What Brands of Stockings Won’t Rip or Run So Easily?

Real Simple answers your questions.

Photo by Alexander Rowley

Q: What brands of stockings are harder to rip?
Eliana Miller

A: Even the slightest bit of spandex will make panty hose more comfortable and flexible. It extends the life-span of a pair of hose by making it more resistant to snags and it will keep its shape from wear to wear, which means no more elephant knees from sagging nylons. Look for higher percentages of spandex for more support and control. Denier relates to the density of the nylon fibers. The lower the denier, the more sheer the hosiery, and typically the more fragile. Added spandex will keep a lower denier strong. Not all brands put the denier on the package, so you may have to rely on the descriptions or the samples to find the sheerness that's right for you.

Donna Karan The Nudes Control Top, $20 (barenecessities.com): For faking the bare-leg look, these panty hose are a runaway favorite. The believable flesh tones have a faint sheen that resembles freshly moisturized skin. A high spandex content provides snag-resistant and comfortable support, from the panty-shaped control top down through the legs.

Wolford Logic, $35 (amazon.com): The Rolls Royce of hosiery. "They're like wearing nothing at all," one tester exclaimed. With no waistband to bulge, bind, or roll, these silky-soft 15-denier nylon, spandex, and cotton panty hose provide barely-there coverage. The high price is justified, devotees say, by the fact that washing barely affects shape and feel.

No Nonsense Almost Bare Lace Hi-Cut Panty, $5 (nononsense.com): These offer many of the luxuries of expensive brands, such as a roll-resistant waistband, a run guard to prevent finger punctures on top, and a scalloped lace panty for discreet coverage. Less transparent than others, they're suitable for everyday wear.

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