The history of pantyhose, as for stockings, is tied to that of changes in styles of women's hemlines. Before the 1920s, it was generally expected that women would cover their legs in public, including their ankles; and dress and skirt hemlines were generally to the ground. The main exceptions were in sports and entertainment. In the 1920s, fashionable hemlines for women began to rise, exposing the legs to just below the knees. Stockings also came into vogue to maintain leg coverage, as well as some level of warmth. The most popular stockings were sheer hosiery which were first made of silk or rayon (then known as "artificial silk"), and after 1940 of nylon, which had been invented by DuPont in 1938. During the 1940s and 1950s, stage and film producers would sew stockings to the briefs of their actresses and dancers, as testified to by singer-actress-dancer Ann Miller.[3][4] These garments were seen in popular motion pictures such as Daddy Long Legs.
The fiber scientists in the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab are constantly testing undergarments like bras, pantyhose, shapewear, and swimwear both in the lab and with real consumer testers. The team evaluates things like washability, stretch recovery, fit, comfort, and more to find the ones that will feel great and actually last. We also got medical input on finding the best underwear for your health from Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MD, a gynecologist in New York and author of The Complete A to Z for Your V.
In 1953, Allen Gant, Sr., of Glen Raven Knitting Mills developed a commercial equivalent to these hose that he named "Panti-Legs", but these were not brought to the open market until about 1959.[5] During this time, Ernest G. Rice invented his own design for pantyhose similar to those worn today, and in 1956 he submitted a patent titled "Combination Stockings and Panty".[6] This design was adopted by other makers, and this caused disputes in U.S. courts for many years before the patent was upheld some time after Rice's own death.[7]
If you want a sexy look from head to toe, you’ll want to stock up on this selection of exotic hosiery from Lingerie Diva. From fishnets and garter belts to bodystockings and thigh highs, we have a wide variety of options to make your legs look long, lean and undeniably sexy. These items can be worn on their own or paired with some of our stunning lingerie to create breathtaking looks. You’ll love how confident and compelling you feel as soon as you slip into any of our sexy stockings.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Here at Bare Necessities, we like to say that when thinking about all the types of women’s underwear, panties are like shoes: there's a pair for every occasion. A well-rounded panty drawer should includes minimal-coverage panties, moderate-coverage panties and full-coverage panties. You can also build your panty wardrobe by fabric and choose among hundreds of styles like lace panties, satin panties and mesh panties.

Hosiery is a class of tight-fitting garments worn on the legs and/or feet. For the most part, hosiery has a knit construction. So, socks, anklets, pantyhose, fishnets, nylons, leggings, tights and stockings all fall under the hosiery category. Available in different colors, textures, opacities, styles and even shapewear control levels, hosiery is a great way to transform an outfit and make a statement as well as give your legs a subtle, polished look.

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Lisa Buhler, founder of Lisa Says Gah, told us that she’s a big fan of Swiss lingerie brand Hanro for its “luxe fabrics and classic designs.” (The brand also came up when we talked to some cool and stylish women about their favorite bathrobes.) If the price of the Hanro bikini is a little steep, Buhler suggests Everlane’s underwear, which she says has a similar design to Hanro at a fraction of the price.
Specifically designed to help you flaunt your best assets, the Velvet Kitten Trés Sexy Lace Bodystocking in black is all about full-body allure. It features a sheer cami top with a crisscross front design with strappy shoulder detailing for a sensual finishing touch. The bottom portion features matching attached garters with thigh-high stockings to highlight your legs and thighs. You can style this sexy lace bodystocking with lacy, black panties (sold separately in our collection of sexy panties) or wear it as-is for a spicy, crotchless look. Lingerie Diva ships the black Trés Sexy Bodystocking to you in our signature wrapping for a gift-worthy presentation for your favorite lingerie-loving lady!
For something a little more colorful, take a note from Harrington, who says her “favorite underwear brand of all time is Egretta Garzetta.” She told us that because of a nerve condition, her everyday underwear has to be made from natural fibers, and the brand’s cotton and viscose briefs have been an “absolute godsend.” And although the price is higher than, say, a pair from the Gap, the quality of these is also very high, according to Harrington. “Seriously, this is the highest-quality underwear I own,” she says. “I first purchased from this brand back in 2014, and my underwear is still holding up and looking great; no fraying, no holes, just pure cotton softness.”
Beautiful legwear from Hanes, L'eggs & Maidenform provides a finishing touch to your outfits. Our famous L'eggs & Hanes pantyhose brands are still bestsellers and today those hosiery brands also offer tights, knee high socks, thigh high socks, footless styles and shaping hosiery as well as control top and sheer or reinforced toes. Count on our brands for the latest technology in run-resistance, wicking and temperature control.

Man Repeller deputy editor Haley Nahman, who conducted her own extensive research about the best cotton underwear, told us that this pair from the Gap is her favorite. “Gap describes this underwear as ‘high cut,’ but I beg to differ: It’s the most classic brief shape I’ve ever encountered,” Nahman says. “I discovered them when I was on a maniacal hunt for the best cotton underwear — an endeavor that pitted these against several more expensive (and lauded) options. In the end, Gap won.” She says these are “comfortable, cute, affordable, and perfectly basic,” not to mention 100 percent cotton. “Asking for more would just be greedy.”

Another pair of high-waist briefs that fall closer to the Araks and Baserange spectrum of comfy-but-chic underwear comes to us from Adele Tetangco, co-founder of Garmentory, who says that she’s a fan of Botanica Workshop’s 100 percent organic, made in the USA pieces. “I prefer underwear that I can’t feel on my body. It has to just feel like an extension of my outfit,” she says. “The Astra high-waist briefs feel like you’re going commando. They’re so comfortable.”
“I love a good high-waist; they bring me back to Christy Turlington days,” says Christina Viviani, cofounder of the Great Eros. Viviani notes that despite its comfort factor, sometimes high-waisted underwear can be unflattering. Marieyat’s thongs are no such thing, though: “The aesthetic is beautiful, and the cuts are really flattering and unconventional,” Viviani says of the brand. “In my store in Williamsburg, we also sell a style called the Canova ’90s Overt cut like a ’90s bikini with an overt, in a fine Italian sporty mesh, that makes a woman look long.”
Model and actress Hari Nef told us that a nude, no-show panty is a must for shoots, where you never know what they’ll put you in. “If it’s a white sheer dress, and you’re in your Hello Kitty underwear, that’s not the look,” she says. Victoria’s Secret No Show “disappear underneath whatever you’re wearing,” according to Nef. “You can wear a body-con dress, and it’s fine. And it’s also not a thong, at least not the way we traditionally think of them. I hate those.”
Several of the women we spoke to named Commando as a go-to underwear brand, whether it be for briefs, bikinis, or thongs. Stylist Jasmine Caccamo says that the brand’s stretch-cotton bikini briefs are seamless and “create a super-flawless (a.k.a. wedgie-free) fit” whether she’s wearing them under leggings or a silk cami dress. “For me, it’s all about comfort and functionality,” Caccamo says. “Not only do I love Commando-brand underwear for myself, but for my celebrity clients as well … I’m obsessed.” Costume designer and Strategist contributor Alison Freer prefers the brand’s boy shorts, which she says “are both elastic and trim-free — meaning they won’t dig in, bunch up, or cause lumpy, unflattering bulges under a flattering pair of pants.” The underwear never shifts, slides, twists, or reveals itself once you start moving and sweating, according to Freer, and best of all, the wide sides keep it securely in place on your body, preventing a wedgie. “If you’ve ever wondered what the stars on the red carpet were wearing underneath those sheer, unforgiving gowns, the answer is almost certainly a pair of Commandos,” Freer says. If a thong is more your style, two of the women we talked to recommended the brand’s mid- and low-rise options. “Okay, so here’s the thing about these thongs,” says Cupcakes and Cashmere founder Emily Schuman of the mid-rise cut. “There is nothing remotely sexy about them — they’re devoid of lace, have super-thick sides, but they lie completely flat against my skin and don’t show under even the tightest, lightest pieces.” The absence of seams and tags “makes it feel like you’ve gone commando (hence the name),” says Schuman. “Best of both worlds!” Stylist Tiffany Gifford is a Commando thong fan, as well, though she prefers the low-rise over the mid-rise. “My favorite underwear are Commando’s thongs,” Gifford says. “They are seamless, and come in great colors and an array of sizes. The best underwear you forget are even there, and that’s what these do.”
The history of pantyhose, as for stockings, is tied to that of changes in styles of women's hemlines. Before the 1920s, it was generally expected that women would cover their legs in public, including their ankles; and dress and skirt hemlines were generally to the ground. The main exceptions were in sports and entertainment. In the 1920s, fashionable hemlines for women began to rise, exposing the legs to just below the knees. Stockings also came into vogue to maintain leg coverage, as well as some level of warmth. The most popular stockings were sheer hosiery which were first made of silk or rayon (then known as "artificial silk"), and after 1940 of nylon, which had been invented by DuPont in 1938. During the 1940s and 1950s, stage and film producers would sew stockings to the briefs of their actresses and dancers, as testified to by singer-actress-dancer Ann Miller.[3][4] These garments were seen in popular motion pictures such as Daddy Long Legs.
Luisana Mendoza de Roccia, co-founder of Maisonette, calls the brand Negative Underwear her “no-fuss underwear solution.” She says all of the styles are sleek and lay smoothly on the body, and that she can feel confident that they’ll stay in place during the day. “For the daytime, I’ll go for the cotton briefs, and for evening affairs where I want to feel a bit more luxe, I’ll pull out the silky briefs,” de Roccia told us. “Plus they’re made by women for women, so you can’t go wrong.”
Thong: Giving you the least amount of coverage, a thong has just a strip of fabric in the back to prevent panty lines from showing through clothes. According to Dr. Dweck, they're totally safe as long as they're not too tight. "The right thong with a cotton crotch and non-chafing 'G-string' that fits well is not a problem for those who prefer them," she advises.
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