One of the benefits of wearing hosiery is how it can transform your mundane outfit into a statement piece. When you wear a pair of full-length hosiery with your favorite bodycon dress and high heels, for example, you instantly exude an air of elegance. Hosiery is also designed to help make your legs look smoother and shapelier so that you can carry yourself with more power and confidence with each stride.

However, choosing when, where, and how to wear hosiery can be quite challenging. Those who may not be aware of the rules can easily make the mistake of wearing it on the wrong occasion. Adding hosiery to your ensemble incorrectly can also defeat its purpose, making you feel uncomfortable instead of empowered about how you look.

Fortunately, mastering the art and skill of wearing hosiery is possible. To help you start your hosiery journey, here are several things you need to keep in mind when handling this type of legwear.

When Choosing Hosiery

Long gone are the days when hosiery only came in a limited number of colors and styles. Today, you can find hosiery in numerous hues, textures, and designs to freshen up your look. However, with so many kinds of hosiery to choose from, picking the perfect pair can be stressful.

To ensure that you’re wearing the right type of hosiery, you need to consider the following factors:   

Color and Finish

Hosiery comes in an assortment of colors, from your basic black and skin tone hues to eye-catching bright yellows and neon pinks. They’re also available in a variety of finishes like matte, sheer, and high sheen. When mixing and matching a particular color of hosiery with your clothing, it’s best to follow these guidelines:

  • Match the color of the hosiery to an accessory.
  • Match the color of the hosiery to a color found within a print on your outfit.
  • Wear a bold color if you want to make a statement.
  • Follow a monochromatic theme.
  • Pair opaque hosiery with short skirts and dresses.
  • Wear hosiery with sheen finishes for dressy events.

As much as possible, do not wear white hosiery. Not only do they make dirt and stains more visible, but they also tend to be more appropriate only for certain settings. For instance, those in the nursing profession usually wear them as part of their uniforms. 


Hosiery garments also come in a variety of lengths, and each one should be correctly paired with the right piece of clothing to show off your unique sense of style. For example, full-length hosiery is best suited with pieces of apparel that show off your legs, such as skirts, short rompers, and denim shorts. If you’re planning to put on a pair of jeans or slacks, however, skip the full-length hosiery as they’ll be covered up anyway.

When it comes to knee-high hosiery, you can pair them with quarter-length boots. This way, you can wear your favorite pair of boots comfortably while showing off the hosiery’s stunning cuff.

Hosiery Features

To add a bit of character to your wardrobe, you can get hosiery with interesting features like lace details, fishnet patterns, as well as open and reinforced toe designs. Depending on your outfit or the event you’re going to, some hosiery features will work better than others. If you’re going to a 1920s style party, flapper-style stockings or hosiery with intricate patterns are the best choices. If you’re planning to wear open-toe pumps, on the other hand, open toe hosiery that’s designed for the purpose will best suit your footwear. 

When Styling with Hosiery

Now that you’re familiar with the types of hosiery at your disposal, it’s time to incorporate them with your outfit. When styling with hosiery, there are quite a few things you need to consider to make sure that you’re wearing hosiery properly.

What’s the Occasion? 

Although wearing hosiery with attention-grabbing colors and patterns will make you stand out from the rest of the crowd, they aren’t always the practical option. Bold hosiery is best reserved for when you’re going to an informal party, when you want to draw attention to your legs, or when you want to highlight the contrast between your legwear and the dress or skirt that you’re wearing. For events that require you to look formal and professional, however, stick to the basics like black, nude, and other neutral colors.

What Footwear Are You Wearing?

You can find hosiery in various toe options, making it easier to pair the garment with the type of shoe you’re wearing. Hosiery toe styles include the following:

  • Open-toe. Best paired with open-toe shoes.
  • Sandal toe. Best paired with sandals.
  • Sheer toe. Best paired with peep-toe shoes. 
  • Reinforced toe. Best paired with closed-toe shoes.

What’s the Weather Like?

Typically, the best time to wear hosiery is when the weather is cool as they can keep your legs warm. You may wear hosiery during the summertime, but make sure to choose ones made of thinner fabrics to allow your legs to “breathe” when it’s hot out. 

By taking these common-sense guidelines into account, you, too, can wear hosiery with confidence. Keep these rules in mind the next time you want to jazz your outfit up with legwear.