Clothing For Plus Size Women: Choosing Comfortable, Affordable Hosiery

This article discusses what a plus-sized woman should look for when choosing comfortable hosiery, and how to find it affordably.

Plus-size women often find that choosing comfortable hosiery is a challenge. Many stores do not stock sizes that are large enough to accommodate them, and specialty stores are often expensive. Hosiery is also hard to fit for a plus-size woman. So what does she do when she must have hosiery, and wants it to be both comfortable and affordable? She looks around.

The first thing a woman needs to do is to be honest about her weight. This may be difficult, but she's got to do it. Hosiery is sized by weight and height, and even if these sizes are not always accurate, a woman stands a much better chance of finding comfortable hosiery if she's honest about her weight. This, really, is more important than height when it comes to comfort. A woman has some options if the legs are too long--she doesn't have many if the stockings are too tight.

So, once she has an honest weight figure, the next thing to do is look at the height. This can be subjective, since some short women have relatively long legs and some tall women have relatively short legs. She should try to get within a couple of inches, and too long is better than too short. This is because a woman can roll the waistband over a couple of inches, to decrease the length, whereas there is no way to make a pair of too-short stockings comfortable. So, longer is better than shorter.

Most packages say this, but if a woman falls in between sizes, or is closer to the larger end of a size range, she may be more comfortable choosing a larger size. If she wears pants or long skirts most of the time, stockings that are a little large will be hardly noticeable.

A plus-sized woman should pay particular attention to how the hosiery fits through the thighs. Many pairs of stockings will fit in the calves and ankles, and even around a large abdomen, but will be skintight in the thighs. This is not good. Not only are they uncomfortable, but are more likely to snag or pop if they are too tight. Good plus-sized hosiery will fit around large thighs. When trying on the hosiery, a woman should also sit down, to make sure the stockings fit properly.

Affordability is another factor. Many plus-size stores sell hosiery, but it is expensive. A woman who wears stockings on a daily basis should either wait for a big sale and stock up then, or try to find hosiery in her size elsewhere. But, if she's too "plus" for the average "plus-size" hosiery in the grocery store, then what? She keeps looking. Sometimes, discount stores will carry hosiery by more manufacturers and she may have some choices here. She should look for "women's-sized" hosiery rather than just plus-sized, and for a manufacturer who has a whole line of women's-sized hosiery. Then, the hunt begins again.

What about the woman who wears stockings once a week, or less? She would probably be best served by going to the specialty stores and buying a single pair of stockings she knows will fit. If she's not wearing them often, she will probably get her money's worth from them, since they are much more likely to fit properly.

Many plus-sized women can wear average-sized knee highs and trouser socks, but many also have to look for plus-sizes in these, since they may constrict the area around the knees if they are too snug. Plus-size knee-highs are often available in grocery stores, but plus-size trouser socks are generally the domain of the specialty store.

Socks, fortunately, are another matter. Probably 99 percent of plus-sized women can wear average sized bobby socks and ankle socks. However, for those who have very large feet and/or ankles, specialty stores do carry socks as well.

As with many areas of life, the main thing a plus-sized woman should do to find affordable, comfortable hosiery is to look around! She should compare sizes and prices and not be satisfied with stockings that are uncomfortable or too expensive.

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