Tights – Tight types

Tights are a leg garment that often cover the body from the waist to the feet with a more or less tight fit … hence the name. Wearing of tights has a long history going back several centuries, when they were originally worn by men … today however fashion trends dictate that they should primarily be worn by women.

Tights can be found in a range of styles, colours and denier and can be made from cotton, nylon or lycra. Anything up to around 40 denier is known as pantyhose and anything over can be classified as tights. There are many names for womens tights that describe the precise construction ie. seamless and leggins (unfooted tights). Below is a glossary of popular hosiery terms.

Tyght types

  • Control top  – These are tights used to hold in the tummy and give the bottom an up lift.
  • Denier – This metric describes how fine hosiery is. For tights the most popular range is between 10 – 15 denier
  • Hold ups – These tights stop mid thigh and are kept in place by a silicone band.
  • Knee highs  – These stop just below the knee area
  • Opaque – Tend to be available in a wide range of colours with deniers from 40 to 100.
  • Sheer tights – Worn for giving the leg a natural glow. Can have a matte or silky finish.
  • Stockings Stop – mid thigh and need a suspender belt to hold them in place

Stocking terms

  • Cuban heel A stocking with a heel made with folded over and sewn reinforcement.
  • Demi-toe Stockings that have a reinforced toe with half the coverage on top as on the bottom.
  • Denier A measurement of the sheer of the garment. A higher denier tends to mean more durability.
  • Fishnet Stockings with a very wide open knit resembling a fish net.
  • Full fashioned Stockings with two sides united by a seam up the back.
  • Hold ups Stockings that are held up by sewn-in elasticated bands.
  • Knee highs Stockings that terminate at or just barely below the knee.
  • Matte Stockings which have a dull rather than gloss finish.
  • Mock seam A false seam sewn into the back of a seamless stocking.
  • Nude heel Stockings without reinforcement in the heel area.
  • Opaque Stockings made of yarn which give them a heavier appearance.
  • RHT An abbreviation of reinforced heel and toe.
  • Sandal foot Stockings with a nude toe so the yarn is the same in the toe and in the leg.
  • Seamed Stockings made with a seam running up the back of the leg.
  • Seamless Stockings knit in one operation so that no seaming is required up the back.
  • Sheers Stockings generally of a 15 to 20 denier.
  • Thigh highs Stockings that terminate around mid-thigh.


Modern Day ChemiseA chemise is a one-piece, shirt-like undergarment that is the same in shape as a straight-hanging sleeveless dress. It is similar to the babydoll, but it is fitted more closely around the hips.

The term “chemise” refers to a classic smock or shift: an undergarment in the European Middle Ages worn to protect clothing from sweat and body oils.


CharmeuseCharmeuse (pronounced shär-mōōs) is a lightweight, satin-finished silk, which is soft and drapes beautifully. It is perfect for lingerie, used in loose-fitting designs, like a babydoll or camisole.

However, it’s important to treat it delicately because it can tear easily.


CamisoleA camisole, or cami, is a short, lingerie top, fitted around the bust, and ending at the waistline. Camisoles come in any kind of fabric from mesh and lace to silk or leather. Depending on how revealing the fabric, camis can be worn as outerwear or just peaking out of an open jacket or blouse. They’re great for wearing layers, or if you just want to wear it — as is — in the bedroom.