Legging it: How to pick the perfect tights

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From matte to sheer and control-top to footless, a trip to the hosiery department can leave you feeling more than a little bit lost.

To help you get ready for any event invite that gets sent your way, we've put together a guide to how to pick the perfect pair of tights (and get through the jargon on the back of the pack) this season...

The leg lowdown

Denier

Refers to the fabric weight or thickness - the higher the denier, the thicker the tights. If you're looking for sheer tights, go for between 5-30 denier, while opaques are usually 40 or higher.

Finish

Refers to the amount of sheen on your tights. Matte items have no gloss and are perfect for a simple, elegant look, while Sheen implies a subtle gloss. If you're looking to stand out, go for Shine or High-shine.

Shapewear

These tights are made to help mould the shape of your legs depending on which area you'd like to enhance. Control top tights shape the stomach and leg while looking to tone the bum and thigh area, while Waist-cincher tights are designed to create an hourglass look. 

Our top tips

1. Pay attention to sizing.

Be sure to check the sizing guide for the brand you're buying and follow it truthfully.

2. Shop for your shape.

Fuller figures may find plain or vertical patterns to be more flattering, while polka dots or floral prints can give the appearance of curves to slimmer figures.

3. Consider the occasion.

If you're shopping for tights for the office, go for a timeless and understated pair, while if you're planning your look for a wedding, pay attention to what colours and deniers suit your outfit. If it's a party or night out you're dressing for, feel free to experiment with hosiery that suits your personal style.

Falke Shelina 12 Tights, £10; Available at Fenwick Kingston, ColchesterYorkCanterbury and Leicester

Falke Seidenglatt 15 Hold-up Tights, £16; Available at Fenwick KingstonFenwick Canterbury and Fenwick Leicester

Aristoc High Leg Toner in Nude, £9; Available at Fenwick Bracknell

Pretty Polly Naturals, £10; Available at Fenwick Bracknell & Colchester

Falke Lunelle 8 Tights, £16; Available at Fenwick KingstonYorkFenwick Canterbury and Fenwick Leicester

Aristoc Ultra Shine Hold Up, £17; Available at Fenwick Kingston

Wolford Satin Touch 20 Tights, £17; Available at Fenwick Colchester, Kingston, Windsor, YorkBracknellCanterbury and Leicester

Aristoc Hourglass Bodytoners in Black, £12; Available at Fenwick Bracknell

Pretty Polly Naturals, £10; Available at Fenwick Bracknell & Colchester

Wolford Tights, £17; Available at Fenwick ColchesterFenwick Canterbury and Fenwick Leicester

Aristoc Ultra Shine Tights, £6; Available at Fenwick Kingston

By Alison Millington