Consumers and other industry professionals continually contact THA with fashion and product questions. Some of those questions are listed below. The answers come from industry standards, sources such as The Fashion Association as well as members of The Hosiery Association.
The questions are divided into three sections; general, hosiery and sock questions.
General Fashion Questions for Hosiery and Socks
· How can consumers obtain additional information about hosiery? · I want to be hip and be part of the 80s trend, but I don’t know what to wear? · What kind of kids’ hosiery are we going to see on the playground this season? · What colors are big for Spring/Summer? · FUN FACT - HOSIERY IS FASHION. · How is the price of hosiery determined? · Is there a correlation between price and durability? · Where can I find information about buying hosiery on the Internet?
How can consumers obtain additional information about hosiery? For more information, call 1-704-365-0913 for a copy of the “Sheer Facts About Hosiery” brochure and a “Consumer Brochure On Socks”. Or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to THA, 3623 Latrobe Drive - Suite 130, Charlotte NC 28211.
I want to be hip and be part of the 80s trend, but I don’t know what to wear? Neon and bright. Fishnets, socks, knee-highs and tights all come in vibrant shades to relive the early days. If electric colors are not for you, try argyles or tube socks with stripes.
What kind of kids’ hosiery are we going to see on the playground this season? Colors, stripes, patterns, and novelty socks galore. Whether it’s animals, fire trucks, racecars or your favorite cartoon character, kids will be wearing them.
What colors are big for Spring/Summer? Bright, bright, bright! Neon is also “very in.” Pink, orange, turquoise, and yellow are just a few of the colors that will be seen this upcoming season.
FUN FACT - HOSIERY IS FASHION. Try building your outfit starting with your hosiery. Match your top and shoes to the socks, knee-highs or whatever you are wearing. This is a way to stand out and tie your ensemble all together!
How is the price of hosiery determined? As with any product, the price of hosiery, including socks, is a function of many variables, such as the cost of finishing raw materials, machinery, labor, style, packaging, distribution and marketing. Hosiery manufacturers offer products in a wide range of prices, from inexpensive lines to premium brands. The higher-priced brands can include more expensive and luxurious fibers, hand-finishing details, such as a boarded or pressed finish, or support - all of which can add to the price of the hosiery.
Is there a correlation between price and durability? No, not necessarily. As noted above, pricing is based on an extremely wide range of variables while durability is almost entirely determined by weight of the yarn used in manufacturing the garment.
Where can I find information about buying hosiery on the Internet? Please go to the “Fashion Sense” section of our web site and look under the “On-Line Sales” heading.
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Hosiery, Sheers and Tights
· Can I wear hosiery with sandals? · Does anti-cellulite hosiery really work? · I’m nervous about wearing fishnets to the office. Any pointers? · How can I prevent runs in my pantyhose? · How can I tell the difference between the front and back of my hose? · Is it ok to wear anklets with pumps or strappy heels? · Is the hosiery industry producing the sheerest, most durable product it can? · Does a formula exist to make a better pair of sheer, more durable pantyhose than is currently on the market? · Why can’t the hosiery industry produce run-resistant pantyhose? · How do pantyhose of the ‘00s compare to those produced in earlier decades? · How does the industry test hosiery to ensure high quality? · What causes a run? · What is the best way to care for pantyhose? · How should women determine the proper size? · What are the different classifications of pantyhose? · Why don’t manufacturers standardize hosiery sizes?
Can I wear hosiery with sandals? Yes, both dressy and casual styles, but stay away from reinforced heel and/or toe. Also, toeless and footless hose are an option.
Does anti-cellulite hosiery really work? Only exercise can get rid of cellulite, but hosiery can provide compression and help camouflage unsightly cellulite. The pharmaceutical industry has developed certain lotions and creams to fight cellulite and some hosiery products have simply been treated with these lotions. These products are only as effective as the lotions and/or creams are.
I’m nervous about wearing fishnets to the office. Any pointers? Ease into the new hose by either wearing a long skirt with a slit or pants and trouser socks/knee highs. Or, you can layer to create different looks. Fishnets come in a variety of weaves. Maybe start with one of the smaller, more tightly knitted patterns. You also may want to consider initially wearing muted colors like nude or charcoal grey.
How can I prevent runs in my pantyhose? Make sure your skin and nails are smooth (hands, feet and legs). Remove jewelry that can snag the hosiery. Gather the leg within your hands and slowly run them up you leg. Once the hose are on, lightly wet your hands, start at your ankle and gently guide your hose up to the position you find the most suitable for you.
How can I tell the difference between the front and back of my hose? If your hose don’t come with a tag (which goes in the back), there are two telltale signs of the back of hosiery. One is the heel of the foot that can be seen and assures they are on properly. Occasionally, there will be a longer seam or thread that sticks out higher in the back than the front. Sometimes, there is no way to tell the front from the back and therefore it does not matter which way they go on.
Is it ok to wear anklets with pumps or scrappy heels? It sure is! Just look at the runways at New York fashion shows and major magazines.
Is the hosiery industry producing the sheerest, most durable product it can? Yes. Hosiery manufacturers produce a wide range of products of different strengths and degrees of sheerness, from sturdy tights made of heavy yarns to delicate ultra-sheer pantyhose made of very light yarns. Consumers have to understand that there is a direct trade-off between durability and sheerness. The fact is that the sheerer a garment is, the less durable it is bound to be. Consumers seem to prefer the flattering look and soft feel of sheer garments because that is what they have been buying, but they realize that in the process they lose wear-life.
Does a formula exist to make a better pair of sheer, more durable pantyhose than is currently on the market? The industry is constantly trying to make a more durable product to please every category of person who’s purchasing hosiery. It depends on the consumers’ needs and what they are looking for. It is important to remember that the more sheer the pantyhose, the less durable it will be.
Why can’t the hosiery industry produce run-resistant pantyhose? The hosiery industry does produce heavier-weight, more run-resistant pantyhose, however, these garments are made of thicker yarns and sturdier knits than sheerer pantyhose, and even these will develop holes with wear. Many consumers prefer lighter, more delicate sheer pantyhose.
How do pantyhose of the ‘00s compare to those produced in earlier decades? Today’s pantyhose feel better, fit better and look better. They are sheerer and have more stretch. And consumers have far more variety from which to choose - in terms of sheerness, style, color, fiber, composition and construction.
How does the industry test hosiery to ensure high quality? The hosiery industry takes quality very seriously. Each manufacturer develops quality specifications to which their products are constantly measured.
What causes a run? Hosiery is a knitted product. Knitting is done by creating a fabric from interlocking loops, like hand-knitting a sweater. Runs occur when a strand of yarn in the hosiery is broken and the knit fabric unravels, like a sweater.
What is the best way to care for pantyhose? First, take care in putting them on and taking them off. Don’t wear jewelry while handling pantyhose and be careful of rough spots on your hands, fingernails and toenails and the inside of your shoes. Put pantyhose on gently and smoothly, and don’t pull them up too tight.
When washing them, pay attention to the manufacturers instructions. Do not use hot water or bleach. Pantyhose should be washed by hand, using a mild detergent. However, when you use a washing machine, put your pantyhose in a hosiery bag or a pillowcase so they don’t get caught on the zippers and buttons of other clothes in the wash load. Don’t set the temperature on high and don’t wash with “colors”.
To dry, roll pantyhose in a towel - never wring them to remove moisture and then hang them to dry. Never put them in the dryer.
How should women determine the proper size? Proper sizing is a critical determinant of hosiery’s durability. Like any garment, when hosiery fabric is stretched too tight, it is susceptible to greater stress and it will tear and wear out. To ensure proper sizing, women have to be accurate in determining their height and, most important, their weight. Every pair of pantyhose will stretch to fit women who fall within a specific size range correlating to their height and weight. That information is conveyed on the packaging. Some manufacturers also include waist and hip size.
Consumers must remember to carefully check the size parameter information for each particular product. Each manufacturer has different height and weight parameters for their brands - that is, one manufacturer’s size A, B or C will not necessarily be the same as another’s A, B or C.
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What are the different classifications of pantyhose? Ultra Sheer: Made of fine, airtight fibers, they are extremely sheer and require extra careful handling. Best choice for allowing natural skin tones to show through.
Day Sheer/Business Sheer: Made from stretchy nylon that clings gently to legs. Not as sheer as ultra sheers, so therefore more durable. Perfect for everyday use.
Spandex Sheer: Soft, silky hosiery with a smooth, comfortably fitting leg. Made of nylon and spandex, which creates a nice silky feel and allows the garment to “glide” on the leg.
Circulation Enhancing: The newest innovation in hosiery. Knit from a combination of slightly heavier nylon and spandex yarns. Actually reduces leg fatigue by gently applying pressure to key points on the leg, massaging and increasing circulation in the legs.
Shimmer/Glimmer: Term for fashionable pantyhose that appear to sparkle in the light. Shows off leg shapes and curves.
Opaques/Tights: While both opaques and tights offer complete color coverage and warmth, they are different. The major difference is the garment weight - tights are typically heavier, less sheer, and commonly made of cotton, wool or nylon/spandex or microfibers.
Why don’t manufacturers standardize hosiery sizes? Every product manufacturer uses different yarns, machines and knit constructions that produce products differently. For sizing, consumers should check the package carefully. All hosiery manufacturers responsibly label their product with height and weight guidelines clearly.
· What can “Mr. Black Socks” do to pep up his wardrobe? · Every time I wash my husband’s and/or children’s socks, they always come out of the dryer with at least one missing? What’s going on? · I’m having an odor problem with my athletic socks. What’s wrong and how can I fix it? · My friends are having a baby. What do you suggest I get them? · What size sock does my child need for his/her shoe size? · My child’s socks have lace (or bows, or other adornment). Do they need any special care? · Why do my kids’ socks wear out so fast? · How important is spandex in a child’s sock? · What type of socks does my child need for his/her different activities?
What can “Mr. Black Socks” do to pep up his wardrobe? Use patterns. Match to tie. Tag with solid black is sometimes the best choice for the outfit and/or event.
Every time I wash my husband’s and/or children’s socks, they always come out of the dryer with at least one missing? What’s going on? Often socks can slide under the bottom of the agitator and go down the drain. One way to ensure that your pairs stay together is to safety pin them together prior to washing or drying them.
I’m having an odor problem with my athletic socks. What’s wrong and how can I fix it? It’s a simple fact that people perspire. Therefore, your feet will also get damp whether you exercise heavily or not. Several sock companies have specially designed socks to prevent this problem. They are treated with an agent that kills bacteria, which is what makes the odor.
My friends are having a baby. What do you suggest I get them? Babies don’t wear shoes as soon as they are born, but they sure do wear cute socks! The hip infant is wearing animal prints and “activity socks” such as airplanes and racecars.
Socks are also good to put on a baby's hands to prevent them from scratching their faces with their fingernails.
What size sock does my child need for his/her shoe size? Socks are sized from small to large in a single size range, whereas shoes are sized in two ranges, generally “children” and “adult”. Additionally, most socks today are made with stretch yarns that allow the socks to cover several shoe sizes. The attached size chart should help pick the right size sock for your child’s growing foot.
My child’s socks have lace (or bows, or other adornment). Do they need any special care? Most sock adornment is applied in a way to make it as durable as possible. In the case of adornments that protrude from the surface of the sock, putting socks in a separate laundry bag would be ideal, but is generally not necessary. For the most part, machine wash warm, using only non-chlorine bleach when necessary, tumble dry low, remove promptly. Wash like colors together.
Why do my kids’ socks wear out so fast? First, children are much more active than adults. Their legs are shorter, and must cycle many more times to cover as much ground as they do. The abrasion level inside a child’s shoe is much higher than an adult’s. Sometimes, if a child’s foot has grown, he/she will pull on a sock that is too small, and stretch it tight to get it to cover his foot. This stretches the fabric tightly over abrasion points such as the heel and the toe, and makes the fabric more susceptible to wear. And, we all know that kids spend a lot of time out of their shoes, doing things in their sock feet that socks were not designed for.
How important is spandex in a child’s sock? Spandex has been a great addition to sock construction. It has greater stretch and recovery than stretch nylon alone. Socks fit more snugly, and thus more comfortably, on the lower end of the marked size range. And because of spandex’s superior stretch, socks fit children’s growing feet for a longer time, making socks containing spandex a good investment.
What type of socks does my child need for his/her different activities? In today’s market, there are children’s socks to fit every need and occasion. For every day, either a white cotton athletic sock, or for girls, a flat knit trouser-type sock or anklet are great. These are durable, fashionable, and priced economically. For a little dressier occasion, a pair of socks color coordinated to match the outfit she’s wearing are available in numerous styles and fabrics. And, of course, nothing looks more like a little girl than lace anklets to go with that dress. For dress, boys can’t go wrong with dark socks. For hunting or hiking, it’s hard to beat wool or wool blends. For high demand athletics, consider socks of acrylic, or cotton/acrylic blends, that maintain a higher degree of loft and cushion than cotton alone. As in socks for adults, there are a number of brand name, high tech fibers available in children’s socks today.
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The Hosiery Association7421 Carmel Executive Park Drive Suite 200Charlotte, North Carolina 28226Phone: 704-365-0913Fax: 704-362-2056
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