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The brief is the section of the hosiery which covers the lower-pelvis and hip area and finishes where the top of the thigh begins. However, there are various types of brief and each has its own distinguishable qualities.


Control Top

Pantyhose or Tights produced with the body section composed of a heavier  lycra content and weight to act as a light control garment. 

Cotton Gusset

Cotton is sewn into the gusset or crotch area of the tights, which provides added comfort. 


Relates  to the weight or fineness of the yarn, which in turn relates to the sheerness of the hosiery.  The finer the yarn,  the lower the denier. 30 denier is considered Opaque, 20 denier is sheer, 15 denier is ultra sheer,  and 10 denier or less is the very sheerest.  Sheerness varies with Lycra content.  Generally the 100% nylon is the sheerest.  A 15 denier 100% nylon will be more sheer than a 10 denier stretch stocking containing  lycra. 

Elastane, Lycra, Spandex

The terms that different manufacturers use for their products, which describes a stretch element. 


A smaller net design, which is taken from the construction of a fisherman’s  net, usually made of nylon or nylon-lycra blends.   These come in seamless or seamed styles, with various designs of lace or silicone tops on the stockings and hold-ups.  Also in tights or pantyhose which are very popular with dancers and for costumes. 


Simply a tight that goes from the waist/hip as normal but ends at the ankle rather than encompassing the foot. 


Stockings  that stay up  without  the  need  for garters.  True hold-ups usually consist of a decorative stretch lace top, with a silicone band inside of the lace to help grip the leg. 


General  term meaning leg covering such as stockings, pantyhose, tights, or socks. 


A much thicker alternative to the footless tight. Now considered a fashion clothing item, as opposed to an accessory, leggings have become available in a variety of colours, prints and patterns due to their popularity. 


A man made fiber made from petroleum.  It is noted for its strength, sheerness, and bright luster. Nylon can be produced in cross sections, altering its appearance and feel. 


The term given to stockings or tights when made of a higher denier yarn, making them less transparent and appear more dense than the lighter deniers. 


A one piece hosiery garment consisting of two sheer legs connected to a panty and waistband.  Pantyhose are usually of a 15 or 20 denier yarn and transparent, as opposed to tights, which are usually constructed of 30 denier yarn and are usually more opaque to solid in color than pantyhose. 


The European  term for nylon yarn. 

Reinforced Toe

The sections of a garment that have been strengthened by double knitting to provide additional durability. This usually resulted in a darkening of the area, which is then considered a design feature. Reinforced toe: to prevent damage that can occur in the toe of some sheer hosiery, manufacturers include a strengthening panel which can be sometimes be seen and so is usually worn with shoes which cover the whole toe. Semi-opaque - This is a term to describe hosiery that is slightly translucent but not totally non transparent.  It is usually of a lighter denier tight, or a heavier denier stocking of hold-up. 


This term applies to all hosiery, no matter what style, which has a back seam on it.  This can be a sewn on backseam or an actual sewn in back seam like fully-fashioned stockings and some fishnets. 


Sheerness is a function of light denier and full transparency.  It is usually meant to reveal the lightness and filminess of the garment. 

Sheer to waist

Simply where the item carries the same denier from the toes to the top of the tight. 


A rubber like polymer, which maintains its elasticity over a wide range of temperatures.  Used inside the lace top of hold-up stockings to cling to the skin and keep the stocking up without garters. 


Although the popular use of this word has come to be anything worn on the legs (i.e. pantyhose, hold-ups or tights) we will stick with the more traditional definition.  Stockings, as referred to on this web site, are the traditional style that are put on individually and attached to a garter at the top for support.  These can come in plain top, satin top, or lace top, but should not be confused with hold-ups, which stay up by themselves. 

Suspender belt

The European term for garter belt. 


These are pantyhose made of a heavier denier in opaque or semi-opaque yarns.  They are dyed usually in deep colors, and they are more sporty and durable than pantyhose. 


The top of an item of hosiery can be low on the hip hipsters, sit on the waist as normal (regular) or can continue until just under the bra (high-waist). These are often mixed-and-matched depending on the dress or skirt.



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