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

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