9 Tips To Keep Tights From Running

by Annie Crawford

Fall fashion is right around the corner, so it's time to start stocking up on all the darling hosiery you can find to keep those legs warm. Perhaps your favorite pairs from last year barely made it through the season and it's got you wondering how to keep tights from running. You loved all those gorgeous stockings dearly and barely a pair lived to tell the tale. Some of your pantyhose survived like champs, while some of your thickest wool stockings ran like track stars. The question is, how can you protect them from certain doom this year?

One indicator of how to care for stockings is based on their denier count. According to The Hosiery Queen, deniers are the fiber measurement that lets us know how sheer or opaque (non-see through) a pair of tights will be. Generally speaking, the lower the denier count, the more see through the hose—and the more delicate the material. A pair of ultra sheer thigh high stockings might be 10 denier. Conversely, when the denier count is higher—say you're rocking colorful Blair Waldorf style—the denier will likely be over 40. This info is good to know so you can determine how fragile your leg wear is going to be.

Whatever the denier, you don't deserve to have to throw away your tights each year. Read on for simple strategies to keep even your sheerest hose healthy.

1. Apply Lotion To Your Hands First

This is a super easy step that is good for not only your tights but also your hard-working hands. Apply lotion to your hands before putting on your tights. The idea is to smooth rough edges that might catch the fibers of your tights. This move is especially critical if you're putting on delicate pantyhose that can't recover from runs. We're looking at you, Agent Provocateur thigh highs.

2. Mind Your Hangnails

Hangnails are the ultimate offenders. Applying lotion regularly will help keep them away, but for people who wash hands non-stop (service or medical industry), they can happen regardless of moisturizing. Keep some cuticle scissors on your nightstand and when you have a hangnail, gently clip the ragged skin off before it destroys your stockings.

3. Rescue Runs

If you're already to committed to your tights or stockings and notice they have a snag, get some clear nail polish on the job. It stops those runners right in their tracks. Just a thin stroke across the top and base of the snag should do the trick.

4. Wear Socks

Those sweet little foot savers you wore with flats all summer will become your tights' new best friends. Be creating a thin layer between your hose and your shoes, the no show socks will guard against your toes breaking through the delicate material of the tights. When it's cold outside, you can wear thicker ankle socks with your tights under boots to add another layer of protection from the chilly ground.

5. Be Careful Of Your Jewelry

Wait to put on rings and bracelets until after you have put on your tights. In the same vein, take off all your glam-tastic bling before taking your tights off at night.

6. Shimmy Up Legs, Front To Back

The hose pros over at My Tights suggest a no-snag shimmy strategy for putting on your tights. They recommend you to, "gather each leg at the ankle; smooth over the foot and gently up the leg. Don't pull or jerk. Hands should work from front to back of your leg, pulling each leg equally to stretch yarns simultaneously and ensuring a smooth appearance. Hosiery should be taken off equally gently."

7. Wash With Caution

It goes without saying that if I'm telling you the proper way to wash your sweaters is with ridiculous amounts of caution, you can bet the same goes for your poor, tender tights. I know you'd never be crazy enough to throw pantyhose willy-nilly into the washing machine, but you should also be gentle with your thicker wool tights.

8. Hand Wash Or Machine Wash With A Mesh Bag

Pantyhose were not made to survive a whirl through the washing machine. Your knit tights on the other hand, can live to see another day after a spin. Be sure to place them in a mesh lingerie bag, use a detergent made for delicates, and use the gentle cycle. Pantyhose just have to be hand washed. I'm sorry. Hosiery Wash Bag, $16,

9. Avoid Boots Or Shoes With Hardware

Your awesome boots with the buckle on the back of the calf? They're totally gonna snag all of your tights when you cross your legs. Either embrace the ripped tights rocker look, or wear snag-free shoes when you're sporting your stockings.