A history of hosiery

Stockings have become synonymous with suggestive style. Here’s how hose went from chaste to racy…

Stockings Katy PearsonKnitted stockings (of cotton and wool and sometimes silk) were worn by both men and women until long trousers became the choice de rigueur for chaps in the 18th century. It was at this time that stockings came to be thought of as exclusively for women.

Throughout the puritanical Victorian era even seeing a glimpse of bare leg was “enough to bring on a touch of the vapours,” writes Sarah Roberts in The Stocking Book. A lady, quite simply, would never been seen in public without her stockings (though her stockings would never actually be seen). Indeed Ambrose Bierce in 1850 described a garter as “an elastic band intended to keep a woman from coming out of her stockings and desolating the country.” Continue reading


My chat with Chris Packham

He has been called the successor to Sir David Attenborough, but I discover naturalist Chris Packham isn’t afraid to be outspoken…

Chris Packham

Chris Packham

Chris Packham is not one to pull his punches. We’ve been chatting mere minutes and the stalwart of Springwatch has already condemned the perils of overpopulation, ruminated on oppressive regimes and faced up to the imminent extinction of tigers in the wild. I can barely keep up. Yet the most striking thing about the presenter is his passion – this is not a chap who is afraid to be heard in his quest to make a difference. I ask what is the greatest wildlife crisis affecting the world today. Continue reading