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!).”

The hosiery/attraction trade-off

– How many men out there are willing to ‘compromise’ other features they may find not so attractive in a woman if the woman wears hosiery or otherwise dresses-up? For example she may not have as attractive a face or she may be too slight or overweight or her personality may leave a few things to be desired. Would you excuse these factors for the fact she wears nylons? I’m inclined to think I would and it may make 30-40% difference. However I do know women who always wear nylons and are always well-dressed and it still doesn’t matter.

– Gotta be honest. As much as I love stockings, it’s the girl I’m interested in. When I was younger I did it a few times. There was one girl with whom I was acting in a play with, who I caught in the dressing room (by accident) adjusting her hold ups. She wasn’t particularly attractive but the stockings did all the right things for me, so I set my sights on her and to cut a very long story short ended up in bed with her a couple of weeks later. What I failed to realize was that she was a human being that had genuine feelings for me, and I was only interested in the fact that she wore stockings every now again. As a result I hurt her quite badly, which I bitterly regret doing.

Now I’m getting married in four weeks time to a woman who I love very much. She doesn’t share my enthusiasm for the subject. But she does understand, and I’d take her over any girl that wears stockings day in day out. The reason… there’s more to a relationship than sex. Ultimately our fascination with women’s legs and hosiery is sexual… I know mine is!

I am coming up on my second wedding anniversary this fall, and I am happier every day! It’s unfortunate that you had to go through such a heart-rending breakup, but it’s important to learn for yourself the things that will make you happy and fulfill you. Earning the trust and devotion of the woman you love is more valuable than anything.

Advice on washing stockings

Stockings in LondonI have an interesting arrangement with my girlfriend. She has agreed to wear stockings (sometimes) if I wash them for her. I bought a hosiery washing bag from a lingerie shop, but wasn’t sure if it’s okay to wash them in the washing machine or if I should do it by hand. Any advice? And can I dry them in a dryer or do they need to be hung up to dry?

Any assistance is really appreciated… I have quite a few pairs of stockings and hold-ups to wash for her. Also for the hold-ups (that have the rubbery band on the inside), are they okay to wash in the washing machine or is it better for hand-washing? And how would I use the hosiery washing bag, do I just put the stockings inside and then throw the whole thing into the washing machine? Do I have to wash these in the machine by themselves or do I just wash them with other clothes (is there a specific cycle to use)?

  • I’d say wash them by hand, as they are far too delicate to put in the washing machine even in a lingerie bag. I use Delicare hand wash on my stockings and I wear FF’s. I also use it on my underwire bras and garter belt. Get a little hanging drying rack with little clips on it if you can find one, they are terrific for drying stockings. I hope this helps.
  • The only hosiery which is washing machine friendly is 70 denier tights. Hopefully you won’t encounter any of those.
  • I always wash my stockings and hold-ups by hand in mild detergent. It is very important not to use conditioner on the hold-ups as it will harm the bands. Just hang them by the toes on the washing line to dry.

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*