Hosiery Terminology: A Guide To Understanding Stockings

Whether you wearing stockings or not on a normal basis, shopping for a pair of them can sometimes be a little tricky. Finding the right cut, material, thickness are all key things in a perfect pair. The more you know the easier it will be to identify exactly what you are looking for. Today we will explain to you the popular terms used in hosiery so on your next stockings shopping trip you will not have to worry about purchasing the wrong pair.




  1. Cuban Heel – A stocking with a heel sewn into the back seam for reinforcement.
  2. Back Seam – A seam that runs vertically down the back center of the garment.
  3. Fishnet – Hosiery with a diamond shaped, open knit resembling the pattern on a fishnet
  4. Fencenet – Similar to fishnets, but the patter is wider. Sometimes worn over other stockings.
  5. Opaque – Stockings which have greater than 40 denier. Provides more coverage of the leg.
  6. Sheer – Stockings that are more thin and see through. Has typically less than 40 denier.
  7. Stay-Ups – Also known as holdups. Stockings that are held up by a silicone or elastic band. Often a wide lace band.
  8. Stirrups – Stockings that taper at the ankle with an extra band that extends under the arch of the foot.
  9. Garter Belts – Used to hold up and keep stockings in place when a stay up not available. Usually contains 4 straps.
  10. Legwarmers – Coverings for the lower leg that are footless. Usually made of thick knit to retain warmth.
  11. Knee-Highs – Stockings that go up to the knee or right below the knee.
  12. Thigh-Highs – Stockings that go up to the mid-thigh or pass the knee.


While these are not all of the terms, these are many of the ones you will ever need. We hope this has helped you understand hosiery a little bit better. They may seem like a simple thing to just go out and buy, but knowing the basics can really help you make better choices in terms of buying a pair that will last you longer or serve your purpose better.

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