Suspenders and garters: a matter of language

– I’m intrigued by the different effect on me of the word ‘suspender’ and the transatlantic ‘garter’. If I read, or especially hear from the woman, the word suspender or suspender belt, I get a strong erotic charge, just from the sound. I don’t, however, get the same feeling from garter or garter belt – even though they are the same thing. I guess the sound and the meaning become woven together early on in life. What do others think?

– Same here! I know just what you mean. For some reason the word ‘garters’ or ‘garter belt’ just don’t do anything for me, even though I know exactly what they mean. On the other hand, the words ‘suspenders’, ‘sussies’ or ‘suspender belt’, whether in print or spoken (particularly by a woman) cause me instant and intense arousal. I’m glad you’ve brought this point up, because I thought I was the only one. Any more comments on this theme, anyone?

– I agree with both of you. Mention of suspenders, suspender belts and sussies quickly turns me on, but garters and garter belts only produce mild “excitement”. I also agree that it is even more of a turn on when the various references to suspenders are spoken by women, or written by women in postings here or in the chat zone.

I think the phrase which has me feeling erotic in an instant is “my stockings are very heavily suspendered”. Thoughts of stocking tops stretched heavily by extremely taut suspenders immediately invade my imagination. Funny that “my stockings are very heavily gartered” don’t have the same effect!

– To me, I’d always heard the term garter belt. I had never heard the term suspenders until a British lady working in a lingerie shop in Phoenix introduced me to the term. I thought wow, that’s different and I guess appropriate. But I like the term garter and garter belt best.

– Can you imagine being “turned on” when a women tells you she’s wearing braces? Probably not. But, here in the USA, suspenders are what you call braces in the UK.

We in the USA recognise the term for the article of lingerie which holds up a woman’s stockings as a garterbelt. On the other hand, we recognise the term for the accessory which holds up a man’s pants as “suspenders.”

“Sussies” is a uniquely British term and it seems to me only natural that hearing it (especially from a woman) would stimulate the imagination (and some other of the nether regions) of an Englishman. However, to my American ear, a beautiful woman telling me that she is wearing suspenders only brings to mind a somewhat masculine image of a woman wearing what you call braces. Decidedly unerotic wouldn’t you agree?

I know that when I have read British erotica and have encountered the term “suspenders” it has had a somewhat cooling effect. Not the effect I was hoping for. I imagine it must be the same for my counterpart on your side of the pond when you read American erotica and in the middle of an especially heated passage find the term “garterbelt”

Someone once observed that the English and the Americans were two great peoples separated by a common language. I don’t even want to tell you of my problems with “knickers” and “waspies!”

– I’m a Canadian with a British lover. Always I have heard the term ‘garterbelt’. But since my lover is practically in love with stockings and suspenders, I’ve probably heard this term far more times in the last year and a half than I’ve heard ‘garterbelt’ over all the years prior.

I now find that I often use the word suspender when I’m in Canada and end up constantly having to translate myself! I will admit I love the sound of the word ‘stockings’. It feels a bit like saying the word cabernet or syrah. With these one can almost taste the word. With stockings one can almost feel them. I have to bail on ‘sussies’ though. It seems a pet name to which this foreigner is not entitled.

– For me, a garter suggests the old-style elastic around a leg, and so that reduces the erotic effect of the word. As for the US dislike of ‘knickers’, I would point out that for us ‘underpants’ is extremely non-erotic, since over here it means a man’s underwear. Here we could compromise on ‘panties’, I suggest. But I part company with my fellow Brits in disliking the word ‘sussies’. Too flimsy a word, making me picture a bit of elastic round the waist with thin, ribbony straps. A woman can’t be ‘heavily’ or ‘tautly’ suspendered (a turn-on, I quite agree) when she’s wearing sussies!

– Like some of the other US-based posters, the term garterbelt was all I heard when growing up. There was something illicit in saying the word, let alone thinking about it. I am too young to recall when they were the norm, so therefore they were a racy item. Since I have been posting here, I have gotten used to the term suspender belt, but find it a little off-putting.

As for knickers, they are what little boys used to wear before being old enough for long pants. A shortening of the word “knickerbocker”. Also a long lost term for residents of New York, if I remember my early American history. They were also a horrid fashion fad for women in the early ’80s. Ugh. Now, I think of tap pants when I think of knickers.

And maybe I’m a bit prudish here, kids, but I can’t stand the word ‘panties’! Just saying it makes me feel a little fruity! I’ll stick with underwear, or undies, for short.

– You are quite right about the American sense of the word “knickers”. I would remind readers here in the USA that the most common use of the word these days is as the name of an American basketball team, the New York Knicks (short, as pointed out, for knickerbockers ie new yorkers).

My problem with the term “knickers” is that, when I read or hear it, somewhere in my consciousness I am plagued with mental images of seven foot tall African-American males taking layup shots while wearing panties! This is, at least for me, a disturbing rather than erotic image.

I have no problem with the word “panties”. From my earliest memories I can recall the mystery and excitement, the forbidden image of panties. Lace, satin, sheer, white, cream-coloured, baby blue, open crotch, tied at the side with satin bows, black and bewitching, red and slightly dangerous, panties were the holy grail. When I saw them on an attractive girl by accident the stimulation was powerful and immediate. When I was shown them by an attractive lady on purpose softly nestling against her treasures I was in heaven. In my mind panties and stockings go together like cigars and cognac, wine and roses or Mercedes and Benz.

“Undies” is the term my grandmother used for her laundry. “Underwear” is too masculine for me to use when referring to women’s lingerie. It conjures either my mother telling me to “pick up your underwear” or the men’s sections of countless retailers. Ah, but “lingerie” now there’s a word that starts the blood racing: lingerie. How it flows from the tongue… lingerie. Probably France’s greatest contribution to our culture since the can-can. I could wax poetic about women in fine lingerie.

Its clearly a matter of conditioning, probably dating from our early childhood, with a clear and marked transatlantic divide. When I hear or read Americans referring to women’s ‘underpants’ the effect is ghastly, as I am sure all British and Australian contributors will wholeheartedly agree. ‘Panties’ is acceptable, but, without doubt, to my ears ‘knickers’ is far, far more erotic. In England, ‘knickers’ is far and away the most frequent expression. I have never once heard a woman refer to her underwear as anything other than her knickers. The question is, ladies, what do you call yours?

Wearing stockings for the first time

Stockings in the car“My wife is very attractive, but very shy, and modest. She owned a ‘slutty’ perspective toward stockings before receiving new Aubade and Lou lingerie, and 10 denier Aristoc stockings, I bought her.

“She wore my gifts to dinners, and to a dance club on our ‘dates’. She commented on how elegant, and sexy she felt. She had anticipated feeling uncomfortable in a garter belt and stockings, but acknowledged surprise in the comfort of her new-found elegance.

“However, she was reluctant to wear stockings to work instead of pantyhose. While I respected her choices, she was aware I’d like her to wear stockings everyday.

“Yesterday she said she’d wear stockings and lingerie if I’d pick her up at her office and take her to lunch. She wore 2” Mary-Jane pumps, a blue plaid skirt, and a matching blue sweater for a ‘school-girl’ look, with ‘nude’ 10 denier. Aristocs.

“When I picked her up for lunch she was excited about a pair of compliments about her attire. Since she was dressed down ‘in school-girl attire’, I asked her if she’d flashed a stocking top. She denied knowingly flashing, but told me how sexy she felt.

“We drove to a secluded spot next to the river at a park close to her office. I had anticipated a glimpse of her welt and a touch of the thigh before lunching on the cheese and turkey cuts I picked up at the deli. I suggested a “quickie”, but expected the usual turn down because of the risk of exposure.

“To my surprise my wife smiled and nodded. We risked being caught enjoying a ‘nooner’ in the front seat of my car. In 20 years of wedded bliss, this was the first time my very proper and shy wife agreed to make love outside the privacy of our bedroom.

“My wife went back to pantyhose today, but said she is going to wear stockings again next week if I’ll meet her for lunch.”

“On Thursday evening I treated myself to a new lingerie set from M&S (including a suspender belt) along with a few pairs of stockings in different shades and decided to try the stockings on Friday evening to the staff Christmas party. At first I felt undressed underneath, but I felt fresher and remarkably warm, except when we went outside to go home.

“I managed to keep them a secret from hubby that evening, he was watching a late TV programme when I got in, so I decided they would be his extra Christmas present. I managed to get changed for Midnight Mass whilst he was in the bath. I decided to wear my new black suit with my dark overcoat which I would take off in the church. Since it was so cold I decided to wear my new knee length boots as well. I must say that I felt very comfortable throughout the service, although now and again I was distracted by thinking how many of the women there were planning to seduce their men once home!

“My hubby was still oblivious by the time we got home, although he had commented on the boots and the glimpse of black leg between boot and skirt. I took my coat off and went for his other presents whilst he poured us drinks. Whilst we were talking and unwrapping gifts, I gradually let my skirt ride up my leg. Well, once he spotted the stocking top, he was uncontrollable. I shall leave the rest to your imagination. He wanted me to wear stockings again today, but we were going to be with lots of folk, and I think I shall give him time to get used to them in semi-privacy.”

How to stop garter belts falling down

Garter BeltI read the article on suspender/garter belts and how to avoid stockings from coming down during the day. However simply by wearing longer stockings does not necessarily cure this problem. I have a narrow elastic belt with 4 garters that clip at the back (and I clip them VERY tightly) . It is the belt itself that works itself down during the course of the day. Even if my stockings reach the top of the thighs, they will still be a couple of inches lower later in the day. Any other solutions?

– Well, it could be that you have the tension pulled so tightly on the garters as to begin the process of having the belt begin to pull. I have learned that garters don’t need to be pulled all that tight, in order for the stockings to stay up. This is opposed to an open bottom girdle, which needs the tension to keep the girdle from creeping up…

I also found that when I was wearing one of those flimsy lacy garterbelts the pull of the stockings was too much for them. Since I have switched to a pull-on style belt made of Lycra and cotton, no more problem.

And one mention about the stockings themselves: I wear the old-style RHTs with virtually no give. They still tend to ride down a little bit over the course of the day. When I am visiting the rest room I give them a little smoothing to pull and excess which may have made it’s way down to my shoe. (This is one reason why I undo my stockings when I am answering the call. Perfect time to take care of this! )

– The top of the belt i.e. the body, should be non-stretch and preferably more cotton then synthetics. It should be sitting comfortably over the hip and once in place, there should be no real need to adjust it. The straps have to be long enough to reach to wherever you find it comfortable to attach the stockings.

I normally take a little extra care when putting on the stockings in order to ensure that everything lines up, the attachments feel correct and that nothing moves or pulls around.

Remember it is the straps that hold the stockings in position, and they do not necessarily have to apply huge amounts of upward pull.

If this happens then it means that the stockings are too short, and more then likely will be uncomfortable and will require constant tugging and pulling.

– You have too much tension on the suspenders. There should be some slack so they keep up when you stand and the stockings then won’t pull the belt down when you bend or sit down. Even if you have a flimsy narrow elastic belt, this should work. If you are at work, the next time you are on the toilet, take time to adjust the suspenders while you are sitting – you will be able to feel the tension at the back. Make sure you wear the belt above your waist. Having said that, stockings WILL come down somewhat during the day so adjust them in private moments.

– The best solution is a wide, pull on garterbelt with the rear garters well to the back.

They are very comfortable, stay in place, and garter the stockings tautly. Unlike some other responses, I prefer good tension on my garters. I love the gentle leg massage that comes with every step when the stockings are fastened tautly.

– I have worn open bottomed girdles on and off for many years. They always stay up and certainly don’t work their way down plus they do a wonderful job of shaping. If you haven’t had experience of them before, here are some things to look out for which may cause you problems:

  1. If your skirt is tight-ish, open bottomed girdles produce an unsightly girdle line. Always wear loose skirts.
  2. The only way to go to the bathroom is to roll the girdle down. If you are even slightly sweaty, this is quite difficult. Many women decide not to wear underwear for this reason.
  3. All girdles make you very hot especially when the weather is warm. In the summer I really only wear them to formal occasions indoors where there is air conditioning.

Producing fully fashioned stockings on modern machines

fully fashioned stockings– Is it really not possible to produce FF’s on modern round-knitting machinery? Okay, I’m not talking about “genuine” FF’s but rather a quality that comes as close as possible in terms of feel and look of the original thing, aka non-stretch and 100% nylon.

– Anything can be made less expensively if there are sufficient volumes. It’s a case of creating enough demand and then machine manufacturers would quickly design machines to produce them and the prices would fall.

– As far as I know, this is true. I understand that the machines that make hose these days use a different blend of nylon thread than what was used on the flat knitting machine. However, if there’s money to be made, someone will build a better mousetrap.

– It all depends on the thin thread of what is “close” and what is not. True, original fully fashioned stockings were made by knitting a flat (what could be described as a butterfly) leg, then the leg is closed by knitting the piece together to form a leg and the seam results.

That is why a FF stocking stretches to accommodate the width of a leg but does not stretch in height. If anything, if a leg is full, it will shorten the length of the stocking in order to accommodate – never the opposite.

Modern machines (circular) have a multi-directional stretch capability. This is why, in my opinion, modern stockings with seams are more difficult to keep straight than those made on the original machines.

“Garter belt” pantyhose: atrocity?

lack-Garter-Belt-Look-Pantyhose-large– I was shopping for stockings yesterday and the salesperson offered me a pair of “garter belt” pantyhose which I’d never seen before. I’m sure most of you are familiar with these. They are open, one-piece pantyhose which, when they’re on, sort of take on the appearance of stockings and a garter belt. I put the emphasis on SORT OF. The salesperson was actually wearing a pair and lifted her skirt to show me. She tried to sell me the idea that they had the best qualities of both stockings and pantyhose such as comfort, ease of putting on and off, simplicity when going to the bathroom, etc. She failed to mention how unsexy they look! I passed and bought REAL stockings! Has anyone ever worn these atrocities?

– Before I got a PC, I always had a hard time finding real stockings here in Kansas, the heart of the Bible Belt. I used to buy those things and cut the “garters” off and just use the stocking part with my own garter belts. Not very silky or sexy but it worked. Thank God for the net!

– I particularly find suspender stockings (as we call them in the UK) very sexy. Why has it all to be just plain nylon stockings? There’s a whole world out there of sexy and nice hosiery to discover, guys. If look at it under a different light, you’ll see that hold-ups, and suspender tights can be as sexy as stockings. It all depends on the lady who’s wearing them… 🙂

On the other hand, I must admit I DO hate tights, as they are the symbol of anti-feminism and bad taste, let alone the practical side of it. A pair of nice legs must always be complimented by a pair of nice stockings, hold-ups or suspender tights.

– I agree on this one folks. My girlfriend wears these sometimes and it drives me wild. But I would still prefer a garterbelt and stockings any day because you can’t beat the sexiness of watching a lady put on or take off stockings, or better yet, taking them off yourself.

I also find them sexy. They are a nice substitute for the “real thing” and some women prefer them. So instead of trying to push the real thing on them, I’d be happy to accept this substitute… suspender tights or garterhose or whatever you want to call them, they’re simply not as evil as pantyhose as people here seem to think they are! Anyway, just my opinion 🙂