Fully fashioned stockings. Photo courtesy of

If you haven’t yet discovered the world of fully fashioned stockings, be ready to be mesmerised.

Luxurious, sensual and flirtatious all in one, I always define fully fashioned as the Rolls Royce of stockings.

There is nothing quite like pure nylons, whether vintage or modern versions…

Their sheerness, the smooth finish, the rasp the nylon makes when crossing your legs – with a pair of these classy stockings you’ll be sure to turn heads as you strut the street!

Finding the right size

One of the main problems with nylon stockings (both vintage and modern) is sizing. And if you have never tried them before, it can seem a little bit overwhelming at first. No fear, we’re here to help!

The first thing you need to remember is that these stockings are non stretch and you need to buy them according to both foot size and length.  So accuracy is very important.

The stocking size is always determined by the foot measurement, so we’ll begin there.

Fully Fashioned Stockings

Step 1: Find your foot size

Stockings sizes usually range from 8 to 12.5. These numbers indicate foot length in inches.

Most fully fashioned stockings manufacturers nowadays will provide a guide with the stocking sizes and the corresponding shoe sizes. However to get a more accurate fit, I suggest you get a tape measure and actually measure the length of your foot.

This is essential because the foot measurement is what will determine your stocking size: the bigger your foot, the larger size you will need in order for the highly contoured and non stretch fibres to fit properly around your heel. A too small stocking will not fit over your foot, but a too large one will bag and wrinkle around the ankle and knee.

So, with your foot flat on the floor measure (in inches) from the top of your toe to the rear of the heel.

Step 2: Determine the stocking length needed

The second number to determine is the length of the stocking measured from the heel to the top of the welt (that’s the part where you attach your garter straps). This number generally ranges from 27  to 36. Obviously the taller you are, the longer your stocking needs to be in order to get to the middle or upper part of your thigh.

Remember, the length is measured not from the toe, but from the heel – as if you were standing with the stocking on, and measured from the floor up.

Now with these two numbers is mind you can determine your stocking size. But before you hit the BUY NOW button, there are still a couple of other things to consider..

Special considerations when buying nylon stockings

There are a few exceptions that may affect the size of your nylons:

  • If your foot is particularly wide be sure to increase the stocking by half a size to be safe.
  • If your legs are very full or very slim, go up or down a length or a size to accommodate the different leg proportion.
  • If your thighs are considerably larger than the rest of the leg, then it’s a good idea to check the circumference at the top of the stocking.
    This is very rarely provided by the manufacturers, so you generally won’t find it on the packaging but we will be happy to provide the stocking measurement for you if you need it.
    If the girth of your leg is equal or very close to the circumference of the welt then you should have a great fit. If the girth of your leg is greater than the welt circumference, you will lose about one inch of length for every extra inch of difference between the girth and the welt.In this case you might want to choose at least a full size larger or you may end up with stockings that don’t go past your knees.

A characteristic of most vintage hosiery is the shapely leg or bulge from the calf to upper thigh of the leg. The knitting machines fabricated the stocking to the shape of the leg for a truer (fashioned) fit.

Unfortunately there was very little size standardisation among vintage and even modern hosiery manufacturers. Different brands will still fit differently, so trial and error is often the only method of determining the best fit.

For example if you purchase nylons in a particular brand and find that the stockings fit ok, but you would like to alter the position of the stockings welt on your thigh, you can select half a size smaller or larger.

The traditional seamed stockings are made out of 100% non-stretch nylon, which means that putting them on requires a bit more caution than simply yanking your way into them.


1. First thing, remove all jewellery – rings, bracelets – and wear hosiery gloves.
I cannot tell you how many pairs of stockings you will save by simply embracing the habit of wearing hosiery gloves when you put them on.

2. In a seated position, roll the stocking down with both hands to the toe cap. Slip over the toe, smooth over foot and adjust the heel. Gently slide them up and continue up until you reach your knee. During this process, smooth up the front of the leg  with one hand while keeping trace of the back seam with the other.

3. Now stand up and smooth the stockings all the way up to your thigh. Once more, turn around to check again that the seam is straight (for example by looking into a full length mirror). You are now ready to fasten the straps of your garter belt to the welt.

4. Always start with the back, using the keyhole and an indication of where you should attach the clip in order to keep the seam straight. The garter strap at the back doesn’t need to be perfectly centered in the keyhole, but it should be close enough.

5. Attach the rest of the straps securely, stand up, slip into some heels and be ready to turn heads!

Thank you for reading!

Has this article been helpful? Please comment below or send me an email. I am always delighted to hear from you.

Lidia Scotto di Vetta


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