Hosiery Terminology


Briefs are the area of hosiery that begin at the hip or waist area and end at the top of the thigh area. They are available in different styles.

Boxer Brief

This area is made from a thicker, stronger yarn blend. It is noticeably darker and shaped like a boxer brief from waist to upper thigh, providing extra reinforcement.

V-Line Brief

The more elegant version of the boxer brief, with the same idea, the V-Line brief offers extra reinforcement in a thicker yarn in a triangular shape over the pelvic area.

Sheer to Waist

Sheer to Waist means that no matter how thick your tights are – sheer or opaque – the thickness of the yarn is exactly the same from toe to waist. Perfect for wearing with short skirts and preferred by dancers and ice skaters.


Denier is the thickness of the yarn used in the manufacture of hosiery. The lower the number, the more sheer they are in density. The higher the number of denier the thicker the tights. You can read a detailed post about denier here in our blog.

As a quick guide you can work it out as follows:
Ultra Sheer: 5 – 8 Denier {You will need special gloves to handle these}
Extra Sheer: 8 – 15 Denier
Sheer: 15- 30 Denier
Semi- Opaque: 30 – 50 Denier
Opaque: 50 – 80 Denier
Thick Opaque: 80 -120 Denier


Hosiery comes in a range of different finishes.

High-Gloss, high shine or high sheen is any hosiery or legwear that is very shiny. Very noticeable high gloss items often have a higher percentage of elastane or lycra making them supremely comfortable with a velvety feel against the skin. Favoured by dancers and perfect for introducing a shimmer to any outfit.

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 the hosiery has an understated gloss that’s just a bit livelier than the matte version. Think of it as airbrushing for your legs. It is very flattering and a versatile legwear finish that is perfect for everyday wear.

Shiny hosiery has more shine than the slight sheen version, noticeable enough for you to see that you are wearing hosiery. Suitable for work or leisure outfits.

Comfort Top

Usually referring to knee highs, the elastic is designed to spread the pressure over a deeper portion of the leg to avoid discomfort and excessive marking.


A gusset is a panel added to the crotch area for comfort, fit and personal hygiene. Gussets are usually made from cotton or the same textile as the hosiery or legwear is made from.

Plain gussets are panels made from the same material as the rest of the item.

Silk or cotton gussets are favoured for their superior hygiene and breathability. Natural, skin friendly materials.

No gusset designs have a simple seam instead of an oval shape panel. This seam is sometimes sewn into a v-shape for a supreme fit.

Open gusset refers to items where is no gusset, making them crotchless.


Legwear and hosiery items that end at the ankle, allowing the foot area to be free. Perfect for summer and for those who get easily overheated when their feet are covered.


Also known as thigh highs or stay ups. These are the no suspender belt required version of the traditional stocking. Thigh bands are more often than not, topped with a floral lace cuff. They say on the leg with the use of a silicone band which fits snugly on the thigh.

Tip: Do not apply body lotion before using these items as they will not be able to “stick” to the skin. Those with a sensitive skin or allergies may find some silicone products irritate the skin, if you are not sure, try them out before wearing them for a special occasion or big event.

Knee Highs

Knee highs are a fantastic alternative for those who don’t like wearing full pantyhose but who still want the look, feel and elegance of hosiery. Made in all types of density from sheer to opaque, knee highs come up to just under the knee and stay put with a generous calf comfort band.

Over The Knee Socks

Not quite thigh highs and not quite knee highs, over the knee socks are the fun in-between that have some of the sexiest and comfortable designs around. Also referred to OTK’s.


Pantyhose, pantyhose, sheer tights, sheer hose. People often confuse pantyhose with stockings, which are hosiery items that rest on the thigh and require suspender belts in order to stay put. Pantyhose are sheer hosiery items that go up to 30 denier. After that they are referred to as semi-opaques, or opaques.


Shapewear now also comes in the form of hosiery. Amen for that. The specific fit helps to shape and mould your legs, waist or pelvis are and enhances your figure. Smoothing out all of those wine and carb sins we don’t love that much. Perfect for evening wear or when you need to look amazing in LBD in a flash.


A definitive in the hosiery world, stockings were the first ever type of leg wear available and they remain a timeless choice. Synonymous with elegance, glamour and magnificently sexy, stockings can be worn as part of a corporate outfit and go very well with a bottle of bubbly and some sexy lingerie. Stockings require a suspender belt, which clips to the welt (the double thick band at the top of the stocking which attaches to the suspender belt)


When one mentions tights, it immediately conjures up images of horrible, itchy school tights. Luckily, we have moved on a bit. Tights these days refer to basically any tight-fitting item of legwear that covers the entire leg from the toes to the waist. Everything from running tights, to opaque tights to dance tights can be classified as such. Sheer tights are just the thinner version, usually referred to as pantyhose.