Saturday, January 5, 2013

Stocking and Thigh Highs and Tights, OH MY!


Stockings and Thigh Highs and Tights, OH MY!

   Many modern women do not know the difference between the different hosiery, so today I'm doing a special little lesson in Lycra education.

Fishnet Pantyhose
Pantyhose
   (Also known as Tights in the UK) are sheer, close-fitting legwear, covering the body from the waist to the feet. (Thank you, Wikipedia) Serving as a combination of "hose" and panties.

Tights
    (In the United States) tend to be thicker or even opaque versions of pantyhose

Leggings
   Basically they are tights that do not cover the feet- great for greaser events if they are VERY opaque.

Thigh Highs
   These are the stockings made with a stretchy material that (supposedly) do NOT require garters to hold them up.  Sometimes they have a rubbery plastic inside the top to
"grip" them to the thighs and almost always have some form of extra elastic at the top of them.

Stockings
Stockings
    Much like thigh highs but with formed feet and no elastic at the top. They must have a garter belt or garters to hold them up.  They come in many colors and styles and are the way women were wearing them until the 1960's. These are my favorite even though during performances I will usually opt for pantyhose or fishnets.

**Fully Fashioned Stockings**
   These are stockings which are sewn up the back creating a seam... however today most are one piece of fabric with a mock seam up the back. They also come in both Cuban and French heels, which are a reinforced section on the heel area. The difference between the two is in the shape on the heel, Cuban heels have a rectangular detail on the heel and French heels have a triangular of pointed detail on the back of the heel. 

Here is my personal opinion on each:  
   Pantyhose/tights are great for performing in and for giving a complete reshaped contour of the body.  Good for wiggle dresses, when it drops below freezing, and they cover up cellulite in the upper reaches of the legs and buttocks... and in some cases the stomach as well.  Bad for sexy stripteases (where everything is coming off), hygiene (they hold heat and moisture to places that don't need either), and enticing men - they don't notice them.  

   Thigh highs are awesome in theory but they have never worked out for me, if your thigh is NOT the same size as your knee then they probably won't work for you either.  They tend to create a weird indent in the thigh on anyone who isn't a Victoria's Secret model and if you are overweight- don't even consider them because the will be the bane of your existence. 

   Stockings are my favorite- when purchased in the right size they are alluring and sexy and fun.  They do keep your legs warm but provide "air" in the upper area of  your body, they are not hot, itchy, and they do not run easily (unless you have sharp talons).  I've had stockings last me up to 3 years being worn at least 4x a month and washed by hand before they got a run in them.  Quite often they peek out of clothing and everyone men and women alike are intrigued and drawn to the site of them. They do not provide reshaping however and garters can cause strange lines under very tight clothing so keep that in mind.

   **On a closing thought,  I find many people confuse garters and garter belts and I, myself, quite often refer to my garters... when in fact I'm referring, in actuality to my garter belt's straps.  Garter belts go around your waist and have tabs/snaps/straps that connect to your stockings to hold them up and garters are pieces of fabric that are either elastic or tie around your upper leg to hold your stockings up (tying them around your leg is old school... like Marie Antoinette and George Washington old school.) For a long time women would attach their stockings to straps attached to their corsets or girdles, but in the early 20th Century the garter belt was invented and it spurred women in the 1920's to do away with corsetry all together and opt for shorter hair and skirts.**

1 comment:

  1. This is a great article outlining the details of vintage fashion! Great job!

    ReplyDelete