Frequently Asked Questions
Hints and tips from First4Legwear
Washing your hosiery.We recommend you wash your tights in one of the easily-obtainable netting wash bags which are available from most supermarkets these days – we stock one here if you have problems getting hold of them – and wash as ‘delicates’ on a 30 degree wash. Most manufacturers recommend that you wash new tights before wearing them; this removes any residual dyes etc., from the manufacturing process and frees up the fibres, which could otherwise stick together due to these residues. The result is that your tights will feel more comfortable; you may find (as we have from years of experience) that the tights will feel softer and silkier with each subsequent wash.
Putting your tights on.First of all, it is a good idea to use hosiery gloves when putting legwear on; this will reduce the likelihood of damaging your tights with rough skin of your hands. Advice on this point varies; most of the traditional manufacturers suggest sitting on a chair or the edge of your bed, and gathering first one leg of your tights up, pulling them gently over your toes (making sure the toe seams are straight – aligned with your toes) whilst ensuring your toes have room to move – if you pull your tights on too tightly, it will be painful for your toes, by cutting off the blood circulation, and can also cause the premature demise of your tights, when the fabric fails because the tension is too great at the toe seam! Then pay the leg fabric gradually and gently up your lower leg to the knee, again being careful not to pull too tightly and risk damaging the fabric. Repeat the procedure with the other leg till you have both legs of your tights snugly pulled up to the knees, then stand up. Again, pay the fabric of first one leg, then the other, gradually up to the top of your legs, being careful all the while not to put too much tension on the fabric, and ensuring the leg fabric is paid out straight and not twisted around your legs, and finally pull the brief section up to the waist. Make sure the centre seam is straight. Alternatively, you may be more comfortable standing to put your tights on; as long as you can balance safely on one leg while you pull them on! I prefer this latter option personally.
Underwear – to wear or not to wear!All the tights we stock can be worn without any other underwear if desired (just to be clear, underwear, if worn, goes UNDER (the clue is in the name!) your tights, not over (unless you are Clark Kent!):-)), but we would suggest from experience that certain styles which have just a ‘conventional’ centre gusset are probably best worn over cotton or micro-fibre briefs, or else the centre seam may dig in and be uncomfortable. But at the end of the day, it is down to personal preference.
Personal Grooming – skin, nails & leg hair.It goes without saying that hosiery is relatively fragile in comparison to other clothing.
Make sure your nails are filed smooth, and not too long; jagged nails will destroy your tights very quickly!
Ensure the skin of your hands and feet is not rough; if necessary, wear hosiery gloves when putting on/taking off your tights. If possible, use hand cream to keep your skin smooth and ensure your feet, particularly the skin of your heels and soles of your feet, are not rough – there are many suitable grooming products available these days to take care of this.
Choosing which tights to wear.Obviously, this will vary with individual preferences, but as a rough guide;
In the summer, choose sheer tights that match your skin tone as closely as possible, or maybe a shade darker; Beige and Tan are the order of the day, depending on your skin colour. These will look great with a skirt or shorts.
In autumn/winter/spring or just cooler days, or under trousers, jeans, shorts or combats, you may prefer to choose suitably colour-matched opaques; say black, navy blue or grey, depending on the colours of other garments you are wearing. These can look great.
Also available are other types of tights, like control tops (which have a tighter brief section usually comprising a larger percentage of Lycra) which can improve the look of your, er, rear end and, of course, support tights, which are great if you are on your feet all day (or even if you aren’t!); they can make your legs feel a lot better at the end of a busy day than they would without! I speak from much experience!
Other variations are; STW (sheer to waist) tights which have no noticeable ‘boxer brief’, although these are less common. Most tights have a ‘boxer brief’ or darker/heavier section from the waist to the top of the legs; the reason for this is to extend the life expectancy of the tights by reducing the likelihood of the ‘sheerer’ leg fabric failing due to the greater tension around the tops of the legs and the rear end. You will find examples of all the above on the web site.
One last hint – if you snag or ladder your tights, the best short-term fix can be found in the form of clear nail varnish. A small dab on the damaged area will prevent it getting worse and ruining your tights!
We hope these hints have been helpful, but if you have any other points or questions, feel free to contact us here and we will be happy to help.