Stockings and tights are wardrobe staples for many women. These footed leg coverings allow the wearer to stay warm while wearing short skirts and dresses during the colder months. They prevent chafing by reducing the friction between the wearer’s legs. Wearing hosiery is also often considered necessary for women to look polished and professional at work and at formal events.
As useful as these garments are, their delicate fabric makes women’s tights prone to getting holes and runs. While needing to regularly replace your torn hosiery can be expensive, you may find yourself in a conundrum if you only discover the damage when you’re already out of your house. Thankfully, there are simple ways you can prevent getting holes in your hosiery. Try these seven tips to keep these delicate garments in pristine condition and help them last longer.
Best Tips To Prevent Holes in Your Hosiery
Buy The Right Size
Preventing runs and holes in your tights begins with choosing the right pair. When shopping for hosiery, get the correct size by referring to the product’s sizing chart. Typically, it indicates the waist and hip measurements that the tights will suit best and is found on the packaging. Some brands even indicate the length so you can determine if the product will suit your height.
While a snug fit is ideal when getting tights, it shouldn’t feel too small and tight on you. Purchasing a smaller pair than you need makes them more susceptible to runs because the fabric is stretched more to cover the skin. Smaller hosiery can also feel uncomfortable to wear, so you might end up constantly fussing with the garment, which can result in accidental tears. If you’re tall or curvy, a larger size is a better option.
On the other hand, hosiery that’s too large can pool excess fabric at the ankles and cause them to easily get caught on chairs and the backs of shoes. In this case, it’s better to size down. Before coming home with a new pair of tights, make sure the size corresponds to your body measurements.
Consider The Tights’ Opacity
You also need to take a look at the hosiery’s thickness and opacity by checking the denier count of the product, which can be found on the label. Denier refers to the number of individual fibers that make up the threads of fabric used in making tights. As such, tights with a higher denier count will be thicker and look more opaque when worn, providing more coverage for your legs. The fabric will also be more durable and resistant to snags and runs.
On the other hand, the lower the denier count is, the thinner and more transparent the tights are. Unless you prefer sheer leg covering, it’s a good idea to get hosiery with higher deniers, as they’re less likely to rip.
Freeze Tights Before Wearing Them
After choosing and buying tights based on their fit and thickness, consider extending their longevity by placing them in the freezer before putting them on for the first time. Run the pair under water for a few seconds, gently wring out the excess water, place the garment in a plastic bag, and then freeze them overnight. When you’re ready to wear the new tights, take them out of the freezer and allow them to thaw.
Exposing the hosiery to freezing temperatures strengthens the individual fibers of the fabric, preventing potential runs. You only need to do this process once. Although it may be an unconventional approach, many women swear by this tip’s effectiveness, so you might want to try it out for yourself.
Protect The Seams
Another preventive measure to ensure your tights won’t easily snag or tear is by reinforcing their seams. You may have experienced coming home from a long day at work only to discover that your toes have poked through the tights. The toe area is where the tights’ seams are usually placed, so the damage will likely continue to run through the rest of the garment. To avoid this, consider getting hosiery that features thicker fabrics on the toes.
You can also protect your existing collection of tights from this kind of damage by wearing a pair of no-show or footie socks under your tights. The socks add a protective layer between your feet and the tights’ seam, so the delicate material is less likely to get punctured. Use thin socks that won’t make your feet bulky and cause discomfort while wearing shoes. For a more seamless look, choose socks that are of a similar color as your tights.
Keep Skin Moisturized and Nails Trimmed
If you want to have an easier time putting on your tights, make sure you moisturize your feet, legs, and hands first. The moisturizer will smoothen your skin, thus reducing the friction between your skin and the hosiery. It also lessens the chances of pulling your tights up roughly, which can result in runs or small tears.
In addition to preparing your skin, trim any long toenails and fingernails. Make sure to file any sharp or jagged edges to prevent snags and holes in your hosiery. It’s also a good idea to clip any hangnails before getting dressed, as these little pieces of protruding skin may cause rips in the fabric.
Wash Your Hosiery Properly
Socks, tights, and other kinds of hosiery need to be washed after every use. Ideally, these items should be laundered by hand using a gentle detergent. However, if you’re too busy and prefer to include them with the rest of your laundry load, make sure to place used hosiery inside a mesh laundry bag first before putting them in the washing machine. Remember not to put your tights in the same mesh bag as your bras. While both are considered delicate garments, bras have hooks and underwires that can cause a tear in your tights.
Run the laundry load using a gentle cycle. When they’re finished washing, pull them out of the machine and air dry all your tights instead of putting them in the dryer. This is because the heat can weaken and damage the elastic materials of your garments.
Apply Nail Polish or Hairspray for Quick Fixes
Sometimes, even with all your efforts, you might still discover runs on your tights. To ensure they don’t develop into unrepairable large holes, apply some quick fixes with items that may already be on your vanity table.
Using Clear Nail Polish
Begin by taking off your tights and applying the clear nail polish to the surrounding area of the snag. Keep brushing on polish until you’ve covered about a quarter of an inch of the fabric from the edge of the tear. Then, wait for the polish to dry and harden so it can seal the rip and prevent it from widening. Once dry, turn the tights inside out and repeat the same process. After the polish has completely dried and hardened, you should be able to wear the tights again.
In case you don’t have clear nail polish, using hairspray is another option. Start by removing the hosiery and placing it over your hand to gently stretch the hole against your skin. Be careful when doing this process, as you don’t want to tear the fabric further. Let the edges of the tear overlap slightly, then spray the spot of the tear generously with hairspray until the area is completely covered. Wait for this side to dry, then turn the tights inside out. Repeat the process on that side, and once dry, you can put your tights back on.
Nobody likes having runs or tears in their hosiery, especially when they can’t go back home and change into a fresh pair. Buying the right pair can help you avoid having to deal with such situations, but they can still happen. Fortunately, there are some quick fixes you can do using items you may already own. Consider keeping a bottle of clear polish in your purse or some hairspray at your office desk so you can repair any hosiery damage wherever you are.