Guess what we are celebrating today, girls? The National Stockings Day! Yes, it’s a fabulous occasion to dress up your pins and feel like a woman (and look like every man’s dream, too).
The idea was introduced by Charnos Hosiery to encourage women to embrace their sensuality as well as raise money in aid of breast cancer care (£1.00 of every pair of Ava, Katharine or Marilyn stockings sold between Monday 17th and Sunday 23rd October will be donated).
This year is a special one for Charnos because the company is also celebrating its 75th anniversary and introducing six new designs of stockings, tights and hold-ups to commemorate the occasion.
The collection is inspired by some of the most beautiful and influential women including Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, Katharine Hepburn, Betty Grable, Brigitte Bardot and Ava Gardner. Marilyn hold-ups with tiny bow and pearl details, beautifully dotted Brigitte and classic Katharine are the ones I’d personally choose.
I believe that a woman can feel absolutely gorgeous or totally horrible depending on what hosiery she wears.
The French were the ones who recognised the beauty of the garment and turn them into a fashion accessory – at first the stockings were made of soft leather, but later suede, silk and velvet lavishly decorated with gold embroidery were produced for a special few.
In 1589 William Lee, the vicar of Calverton, invented the knitting machine that was able to produce beautiful silk stockings. A pair of hosiery was later presented to Queen Elizabeth I who was absolutely delighted with the gift, but refused to give a patent to Lee. The vicar moved to France where he died before the know-how was officially registered.
The popularity of stockings was growing all over Europe from Italy and France to England and Russia where the expensive hosiery became an essential part of a luxury lifestyle.
In 1938 DuPont introduced “thin as spider web” nylons with an unforgettable detail – a back seam, so sexy and flirty that women had to draw it on their legs with a pencil during WWII when the stockings were out of production.
In 1960s stockings were replaced by tights that were more suitable for mini-skirts and rock-in-roll lifestyle.
These days were are simply spoilt for choice: classic colours, brights, fishnets, patterns and prints, barely there lycra or cashmere luxury – now women have a weapon to visually reshape their legs, hide minor flaws, stay warm or tease men’s imagination.
It’s just one of our secrets that’s worth an entire post and a celebration.
Photo source: Natasha Poly in Vogue Paris June/July 2009 (photography: Terry Richardson)