Rihanna rocks hers with just a t-shirt. Beyonce shows hers off on stage. Paris Hilton adores wearing mock versions of them. It seems no other style has come further in the hosiery world than stockings. Once used as a method to protect your modesty during the 19th century, stockings are now the finishing touch to any ensemble.
Craving a vintage backseam? A fan of fishnet stockings? Throughout the years, designers have played with new patterns and fabrics to bring you the latest trend to hit the catwalks and dominate the high streets. But where did it all begin?
Well, as it so happens, both men and women took a fancy to stockings before the introduction of trousers in the 18th century. After that, the demand was driven by females alone, as the Victorian era dictated that to flash a bit of ankle bordered on obscene! With the emphasis on functionality rather than fashion, stockings were to be hidden away under dresses and skirts, tucked into corners of the wardrobe.
It was only after World War 1 that stockings became a little less about modesty and little more about style, as designers began to play with new shades and tones. By the 1920’s, the nations obsession with ankles had deteriorated and with this stockings developed a new found role – to decorate legs! With women encouraged to show off their pins, hosiery brands were forced to find newer and more exciting products to feed the ever expanding hunger – and this is exactly how nylon stockings came to fruition.
Invented in the UK but created across the pond in the USA, the stockings were given their name from the two locations – NY and LONdon (don’t say we never
teach you anything!). After going on sale in 1940, the nation managed to get their hands on over 64 million pairs within the year. And that’s a lot of nylon! With the arrival of the ultra stretchy Lycra in 1959, stockings took on a new lease of life, providing stretch and durability like never before. Our favourite Pretty Polly Nylons Tights were a direct result of this, and they continue to combine classic glamour with a gorgeous fit. Available in 9 different shades, there’s an option for every outfit and occasion, with a back seam version too for all those vintage enthusiasts.
Of course, the obsession with mini-skirts and risqué hemlines soon impacted the demand for stockings in the 60s, as tights began to take over in the hosiery race. Thankfully, it appears that this hasn’t dampened our desire for stockings at all, as the nation still relies on the style to deliver allure and comfort time after time. And for those who crave a little more
coverage? Try out the fab mock suspender tights, for a faux stocking design that delivers the warmth of sheers. Hooray!
So whether you’re after a more demure style or full on flirty fun, shop our stocking collection now to find the perfect pair!
Hungry for more hosiery history? Learn more from this fab article on the Lady blog.