I have compiled a list of technical words that I frequently use in my review. Most of them are generic (i.e., most people use these terms as well) while some are made up by myself, as I haven’t yet found a term that best reflects what I have experienced. Below is the list (in alphabet order). I will review the list every now and then.
How hosiery appears to you, e.g., sheer, opaque, matte, shiny, patterned, open-knit, etc. In terms of shininess, I have divided it into five levels:
- Total matte – there is no reflective shine, making it ideal for strong colours. Matte is good for larger legs.
- Discreet sheen – matte appearance with a very subtle reflective shine that is visible under strong, direct light source, e.g., sunlight.
- Slight sheen – this has a small amount of shine, like little highlights. It’s good in sheers and nudes.
- Shiny – a glamorous finish. This looks best on lean legs, as it draws attention straight to the tone and shape of your legs.
- Glitter – some finishes include sparkling or glittery elements in the fabric. These are best left for evenings only and again, tend to look best on leaner legs.
Wrinkles that form below the knees or behind the ankles. This is usually due to size being too large, lack of elastane or poor quality.
Above: bags at the back of the ankle because the tights have no elastane.
The degree to which air can flow through yarn to allow heat to release and sweat to evaporate. In General, the lower the denier, the better the breathability. Some fibres (such as Cupro™) are better at releasing heat and sweat than others. Different types of knitting can also play a part.
Gradual downshift of the waistband/tights due to gravity and movement (e.g., walking). Frankly, this happens all the time, hence I only mention it when budging is unusually prominent.
The degree to which the body is hugged by the piece of hosiery. Tights that underwent the boarding process fit better than those that didn’t, hence a better envelopment.
The band immediately below the waistband. In some tights, the finger band extends to both sides of the seam on panty (see below image).
The base colour/appearance underlying the pattern on patterned hosiery.
The leg part (including the foot) of the tights.
The structural pattern of the hosiery viewed at close range. Different types of knitting have different appearance, feel and durability.
Above: A type of knitting that gives total matte, sheer appearance and soft feel. The loops are not strictly aligned (click to enlarge).
The panty part of the tights or leggings. There are several designs:
- Plain – the knitting between panty and hose is the same.
- Box brief – the panty and a part of the upper thigh is more opaque, thereby giving an appearance of a boxer’s brief.
- Tanga – some parts of the panty is more opaque and shaped like a tanga underwear.
Fluff balls generated as a result of friction between hosiery and other clothing.
A separate fabric, usually thicker than the hose, sewn at the heel for better durability.
Another term for reciprocated heel.
What it feels like when touching the material with hand or how the skin senses, e.g., fine/smooth/rough, soft, elastic, synthetic/natural, cotton/nylon/silky, etc.
Another term for budge.
Shape & Control
A term used by Wolford to describe a collection of hosiery and lingerie that has shaping effect to the lower torso or support effect to the legs. For hosiery, the top of the packaging is coloured pink, to mark as a differentiation from non-Shape & Control hosiery.
The entire piece of the tights (i.e., the feet, the legs and the panty) is sheer.
Distortion of the knitting caused by hosiery in contact with rough surfaces or sharp materials.
A type of hosiery that helps with the blood circulation on legs. This is not to be confused with compression hosiery, which is predominately used for medical reasons and usually require a doctor’s prescription.
The area that covers the toes. There are a variety of constructions:
- Unreinforced toe (or sandal toe) – The toe section is not particularly strengthened to give better durability. In such case, the knitting for the hose and the toe section is the same. Unreinforced toe can appear in both sheer tights (i.e., sandal toe) and opaque tights (where the denier is already thick enough to give good durability).
- Lightly reinforced toe (or shadow toe) – As the name suggests, it provides a light reinforcement for a slightly better durability. The knitting usually has a sheer appearance and is different from the hose. This is commonly seen in sheer/ultra sheer tights, where sheerness and durability are equally important.
- Reinforced toe – section where more yarns and/or different knitting structure are used for better durability. This is not to be confused with compression or support (generally, toe section is left uncompressed even in support hosiery).
Another term for breathability.