Wearing Compression Stockings in Cold Weather: FAQs + Seasonal Tips
- Which items are best to layer under pants?
- Can I wear a compression legging with a sock together?
- What are the warmest styles?
These thoughtful questions are also complimented by style considerations. What finishes look best with this seasons’ trends? I know, because I too asked many of these when I started wearing compression. I’m not a doctor, but I’ve now worn compression for approaching 8 years (eeks!). Having had this personal experience combined with the benefit of speaking to countless customers via email or phone, we’ve discovered many of the answers along the way. So without further ado ... Here’s our take on answers to these common fall questions.
Q: Which compression stockings are best to layer under pants?
A: The answer to this depends on a few personal preferences & needs. Since knee highs are pretty intuitive to pair with pants, most wearers asking this are looking for a thigh-high or pantyhose. In that case, I personally suggest thigh highs over pantyhose when seeking a full-length solution. Two key benefits I find with this [thigh high] style are that it avoids the added material layer around the tummy/bum plus quicker bathroom breaks. Most often the silicone thigh bands that hold them up cannot be seen under pants. As a disclaimer, I do find some lightweight fabrics in skinny leg cuts can reveal a bit of a bump where the elastic squeezes in that soft part of the upper thigh. Typically in my experience though, this bump isn’t significant enough for others to notice. If the upper thigh area is of special concern or sensitivity to you, then consider this when choosing between the two styles. Wearing pantyhose will eliminate this possibility under pants but also add an extra layer. Once you’ve narrowed down cut, next consideration is finish. In fall/winter, many of our wearers opt for an opaque pair in black. The benefit of this over a sheer is a little added warmth + durability. In the case you want something more natural looking that can be worn under a pair of distressed denim jeans (like below) or an ankle crop style, opt for a sheer in natural. I find no one even notices it when peeking through the ankle area or knee.
Q: How about Rejuva leggings – can those be worn under pants?
A: More recently, we’ve received a few calls asking whether our Rejuva leggings could be worn under pants. The answer is yes, but with a few considerations & prospective drawbacks. Our leggings were designed to be opaque and wearable on a stand-alone basis. As such, they’re thicker than most pantyhose & thigh highs. This is no problem if worn beneath looser, wider leg styles but may prove less than ideal under slimmer cut items. Personally, I prefer wearing our leggings on a stand-alone basis with a tunic or long sweater and not underneath pants as seen below.
Q: Can I wear a compression sock WITH a compression legging?
A: Sure. You could pair a compression knee high with a compression legging. We've heard of this specifically used by some lymphedema therapists in cases where one garment alone doesn’t provide adequate support to combat the swelling through the entire lower body (toe to belly button). One thing to keep in mind when doing so is that compression layered atop compression will add to the pressure exerted on your leg. So if you layer a 15-20 mmHg sock WITH a 15-20 mmHg legging, your calf may be getting nearer 30 mmHg of pressure in that region. For some this may be firmer than desired. For others, it might feel great. As with all compression, listen to your body. Discomfort will often signal if the combo isn’t quite for you. Your doctor or therapist is also a great resource for a case-specific question like this.
Q: What are the warmest styles for colder weather?
A: Most opaque styles are great for colder weather. I love opaque, black pantyhose like this for converting skirts & dresses into more winter-friendly gear & cozy socks like these for inside of ski & snow boots. Some brands also offer styles knit from Merino Wools, a favorite fabric of outdoor adventurers. One item I especially love for cool-weather casualwear this fall is a stirrup legging. The small stirrup helps keep the legging down around the arch of the foot, hugging the ankle with support & making sure the bottom of the legging doesn’t creep up underneath socks or boots. This fall, I’ve been taking long knit socks and slouching them down over my stirrup leggings for a little extra texture and warmth. Loving how they look here also paired with a chunky knit scarf.