Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Painted-on stocking seams: a reader question response

Reader d'Arcy writes: "I would like to request a post about stockings (wasn't there a phase of actually painting the seam onto bare legs?).. I am curious about this trend and it's roots."

The history of hosiery is truly fascinating to the fashionista, but the era of painted-on-stocking-seams is one of the most compelling subjects. Stockings were made of silk until 1939 when nylons were invented, just in time for World War II to begin and divert all nylon production to the war effort. Because nylons were not available and women wanted to show their patriotism, but still wanted that sexy stockings look, they began painting the seams on their legs (seamless stockings had not yet been invented, and let's just face it... they lack that "certain something" that old-school seamed stockings have).

In the 1990's when rockabilly culture saw a resurgence on the West Coast of the US, young women began having stocking seams permanently tattooed on their legs.

For tips on how to paint your own stocking seams, check out this excerpt from How To Walk in High Heels: The Girl's Guide to Everything, by Camilla Morton.

Thank you for your question, d'Arcy, and I hope this was helpful!

Also, my InStyle magazine (that I have somehow been getting for free for several months without ever subscribing!) promises me that bold hosiery will be the trend for fall! I can't wait! Now hopefully the temperature in L.A. will drop below 75 degrees sometime this fall or winter so I can partake of all the glorious colorful tights!

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