Pantyhose , called sheer tights in the United Kingdom and a few other countries, are close-fitting legwear covering the wearer's body from the waist to the toes. Like stockings or knee highs , pantyhose are usually made of nylon , or of other fibers blended with nylon. Pantyhose are designed to:. Besides being worn as fashion, in Western society pantyhose are sometimes worn by women as part of formal dress. Also, the dress code of some companies and schools may require pantyhose or fashion tights to be worn when skirts or shorts are worn as part of a uniform. The term "pantyhose" originated in the United States and refers to the combination of panties an American English term with sheer nylon hosiery.