HomeLIFESTYLEPantyhose Are Back, and the Alternatives Are Better Than Ever

Pantyhose Are Back, and the Alternatives Are Better Than Ever

I kept seeing it over and over again—the same Instagram-sponsored post from Sheertex, where a woman’s pretty, pointy-nail hands tug every which way on a pair of neutral-colored nylons. It was leaving me torn (pun intended). Sure, the scene was cool, but does anyone really wear pantyhose now that they need to invest $60 in them? Do I really need to worry about stockings in the year 2023? (Maybe I need to worry about stockings More In the year 2023?) I’m ready to check the temperature on tights — the best tights, to be exact.

What I found was that while stockings are a trend that, less like any other, the idea of ​​”hosiery” has a tendency to feel constipated, especially through a feminist lens. the new York Times Noted appearance after Prince Charles’ 2018 wedding to Meghan Markle at 70th Birthday in very yellow hose.

“Perhaps this is a sign that the former actress is succumbing to the conservative pressures of royalty or perhaps she was – like many of us – simply dressed more formally than usual,” wrote Harper’s Bazaar those days.

Markle appeared hosiery-free a few months later, but the association between tights and a more conservative look was drawn.

Featured image by Michelle Nash.

Image by Michelle Nash

Tights: A Brief History

However, in the years that followed, top designers began to put hosiery front and center. The channel introduced monogrammed tights at the 2020 show. Statement hosiery and thigh-high stocking boots became a thing. Beyond the runway, hosiery started to air more feel-good. (Check out direct-to-consumer hosiery brand Nudebarre’s ecstatic video that shows the tights actually looking free.)

Of course, we can usually look to the past to inform current trends. In this instance, it might be best to look to the 1940s, when the end of World War II (and the rationing of nylon for use in things like parachutes and hammocks) led to the “nylon riots”. When they finally returned to stores, thousands of women lined up to pick up a pair of tights.

People are getting ready after the challenging phase of the last few years. And thankfully, today’s best brands are often made from far more durable materials than petroleum-based nylon. Ahead, I’ve rounded up the seven best tights brands available right now. From hosiery giants like Hue and Fogle to fresh newcomers like Swedish Stockings and (of course) Sheertex.

Image by Michelle Nash

The 7 Best Hosiery Brands for Sleek, Modern Stockings

swedish stockings

Nadja Forsberg and Linn Frisinger were inspired to create their pioneering sustainable hosiery brand after watching light bulb plot, a 2010 documentary that highlighted the deliberate shortening of product lifetimes in order to promote more sales. Faced with the wear-and-tear nature of modern pantyhose (and the environmental impact of petroleum-based nylon), the two set out to create an innovative brand that could disrupt the industry.

In addition to being made to last (with recycled and natural materials), Swedish Stockings makes a range of beautiful products—from semi-opaque staples to more fashionable designs.

naked barre

Inclusivity is at the heart of former dancer Erin Carpenter’s Nude Barre. The brand’s convertible opaque tights and fishnets come in 12 shades that redefine the look of “nude.”


The most Instagram-famous modern hosiery brand is also the most science-y. The Sheertex knit, attractive for its ability to stretch in all directions without snagging, gets its anti-rip capability thanks to a strong, stretchy fiber crafted at the brand’s own facility in Montreal.

Sheertex’s range of tights and hosiery keeps it simple, with classic sheer and opaque options as well as some patterned offerings (including the brand’s popular Micro Dot).


A luxury leader since the Austrian brand’s founding in 1950, Wolford’s high-quality hosiery is the biggest gloss on this list (and Kate Middleton’s go-to black tights). But they reportedly last forever and have survived many snag tests. Wolford also offers a versatile range of its carefully crafted hosiery – from shapewear and satiny classics to trendy metallic options and a limited-edition skinwear collection with Mugler.


Crafted with 100% recycled fabrics and 3-D-knit technology in a zero-waste factory in Italy, Les Belles’ eco-conscious hosiery flips the script on the idea of ​​ditching pantyhose. Designed for every size and gender, Cecile Antier’s vast range of tights come in both straight, opaque and playful patterns.


The beloved Swiss brand was founded in 1921, and has lived up to its promise of luxurious hosiery (often blended with natural fibers like silk or cashmere) for the past century. And while Fogle has ventured into gorgeous activewear and collaborated with designers like Zadig and Voltaire, the brand’s silky, barely-there tights (available in every skin tone) really set the hosiery stalwart apart.


Launched in the 1970s by two New York City artists, Hue’s comfortable (and often colorful) tights remain a mainstay of legwear for good reason. As one Reddit user posted in “The Girl Survival” Guide sub, “Holly Hue Leggings, where have you been my whole life?”

For maximum comfort, consider Hue’s cushioned tights, which feature cushion on the ball of the foot.

Each product is curated with care by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.



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