Monthly Archives: March 2012

“Legs Made Sexy – How To Wear Stockings”

“Johnny, I mean, if the sound of a woman’s nylon stockings swishing together, swish… swish, makes a sound that drives men crazy… why hide it? All a woman has to do is rub her thighs together to produce an exquisite friction.” (Helen Gurley Brown talking to Johnny Carson)

To properly wear stockings, you need a garter belt, or suspender as they are called in Europe. Good garter belts are comfortable and don’t cost much more than the little lacy ones that are not practical for long wear. Worn on top of the hip, garter belts are usually 4 to 6 inches in length; measured from top to bottom (this measurement does not include the straps). The 8-inch garter belt has recently become popular. Wider garter belts, called full or girdlette (10 to 12 inches), can offer support for the waistline. Girdles, corsets and waist cinchers are other articles of lingerie that can have straps for stockings. You can easily incorporate stockings with different lingerie.

The straps from the garter belt attach to the stocking by clasps. The more straps, the better. The more straps used, the smoother the stocking will look and on that rare occasion a clasp breaks, there would be no sag in your stocking. Metal clasps are better than plastic ones. Be sure the straps are adjustable so you can custom fit the amount of tension on the stocking. Most stockings have a top area that is thicker than the stocking itself. This is called the Welt and the clasps are attached to the welt. Don’t substitute thigh highs for stockings because the thick rubber can bend the clasps. Stretch stocking wearers can use a four-strap garter belt but non-stretch stockings work better with at least six straps.

A good starting point for strap adjustment is to make the back straps 2 inches longer than the front straps and 1 inch longer than the side straps. Some garter belts are cut / shaped longer in the back than in the front to help in this area because when you sit down there is a farther distance to go on your back side to reach the stocking. When standing, there should be a slight pull on the stockings but the word here is slight (over pull will either damage the stocking or cause the garter belt to slide down). If you are wearing stretch stockings, you can keep the straps tighter, letting the stocking do some of the give.

The first few times you wear stockings, wear them around the house for a while before you leave to be sure you have everything adjusted properly. If you are wearing a short skirt, be sure to sit down and see if the stockings are long enough.

The most important rule is: don’t look at the pictures. If you wear panties, put them on LAST. Think about going to the bathroom. If you have your stockings and garter belt over your panties, then you have to remove everything to go to the bathroom.

Rules for stockings are the same as for pantyhose: No jagged finger nails and toe nails. Remove rings if they are not smooth. Hands should be smooth or wear hosiery gloves. Roll the stocking down into an O-shape, place your thumbs inside, and then start unrolling it over the foot and up the leg (pointing toes, foot forward helps). Hand wash them by gently swishing and squeezing the stockings (don’t rub or twist) in lukewarm water using a product like Woolite (another great product is Hosiery Mate, and you don’t need to rinse). Rinse in clean water, gently squeezing. Then lay it out flat on a towel to dry (room temperature, away from direct heat). You can also use a drying tree.

To keep your stockings from twisting, attach the straps straight down from the garter belt and attach the back straps first. This helps to keep the stocking straight (even ones without a seam). If you are wearing seamed stockings, place the back strap in line with the seam (seamed stockings are best worn with 6 or more straps which will keep the seam straight). Try sitting down, which makes it easier to attach the back straps. Another trick is not to pull the garter belt all the way up until you have attached the straps to the stockings. Better yet, have a “friend,”spouse/partner attach the back strap for you. If you are wearing Full Fashion stockings, do not put the clasp in the finishing hole (this is a weak area of the stocking).

Most Internet sites that sell stockings give very good information about their stockings and sizing but you may have to try different brands/styles to get the perfect fit. So don’t buy six pairs because you get a price break until you know they fit properly. Also, if you go to any quality vintage store, most of the sales people are very knowledgeable and can offer you some great advice on how to properly select your stocking size.

Oak Tree Vintage hopes you enjoyed the second in a series of many posts to come on “Legs Made Sexy.”  Be sure you visit our online store at and doll up with some of our products.



Leg’s Made Sexy

We all love the many varieties of nylon stockings, pantyhose and thigh highs to add some sexy to our wardrobe. My favorite, as is that of many lovely ladies, is the back seamed thigh high stocking. What a way to add some “run your eyes up this” to a curve hugging pencil skirt. They are stylish, classy and sexy in any combination or simply a la carte… for hungry eyes only! Here’s a short history of our favorite accessory – the stocking.
Stocking materials – the sexy nylon stocking is born

In the late 1800’s the use of wool gave way to cotton, and by 1929 the vast majority of stocking production was in silk. Then at Du Pont laboratories came Dr Wallace Carrothers momentous discovery – nylon! Carrothers was a brilliant polymer chemist with a rather turbulent private life that led to fits of depression. Nevertheless his development of what was initially known as polyamide 6-6 with its extremely high melting point revolutionized women’s lives!

At the end of the Second World War nylon manufacture was geared back to the mass production of nylons. The demand was enormous – in 1945 Macy’s sold out of its entire stock of 50,000 pairs of nylon stockings in six hours!

Stocking designs

The nylon seamed stockings were generally of the fully fashioned variety – that is the machine used to make then was designed to drop stitches where needed so that the leg was not simply a tube but was narrowed at the ankle and widened at the thigh. The flat material was therefore designed to fit the leg snugly, when wrapped and stitched down the back to produce the seam. Of course nylon (and its predecessors) does not have stretch so it became necessary to manufacture stockings in a variety of foot length and leg lengths.

Until the end of the second world war stockings were in short supply. Because the tell-tale sign of a fully fashioned stocking is the back seam, so it was common for ladies to use an eyebrow pencil to create an artificial seam up the back of their leg to simulate a genuine stocking!

Seamless stockings

The invention of the circular stitching machine enabled the advent of seamless stockings which by 1950 had surpassed the seamed stocking in popularity. However sizing was still an issue and, because they do not stretch, it is common to find some bagging behind the knees and at the ankles with both the original seamed and newer seamless stockings from this era. This was all to change in 1959 when lycra, also known as spandex arrived. For the first time one size could fit a variety of legs, snugly and without bagging.

Pantyhose or stockings?

The advent of the ‘swinging sixties’ brought the hemlines so short that comedians would joke that it was less of a skirt and more of a broad belt. There was a brief time when stocking tops were frequently on show before pantyhose or tights took the hosiery world by storm. However it is the sensual nylon stocking that still holds the affection of most men – and an admittedly lesser percentage of women. Of course any woman who has been fortunate enough to feel the silky smoothness of the original fifties flat knit stocking cannot fail to fall under the spell of these wispy nylons.

Oak Tree Vintage hopes you enjoyed 1 of many posts to come on “Legs Made Sexy.”  Be sure you visit our online store at and doll up with some of our products.