How To Prevent Runs And Tears In Your Tights

You can start by putting them in your freezer.

There’s nothing we hate more than pulling on a brand-new pair of pantyhose... only to rip them seconds later.

This delicate hosiery has caused us plenty of grief over the years. No matter how careful we are, the rips just seem to be inevitable. But we’ve picked up some useful hacks for how to extend the longevity of our tights, thanks to a lifelong process of trial and error.

Check out our pro tips below:

Look For Reinforced Seams
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If you're looking for a pair of tights or pantyhose that are a little sturdier, buy a pair with reinforced seams on the toes and crotch. That means the seams in those areas have been double stitched, making them stronger and therefore less prone to ripping. As the folks at Refinery 29 suggest, you can also wear thin socks under your pantyhose (depending on your choice of footwear) to act as a barrier between your toenails and the pantyhose.
Make Sure To Moisturize
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We've found tights go on just that much easier when we've moisturized (and maybe even freshly shaved, if we're feeling extra ambitious) our legs beforehand. However, you'll want to let your lotion absorb a bit before pulling your tights up, as you don't want them sticking. Keeping your legs moisturized can also help prevent your tights from getting dusty, which is definitely a real thing.
Wear The Right Size
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This is a big one. If you're trying to pull on pantyhose that are too small -- not the right length for your height -- you run a higher risk of ripping them. Hosiery generally includes a size chart on the packaging, so make sure to pay attention to that. And if you're in between sizes, we'd suggest going bigger rather than smaller, just to be safe.
Clip Your Nails
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Hangnails and any unevenly cut nails are public enemy No. 1 for all pairs of pantyhose. One little snag and it's all over. Take preventative measures by making sure your nails (fingers and toes) are trimmed and filed before you start pulling your tights on. You should also wait until after you've put your tights on to accessorize with rings, as they, too, can get caught in the fabric.
Put Them In The Freezer
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Yes, you read that right. Freezing your tights helps keep their fibers tighter, making them less susceptible to rips and runs, according to StyleCaster. All you need to do is wet your tights once you open them, then wring them out slightly before placing them in a freezer bag and freezing them overnight. The next day, let your tights thaw gradually at room temperature. Once they're dry, they're ready to wear.
Scrunch From Hip To Toe
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Instead of just sticking your toes into your pantyhose, stockings or tights, we suggest always scrunching them up from hip to toe and then slowly pulling them up your legs. This way, you have more control and won't be tugging too hard on the fabric.
Be Careful With Zippers
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Boots with zippers are pretty much a winter staple, but they're not great friends of pantyhose. Just be sure to zip slowly, and if possible, keep a finger's space between the zipper closure and your leg to prevent your tights from getting caught in the teeth.
Wash Them With Care
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We know, we know, who has time for hand washing? But trust us when we say this is the best way to keep your tights in good shape. If you must wash them in the machine, make sure to put them in a mesh laundry bag (just don't put them in the same bags as your bras, because bra clasps are just as bad as hangnails). Oh, and be sure to hang dry, as they could shrink or rip in the dryer.
Stop Runs In Their Tracks
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If you do see a small rip or run in your tights, stop it in its tracks with clear nail polish. Just apply the polish around the edges of the rip to seal it and prevent it from getting bigger.
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