There are plenty of reasons to love wintertime, from gingerbread lattes to all of the Christmas festivities. And for fans of hosiery especially, rediscovering all of your favourite legwear looks is just more thing to get excited about.
But even if you don’t love stockings and pantyhose any more than the average person, it’s still basically a necessity if you want to wear skirts or dresses this season. Not all hosiery is going to keep you equally warm however, so just how thick does it need to be?
As we explain on our FAQ page, ‘denier’ isn’t actually a measure of how opaque or how thick hosiery is. It actually indicates how heavy the yarn it’s knitted from is. But naturally, heavier yarns do tend to be thicker ones, and hence have a more solid appearance when woven together.
A pair of tights can look sheerer or more opaque than another that’s the same denier. Generally speaking however, opaque hosiery (which will keep you the warmest) starts from around the 50 denier mark. At 40 denier, it’s more likely to have a semi-sheer appearance, and be better suited to autumn and early spring.
Hosiery deniers can go much higher than 50 though – even 200 denier hosiery is not all that uncommon! So when it comes to choosing the best hosiery for winter and for your needs, you’ll also want to consider a few more factors:
The hosiery fiber
What is the hosiery you’ve got your eye on made from? Certain fibers are naturally very insulating, such as wool and cashmere, so they’ll keep you nice and toasty without needing to search out an ultra-high denier.
The knit type
As we’ve explained, denier refers to the weight of the yarn, but that yarn can be woven into a thicker or thinner fabric. Textured hosiery, such as ribbed and cable-knit tights, is inherently thicker and so will provide more of a barrier against the elements. Think of it as a snug, knitted blanket for your legs!
Where you’ll wear it
Will you be spending most of your winter indoors or flitting in and out of shops, or are you the type that enjoys long afternoon walks through the snow? Hosiery that’s fine for one winter setting isn’t necessarily warm enough for another. Hence, it’s a good idea to have a few different high-denier hosiery options in your wardrobe, so you’re covered for every occasion.
How you’ll wear it
Will your winter hosiery be all that’s standing between your skin and the harsh outdoors? Or do you plan to wear it as an extra thermal layer underneath your jeans or pants? Obviously, if your hosiery is the only thing protecting your legs from the elements, you’ll want a higher denier or thicker knit.
Choose tights over stockings
Opaque stockings and hold-ups exist, and we’ve included some of our favourites below. These are perfect when it’s cold out, but you still want to feel glamorous. However, if warmth is your number one priority, tights will keep you the toastiest since they leave no part of your leg uncovered (plus cover your midriff too!).
Consider thermal hosiery
Made with high deniers, close knits, and sometimes even a plush lining, thermal hosiery is the ultimate in warm winter legwear. It’s especially ideal for things like jogging on those frosty winter mornings, or wearing under your ski gear.
We have plenty of winter hosiery options in store for you to choose from, but here are ten of our favourites:
Do you have a favourite pair of winter tights?