Putting on socks and stockings with vertical stripes can be kind of a hassle. You want the stripes to be straight, but it’s hard to keep them that way. It’s a special kind of frustrating to pull on a pair of tights with a vertical design and realise once you look in a mirror that they’re zigging AND zagging, instead of staying on the straight and narrow.

With our helpful assistant, Mrs. Half-Mannequin (“Half” is her maiden name) and a pair of Sheer Vertical Striped Pantyhose, I’ll share a couple tricks to help you guide those stripes. The wonderful Dreamer Zaf of our Tumblr took most of these pictures, since I only have so many hands.




In trying to keep those stripes straight, particularly with tights, sometimes the legs get twisted and that makes it awful up in areas that you really don’t want bunching. So here’s the key: keep the pattern straight from the start.

As you gather up the stocking or tights to slide them on, make sure you’re gathering everything evenly. Keep those stripes in line as you gather, starting from the top of the sock or leg of the tights. If you’re dealing with panels or designs, pay attention to what part is made to go in the front or back. What you’re doing is making sure your tights don’t get twisted.



Okay, now you’re ready to get fancy. Ease your little toes in and carefully put the stockings or tights on. It should be a lot easier now that you’ve essentially “prepped” them to keep their stripes straight. You may need to do a bit of adjusting as you go, but it should be pretty minimal.



Now they’re on! You may find that the toes are a little wonky. This is fine! You were focusing on getting things straight. Just adjust the toe seam to your comfort and pickiness—it’s a lot easier to get tights on straight then adjust the toe than make the toes perfect and try to keep the designs straight.



There, you look fabulous! For a twist you can do just that with socks and stockings (as opposed to tights), purposefully twisting them as you put them on for a new spin on vertical stripes. I think the Fast Lane Knee Highs are particularly well-suited to this.



Do you have any tips or tricks for putting on difficult patterns just right?