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We all love wearing beautiful dance and skate dresses that help us look amazing. But we have a love-hate relationship with what goes underneath: fishnets, pantyhose, or tights.

In someways, fishnets and pantyhose are wonderful:  they smooth out flesh rolls and creases we want to hide. But oiy, can they be uncomfortable!  They are often too short or too tight, and can be very uncomfortable in several places at once.  Even if you find fishnets or pantyhose that fit you well in the length, the waistband is often super constricting and painful.

Fortunately, one little trick can make a world of difference in how you look and feel in your dance or skate costumes, as well as in our everyday clothes.


Whether it’s a dress that doesn’t fit right, itchy fabrics, bra cups that aren’t in the right position, or a tight waistband, you should not have to deal with an uncomfortable costume!

Too often, we sacrifice comfort for looks.

One of the reasons I began my online sewing school is to teach women how to sew Dancesport, Country, artistic roller and figure skating dresses that not only look great on them, but also feel fabulous.

Today’s post focuses on a no-sew project.   Watch the video below to learn how you can safely snip or remove the waistband on your hose or tights so you look better and your intestines feel better with less bloating.



  1. Looser waistbands allow your intestines to do their natural “happy dance” known scientifically as peristalsis.  This natural movement is crucial to proper digestion and to reduce bloating.
  2. Most doctors recommend folks with acid reflux problems avoid tight clothing in the belly area because it may make the condition worse.
  3. The more hours you wear a tight waistband, the grumpier and more bloated your intestines become.  When this happens, your costumes and street clothes fit poorly and you don’t look or feel as well.

fishnets and tights for ballroom dance and figure skating

Sew Like A Pro™ DRESSMAKER TIP #1:

While fishnets and tights are supposed to be smoothing, a tight waistband actually emphasizes gush at the tummy instead of hiding it.

Lose the waistband bulge!

There is no easier way to feel leaner and healthier than to avoid the lump around the middle.  Snipping or removing the waistband is easy and free.

For more ways to camouflage tummy fluff, go to my blog on how to make a round tummy look flat.




I’m not talking about the comfy fishnets you can wear all day long.  No, these are the super-durable, super-smoothing nylon dance fishnets. These miraculously uncomfortable fishnets offer equally miraculous results in the body shaping department.  Once you have them on, you can reach inside the tights and shape your bum the way you want it to look — and it stays.  Ha!  Think of these tough tights as a push-up bra for your bum.  Plus, wearing these fishnets means no more thigh jiggle either.

To fix the super tight waistband (which is very uncomfortable), take a pair of scissors and start cutting.  Yep, you can snip the waistband in four (or more) places to release pressure on your waist.  I usually do two snips in the front and two in the back.

fishnet tights with snipped waistband in four places

Does it look pretty?  No.  But it works, and it’s not like anyone is going to study the condition of your fishnets hidden inside your costume.

You can also completely cut the waistband off.  The fishnet weave will not “run” or “snag” like regular pantyhose or tights so completely removing the waistband is not a problem.  As long as you have on dance/skate trunks or a built-in leotard, they also will not fall down.

remove waistband on fishnets


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Just like fishnets, you can safely snip the waistband in four (or more) places to reduce the waistline bulge when wearing hose or tights.  The waistband is usually easy to distinguish because it's slightly darker than the rest of the hose/tights instead of being sheer.  As long as you don't cut into the main part of the hose/tights, they should be perfectly fine to wear.

pantyhose or tights with a snipped waistband

Sew Like A Pro™ DRESSMAKER TIP #2:

Do not completely cut off the waistband on tights or pantyhose, because they will "run" and be ruined!   Pantyhose and tights are not nearly as durable as fishnets, and will easily tear without a waistband.

If you are nervous about cutting a brand new pair, then don't.  Practice on an old, worn out pair of tights or used hose that are ready for the trash can.

Snipping the waistband is not the only way to look thinner.  Check out my blog where I talk about using long, lean lines in your dress to make you look and feel your best!




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    14 replies to "How to snip a waistband for a smoother look"

    • Verna Hunt

      So glad I found this. I have been so uncomfortable for many years wearing panty hose. I am sure going to try this. Thank you so much.

    • OP

      OMG! I bought tights that were a couple sizes bigger because of this problem AND the band was STILL too tight😓after reading this I snipped the center front and back and voila! Like magic they fit comfortably and are not a shredding mess, like I assumed they would be…I can’t thank-you enough for posting this hack!!!

      • Teresa Sigmon

        You are SEW welcome, OP! I’m glad you found this post 🙂

    • Karen G from CT, USA

      I’ve been doing this for years on my street nylons and tights. No matter what size I buy, the waistband is always too darn tight! I hadn’t tried removing the waistband from my fishnets, but now I will definitely give that a try!

    • Mary

      I wish I found this video 10 years ago! I’m not a dancer or a skater, but I have a very lean frame and was constantly having to forgo wearing dresses that I normally could wear in the summer because there were no lines , in the winter because of the tight waistband problem. I hated that awkward shaped it gave me at my waists, just looked so natural. This trick completely solved that problem and gave breath to my favorite dresses that I can now enjoy all year round!!!

      • Teresa Sigmon

        What a fabulous story, Mary. Thanks SEW much for sharing! I’m glad the video solved one of life’s little problems for you 🙂

    • Jess

      This is exactly what I was looking for, thank you so much for this post. I was feeling so bloated today with my stockings, and after making a few snips to the waistband, I am feeling much more comfortable. Thank you!!

      • Teresa Sigmon

        Excellent! I love this easy trick 🙂 Thanks for taking time to comment.

    • Robin

      Thank you for posting! I am going to try this.

      • Teresa Sigmon

        You are most welcome, Robin. It works GREAT!

        • Cora. Lopez

          Thank You for the tips on ” cutting the elastic band on a pantyhose etc.
          I’ve watched. Many videos of other people and Your video and teaching skills are refreshing. Precise and c Lear and great tips. No noisy distracting music. Or too many words. Thank You and Happy New Year.

          • Teresa Sigmon

            Thank you, Cora! I love the comment about the distracting music (which also annoys me when the background music is too loud to easily hear the words!) and too many words 🙂

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