A Dozen Myths

Top 12 List of Myths about Hosiery

by T. Gallagher 

MYTH #1: Hosiery has become obsolete, out dated, and unfashionable. Only grandma still wears hosiery.

TRUTH: If you pick up and read any fashion magazine, clothing catalog, or surf websites from around the world you will find this to no longer be true. Hosiery has become a key fashion accessory and the foundation for any well-coordinated outfit thanks to the explosion of colors, metallics, patterns, and textures now available. Even the basic colors (nudes, beiges, and blacks) have seen a remarkable resurgence as of late. Kate Middleton the Duchess of Cambridge has single handedly revived and revitalized the hosiery industry. Kate demonstrates that hosiery is not only fashionable… it is also classy, elegant, and sophisticated.

MYTH #2: Hosiery is unattractive, unsightly, and ugly.

TRUTH: No single garment or piece of clothing comes close to enhancing the female form and physique like hosiery does. The shaping/toning qualities and benefits that hosiery offers are undeniable. Hosiery can tuck in a tummy, conceal cellulite, cover up varicose veins, and hide other leg imperfections. As mentioned in dispelling Myth #1, hosiery adds an element of elegance, style, and sophistication to any outfit. Earlier, a reader named Loretta pointed out that she feels sexy when she wears hosiery and I will be the first to confirm for her that is what I think when I see a woman wearing hosiery. Jessica, the owner of this blog, accurately points out that when a woman wears hosiery well, people of both genders turn heads.

MYTH #3: Hosiery has been rejected by the younger generation.

Anne V. and Carmen Electra are partying in shiny pantyhose.

TRUTH: This one is simply false. Visit any junior high, high school, or university and you will find this not to be the case. Look at any girls Facebook page, social media website, or YouTube blog/posting and you will discover a number of fashion conscious girls in love with all types of hosiery. The appeal of hosiery to younger women can be attributed to music icons like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Gwen Stefani all known for wearing various styles of hosiery including pantyhose, stockings and tights.

MYTH #4: Hosiery rips, runs, snags and tears/Hosiery is very prone to failure.

TRUTH: As with some myths listed here, at one time this statement was true. Thanks to advances in textile manufacturing, processes, and sewing this is no longer the case. Run resistant hosiery is now available from most manufacturers world-wide. See my blog post on the topic for more details.

MYTH #5: Hosiery becomes baggy, loses its shape, sags, falls down between the legs, or wrinkles at the ankle.

TRUTH: Once upon a time this was indeed the case. At one time even the most expensive of hosiery was prone to these types of complaints. Some of the problem could be blamed on the way hosiery was manufactured. Thanks again to advances in textile manufacturing, processes, and sewing this is no longer the case. The use of new microfibers and improved synthetic fibers helps hosiery retain its original fit and shaping properties to eliminate bagging, sagging, and wrinkles.

Another key component to busting this myth is selecting correct size of hosiery to wear. Manufacturers print a size chart on every package of hosiery sold. To insure proper fit and to avoid problems one must be honest about their true height and weight. Choosing to wear the wrong size of hosiery can lead to product failure (runs & rips), loss of shape/fit, and general discomfort. Avoid cheaper brands that sell hosiery in “one size fits most”.

MYTH #6: Hosiery is uncomfortable to wear. Hosiery is binding, itchy, pinches, or feels like you have been stuffed into a sausage casing.

TRUTH: Myths #5 and #6 are closely related and that’s why they are listed in the way presented. Choosing the correct size of hosiery is critical to overall comfort. The wrong size, especially a size too small will lead to binding, pinching, and feeling like you have been stuffed into a sausage casing.

Improved manufacturing also helps improve the comfort of hosiery. The use of microfibers (including spandex) in hosiery greatly improves comfort and fit. Some manufacturers enhance or infuse their hosiery with aloe and lotions to improve the feel of their products.

MYTH #7: Hosiery is smelly, causes bad foot odor, and is unsanitary.

TRUTH: Hosiery manufacturers have taken processes learned from making athletic socks and have successfully applied them to the making of sheer hosiery. This is accomplished by introducing deodorants and compounds in the finishing process that inhibits the growth of bacteria and organisms known to cause odor.

However, all of the deodorants and compounds in the world are no substitute for proper personal hygiene and proper hosiery care. It is still important to properly bathe, especially your feet. The use of foot and shoe powder is highly recommended. Hosiery should be laundered after each wear. Hand washing with a gentle detergent is the preferred method. However, the use of a washing machine set on a delicate cycle along with the use of a delicates mesh wash bag and gentle detergent is acceptable. Hang to drip dry or place your hosiery flat on clean dry towel and roll them up. Never use a clothes dryer to dry hosiery.

MYTH #8: There are no health benefits to wearing hosiery.

TRUTH: Anyone who believes this myth simply has not talked with a doctor or has not done their research. I would like to credit Shelley Zurek and Dr. Z. Catherine Navarro with the following information:

Support hose can provide relief to tired legs and apply soothing pressure to massage the lower limbs which leads to improved circulation and a reduction in discomfort. Anyone who spends a long time on their feet such as beauticians, medical workers, athletes, production supervisors will find support hose or even the high energy pantyhose useful. Varicose veins, spider veins, inadequate circulation, and swelling in the feet, legs or ankles can be prevented by wearing hosiery.

The Mayo Clinic strongly supports the use of hosiery to reduce all kinds of risks from extended standing or long hours of work. Some of the concerns addressed by hosiery use are cellulitis, chronic venous insufficiency, thrombosis, and even pulmonary embolism (when a clot breaks off blocking an artery to the lung). The thermal benefits of hosiery have been documented. Wearing hosiery prevents or prolongs the onset of frost bite and hypothermia.

It is also true that some should avoid wearing hosiery. Including those prone to infections, those who have had recent pelvic surgeries, and those who have pre-existing fungal and allergic conditions that are exacerbated by wearing hosiery (eczema, athlete’s foot, hives and rashes).

MYTH #9: Hosiery is expensive and over-priced.

TRUTH: Hosiery is priced at $3.00 USD on the low end and $275.00 USD on the high end. In comparison to other fashion accessories, bras, dresses, lingerie, makeup, skirts, tops, and shoes, the price of hosiery is not that out of line. A smart shopper and those who use the internet can find affordable pricing and a deal on the hosiery they wear every day or for a special occasion. Amazon and E-bay are great places on the web to find name brand hosiery at affordable prices.

MYTH #10: Hosiery is not ideal in all weather: too cold in winter and too hot and sweaty in the summer.

TRUTH: This one comes down to having the right hosiery for the right occasion. Manufacturers offer hosiery in different deniers or thicknesses. By altering the weave, manufacturers can control the thermal aspects of hosiery. They also can select natural and synthetic microfibers they incorporate in the hosiery fabric based on fiber characteristics including softness, durability, breathability, thermal regulating, and moisture wicking properties. Good winter hosiery would have a heavier denier, tighter weave, and fibers known for retaining heat. Comfortable summer hosiery would have a thinner denier, looser weave, and fibers that allow more breathability and moisture wicking.

MYTH #11: Hosiery is only for women.

TRUTH: Hosiery including knee highs, pantyhose, stockings, and tights are traditionally considered a women’s garment. This fact has changed in recent times. Hosiery has been worn by men as a thermal barrier. Athletes including basketball players will wear tights for protection, support, and as a thermal layer. Race horse jockeys have been known to wear pantyhose under their uniforms so they glide freely over the legs and waist when the jockey’s body moves at a rapid pace. Tropical fishermen who fish from beaches have also been reported as wearing hosiery to protect from jellyfish because their stingers cannot penetrate the mesh. There is also a segment of men that also wear hosiery for fashion, feel, fetish, and pleasure. There are numerous postings all over the web confirming the growing use of hosiery by men. Some manufacturers even produce hosiery specifically targeted to male customers.

MYTH #12: Hosiery is not eco-friendly and bad for the environment.

gloves made of pantyhose

TRUTH: Anything can become eco-unfriendly and bad for the environment if not recycled or reused. Jessica, the owner of this blog, documents how her father would melt down her mother’s ripped pantyhose for a very strong glue.

Model airplane and boat hobby enthusiasts use worn hosiery to build stronger models. Worn hosiery is used as a material in arts and crafts. Some use worn hosiery for air and water filtration because they are perfect for straining out dust, lint, and other impurities.

Want to discover more uses for hosiery?  Check out these links:





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2 thoughts on “A Dozen Myths

  1. Pingback: Fantasy Stockings » For the Love of Hosiery » Top 10 Myths about Pantyhose – can you help me with this list?

  2. Thankfully, some of the younger set will occasionally wear tights now and then, and they are rarely self-conscious. For most of those who go bare, I’d rather they “cover up” than show off their legs.

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