimpse of stocking top &/or garters. (That means a modest skirt length as well as a slip to hide the tell-tale lines of those garters.)
Thigh-Highs (aka Hold-Ups): Like stockings but held up by elastic bands &/or glue at the thigh, not garters. For the most part, the average woman will only wear these for play wear. They rarely feel secure, threatening to fall down unless they are worn too tight (painful &/or leaving an unsightly ‘bulge’ at the thigh) or require too much glue, making her too insecure to really relax.
(In all honesty, I’ve never worn them for more than a five minute seductive doorway pose & I’ve yet to meet a woman who swears by them rather than swears at them; if you can wear them, then kudos to you!)
Another beat-the-heat style, providing you can rest assured they aren’t creeping down your thigh.
Over The Knee Hose (or Over The Knee Socks): Stockings which only go “over the knee”, not (quite) to the thigh; they do not use garters or any glue to stay up. Often nylon or nylon blends, these may also be made from materials like cotton, knitted wool etc. Typically casual wear, they can also be quite sexy.
Too casual for teaching, I would think — unless you wore a very long skirt. But they certainly can be a cooling warm weather option. (Though they are my favorite cool weather wear — uber snuggly & great for lounging at home!)
Leg Warmers: Long footless socks, usually seen worn loose (in folds) about the ankle, they do stretch from thigh to ankle. Originally worn by dancers to keep the leg muscles warm, they became quite the fashion statement in the 80’s and are returning to fashion again. (Really a fashion accessory; they only appear here because technically they cover the leg.)
The name alone tells you they won’t help you physically keep your cool.
Pantyhose & Tights: Hosiery that covers from the waist to the toes. Pantyhose is usually more sheer & light; tights heavier & opaque. Pantyhose, while giving me a lot to Grr over do effectively replace girdles & slips, and work well with tight-fitting pants and skirts. Quite often coveted for their control tops, which not only slim body bulges & hide panty lines etc.,
butt but pantyhose has shapers, boosters & even padding to help those who are looking for additional curves.
Obviously, these are what most women fear in warm weather — however, check below for options which may, along with those tips in part one, help you keep your cool.
Suspender Hose (aka Garter Pantyhose): The easiest way to explain suspender hosiery is to begin with a pair of pantyhose and then to imagine that sections are removed to expose the areas between waistband and the tops of thighs — leaving small (stretchy) strips which serve as garters. Long mocked by many a young girl as “gross open crotch pantyhose for the sexually randy”, suspender hose are, like pantyhose, quite practical. While the stockings and garters they replace are more romantic, suspender hose, with its slim self-made nylon garters, doesn’t require other undergarments to cover/hide the lines or bulges of “real” garters.
Another way to keep cooler, but also a great way to avoid tell-tale garter lines without (and I do hate to say this!) having to wear a slip or other ‘extra’ layer of clothing. Plus, you needn’t worry about the hose creeping down your leg.
Body Stocking (aka Catsuuit): A one-piece hosiery item which combines pantyhose and bodysuit, sometimes the arms as well. For convenience, they are often open-crotched. While they sometimes have back seams on the legs for sex-appeal, most seams are put in discreet places, hidden from view (under arms, along the bum, etc.) The body stocking is intended not just for thrills (though we can’t deny that!), but to provide a sleek look & modesty under clothing and costumes which do not allow for typical foundation garments. The body stocking allows the illusion of nudity versus actual (embarrassing, inappropriate) nudity.
Really recommended for specific costume & improbable, impractical fashions; most often now worn as play wear.
A few other hosiery details & options you may like to know…
Cotton Crotch: Supposedly the cotton is added to the crotch to add ‘breathability’ to female parts; but
moist most often, this cotton panel is inserted over the regular nylon (or nylon blend) of the hose, and therefore is just as breathable as a regular nylon panty. Plus, most women still wear panties beneath pantyhose, so I ask, “What’s the point?” A cotton lined crotch is a bit more absorbent, naturally, so if you like cottoned lined crotches and are not wearing your panties beneath your pantyhose, then you might find a cotton crotch worthy of looking on the packaging for.
Crotchless: As it sounds, hose which covers from the waist down, but has an open crotch. Many think this is for sexual access (and I won’t tell you that it’s never used for such activity *wink*), but it also has a very practical purpose — as any woman who really has had to pee will tell you. It’s also one less layer to keep the heat in.
Footless: As it sounds, any hose without feet. Worn by dancers, or as a casual fashion statement.
Fully Fashioned: Stockings made the old fashioned way, on flat knitting machines to produce custom pre-shaped (in this case, shaped to fit a woman’s leg) pieces, which are then sewn together.
One word of caution: sometimes fully fashioned hose can be a problem for non-leggy women. Because it is literally formed to fit a leg, it may not be as accommodating to shorter &/or plumper legs. If you are unsure, have not purchased fully fashioned hosiery, be sure to check the measurements and ask the seller questions. (Secrets In Lace does make nice — and sexy — hosiery for curvey dames, but it is not fully fashioned; I suspect shaping is the reason why.)
Reinforced: As in ‘reinforced toe’, ‘reinforced waistband’, etc. A place where the hose is made stronger to withstand runs and tears. Reinforced can be sexy too! A French Heel is reinforced heel which narrows to an elegant point, a European Heel is a squared heel treatment.
RHT: Reinforced Heel & Toe.
Seamed: Once a necessity when stockings were always fully fashioned and formed by sewing two pieces or sides together, now — unless they state they are Fully Fashioned — seams running up the legs of stockings are added as fashion statement. (Seams are still rather common in the ‘panty’ of pantyhose, usually seen running from the center of waistband in back, down the backside, around the crotch, and up to the center of the waistband in the front.)
I hope this helps you, Emily (and others) — there really isn’t a reason or a season to avoid wearing hose!
And yes, I know, Greg & others are going to ask me the “garter over or under panties” question again… I’ll get to it asap. I promise!