Beginners Guide to Stockings, Tights and Hold Ups

If you're new to retro style hosiery, or hosiery of any kind, then the terminology can be confusing - but help is at hand!

Take a look at our video to learn the difference between the 3 garments, the different terms around the world, as well as why other stocking manufacturers don't include suspender clips in their product imagery.

As a quick and simple checklist:

Stockings - need a suspender belt to hold them up

Hold Ups & Stay Ups - have a silicone band to enable them to stay up by themselves.

Tights - go right up to your waist.

If you're new to retro style hosiery, or hosiery of any kind, then the terminology can be confusing - but help is at hand!

Check out our guide to hosiery and all will be revealed.

Stockings vs Tights vs Hold Ups

While Seamed Stockings are a staple for fans of vintage fashion if you're new to the scene it might be that you've never worn anything other than opaque tights and are confused about the terminology.

Certainly people we meet at out annual pop up boutique at the Goodwood Revival are sometimes surprised when they find themselves with a pair of stockings because previously they though that all stockings would hold up by themselves, or even that stockings are the same as tights.

Stockings: all of our stockings require a Suspender Belt to hold them up. They are not designed to hold up by themselves.

Tights: tights go up to the waist.

Hold Ups (Stay Ups in the US): hold ups have a silicone band on the inside of the hold up to ensure that the hold up stays up by itself. You do not need to wear a Suspender Belt with hold ups. You can wear a Suspender Belt with your hold ups but will need a retro style study clip as sometimes it's difficult to clip though the silicone.

At What Katie Did we make stockings and tights, but not hold ups.



Why Don't We Sell Hold-Ups?

We don't sell hold ups at What Katie Did as we've found that many women have problems with them staying up. We don't know if it is the early mornings at the Goodwood Revival, the chilly temperature or that as it's a special occasion women have ensured their legs are nicely moisturised, but without fail we are inundated with ladies with their hold ups around their ankles for the first couple of hours of the morning!

While many women do wear hold ups with no problems others find that the silicone band causes discomfort by the end of the day.

Hence we play it safe. Our stockings all feature a plain, stretchy top, to be worn with a suspender belt with at least 4 straps and preferably 6. There are a few belts with just 2 straps we've seen being worn at the Revival but these are just designed for boudoir use, certainly not for daily wear!

As a concession to modern life (and a smooth line under tight wiggle dresses) we also make seamed tights in a small range of colours.



Why Don't We Make More Colours of Tights?

The short answer is that it all comes down to sales.When it look at what's selling,, stockings are far more popular than tights with our existing customers.

We do offer our seamed tights in our most popular colours, but even these sell slowly compared with the stockings.

Because of this we're not looking at developing seamed tights in a curve variant, or darker skintones, in the immediate future.

Why Don't We Make More Colours in Darker Skintones or Curve Sizes?

For our nutmeg stockings the same answer applies as to why we don't make more colours of seamed tights: the sales aren't high enough to enable us to make more colours. We constantly push WOC on our website and social media and some of our nutmeg seams are shot on 5 WOC on our site!

The Curve Seams are a new addition to our site and whether we extend the colour range will depend on sales.

If you can spread the word about our WOC and Curve Stockings please do!

Stocking Tips and Info

We've a wide range of stockings related videos on our Youtube channel covering just about every question you have, as well as info about individual products. Here are the ones we think you'll find most useful today.

Part 3 of our Curve Seamed Stockings Video Trio covering the development of these new nylons, and touching on why we're unable to make more nutmeg seamed nylons in the near future.

Washing tips for Sheer Seamed Nylons: they need to be treated with care to keep them looking as good as new.

How to store you precious nylons. Believe it or not, it's not while wearing them that most nylons get damaged, it's not knowing how to care for them!


Before You Go

Our Youtube channel is updated weekly with new videos with product tips and info plus behind the scenes news. Follow our channel and you won't miss a thing.

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