How to choose the right size in your hosiery

There's a vast array of tights, hold-ups and stockings for sale in shops today, but the massive choice doesn't always mean we end up buying a correctly fitting pair. Most tights and stockings are sold in sizes small, medium, large and extra large and are based on height, dress size and hip size. 'One size fits all' tights only fit a small selection of women.


So, here some facts of truth:

  • Selecting hosiery that fits properly is one of the best ways to ensure maximum wear life.
  • If your hosiery is too tight, it is more susceptible to wear and tear, and it minimizes your flexibility.
  • Sizing differs from brand to brand. That is because many brands use different yarns from different sources with different characteristics, and also may use different machinery and knit fabric constructions. So you should always check the size grid or chart on the package.
  • Most tights packaging have a chart on the back of the package that gives height and weight ranges for each size.
  • If you are at the upper end of a size range, it's often wise to get the next size for maximum fit and comfort.
  • With shiny tights it is especially important to wear the correct size in order to stretch the lycra to create a high shine.
  • Properly fitting tights should not bag at your ankles or droop below the gusset, if then they are the wrong size.
  • Full-figured women and women who are plus size or tall should look for larger-sized products, because they have to look out for different requirements and demands from their tights for a good fit than for petite or regular sized women.

Many times you can find brief sizing guide on the back of the tights packaging- will help you work out which size will fit you best.

  S M L XL
Height 4'11-5'4 5'5-5'9 5'10-6'0 5'1-5'9
Size 8-12 8-12 10-14 18-24
Hips 34'-39' 34'-39' 34-39' 43'-48'
Size 14-16 14-16    
Hips 40'-42' 40'-42'    

Please keep in mind the following:

  • The sizing charts used by various different manufacturers are likely to vary. There is no unified international sizing system, so you might be a size in one brand but another in different one. Size charts are only there to give you guidance how to find the best size for you. At the end what matters is the fit of the hosiery and how it makes you feel.
  • Each brand is designed for a different range of shapes and sizes, also the sizing shown on the size charts can be on the generous or stingy side.


Here are some brands listed and explained the sizes they carry and how they vary:

Average Weight


The majority of products are designed for wearers 5'-5'10", with some going up to 6'. The fit of products is as per the size charts.


The majority of products are designed for wearers 5'-6', with their Seidenglatt Tights going up to 6'2". The sizing of products is generous.


Products are designed for wearers 5'-6', with their Carnation and Altesse stockings coming in additional extra large size.

Jonathon Aston

Products are designed to fit 5'4"-5'10".

Le Bourget

As per the size charts Le Bourget products fit wearers 5'-6'2", however they are best up to 6' only.


Most products are designed for wearers 5'-6' with their Class Tights going from 4'9" up to 6'2".


A brand of products designed specifically for the fuller figure to fit women UK sizes 20-34 (up to 60" hips).

Pretty Polly

Products are designed for wearers 5'-5'10".


In general products are designed for wearers 4'9-6'. The sizing of products is as per the size chart. Since this brand is more on the higher end I always go for a size bigger than I need in order to avoid runs.

Fuller Figure

Nowadays the High Street stocks a wider range of tights in larger sizes. Here are some listed below and what size the carry for:


Levante eXtra Tights Size Chart fits sizes 20-26 (Size 1) and size 26+

Falke Seidenglatt Tights Size Chart fits sizes 44-46 (L), 48-50 (XL), 52-54 (XXL)

Levante Class Tights Size Chart fits up to 6'2" and 54"/137cm hip, Xxtall has back panel

Aristoc X Large Ultra Shine Tights Size Chart fits hips 48"-54" and height 5'-5'10")


Levee Lace Top Hold Ups Size Chart fits size 18 - 34.

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