I feel that this page may help you answer some questions about sizing.  I am surprised to this day how many people are confused with hosiery sizes because it also has to do with leg length and not only with whether the person is slim or not.  Could it be that Lady Obama finds pantyhose “painful” just because she is not wearing the right size?

Before you grab a pair of the shelf, think about the following points:

How tall are you?  

Ok, for skirts/pants I often take size XS.  For hosiery I am Medium.  Why?  Because I am 5’7” (170 cm).   You won’t believe how many people guess that my hosiery size is XS…

To make it worse, for many brands the chart doesn’t correspond to the actual fit.  Wolford recently changed their size chart to finally represent people properly.  Before they didn’t have height on it.

I hope to help you here to learn some general techniques on how to choose your size.

Is it Lycra of Microfibre?  

I just recently learned that microfibre nylons are much better stretching then lycra. If you happen to be right on the border between sizes, with microfibre you can go for the smaller size.  But if you are still in doubt, larger size is OK – good pantyhose should be elastic enough and will not fall down.

On another note, for fuller figure women microfibre would be a very good option for comfort because of the stretching ability.  It’s rare, but you can find even sheer microfibre pantyhose.  It’s in fact very durable and stretchy.

Where is it made?  Japanese pantyhose fit very small.  American pantyhose fit larger.  

I’d like to try them some day, but I realized that it probably won’t happen.  Their size Large goes up to 165 cm.  I am 170 cm.  So I guess I am off the chart!  It’s a weird feeling because I always thought of myself as quite average and wished to be a little taller.

What’s the Denier?  (textile measurement of thread thickness)

500 denier is not as stretchy as 15 denier.  Keep that in mind.

Long Legs:  One tall lady told me that she doesn’t buy backseam pantyhose because the seam doesn’t stretch enough with her legs, for example.  She’s very slim, but she would need to purchase XL in order to make it stretch with the length of her legs.  (Lucky girl!)

Full Hips:  Check the diagram at the back.  Most likely you won’t be able to find sheer to waist pantyhose or patterned pantyhose that would fit large hips.  It may have to do with the control top since this is what is modified in order to stretch more in the hip and waist region.  For XL hips there is an extra panel of material at the back and sometimes even in the front to make it more stretchy.

If it is patterned pantyhose or sheer to waist pantyhose, for some reason this may not be possible – hence, you may end up with the same size waistline as for sizes S, M, L, just longer legs!  That would be great for a slim girl with long legs, but not for a lady with fuller hips.

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