Hosiery: Satan’s Sausage Casing or Modern Marvel
Hosiery has been long been a staple in the women’s wardrobe. I don’t know about you… but the words “hosiery”, “pantyhose”, “stockings”, and even sometimes “tights” evoke this sense of utter despair and frustration deep within the bowels of my soul.
Pantyhose dispensed from those plastic eggs traumatized me. I know I’m not alone! You know what I’m talking about. I see you nodding. Dare I even mutter the phrase “Queen size control top”. Devil’s work I tell you! Remember that infamous swishing sound when you walked! Or the constant rolling down? How ’bout that little cotton thing in the crotch. Really?
Do I wear underwear with it or don’t I? I don’t know. I grew up doughy in the middle and more developed than other girls my age; so, my mom introduced me early on. If you didn’t pick up on it already…it left a lasting impression.
Imagine my excitement when women in the ’90s started to nix pantyhose and go bare leg. Oh, the humanity! I finally wasn’t so much of an outcast ripping off my sausage casing in the bathroom at family events. (Think Idgie Threadgoode from Fried Green Tomatoes) Except for certain industries, no one thinks twice about it now. They aren’t even on millennial women’s radar. I feel like its akin to my grandfather’s “I had to walk 5 miles to school in the snow” stories.
Now, originally I sat down to write a product review on hosiery, and you see how I’ve already deviated. I took myself down a rabbit hole. It appears I clearly had some feelings about this. So, I was curious. What the hell happened in hosiery between my grandmother’s era and mine? Every woman wore it back then. It was a not only a fashion staple but a social expectation for a polished look among women.
I remember both my grandmothers telling me stories of The Great Depression. Ladies couldn’t afford new stockings. Once they could no longer mend the ones they had, they drew lines on the back of their legs to mimic the seamed stockings of the era. Must have been super important to take ink to skin for the sake of adhering to a public dress code. Or what my grandmother called having decorum.
Gone are the days of walking sausage casings.
In the late 1950’s something new was on the market…pantyhose. No more squeezing into girdles. No need to attach stockings to a garter (aka suspender) belt. (Which come to find out, every woman hated as much as we hate pantyhose now). This new invention combined 3 garments into 1 easy pull-on garment. Ladies reveled in this invention for decades. Every teen & woman had at least one pair up until the ’90s.
Yep, you remember Jazzercise. Couldn’t leave those hose home at home could ya! Oh, the ’80’s. Let’s get physical. Physical.
Dress codes became more and more lax. Women shed the fashion expectation of hose and embraced the trouser sock. This trend continued to the present where workplaces are opting for a more casual dress code. The view on hosiery seems to fall into 3 categories these days: date night attire, retro fashions, or fetish/fantasy.
It seems to be the same cycle throughout the decades though. Love turns to expectation turns to hate. You find an alternative and same thing. Sounds like some relationships we’ve been in right?!
I find that it may be coming full circle again. Technological advances in fabric manufacturing and construction make modern hosiery options way more durable and comfortable than its predecessors. Suspender belts included. These advances make hosiery a viable fashion staple again. At differing price points, deniers (fabric thickness), sizes, styles, colorways, & accessories… hosiery can be fun & expressive! Gone are the days of walking sausage casings.
"It allows me to express myself in different ways."
This die-hard anti-hose wearer has added it to her dressing ritual most days (#weltwednesday), and I can honestly say I love it. It allows me to express myself in different ways. Personally, I choose stockings paired with suspender belts or hold-ups. I feel more feminine and I find I get more compliments on my outfits when I wear them. If I’m being honest, I do carry myself a little differently on those days. Plus, I get to ask for dressing help from The Perky Man from time to time. It is our little secret, and those little bonding moments carry us through the day.