Introduction to Plus Size Tights and Stockings

The selection of plus size hosiery in the UK is fairly limited, which is why BigSmalls has scoured the globe to find a complete selection, not only of everyday tights, but also sexy stockings and suspender tights suitable for sizes 18 and up. In fact we have nearly one hundred different styles.

So, where do you start? Well, plus size hosiery is the same as regular sized ones, so it comes in both straightforward nylon through to fishnet and other net materials. To understand the basic hosiery types, you need to understand denier.

What is denier?

Denier is a term that denotes the thickness of a material. It originally referred to the amount of silk, and therefore, in a piece of material. The denser the silk weave, the more it weighed and the higher the denier. As stockings were originally made of silk, the denier measurement has remained. In today's terms though the denier measurement is largely used in relation to four or five categories.

Ultra Sheer Plus Size Tights

10 denier and under, ultra sheer are designed to smooth out blemishes on your legs, but leave them looking nude. They are quite delicate handling and are worn only in summer normally. You need to take great care when washing them and use a hosiery bag, but they are a great way to make your legs look amazing. Normally it's hard to find ultra sheer in plus size, but we have them in stock.

Sheer Plus Size Tights

Sheer covers denier 10-30, and they are still very thin but are more commonly worn by women than ultra sheer, simply because they are more practical. As such, because they are not designed to make your legs look bare (ie it's expected that people will know you are wearing tights when they are sheer, whereas ultra sheer should be undetectable by the eye), sheer tights come in darker colours and we have a great range of plus size sheer tights in black, red, etc. Check our tights section and our separate stockings section for a good selection of plus size hosiery in sheer: as we're a lingerie retailer, you'll find not only straightforward tights and stockings, but also exciting, sexy ones from crotchless for a naughty night through to full suspender tights in sheer, on which more later.

Semi Opaque Plus Size Tights

Semi Opaque is defined as 30-40 denier, and we do stock tights in this range also. These are fairly ordinary tights in plus size.

Opaque Plus Size Tights

At 40 to 70 denier, opaque tights and stockings are fairly thick, but can still be quite sexy if you choose the right style. We have a decent selection of both plus size tights and stockings in this denier range. They include some sexy stockings with bows that can be used with a plus size garterbelt.

Plus Size Fishnet Tights

After the straightforward nylon in its variety of denier ranges, the most common material used for stockings is fishnet. Once considered a bit risqué, fishnet is these days one of the more tame styles of hosiery. In plus sizes, there are plenty of fishnet stockings and tights to choose from with a variety of designs, and again include some sexy alternatives. Fishnet as a material is a small diamond weave, and the toe area is often made more densely so that your toes don't poke through. Based off the weave of fishnet though, there are now several alternatives...

Plus Size "Other" Net Tights

Using various bigger diamond shapes in their weave, BigSmalls also stocks a variety of "other" net hosiery in sizes 18+; these include fencenet, industrial net (a big weave that is very sexy, but has the least sexy term ever!), diamond net, etc. Unlike fishnet, these terms are often varied between manufacturers and are really marketing terms to make the hosiery sound different. With fishnet you probably have an understanding of what the material will look like, but given the variance in the other net materials, we suggest you look at the pictures for the products. It's well worth it, because if you are looking for a sexy pair of stockings to turn your partner on, these other net options are very erotic, and if you're only planning on wearing them inside, say together with a plus size corset, then you can dare to be a bit more provocative in your choice.

Styles of Plus Size Hosiery

Every woman knows the difference between tights and stockings, but there are now quite a few different designs on top of these basic two, so it's worth a quick mention.

There are plus size hold ups, stay ups and thigh highs, which are often interchangeable and we've tried to make sure each description is clear for the product. Essentially, these are stockings designed to be worn without the need for a garterbelt. By and large hold ups and stay ups have a silicone band, which is the better kind as they offer more grip on your thigh and therefore are more likely to stay up, and are therefore more expensive than the tigh highs, which have a simple elasticised top to hold them up. Elasticised top stockings can also be worn with a garterbelt. In our descriptions we have been clear when a pair includes a silicone band, so if one is not mentioned you should assume that they are merely elasticised.

Aside from hold ups, there are also now "all-in-ones". These range from simple crotchless tights in plus size, which are a bit of sexy fun and one of our most popular items, through to the more elaborate suspender tights. These have been around for a couple of years now, so there's a great selection of plus size suspender tights now, and they start in simple sheer tights and go through to an entire lace upper and garter section with sheer, fishnet or other stockings attached. If you're looking for some sexy plus size hosiery that's actually wearable and practical whether for a romantic night out or passionate night in, these suspender tights are just right, and you can find a great selection in the plus size hosiery section.