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How Do I Choose the Best plus Size Hosiery?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen

The challenges of choosing plus size hosiery include finding the right size, choosing a suitable color, and making sure that the hosiery offers an appropriate level of slimming and smoothing of the silhouette. Other concerns include the cost, comfort, and durability of the hosiery. In some cases, you may find that you need to try out several brands and styles of plus size hosiery before you find a kind that meets your needs.

For many women, plus size or not, finding hosiery that fits can be a challenge. This can be a particular problem if you carry your weight disproportionately in one part of your lower body. Size charts on the packages of pantyhose and tights can be useful, but you may still find that even if you fit within the guidelines, the garment does not fit you properly. By trying out different sizes and styles, you will eventually find your fit, which you can use when purchasing hosiery from that brand in the future.

The size charts on the back of pantyhose packages can indicate whether or not they are suitable for plus size women of various heights.
The size charts on the back of pantyhose packages can indicate whether or not they are suitable for plus size women of various heights.

Plus size hosiery comes in a variety of colors and shades. Although many women no longer wear pantyhose on a regular basis, sometimes black or nude stockings are appropriate for a specific outfit or may be required by an employer. When choosing opaque hosiery, you may find that the more expensive brands give you better coverage. If you cannot afford high-end opaque tights, consider purchasing lightweight plus size leggings instead.

Many plus size hosiery brands offer some type of figure control. The degree of support and compression offered by the plus size hosiery varies, so you should read the package label to determine how much control you can expect. One thing to consider is that by choosing hosiery with a high level of figure control, you may not have to wear any additional undergarments. This can save you money and reduce bulk under your clothes.

The cost of plus size hosiery can vary, though you may find that you get what you pay for. Still, it may pay to shop around for retailers that carry your favorite pantyhose at a reasonable price. Another consideration is your own comfort. If you find that your hosiery regularly bags, sags, or pinches, it may be time to look into a new brand. Finally, try buying only one pair of a new brand of hosiery at first so you can see how durable it is. You may find that buying more expensive hosiery that lasts longer is more cost effective than buying cheaper brands of lesser quality.

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Discussion Comments


I am a plus-sized lady, five feet two inches tall and carry most of my weight in my middle - 225 pounds. Pantyhose always felt too short for me, even though I'm petite!

About a year ago I started buying one size larger than recommended on the box and voila! They were long enough. I realized you must take your entire body shape into account.

Even though the box said I should buy a certain size, I needed the next size up to accommodate my longer legs. Of course the upper part is a bit generous but when has anyone ever complained about their pantyhose being too loose?


Has anybody else had trouble with the sizing charts on the back of the plus size hosiery packages?

I have never had good luck with following these charts. The only way I know if I am going to find a pair that fits is by trying them on.

I think plus size fashion has come a long way in recent years, but I still have a hard time finding hosiery that fits well.

I like the look of wearing tights, and find them to be much warmer in the winter months. I have really had trouble finding plus size hosiery tights though.

When I do find them, they seem to fit better than the hosiery does, but I can't wear them to work as often either.


@sunshined - You are right about the lack of choices for plus size dresses. It seems like most of the styles I like are in much smaller sizes.

It's been a long time since I needed to buy some hosiery, and I was surprised at how expensive they can be.

I work from home, so never wear dresses anymore, but needed some new hosiery to wear with a dress for a wedding I was going to.

I think I bought at least three packages of hosiery before I found one that fit right. I am really short, and even though I was trying to follow the chart on the back, most everything I tried was to0 long.

The last thing I wanted was to have my panty hose hanging loosely around my ankles. I was also looking for a pair that had some control in the stomach area.

I finally went to a high end department store where they had more choices. I thought it was crazy how expensive they were, but at least they fit right. I am just glad I don't have to wear these every day.


If you are a larger woman like I am, it seems like finding plus size women's clothing and hosiery can be difficult.

There doesn't seem to be as many choices or styles to choose from. The next battle is finding things that fit right.

I still have to wear hosiery to work most days, so buy several pairs of panty hose throughout the year. Even though the expensive brands cost a lot more, I have found them to have the best quality and fit.

Any time I have bought cheap panty hose I have always been disappointed and they never lasted very long.

Once I find a style and brand that I like, I really stock up if they are ever on sale.


One of my good friends wears plus size clothing, and she absolutely detests the "control top" stockings. She says that they don't really make a difference in how her outfit looks, but they dig into her stomach in a really uncomfortable way! Based on this, I think I would avoid shaping stockings.

If you really want to wear a slimming garment under your clothes, I would go for something separate from your stockings. I mean, how much difference can a pair of stockings really make anyway?


@Azuza - If you're wearing stockings, it is usually a good idea to keep an extra pair in your purse like your friend does. You just never know when you might get an embarrassing run in your stockings.

Anyway, I think the most important factor to consider when choosing plus size tights is the color. In my opinion, you should either go for black or a color that kind of matches your skin tone. I sometimes see really pale ladies wearing extremely tan stockings, and I think it looks a little ridiculous! I'm pretty pale, so I always go for the nude colored stockings.


I don't personally wear hosiery all that much. We were business casual at my last office job, and most of us didn't bother with hosiery, especially in the summer. However, I have a good friend who works in a very conservative office environment, so she purchases plus size stockings on a pretty regular basis.

Her favorite stockings are the ones you can get at the department store. She says they hold up much better than the kind you can get in boxes in the grocery store. She also told me that even though they hold up well, she gets runs occasionally. She keeps an extra pair of stockings in her purse just in case!

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    • The size charts on the back of pantyhose packages can indicate whether or not they are suitable for plus size women of various heights.
      By: vladimirfloyd
      The size charts on the back of pantyhose packages can indicate whether or not they are suitable for plus size women of various heights.