Red and black: the colours of sin?

– My husband will not buy me stockings or lingerie unless I suggest something to him. He will not pick out anything for me as he is worried I won’t like it. Admittedly I do have my own taste in clothing, I love the colours, teal, turquoise, pink, mint green, so I tend to pick almost all my clothing around those.

How would I even begin to encourage him to pick out something for me in the way of lingerie or stockings? He won’t touch the computer himself and he made the statement “I’m not going to buy lingerie, I’m not like that…” How do I begin to help him see that just buying lingerie or stockings for me does not go against his religious beliefs?

– What religious beliefs would buying lingerie for you violate for your husband? Can you be more specific? You have said before that he has a religious bias against some colours. If he has religion-based objections to lingerie and stockings what is his basis for them? Is he citing a scripture passage? What is the passage?

If you are going to help him understand his “problem” he’s got to be able to do more than simply say, “that’s wrong” or “I don’t do things like that.” Try to get him to explain this to you in biblical terms. But ask him gently and with respect or you will make him defensive. Having him articulate his position will help him to see flaws in it.

– I know he associates the colours red and black with sin. I can’t give you any Bible verses that he has cited, because he really hasn’t used any. I think his objections are more of a personal nature. I know he was raised in a Lutheran church and from my own dad being raised in a Lutheran church I do know they had some strict beliefs but I don’t know the specifics.

– I hope you will permit one specific question. I am not a Christian, but nonetheless I am very interested in Christian beliefs, and am asking this WITHOUT intending criticism or mockery.

Why is it that the colours red and black, specifically are associated with “sin”? Surely all colours are part of nature, and therefore part of the design of the creator of the world (which Christians call “God”) I can understand the association of “scarlet” with sex, (ie the Scarlet Woman of Revelations) but not all red. And black is the colour worn by clergymen…

– You make a good point, about the colours of red and black. They are indeed part of nature. In my case I think my skin tone is just terribly pale for black and it tends to make me look too pale. My mom used to dress me in red a lot as a little girl so when now I just don’t care for the colour red. In many Christians’ minds is red is associated with the devil, as he is dressed in red as the artists portray him.

– Just a quick thought about your resistance to wearing red anymore and why black stockings do not look well on your legs.

You should get a colour chart that defines the “season” that is you, which is based on your hair colour and more importantly your skin colour.

The colour red in lingerie (or any other clothing) can be anything from a true-red to a cherry-red, or an orange-red to a blood-red.

You mentioned you have pale skin, which already suggest that your colouring is the season of “winter”, which means that you should only seek out “true reds”. Any other shade will make your skin colour look strange. Black (obviously being the opposite of your pale skin) does not work, but off-black stockings or grey would.

You also mentioned pastel colours and pale shades of stockings as preferences in earlier posts. These can work well if the colour “values” are correct for your season.

Men should also pay attention to their “season” when selecting clothes – most don’t.

The preoccupation with black hosiery

Black StockingsOne of the things that I can’t quite figure out in the history of modern hosiery is why the colour black became so omnipresent. It began in the mid-1980s and continues without constraint to the present day. Mind you we have seen a resurgence in sheer flesh-toned nylons of late particularly for spring/summer. But black still seems to hold sway most of the time. From the 1940s through to the 80s flesh-toned or nude stockings ruled the day. Black was worn only for funerals or by old Italian women perpetually in mourning. Then black took over. Why? I have some theories – that black covers a multiude of sins (women don’t have shave their legs as much, black covers embarrassing bruises or veins, black has a slimming effect). Perhaps some women can enlighten.

– I think the three theories you mention at the end of your post are all true, particularly the one about hiding a multitude of sins. In my early 20s when I was working in high end retail, we were all required to wear either dresses or suits every day. Most of the time we wore plain black skirts and black heels, so that we could get more than one day’s worth of wear out of the skirt. I recall my reason at the time for wearing black hose was that I considered it a little more sophisticated looking – short black skirt, heels; flesh tone seemed out of place.

Also, with Boston winters, you got used to wearing black. Where I worked, black came out of the closet in September, and didn’t go back in until June.

Having switched from hose to stockings I’ve discovered that fleshtone is easier to keep, and you cannot tell where the snags are. I’ve discovered in my old age that now I actually prefer my legs in fleshtone stockings. Perhaps I’ve gained a little wisdom over the years?

– I have to agree with you. Up until 12 months ago the only skintone stockings I wore were ones with contrasting black or red seams. About 90% of my hosiery was black. I guess it was because my generation was brought up on black opaque tights. Over the past 12 months I have gradually switched to skintone (although I still wear black for a special occasion) which not only do I find very flattering, but as you say, the snags don’t show.

– I’ve noticed that there is black and then there is black when it comes to hosiery. Some blacks look bloody awful, while other blacks look okay. I think the difference is a combination of denier and the actual dye.

I think that the dark plum colour is a far more practical colour as it works with Navy, but I am not sure what goes best with a black outfit.

On Monday my wife came out ready for work wearing a black mid-calf dress, white blouse and black jacket but wearing brand new black stockings. I couldn’t help but tell her she looked like a Nun from the 1950s, so she went and changed to flesh coloured stockings, and agreed that she hadn’t tried that brand before and they belonged in the bin.

– I think most of us follow the fashion trend. On one occasion when I looked into the mirror about 18 months ago, my legs in black, did not impress me at all. Black has a strange sensation of actually making the legs appear thicker, especially around the calf area. With today’s high class fashions, a large percentage of women seem to go for a “black with everything” look. I only own two pairs of black stockings which I wear very rarely. Light shades enhance the legs, and my personal favourites are light tan and mid tan.

– Actually, if anyone is interested in my random trivia, I believe I’ve read somewhere that black stockings at one point were the cheapest colour to buy. Therefore they were the ones that many streewalkers and women of ill repute would wear.

As for the modern preoccupation with black, I agree with everything said so far, but I think there are subconscious reasons. For example, black is the colour of the night and the archetypal colour of the femme fatale. Of course, my practical reason is that I can only buy FF stockings online, and my skin colour is very difficult to match, being naturally dark, so I safely stick to black. *sigh*