Choosing Your Hosiery
You;ve chosen your wedding gown, slipped on the fairy tale pair of shoes, triumphed over the tiara, veil, and gloves debates -- is there anything else you need? Why of course -- a heavenly pair of hose! Pull it all together, accentuate your figure and complement your style with our hosiery basics.
Your Hose Style Profile
There are several things to keep in mind when selecting a style of hosiery to wear on your big day. First and foremost is what style works best with your gown silhouette and fabric. Wearing a form-fitting sheath? Don't suck in your gut all day -- opt for the added support and slimming effects of control top or body-shaping hose. Or, if you can get away with it (i.e., you're biologically blessed with lithe lines), consider thigh-highs or stockings, the latter of which require a garter belt. These may also be the best choice for gowns with a dropped, or basque, waist, a style that may prohibit the sometimes obvious presence of a pantyhose waistband. If you're going for the Cinderella experience in a full ball gown, your options are many, from sheer-to-waist to control top and even to knee-highs (gasp!). Of course, we recommend the latter only for those brides who have no intention of hoisting their skirts for any reason -- especially the removal of a garter (which you shouldn't be wearing without hosiery anyway).
Let's Talk Toes
Take a look at your feet. With your wedding shoes on, that is. Can you see your toes? You need sandalfoot (also known as sandaltoe) hose. These have a sheer toe, as opposed to a reinforced one, and are more appropriate for open-toed shoes. (The last thing anyone wants to see are reinforced toes sticking out of delicate strappy sandals.) For that extra polish, there are even many brands now available without a toe seam. Reinforced-toe styles are perfectly acceptable with pumps or other closed-toe shoes, and the heavier stitching may be preferable for added durability. Almost all hosiery styles are available in either sheer or reinforced toe.
Color Me Complete
If you think your options are limited to nude, ivory, or white, think again. Remember all the subtle hues available for your wedding gown fabric? Well, the same is also true for hose; it's just a matter of picking a complementary shade. Stay away from opaque hosiery, as its less see-through appearance seems heavy and fails to really accentuate the lines of the leg. The more popular choice is sheer hosiery for a sleek, sexy look. Many sheer, skin tone-enhancing hosiery styles are virtually invisible against the leg, and are available in a variety of subtle tints, such as alabaster, linen, and "beyond petal". Looking for a little sex appeal? Be bold and go for the glimmer with hosiery that has a slight sparkle or sheen to it. Or, layer a pair of white fishnets over a pair of pastel-hued hose for a funky, individual look.
Comfort or Control?
Every woman knows there are times to sacrifice comfort to style, but take it from us -- your wedding day is not one of them. You're going to be in that wedding gown ensemble for a minimum of five hours and all eyes will be on you. To avoid un-bridelike fidgeting and tugging, get the right size, shape, and style of hosiery for your body. Don't wear anything you've never tried before, such as a garter belt or control top pantyhose. Body shapers and control hose offer varying degrees of support, including girdle top, with a sewn-in girdle for maximum tummy tucking; firm support, with a heavier weave for optimum graduated support, for variable tightness up and down the legs; and light support, for lighter leg compression. Find the level that achieves the desired effect without cutting off the circulation to your feet. Try them standing and sitting; if you feel at any point like your breathing is compromised, go down to the next support level.