Embarrassing moments while wearing stockings

“I’m 27and new to this site. I wear stockings regularly and I thought I would share my most embarrassing moment with you. In 1993, when I was 19, I began work at a public library. Wanting to look smart on my first day I put on my best skirt. The trouble was it was a little too tight, but I managed to fit into it, just. When I was walking across the main floor of the library my button popped off and my skirt slipped down to my knees. I briefly showed my stocking tops and benders to a few dozen people. As I bent to quickly pull up my skirt my knickered bum was quickly flashed as well. I blushed as red as a beetroot and nearly died of embarrassment. I didn’t dare face the people who had seen my underwear so I hid in the offices for as long as I could.”

“I was invited along with the rest of my colleagues to an evening wedding reception for which a coach was laid on to take us to the venue. As it was quite a posh do I was wearing a full length flowing skirt. As I was going down the steps of the coach my skirt dragged along the floor and someone behind me stepped on the hem. As I continued getting off the coach, the skirt button flew off and the zip came down – swiftly followed by my skirt which ended up in a crumpled heap on the pavement leaving me stood in my black stockings cornflower blue sussies and knickers. I pulled my skirt back up and fortunately one of the ladies had a safety pin which saved the day. I did get quite a lot of attention from the guys that night and I don’t think I bought a drink all night!”

“Way, way back in 1959 I was an office junior in a large government office. Those, of course, were the days when nylons and suspenders were universally worn. I too lost my skirt without warning, but I had on a flouncy petticoat underneath, which probably only served to make me look even more ridiculous. Adding insult to injury my petticoat was semi-transparent so my knickers and sussies were seen by all. Even after all these years, I still feel my cheeks glowing crimson when I recall it!”

“I was walking across the open-plan office where I work with a colleague of 26 (I’m 52) when I heard the unmistakeable ‘ping’ of a suspender coming loose. My colleague blushed and nodded when I asked if she was wearing suspenders. I still wear them for work but I was surprised at a girl of her age.

“I’ve been a closet wearer of stockings under business clothes for decades. I usually wear nude or light beige stockings with a wide pull-on garterbelt. At a meeting some years ago I stood up to give my short presentation. As I did so, a front garter released with what seemed like a cannon shot to me. I couldn’t believe it had not been heard by everyone, but no one seemed to take notice. I hurriedly finished my talk, and adjourned to the men’s room to re-attach the garter. Since then, I always pinch the front garter with pliers to prevent a repetition. It seems effective.”

“Never embarrass a lady who is wearing stockings in any way. All of us (and that includes me) are expected to act like the ladies and gentlemen we are, with good manners at all times. It upsets me when I read of someone being careless in how they exit a table and cause exposure of someone who would rather not be exposed. Believe me when I say, no lady has to wear stockings. They do have other choices such as pantyhose and thigh highs. So when they are wearing stockings they deserve respect and to be treated with the utmost dignity.”

Why do women still wear stockings?

I hope that if there are any women reading this they will take the time to end my (and maybe a lot of other men’s) curiosity over why women still wear ‘classic’ stockings and suspenders (garters) instead of ‘newer’ and ‘easier’ hosiery such as hold-ups or the so called suspender tights my wife recently bought.

My wife (28) started wearing stockings just after we got married and still wears stockings now and then, but less than she used to, mainly on occasions. She also always complained about embarrassing and awkward moments when her suspenders either broke or came undone. It always seems to happen when we are out. She hasn’t worn stockings to work for some time since she got embarrassed when giving a presentation at work one day.

I also remember about three years ago on my way to work in the city a young woman walking ahead in the street in a funny way. She turned a corner into a side street I also took. When I also turned the corner she was a little bit ahead obviously trying to do up a stocking. I don’t think she saw me or succeeded because when going up the same steps to my building I could see she was still trying to keep it up. She ended up going into my building and the same elevator. It was in the elevator that she noticed me glancing below, and she was obviously a bit embarrassed just smiled and said ‘trouble down below’, or something like that! She got off at a different floor!

I know that most women don’t wear stockings these days and I’m certainly not complaining that my wife does! But I am curious why, if there is so much awkwardness and potential embarrassment why do so many women continue? Just how common is it really? Has it ever caused any problems?

– As Innova would probably tell you, the advantages far, far outweigh the occasional disadvantage in my eyes. It’s like saying why do you drive a Ferrari when it uses so much fuel? There will be the occasional hitch, but these things happen, and they are far less problematic to me than the health risks and sheer non-sexiness of pantyhose.

– Thanks for your sincere reply Abby. I understand what you’re saying and I suppose from a purely male and obviously ‘selfish’ point of view I could say I don’t care why women wear stockings despite hitches – I’m not complaining.

The ‘problem’ is that my wife doesn’t wear stockings anywhere as much as she used to until recently, though she did originally say that they were nice to wear. I was just curious to know whether the sort of problems she tells me about were actually ‘normal’. It was in fact the first time my wife wore stockings when we went out and were getting out of the car she told me that one of her suspenders had broken. I didn’t even know she was wearing them!

Most recently she told me that while sitting down her rear (?) fasteners somehow opened (?) and she only realised when she got up to give a talk in one of her meeting rooms at work, and got ‘humiliated’ by having her stockings ‘dangling down’ at the back while talking.

Also just how embarrassing or awkward do other women find it (ie what sort of response do women find that they get from others around them when, to quote my wife’s words, their ‘secret is out’). Are they treated less seriously than before?

If other women report here that this sort of thing does happen a fair bit, then I suppose I will appreciate my wife’s ‘efforts’ even more. But if it isn’t and she’s doing something ‘wrong’ then I suppose I might be able to show some genuine messages from any women reading this site to ‘reassure’ her.

– My girlfriend stopped using stockings after only a little time. She says she has too many problems with garters coming open. Last time we went out together and her stockings started coming down in the street she was not happy. She says it happens too much. Is this true? I say it’s only bad luck. I’ve never seen this before.

– Innova to the rescue. At all costs you must dissuade her from the evils of pantyhose. Suggest “stay ups” or suspender tights. More importantly she must try another suspender belt, or maybe her stockings are the wrong size. Does she wear stretch or non-stretch, or FF or RHT’s? Just persevere and she will find the solution that suits both of you. But be understanding and don’t force the issue too much. Treat her gently and she will respond.

– My girlfriend has worn stay up stockings but she always complains that they fall down slowly. I say she should buy some normal stockings and a garterbelt to wear so not to have any problem. Of course i like them better and she also says they are nice. But she only wore them five or six times. At work on the first day a back garter broke and she could not close it, so she had a problem keeping the stocking up.

One week ago we are out together and walking. Suddenly she got angry and said again that the garter was open at the back. Soon after she suddenly held her leg and said the other garter had come open. As we walked she had a problem keeping the stocking up and she got very upset from all the people looking.

Later she told me her friends also say they have same problem all time when they wear stockings. She says that the normal stockings and garters are very nice but she doesn’t want to worry all the time with garters coming open.

– I have had a look at some unopened packs of my wife’s hosiery. The makes are Charnos and Aristoc, and the suspenders are from Gossard and Berlei – does that help? My wife has worn hold ups but doesn’t like them. Again, is there a make that (presumably more expensive!) does actually stay up? I find your description of pantyhose (tights?) as evil, funny. I am not sure if that will work?

– I can answer all your questions on the stockings problems. But first, at all expenses, do not let her even think about pantyhose.

I am a male and I have been wearing stockings very successfully for over 30 years. I have had embarrassing situations such as you explained. It is embarrassing when a garter comes undone and you have to go find a restroom to fix it. Even more so, is when both garters come undone and your stocking slides down out from under your pants and all these people see that you had on stockings!

With my experience with stockings, I have found that the problem lies in either that the stocking is too short or the garters on the garter-belt are too short. When both of these match, it is a perfect marriage!

Being 6’3″ tall I have a lot of problems finding long sheer stockings, I hate those stretchy cantrece stockings, they remind me of pantyhose! Lots of times when I go to buy a new garterbelt I have to shop around to find one with the garters that are long enough. And you have to make sure that you buy a good garter-belt – if you buy a cheap one it will have those cheap garter clasps and they will NOT stay fastened!

Even on some of the good garter-belts i have had to take off the garters that came with it and put on the garters that you can buy that are made for girdles, these seem to be a lot better garter and WON’T come undone and also most of the time they are the good metal garters like they used to be on the garter-belts. When they started putting on the plastic garters is when I started having most of my problems.

– From my own experience with my wife, ladies will wear stockings and suspenders subject to two provisos – first, that they are comfortable; and, second, that they do not feel there is any danger of the kind of problem you describe.

The solution to both problems lies in the fitting of the garments and the quality. As to the latter, the clips must be metal and not plastic. (I was in Selfridges the other day and noticed a range of suspenders from Rigby and Pellier, Corsetieres by appointment to Her Majesty The Queen; I was appalled and amazed to see they all had plastic clips.

– Three cheers for the recent hot spell. In the interests of comfort and hygiene, and because her job requires her to not to be bare legged, my wife has decided to bin her tights and to return to wearing stockings and suspenders. She has worn them before but stopped because the stockings wrinkled around her ankles. Someone has suggested a suspender belt with metal suspender clips as opposed to plastic clips.

You must ensure your wife wears the correct size or wrinkles will occur…..also girls have worn stockings with the welt turned over if a larger size is worn. In the U.K. stockings ‘turned to tights’ in 1968, I was 18 at the time but had seen enough in time, thank the Lord, all my girlfriends wore their pants/knickers over their suspender belt and never underneath!

Why oh why do men love stockings?

Firstly my husband asked me to post something here so I want to know why is there a fixation on stockings by what seems like all the male population?

– Well it’s not a case of men loving stockings it’s a case of men loving the person who’s in the stockings, and loving them because they are taking the time to be healthy and feminine at the same time. I mean really who wears pantyhose nowadays? Only fools and some men. Just take some time away from it all to think about it and I know you will see the reasoning behind these words. If you still don’t understand then I will be glad to enlighten you.

– Well Tracey, I am a stocking lover, and I can’t think of ANYTHING sexier than a woman in stockings and a garter (suspender) belt! They do a number of things really. They accentuate the leg beautifully, for a start. That in itself is worth everything. Not just the leg but the thigh also. They frame other areas. They finish up so nicely on the thigh making one want to run one’s hands up and down the leg! They are really the crowning touch!

There is nothing like getting a glance of an upper thigh clad in a stocking top! Try wearing a skirt sometime that has either a slit that shows them off or is short enough to show the stocking top if you when you want someone to see them. Go out on the town with your S/O and give him a glimpse and see what happens! Considering how little effort it takes to wear them and how much your S/O gets from the experience, why wouldn’t you wear them?!

– Gosh – that’s difficult and there are a whole lot of jumbled reasons. Innova has part of it but not all. For me, there is a nostalgia element – the pre-tights (or pantyhose) stockings felt so different under the hand. Then there was the excitement of reaching the stocking welt and the button – feeling the bare flesh beyond and knowing that following the strap would take me somewhere very exciting. Then there is the knowledge that my lady is available to me when she wears stockings. That does not make her a slut in the general sense – but it is something shared between us. I could go on, but hope this starter helps.

The female leg is gorgeous in nylon…and more importantly the only reason to wear stockings is to make them look even more lovely. In addition to the sexy shimmering look, the fact that you’re wearing them for no other reason then to be sexy… makes them sexy! Garter belts, sheer panties and stockings tend to frame and lead one’s gaze to the ultimate goal of female mystery. Always more exciting when partially covered and decorated. Look at yourself naked and then wearing lingerie. Which is more enticing? And the attitude required to wear lingerie well is, to most males, irresistible.

Why the stigma?

Why is there such a stigma attached to women wearing stockings in the ’90s and beyond? After all, women have been wearing stockings far longer than pantyhose, and before they were even thought of.

Tell me: would you walk down a busy street or shopping centre with a nylon bag over your head? Of course not because you wouldn’t be able to breathe. Well that’s exactly what happens when you don pantyhose or tights – the most delicate part of the body cannot breathe, and doing this day in day out could lead to long-term medical problems.

A quote from Givenchy sums up how a lot of people feel about the subject: “Pantyhose are the symbol of laziness in women today”.

I’m close to losing it when I see women in warm fleecy track pants and tights. What is wrong with these silly women? Imagine the heat being generated in the nether regions and how wet they will get: the perfect environment for the old faithful thrush, tricomonas and clamydia. How wonderful for unsuspecting visitors!

It is also evident from some TV ads that the manufacturers of tights (pantyhose) are acting in complicity with some of the drug companies that make these creams for “feminine itching”. If there were no pantyhose there would be little or no use for these remedies as there would be little or no feminine itching to relieve! Correct? So the manufacturers of the two products go hand in hand – without sales of one there would be no sales of the other. And it’s only since the advent of tights that feminine itching or associated infections ever needed to be advertised as needing attention in the form of creams or the like!

Further to my two previous outbursts yet another issue has been on my mind: how many women have to wear “panty liners” and why? Before pantyhose there was no such thing as panty liners you didn’t need them. The women who wear stockings don’t need them or buy them. This is just another example of one manufacturer walking hand in hand with the other.

Why do parents of young and not so young girls find it necessary to encourage them at such an early age to have to sit in a classroom or run about or some other activity while half their body is encased in nylon? Why do they see it as a must? It is not! And never will be. What they don’t realize is the harm they are doing to the child, indirectly as a result of this action. There should be an awareness program for the children outlining the pitfalls and the reasons behind them. I think parents are under a misguided premise that wearing pantyhose from such an early age will protect them in some way. But what against I really don’t know.

Is there a place for white stockings?

“Is wearing white pantyhose or stockings for everyday completely out of style or is it still acceptable? My boyfriend loves it when I wear white nylons for him. Can I please have some feedback?”

“I think it depends a lot on the wearer and the outfit. Solid legs encased in plain white don’t always look their best.”

“Back in the ’80s an ex girlfriend of mine sometimes wore cream Charnos stretch FF’s with, I think, a pale blue or pink outfit, maybe both with cream high heels. I also remember being bowled over by a lady wearing a white hat, blue and white dress and cream or pale beige FF’s with pale seams at a garden party. And a very smart woman around 60 wearing a navy blue suit with very pale FF’s with brown seams and navy high heels.”

“I wear a creamy (off white) colour quite frequently. It goes well with either dark or light coloured skirts, and sits well on all skin shades. These neutral coloured stockings blend in well, and I find them quite appealing. Try it with a darker skirt and black shoes, the effect will be very complimentary.”

“White is a pure colour. Technically black is absent of any colour but that is only in print, to the eye (as in theatrical lighting), white is used to light without distracting. The brain sees white against colours and perceives greater contrast than say a light blue against a darker blue. The greater the contrast the greater the stimuli.

“Black stockings look best against paler skin than they do against a tan skin or a skin of a lady of colour. Therefore, white stockings look the best against a colour. That’s my theory based on 32 years of lighting and set design and I’m sticking to it!”

“I can’t comment on what it is about white stockings that do it for a guy – maybe it’s some sort of fantasy of virginal debauchery – LOL! I know for me, I don’t particularly care for white stockings, as they are not kind to those of us with shapely legs. I find that they can make my legs appear thicker.”

“I have to agree with your boyfriend – white can be very sexy – possibly my favourite. I suggest very sheer, creamy white, allowing skin tones to show through, lace tops best. I suppose it’s because they look so delicate and quite unusual. What about wearing them with a longish skirt and boots? Not much to see then, but you and your boyfriend would both know what is underneath!”

Stockings: the hosiery equivalent of vinyl

“For many years I have been a fan of high-fidelity, simply because I am a music lover. What has this to do with stockings, you ask? Read on… and no, it’s nothing about stuffing FFs in the rear ports of your speakers.

“Up until say 1983, EVERY hi-fi nut owned a turntable, and then CDs came in. Record companies immediately began to wind down vinyl LP production and release their catalogue on CDs. The press predicted turntables would be dead in two years!

“Read a hi-fi mag now. It’s full of exotic turntables, sources of vinyl records, etc. While Mr Average uses a CD, true aficionados cling to their turntables, and many companies have been forced to release NEW record players. The general perception is that at the normal ‘music center’ end, CDs are best, but when one gets into an esoteric territory, analogue reproduction still rules.

“So can you see a parallel? In 1950 ALL women, from the hot-dog salesgirl to the Duchess wore stockings. Today the hot dog girl goes barelegged, but stockings are the preserve of the ‘special woman’, either because she is an aristocrat, or a woman of normal aspirations who possesses taste and discrimination. Rather than being a normal item of clothing like shoes, sweaters or knickers, stockings have become esoteric, and this is giving them a new lease of life! Hats, girdles and high heels are following a similar path. So don’t despair… stockings haven’t, and never will, vanish. They’ve just become more special!”

“There are two fatal flaws in this argument: (i) those who loved and mourned the demise of vinyl and the turntable in the 1980s kept their vinyl records and cherished them; stockings are not so durable – they are a disposable consumer good with a relatively brief service life. (ii) The music recording industry and the consumer electronics industry were both around to facilitate the (very, very modest) gramophone revival of which the earlier correspondent speaks. It is highly unlikely that the hosiery industry as we understand it today will last much longer.

“As the revolution (not too strong a word) continues in women’s dress, hosiery makers will either collapse or enter new markets instead. I would like to remind this august board that ‘hosiery’ also means ‘socks’. That, I suspect, is where the real and sustainable growth markets lie. Should some nostalgic fashion house attempt, circa 2020, to reintroduce the classic ’40s/’50s look, it will not be with stockings, for the machines to make them will long have been scrapped, or even tights. I am sorry to sound so pessimistic, but that is my heartfelt and considered opinion. I can only hope for some kind of miracle to reverse the irreversible, even at this late hour. God only knows what that could be.”

“Everyone said CDs would wipe out vinyl. Now vinyl sales are actually growing at an astonishing rate, not only in the dance scene but also from commercial bands – due to the fact that CDs have no warmth or character.

“I think all this talk about nylons disappearing is just panic talk. There will always be a demand, although it will be a minority market with manufacturers who care about what they’re doing (Pretty Polly lost my custom when they discontinued their seamed nylons so I’m not concerned about them!)

“By the way, PP never really were that serious about stockings – it always pissed me off that the packaging on their seamed nylons mentioned a ‘cuban’ heel when the stockings had a ‘point’ heel.”

“I don’t want to have a true parallel involving stockings, because then that would mean that hardly any woman would be wearing stockings. There truly are very few vinyl junkies and only obscure independent shops selling vinyl; can you imagine the same with stockings? It would be IMPOSSIBLE to ask/cajole your beloved to wear stockings because it would be that much harder to just FIND them!”

“Wow, I never realized my hi-fi/stocking comparison would attract so much interest! I do accept the point that it is not a perfect analogy, for the reasons pointed out above. However, I hold to my original point, that fashion is very much ‘circular’… skirt lengths are a good example. The mini has died and come back more times than Dracula!

“Right at the moment we are in a time of low popularity for hosiery in general, but like all things, stockings come and go. The advantage for stocking lovers as opposed to, say, glove-lovers or mini-skirt lovers is that even when ‘out of trend’ you can still see hosiery, simply because many women are FORCED to wear it, for their jobs, etc. And many of those women wear proper stockings, simply because they have less disadvantages than pantyhose.

“There ARE reasons for seeing less of ‘the garments’ today than previously. The popularity of slacks and pants is one, the reaction against formal dress another (these fashions too go in circles I find), and there is another reason specifically relating to stockings:

“Simply, (and this IS my area of expertise) they are getting harder to detect. If twenty women pass you, all with knee-length or longer skirts, all wearing hosiery, how are you to KNOW they aren’t wearing stockings and suspenders? In days past, the stockings would slip down and you might see the welts, or they would wrinkle in a certain way, or even (joy of joys) the suspender would come adrift and you could see the women adjusting it! Today, the better quality stockings are less detectable

“I have not kept specific figures like some, but I don’t recall ANY year when one could go to the central business district of a town and NEVER see hosiery being worn by a good percentage of the women that passed. At the moment, the proportion of bare legged women is higher… but go to any ‘swish’ function, or even stand near the door and watch, and you’ll see enough hosiery to satisfy your wildest dreams.

“Essentially, if you want to feast your eyes on nylon covered legs, walking round a shopping centre won’t cut it. Stockings are, and always have been, ‘formal’ dress. Instead, try sitting outside any high-class hotel in the evening, or take your sandwich lunch on a bench in the part of town where the office blocks are. This was as true 15 years ago as today!

“In the meantime, stockings have a delightful exclusivity, and those of us with stocking wearing partners, wives or girlfriends can enjoy the same delight as those that own an expensive restored vintage car, or, dare I say it, a Linn Sondek turntable!”

Do teenagers wear hosiery?

“I have noticed that apart from the 70 deniers, young girls have an aversion to wearing any form of hosiery. Are we to expect that the future generation of females are going to grow up and wear trousers and clumpy boots and deprived us female, leg-lover admirers of one of their greatest attributes?”

“I have just got back from a trip into Holland. Here, the carnival season is in full swing – in Holland the whole town was full of drunks in fancy dress costumes obviously having a good time. The place was quite mad.

“I had hoped there would be a better-than-evens chance of some girls dressed up in stockings but sadly no, I didn’t see any. As a consolation though, the Dutch girls appear to have taken to wearing sheer nude pantyhose in a big way. Lots of them dressed in miniskirts with knee-length boots; the girl who served me in McDonald’s was wearing nude tights and over-knee length black socks too – much better than the usual staff uniform!

“In a department store all the female staff except one (who was in fact a mature lady wearing opaques) were wearing sheer hose of various shades with a tendency to nude or tan. So in Holland at least, teenage girls have taken to sheer hose on their lovely legs. I recommend a city-break to a Dutch city immediately!”

“As a retailer we do see the trend of teenagers not wearing sheer hosiery. So with that in mind we recently started to have open evenings in our shops directed at teenagers and young ladies, to bring them in and let them find out what else is available other than opaques and to introduce them to the world of fashion hosiery.

“We have found that many of the young ladies were not really even aware that sheer hosiery was available and what it was all about, let alone it being a fashion garment. In general we have found that around 65% of the young ladies convert to sheer fashion hosiery after the visit. So things might be looking up for the future.”

“Can’t say I agree here. Naturally, young women won’t wear anything ‘conservative’… it’s only right that they want their own music, culture and fashion. Piercings, Docs, wool tights, tattoos, etc, are things their parents DON’T wear, and are by definition ‘cool’.

“But there are a number of other factors at work here. To begin with, it is an established fact that everything comes ‘full circle’… look at the upsurge in interest in vinyl records (read any hi-fi mag), old movies or old cars. In a few years, boots and piercings and tattoos will be old fashioned – and hosiery will be right back in. You don’t believe me? You surely don’t think ‘granny print’ dresses, long dresses or boots are a new innovation do you?

“Also there are those wonderful leaders of fashion, the Goths. Of course, a young Goth right now will as like as not be wearing ripped hose, weird jewellery and black lipstick – but as the Goths in their 20s get into their mid thirties… and the first wave are about there… we will see a new wave of ‘conservative’ Goth fashion. Lace, gloves, maybe even girdles. And FFs and RHTs naturally. Don’t give up hope!

“Then of course, there’s the fact that few women, even out and out stocking lovers, wear hose for casual dress. Too hot, uncomfortable and bothersome. But in business dress, especially when they reach the ‘higher echelons’ such things become an unwritten law. Of course there’s no exact rule – but go too often barelegged to a board meeting and you’ll pretty soon hit that ‘glass ceiling’. Whether this is politically desirable or not is a question outside of this discussion – but remember guys have to wear suits and ties too.

“Another factor is what I call the ‘attention’ syndrome. Learn a new word – say ‘pontification’ and all of a sudden, you see the word everywhere. This might be because of what Carl Gustav Jung called ‘synchronicity’ – meaningful coincidence – but it could also be the word was there all the time and you never noticed it. Start thinking stockings, and you’ll see a lot more, folks.”

“This is a particularly worrying trend. Teenagers in 2001 show no sign whatsoever of adopting hosiery, except, as you say, opaque 70 denier tights when they are forced to appear ‘formal’. I recently attended a funeral, where, of the women present, only those well over thirty wore any kind of hosiery. As I work in a very big office, with a high percentage of female staff, I can confirm that for a female colleague under forty to wear hosiery to work is very rare indeed. Not remarkable, you understand, or unusual, but actually a rarity. It is the same in the streets where I take a stroll at lunchtimes. I suspect that for us, the game is up and that hosiery, in its traditional sense is already finished, though it might take a decade or two to vanish entirely. Stockings are already almost extinct in Britain, Australasia, Europe and North America – hence the ripples of excitement on this forum whenever someone reports a sighting. Now, even the so-called ‘convenience’ of tights is apparently too much effort for younger women. I suspect that hosiery per se will be reduced to the level of, say, fountain-pen usage – a pleasure to see, but virtually extinct. It is very depressing. Still, cheer up, think of the sophistication, elegance and erotic allure of heavy, thick-soled combat boots, ill-fitting leggings, black trousers and tracksuit bottoms. God help us all.”

“I live close to central London, and work in the City. Apart from the few women who wear trousers, I would say 99.9% of those wearing skirts or dresses are also wearing hosiery of one sort or another. True, being Winter, a fair amount of them are opaques, but even in the cold weather we have now, I’d say at least 50 to 60% of them are wearing sheer hosiery.

“I am talking of women of all sorts, ranging from professional women (lawyers, businesswomen etc) right through to girls working as secretaries and shop assistants etc. Bare legs in London in winter are virtually unseen.

“As for the summer, although some might brave bare legs, I would still say that 75% or more were wearing hosiery last summer, even on the hottest days. So, as far as London is concerned, I don’t think things are as bad as you have described (yet!).”

Suspender tights: aberation?

“I have a question. Does anyone have an opinion about suspender tights? I always wear stockings but I only wear a suspender belt when I am wearing a dress or a skirt. When I wear trousers I wear hold ups. I don’t know whether anyone else has the same problem but they never seem to stay up long enough for me and I usually have to adjust them after a while. I just wondered whether these suspender tights were worth considering. ”

“Suspender tights are the most horrible thing ever invented and the original designer needs shooting!”

“Agree totally!. Whether you like tights or not, at least they are a bit more attractive than suspender tights! They always remind me of an upside down Eiffel Tower!”

“My personal preference for a woman’s attire is traditional stockings and I am fortunate that there are a great number of females that I know who wear such attire. Hold-ups (or thigh highs as they call them here in the “colonies”) are very attractive as well. But of course it is important that you are comfortable and not distracted by gravity concerns.

“One point that you may consider – it is my understanding that the key to minimising slippage is for women to NOT put lotion/moisturiser on their legs where the silicone at the top of the thigh high is designed to grip. Lotion on the rest of the leg naturally is fine.

“There are some attractive suspender-tights (and an equal number of unattractive ones) currently on the market and they solve the concern if a lady is wearing a figure-hugging dress or even slacks. The bottom line is that all three hosiery options are, in the words of Mary, a woman’s choice to improve her looks, her level of attraction and her health.”

“I do prefer stockings myself but I don’t like to wear a suspender belt when I wear trousers (not very often I might add) but the hold up stockings never seem to stay up. The suspender tights are an option. I will have to think about it.”

The eternal appeal of seams

“What is it with you guys and seams? They are hard to keep in place, let alone straight, and my choice is seamless. I really don’t want to draw attention to myself (like some floozie) and I really do not want to announce to all and sundry that I am wearing stockings and not pantyhose – that’s my business (and whomever I might want to let know, but privately please).

“So what’s with the demand for seams? Do any of you other ladies feel the same? Why can’t the men just be happy when we like to wear stockings instead of going that next step and asking us to wear seams too? Is the word ‘seamy’ related to seamed stockings? Am I missing something here? What’s the big deal with seams?

“I certainly do love wearing stockings. I always have, and as the only girl growing up with four brothers I liked to be feminine. My mom even encouraged me to wear stockings as I didn’t like pantyhose. And I happen to think that sheer stockings are quite feminine enough, thank you, especially with pretty underthings. But I draw the line at seams.

“What do you other ladies think? Are men asking too much?”

“The main reason is seamed stockings are very pleasing on the male eye. What man is not aroused by nylon seamed stockings and high heels? When I was in Navy training as a young 17-year-old at HMS Mercury 1985/86 there was a PO WREN who wore these stockings. I used to see her when in the NAAFI shop at break times. She got admiring looks and her legs looked fantastic in them – almost as good as Kelly McGillis in Top Gun! However seamless stockings are just as pleasing as Tara Fitzgerald (Brassed Off) clearly shows.”

“I am perfectly satisfied that there are many ladies I know who have decided to wear stockings instead of pantyhose (tights). The fact that some will wear seamed stockings from time to time is icing on the cake.

“Although I grant that without the proper support, seamed stockings can require attention, the allure has to do with the fact that they tend to make the leg look thinner. The reinforced heel extending up the ankle makes the ankle look thinner as well. The authentic seamed stockings (with the trademark keyhole) are sheer and therefore more flattering to the leg.”

“I would not want you to feel like anything other than a lady, but when beautiful legs are displayed, men can not help but notice that their paths have been crossed by something wonderful. I do not want blatant exposition of undergarments – that is what my imagination is for!”

“Seamed stockings are a sign of femininity. Watching films from the ’40s & ’50s, it is a pleasure to see the actresses wearing high heeled shoes, beautiful dresses and seamed stockings. They do not necessarily give connotations that a woman is ‘up or looking for it’. It means that a woman has taken pride in her appearance and has taken note of the finest details in her outfit. But seams are not 21st Century – they are high maintenance and we women are different today.”

“Seamed stockings are wonderful. When a woman is out and immaculately dressed, nothing is more of a pleasure than for a male to look at the back of her legs to see if she is wearing seams. A male suddenly gets a rush in his pulse and his whole attention is focused on her, owing to the fact that she is wearing seams.

“I wear seamed stockings probably three out of five work days, and to church on Sunday (usually). I also wear seamless. For me it all depends on the outfit; if I am wearing something a little more casual, say an A-line skirt and sweater, I’ll go with the RHTs. If I am wearing a suit, with a straight skirt, then I will more often than not grab the FFs.

“I love the way they feel, and frankly, I never have a problem with them. That’s what a 6 garter girdle is for! I line them up in the morning when I get dressed, and that’s the end of it. I adjust them briefly in the ladies, but that’s five extra seconds per leg. Nothing to get all het up over, I assure you.

“I also agree that they make my legs appear more shapely and slender, and why shouldn’t I take pride in my appearance? I confess that I wear them so often now that I totally forget I am even in seamed stockings. I guess with spring around the corner I’ll be reminded more often.”

Why scarcity is good

“I have seen a number of posts here recently lamenting the ‘fall of elegance’ and the frequency of slacks, bare legs, opaques, etc, and I wonder if it is necessarily a bad thing.

“Even if computers were available to the mainstream in 1950, a forum like this one could not have existed. Stockings were just another item of clothing. NOW when we see them we get a thrill – our pulses race – we rush to tell our friends about it! Like ball gowns, hats, gloves, tiaras, etc, stockings and thigh-highs have gathered an aura of mystique and exotica.

“If I could be transferred by time machine back to 1950, for about six months I would be goggle eyed, looking for suspender-bumps, girdles, slips, etc. And after a while it would be old hat! The thrill would go and life would be that much greyer…

“By becoming a rare item, stockings have gained the ability to give what James Joyce (incidentally, an underwear freak) would have called an ‘epiphany’.

“As to the universal wearing of slacks, the wish for stewardesses to wear them, etc, I can’t blame them. True, stockings make a woman sexier than pantyhose, and pantyhose are still sexier than slacks or bare legs… but when one has to do a job, one wants to be as unrestrained as possible. I know on hot Brisbane days like today I give thanks to the gods that I can wear swimmers or shorts, and not have to go around in a suit. If I were a woman and had to wear pantyhose or other nylons, a girdle and a tight skirt I too would be pushing for a reasonable dress code.

“I congratulate those here who elect to put up with the occasional disadvantages of stockings in return for the way they make them feel. But by the same token I can hardly blame any woman who elects to don slacks for casual or ‘everyday’ wear.

“Imagine if Christmas came every day – wouldn’t we all get sick of it?”

“If I had the chance to travel back to 1950, when all women dressed appropriately and looked so very feminine in their lovely dresses and skirts and wore gartered stockings everyday and always acted like ladies, I’d jump at the chance! And forget about staying for just six months, I’d NEVER want to go back

“I am old enough to have dated women when stockings were the norm. I always anticipated the silky-soft thigh flesh above the welt. It never got old.

“I have been doubly blessed to have married a woman who has chosen to wear stockings almost every day for the last thirty years. She is as beautiful and elegant today as she was the day we wed. Have the stockings and the fashion statement they make contributed to my continued passion for her? Without a doubt. They have enriched our life together. I still, to this moment, feel as stimulated by her as I did the first time we met. Would it be the same if she wore pantyhose? I don’t know but I am glad I don’t have to find out.

“I do, however, know this. When my male clients describe the woman of their dreams and I ask what she is wearing they almost always say ‘a garterbelt and stockings’.

“No, familiarity has not bred contempt. Seeing my wife in stockings each day has not made me take her for granted. It has had quite the opposite effect and I am so glad!”

“I have to agree with you. Most people, male or female do not stop to think about what they are going to wear on their legs and feet. I would think that most women simply reach for the tights first thing in the morning.

“We revere stockings on this forum because of their intrinsic elegance and sexiness – not to mention rarity value. We are unusual in taking our enthusiasm to the point of debating it on this forum. And much as we might like the government to pass legislation forcing Aristoc to reintroduce mass production of Harmony Points and advertising campaigns aimed at women to wear stockings, high heel shoes and skirts every day, it would never happen. I would not like to be told to wear a three-piece suit every day.

“Dress standards have ‘fallen’ but dress has become a way of expressing oneself and we have to salute those ladies who express themselves through stockings and suspenders. That doesn’t mean that we should condemn the others who don’t.”

“Wrong! Born in 1928, I can assure you that I and my contemporaries never tired of glimpses of stocking tops, garters and bare thigh traversed by garter straps which disappeared above. We were just infinitely more successful than anyone today. It may be that many aspects of today’s life are better than before. But I would relish the opportunity to return to that part of the past.”

“I like the feeling of being dressed properly for work every day. In fact, I was in a new pair of two tone shoes and sheer black stockings the other day, and received no end of glances from men on the street! I’m probably about one in every ten women wearing a dress or skirt every day – I like that.

“But, by the same token, I like knowing that I have the flexibility to wear what I like depending on the weather, knowing I am not at the mercy of some outmoded dress code. I recall stories from older women about the misery of winter when pants were not an option for them. That’s one of the nice things about living now. Being a lady – and also a gentleman – is more than the clothes on your back; it’s the teaching and correction you’ve been given from the time you’re a child – and in my case, not a small amount of Catholic guilt!”

“Some thoughts:

“1. I’ve always been a stocking fan – even when stockings were the norm (I was born 1954).

“2. I have known many women who refused to appear unladylike even in the hottest weather. They always dressed in suits, dresses and wore nylon hosiery.

“3. I have remained the same in my admiration for feminine elegance. The world has changed around me.

“4. Granted, you make a point on the practicality argument. Question: is it practicality or changing (‘degrading’ or unisex) fashion sense? At one time women did many of the same jobs they do now but dressed more femininely (factory jobs excluded where even the 1940s’ ‘Rosie the Riveter’ wore jeans). At one time women ‘wanted to look like women’ or ‘ladies’, a description that has now taken on sexist overtones. This was a desired gender look and statement. It did not mean they thought themselves second class. It’s that they knew they were a very different (some thought superior) gender, and revelled both in the interior psychological and external (clothing, makeup) manifestations of it.

“5. Because it is slightly more ‘uncomfortable’ to wear dressy clothes (even for a man), does that mean one shouldn’t – particularly in business and to some degree generally in public spaces? The trade-off is that I often feel psychologically ‘better’ wearing smarter clothes. And I do at times enjoy making a fashion statement. And many people (men as well as women) do not at all think it uncomfortable. They like to look nice and hate appearing shabbily dressed.

“6. As for the ‘mystique’ that certain feminine garments and undergarments have taken on, it is unfortunate that it has come to this. I wish for no ‘epiphany’, I’d love to see this in everyday life.

“7. Yes, I may get tired of Christmas every day. I never get tired of looking at an elegantly dressed woman. Never.”