Mar 18

I’m Not The Man I Used To Be

I'm Not The Man I Used To Be, transgender bookI’m Not The Man I Used To Be is an Informative, brutally honest, thought-provoking and funny, this is the true life story of a transgender person who, after five decades of secrecy, accepts the spirit trapped inside and sets it free.

Watch the video review by Rachel Rollins

Purchase the book here.  $3.49 on Amazon Kindle

 

Mar 18

Transgender No More

Transgender No MorePeople ask me when I first knew I was female. Would you believe me if I told you that I don’t know if I’ve ever known, since I don’t really know what a woman is, other than a concept that exists outside me – still, I know that I have felt like one, a woman I mean, yet the only way I first knew was from males? Will you suspend prejudgment long enough to entertain the possibility that gender can be so relative?

See video review by Rachel Rollins

Purchase the book here  $0.99 on Amazon Kindle

Mar 18

The Transgender Guidebook

The Transgender GuidebookThe Transgender Guidebook: Keys to a Successful Transition is a self-help book for transsexuals. It is a wise and practical guide for any transgender person considering or embarking on a gender transition. It covers everything from the beginning stages of exploration and planning through the process of transformation to life after transition. This is the first book written by an experienced professional specifically for transgender clients. It will also be of interest to family, friends, allies, clergy,

See video review by Rachel Rollins

Purchase The Transgender Guidebook here   $9.99 on Amazon Kindle

Mar 11

Fashion Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Online Right Now

If you like watching fashion movies and TV shows, you’re in luck., because you can watch these online now. After all, how better to learn about fashion then how the girls learn themselves.

There are dozens of movies, documentaries, and TV shows that are either about fashion or feature great fashion, and they’re just a few clicks away on your favorite device.

Many do require a subscription to Amazon Prime, HBO, or Netflix. If that’s not in your budget, check out their free trials – they typically last for 30 days. You can watch a lot in a month, if you’re so inclined. If you want to buy the movie from Amazon, click the movie title

I have many in my personal library and they’re fun to pull out and watch on that otherwise slow evening. Or just watch to get ideas and imagine yourself in any of these fabulous gowns.

Fashion Movies 

Jackie (2017)

The focus is too narrow for a good portrayal of Jackie’s contribution to the fashion world bu tyou do get to see Jackie in her inimitable outfits.

After the Ball  (2015)

 

A young fashion designer dons a disguise to help save her family fashion business. Portia Doubleday and Chris Noth star. (Netflix)

The Dressmaker (2015)

After years of working in Paris couture, Australian Tilly Dunnage returns to her hometown to settle a score and get revenge on those who hurt her. Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth star. (Amazon Prime)

Grace of Monaco (2014)

 

Oscar winner Grace Kelly leaves Hollywood behind to become a real life princess – but she doesn’t get her happily every after. Stars Nicole Kidman and Tim Roth. (Netflix). Highly Recommended

Love by Design (2014)

Romanian-born Danielle is living the dream, working at a top New York fashion magazine – until it all comes crashing down, and she ends up back home in Transylvania to start all over again. Stars Guilia Nahmany and Jane Seymour. (Amazon Prime)

Confessions of a Shopalohic  2009 

Fall in love with the adorable Becky Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) in the hilarious romantic comedy Confessions Of A Shopaholic.  Becky has a secret that leads to some hilarious high jinks that could unravel it all. Featuring the perfect comedic cast, it s the feel-good romantic comedy you ll fall in love with over and over.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

As assistant to impossibly demanding New York fashion magazine editor Miranda Priestly (Streep), young Andy Sachs (Hathaway) has landed a job that “a million girls would die for.” Unfortunately, her heaven-sent appointment as Miranda’s personal whipping girl just might be the death of her! Highly Recommended

Kinky Boots   2005

For generations, the Price family has made very sensible, very conservative shoes for men. But to save the business from imminent bankruptcy, young Charlie Price turns to an unlikely new creative consultant: a sassy cross-dressing cabaret singer whose outrageous style and wild designs are a breath of fresh air in the stuffy old factory! Inspired by a hilarious true story, this fun and original movie is a must-have  that proves the best way to fit in is to stand out! Highly Recommended

Pret-a-Porter  (1994)

Easy to watch. Lots of fun. Dozens of recognizable big name actors in minor roles adds a who’s who that gives an additional aspect to the entertainment. Watch your DVD format

Ready To Wear (1994)

A glittering Hollywood all-star cast shines in Robert Altman’s deliciously sexy comedy hit READY TO WEAR! At the world’s hottest fashion show, there’s been a murder. Now, everybody’s a suspect — including two guests who end up sharing much more than a hotel room! Add to the fun a hilariously inept TV reporter on the trail of her most shocking interview yet! They’re all caught up in the year’s biggest see-and-be-seen events — where steamy scandals and spectacular supermodels turn up the heat in a riotous show of high-fashion hilarity

Fashion Documentaries

About Face: Supermodels Then and Now (2012)

Exploring beauty and aging through the eyes of the original supermodels. Stars Carmen Dell’Orefice, Isabella Rossellini, and more. (HBO)

Bill Cunningham New York (2011)

Street fashion as seen through the lens of veteran New York Times photographer, Bill Cunningham. Stars many fashion notables. (Amazon Prime)

Casablancas: The Man Who Loved Women (2016)

An inside look at John Casablancas, the man behind the Elite Modeling Agency and inventor of the supermodel. John Casablancas stars. (Netflix)

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (2011)

Diana Vreeland defined fashion for a generation through her years as an editor at first Harper’s Bazaar then Vogue. Diana Vreeland and Richard Avedon star. (Amazon Prime)

Dior and I (2014)

A behind-the-scenes look of Raf Simon’s first haute couture collection for the legendary French fashion house. Christian Dior (archive) and Raf Simons star. In French with English subtitles. (Netflix)

In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye (2012)

A look at some of the world’s most influential fashion designers and images from the iconic magazine celebrating its 120th anniversary. Hamish Bowles and Grace Coddington star. (Amazon Prime)

Iris (2014)

The life and times of style icon Iris Apfel. Starring Iris and Carl Apfel and other fashion luminaries. (Netflix)

The First Monday in May (2016)

What it took to put on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s most-attended fashion exhibition in history, “China: Through the Looking Glass” in 2015. Anna Wintour and Andrew Bolton star. (Netflix)

Women He’s Undressed (2015)

A retrospective of legendary Oscar-winning Hollywood costume designer Orry-Kelly. (Netflix)

Yves Saint Laurent (2014)

The early years of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his rise to international fame. Starring Pierre

Niney and Guillaume Gallienne. (Netflix)

Vidal Sassoon  2010

Vidal Sassoon is more than just a hairdresser – he’s a rock star, an artist, a craftsman who changed the world with a pair of scissors. His hairstyles changed the fashion world too.

Coco Before Chanel  (2009)

Audrey Tautou  shines in this intriguing portrait of the early life of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, the orphan who would build a fashion empire and be known universally by her nickname, Coco. She journeys from a mundane seamstress job to boisterous cabarets to the opulent French countryside, possessing little more than her unwavering determination, unique style and visionary talent.

The September Issue 2009

An intimate, funny and surprising behind-the-scenes look at VOGUE’S legendary editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and her team of larger-than- life editors, this is the captivating story of how they create the must-have bible of fashion. Highly Recommended

 

 Fashion TV Shows

Gossip Girl (2007-2012)

Privileged Upper East Side teens have their secrets exposed by an elusive gossip blogger who moves among them. Blake Lively and Leighton Meester star. (Netflix)

Mr. Selfridge (2013-2016)

Flamboyant American Harry Selfridge brings his years of luxury department store experience to London in 1909, and transforms the way the British elite shop. Jeremy Piven stars. If you own your own business, you’re going to want to take notes. (Amazon Prime)

Sex and the City (1998-2004)

Four women navigate relationships, career, and style in New York in the late 1990s. Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall star. (HBO)

The Buccaneers (1995)

Four rich American socialites try to land titled Englishmen during the “American Princess” craze of the late 19th Century. Stars Mira Sorvino and Carla Gugino in some of their earliest roles. (Netflix)

The Carrie Diaries (2013-2014)

The teenage years of Carrie Bradshaw, before her Sex and the City story. Stars AnnaSophia Robb and Austin Butler. (Netflix)

The Collection (2016-)

Amid secrets and family drama, two brothers struggle to keep their fashion house afloat in post-war Paris. Richard Coyle and Mamie Gummer star. (Amazon Prime)

The Crown (2016-)

The early years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, set in the 1950s. Beautiful clothes, jewels, and locales. Claire Foy and Matt Smith star. (Netflix)

The Paradise (2012-2013)

It’s 1875 and a small town girl with big ideas moves to the city and takes a job at The Paradise – the nation’s first-ever department store. Stars Joanna Vanderham and Emun Elliott. (Netflix)

The Time In Between (2013-2014)

Sira is a young dressmaker in 1930s Spain, dating a nice guy, when her life is upended by a smooth-talking salesman – and she ends up creating couture for Nazi wives in Madrid…while spying on them. Stars Adriana Ugarte and Hannah New. In Spanish with English subtitles. (Netflix)

Velvet (2013-2016)

A man struggles to keep his family luxury department store afloat in Madrid in the 1950s amid family feuds and forbidden romance. Paula Echevarria and Miguel Ángel Silvestre star. In Spanish with English subtitles. (Netflix)

Versailles (2015-)

Young King Louis XIV strives to bring his vision of France as a global tastemaker to life amid the lies and intrigue of his scheming court. George Blagden and Alexander Vlahos star. (Netflix)

So…a wide variety of fashion movies, documentaries, and TV shows that will keep you busy for months.

Happy watching!

WAIT! wait! You don’t want a fashion movie but just an old fashioned chic flick, girlie, girl, feel good movie where you can sit by the TV in your sexy lingerie or cute outfit and just feel good about yourself. Then here you go.

Here are ten good movies for Girls Night Out followed by a quick review of the 80 best girlie girl movies ever made. This is followed by reviews of several very feminine movies that we hope you find just to your liking.

Mean Girls (2004)

Raised in the African bush country by her zoologist parents, Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) thinks she knows about “survival of the fitt est.” But t he law of the jungle takes on a whole new meaning when the home-schooled 15-year-old enters public high school for the fi rst time and falls prey to the psychological warfare and unwritten social rules that teenage girls face today

Mean Girls 2 (2011)

The Plastics are back in the long awaited follow-up to the smash-hit Mea n Girls… and now the clique is more fashionable, funny and ferocious tha n ever! Confident senior Jo (Meaghan Martin) begins the new school year by breaking her own cardinal rule: don’t get involved in girl drama. Bu t when she sees timid Abby (Jennifer Stone) preyed upon by Queen Bee Man di (Maiara Walsh) and her minions, she takes sides in a viciously funny girl-world-war that turns the whole school upside down.

Wild child (2008)

Sixteen-year-old Poppy (Emma Roberts) is an LA teen diva who does what she wants, whenever she wants. But after an over-the-top prank pushes her father one step too far, she finds herself shipped off to the one place where everything will change: a British boarding school. No cell phones, no designer clothes…no way. Desperate to break free, she sets in motion the ultimate escape plan involving the head mistress’ son – only to discover that this could be the reason she wants to stay. Co-starring Natasha Richardson, Aidan Quinn and Nick Frost, it’s the fun and fabulous comedy that’s LOL!

Monte Carlo (2011)

Get ready for an awesome adventure of a lifetime in Monte Carlo! Selena Gomez (Ramona and Beezus) lights up the screen as Grace, a high-spirited high school grad looking forward to a vacation in Paris with her best friend Emma (Katie Cassidy) and stepsister Meg (Leighton Meester). Just as the girls think their trip is ruined when their hyperactive tour guide leaves them behind, Grace is mistaken for a wealthy socialite and the trio is whisked away to Monte Carlo for a thrilling week of glitz, glam, and unforgettable fun.

Source: Fashion For Real Women

Mar 04

How To Style Fishnet Hosiery

Fishnet stockings or hosiery have long held a somewhat controversial place in fashion history and trends. Stereotyped as a ‘sexy’, fishnet hosiery has the potential to be seen as provocative. However, the negative connotations of fishnet hosiery betrays its iconic place in fashion history as well as it’s real potential to be part of a chic or even elegant look. First of all, let’s define fishnet stockings. The term ‘fishnet’ pertains to the diamond shaped open knit of this type of hosiery or textile. Traditionally black, fishnets are available in a variety of colors and are available in a variety of weave sizes. The origins of fishnet hosiery is one of fashion’s mysteries. No one can really pinpoint the exact point in history when fishnet stockings started being worn or a specific inventor of fishnet stockings either. Although the beginnings of fishnet hosiery in fashion history can be disputed, one cannot dispute that fishnet stockings have stood the test of time and still remains an important piece of fashion today.

fishnet stockings

History 

Historically the word ‘fishnet’ appeared around the 1880s, the word meant loosely woven material or fabric. In the 1900s, a stocking with a diamond knit appeared in a French advertisement. Pop culture imagery would have us believe that fishnet stockings were worn by cancan dancers of the Belle Epoque/Jazz Age Twenties era, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that fishnet stockings became widely used and worn. This can be attributed to Gypsy Rose Lee, the queen of burlesque at that time. The 1950s saw the popularity of Bettie Page and other pinup models, which further put fishnets into the limelight. The democratization of fashion and the feminist movement in the 1960s led to shorter hemlines and more variety in fishnet styles. In the 60s, fishnets came in more colorful styles and smaller sized diamond knits. From the 90s onwards, fishnet stockings became co-opted by different fashion movements. Goth, punk, avant-garde, Harajuku, and grunge: fishnets came to signify fashion rebels and edgy trend trailblazers.

More recently, Alexa Chung was photographed on the cover of Glamour wearing large whale net tights underneath printed trousers. This style of tight has been a massive recent success with Charlize Theron, singer Pia Mia and many other fashionista and street style divas being photographed in them.

So, wearing fishnets today can lead to several different image outcomes:

  • provocative/lewd
  • sexy and playful
  • retro glamour

To gain the later is probably what most of us would prefer.

Fishnet stockings by decade_

How, When and Don’ts 

Let’s start by looking at some general features of wearing fishnet hosiery:

  • The larger the fishnet weave, the more provocative and suggestive the style may be perceived.
  • Fine gauge fishnets are more elegant and sophisticated.
  • The soles of your feet and the tips of your toes become sore after a relatively short amount of time when wearing large open weaves.

fishnet weave

Fishnet weave effect on foot

To avoid any “hooker style” connotations when wearing fishnet hosiery (especially large open weaves) I suggest not coordinating them with more than one of the following:

  • Open toe shoes
  • A seam at the back of the hose
  • Wild animal prints
  • High heeled platforms
  • Ankle straps
  • Exposed tops of stockings
  • Ripped clothing
  • Micro minis
  • Thigh high splits
  • Low cut necklines

This un-named celebrity has WAY too many of them!

Fishnet look

For an subtle and elegantly alluring look:

  • Stick with black micro weaves.
  • Choose fishnets with subtle embellishments e.g. spots
  • Wear with classic closed-toe shoe styles such as a sleek pair of pumps.
  • Style fishnet hosiery with more polished pieces such as blazers, knee-length pencil skirts, a-line midi skirts, preppy sweater sets, or pea coats.
  • If you’re going to experiment with short hemlines, wear your fishnets with knee-high boots or an over-sized coat and show just a peek of your hosiery.
  • Keep your makeup nude and natural or classic. A red lip and a smoky eye might be a tad too racy when paired with fishnets.
  • While it may be tempting to skip shaving your legs cause you’re wearing tights, hairs that are peeking out in between the weaves of your fishnet stockings is a major fashion disaster. Forgetting to shave signals a lack of self-care and confidence.
  • Formal and evening occasions are the very best times to wear fishnet stockings, although daytime wear is also fine.
  • Proceed with caution when wearing fishnet hosiery to the office, your work environment may frown upon this choice of leg wear. If you do, make them micro fishnets and ensure everything else you wear is classic, in good repair and polished.

Fishnet stockings in the office

Styling Ideas 

Don’t let the controversy around wearing this type of hosiery faze you, like these women, you can still pull fishnets off with maximum style.

  • Gwen Stefani is one of the most stylish celebrities that has a clear love affair with fishnet stockings—she’s been spotted numerous times looking chic in them. This look in particular pops since it uses fishnet as an additional layer of texture to her ensemble. Notice how she kept her makeup and hair simple and straightforward to balance the sexy feel of her stockings. The long sleeves and statement print of her dress offsets the fishnet stockings perfectly.
  • Alexa Chung’s take on fishnets involves menswear style inspiration with a touch of vintage. The booties and the oversized ‘borrowed from the boys’ feel of her overcoat combined with the retro bandana prevent the fishnets from crossing over to trashy.
  • Salma Hayek knows that a surefire way to elevate her fishnet tights is to keep it monochromatic. Wearing one color from top to toe is a sure thing when it comes to looking chic, adding fishnets to the all black sartorial equations keeps things visually interesting.
  • Heidi Klum’s take on fishnet is more modern and gives it a more trendy feel. The floral dress plus the leather motorcycle jacket balances this daytime look from looking too sexy. Feminine elements like the floral print and fishnets married with masculine elements like leather and flat boots make for a pleasant sartorial surprise.

styling ideas for fishnet looks

Here are more great looks:

styling ideas for fishnet looks

Please visit our stores featuring fishnet stockings

En Femme     HerRoom      Hips&Curves

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like All About Hosiery

Reprinted from Pretastyler. Please vist Ann Reintein at Style Clinic. She is one of the two best women fashion gurus in Australia

Mar 03

Hosiery Terms and FAQs

 

hosiery terms

What do all the different hosiery terms mean?

Pantyhose: are sheer, close-fitting legwear, covering the body from the waist to the feet.

Stockings: are a close-fitting, variously elastic garment covering the foot and lower part of the leg.

Thigh Highs: very similar to stockings except thigh highs typically have two silicone bands found on the inside which keep them up without a garter belt.

Tights: are a snug stretchable garment covering the body from the waist down.

Leggings: are similar to tights except they do not have feet, you can find ankle length or capri length leggings.

Welt: A welt refers to the top portion of the stockings or thigh highs, welts come in all different styles; plain knit, lace, diamond, triple band, decorative and more.

Garter Belt: Garter belts are lingerie worn to keep up stockings. Most common garter belts are 4 strap garters. Six strap garter belts usually hold up traditional nylon stockings more securely without bagging and for longer periods of time, especially if they are seamed. The six straps keep your seams straight!

Fully Fashioned: are non-stretch and knit to fit. They are knit flat and seamed up the back. Fully fashioned stockings can have either a Cuban Heel (squared off at the top), or French Heel (pointed at the top), and all have a keyhole opening in the back. Fully fashioned stockings are made on original 1950’s machines and are truly perfect reproductions of hosiery from that era. Our Marissa seamed stockings are a perfect example of a traditional fully fashioned stocking. Since fully-fashioned stockings are a difficult and time consuming to manufacture, they are usually more expensive, but we think they are worth it! Authentic full fashioned stockings are pure nylon and non-stretch.We have seamed stockings that are not full fashioned with a faux seam that have Lycra knit in for stretch if desired.

Seamed: Hosiery manufactured in the old Full-Fashioned manner with a seam running up the back of the leg. In the past they were manufactured by cutting the fabric and then sewing it together. Today stockings are generally fully knitted and a fake or mock seam is added up the back for a particular fashion look.

Opaque: Hosiery that is made of yarn which gives them a heavier appearance on the leg. (usually 40 denier or greater is considered opaque)

sheer hosiery terms

Sheer: Hosiery that is completely see through. (usually a 7 to 30 denier)

Sandalfoot: These have a sheer heel and toe so you can wear them with open toe or back shoes.

Reinforced Heel and Toe: more commonly referred to as RHT, this is vintage style hosiery and has darkened /reinforeed knitting on the heel and toe.

Microfiber: is nylon yarn that is finely chopped and re-spun for a soft, matte finish.

Lycra: is elastic fiber that is knit in Legwear and hosiery to increase clingability and wear.

Fishnets: Hosiery knitted with a very wide open knit resembling a fish net.

What is the difference?

Stretch Stockings vs Nylon Stockings: Stretch stockings are made with a blend of Nylon and Lycra while Nylon stockings are made of 100% nylon. Stertch stockings with Lycra tend to look smaller when removed from the package, but will stretch to fit. Pure Nylon vintage style stockings fit much differently then stretch stockings. Traditional vintage style stockings such as our Trisha nylon stockings or our vintage Hanes style rht stockingslook very long when removed from the packages, but are much shorter when put on. Please inquire if you have a size question, we are happy to help.

Sheer vs Opaque: Opaque hosiery is heavier and less transparent. Our opaque stockings are 50 denier, which is generally the lowest that opaque hosiery can be. As the denier number rises, so does the opacity. So 100 denier microfiber or Lycra tights would be very opaque. 40 denier would be semi-opaque.

What is denier?

This is an measurement for knitting yarn which equals 5 centigrams per meter of yarn. The weight of the denier is obtained by weighing 450 meters of thread of nylon, silk or rayon. If 450 meters weighs 5 grams, the thread is called a 100 denier thread. The base of 450 meters being the standard measure, the weight of the thread will determine its caliber. The lighter the thread (the less number of deniers) the finer the weave. A 15 denier yarn is twice as fine as 30 denier yarn. The most popular denier for day/evening is still 15 denier, 30 denier has been popularized as “business sheer”, 70d as “service sheer”. “ultra sheer” or “evening dress sheer” stockings can be 15d, 12d or 10d. The sheerest practical denier is 7d, which is so wispy sheer that it literally disappears on the leg!

What is denier count?
Stockings and pantyhose come in various fabrics such as pure nylon, nylon/lycra blends, polyester, viscose, wool mix, lace, etc. But to know its level of transparency, the denier count is important. Denier is a French term which is a calculation of the thickness of the thread. A stocking with a 10-20 denier has transparency aspects. While a stocking knitted with a higher denier i.e. 20 or more, will be less sheer and usually more durable. 40 denier stockings or tights are opaque.

What is gauge?

There is much confusion about the meaning of “gauge” in the determination of stocking quality and sheerness. Gauge is an English unit of measure. It is a characteristic of rectilinear knitting machines. It corresponds to the number of needles in a 38-millimeter section of the knitting bed, circular or flat. A 60 gauge knitting machine has 60 needles to a 38 mm section. It is obvious that, the more needles you have in this standard invariable 38 mm section, the finer the needles must be, and the tighter the weave. The monofilament or flat pure nylon thread of 15 deniers was the thread most widely used in the knitting of fine stockings.

The two most common gauges in fully-fashioned knitting were 51g and 60g. 60 gauge stockings have smoother, denser look and feel and are highly prized! 51 gauge stockings were easier to knit as the machines had fewer needles and ran more efficiently than the 60 gauge. These stockings were still highly desirable, but were slightly less expensive, and used for “fashion” and popular priced stockings.

What are the different types of knits?

Regular flat knit: This is the original knit made on all stockings until 1945. It is a smooth stitch that is silky and soft to the touch. It has a wonderful shine and is the premier knitting technique of the era.

Kant run: This knit was developed to help prevent runs in the stockings. It is a lock-stitch and has a slightly rougher texture.

Micromesh: This stitch was developed to create a matte finish on the stocking that was very popular during the 60’s. It is soft and smooth, but not as silky as regular flat knit.

Pebble mesh: A very rough knit to prevent runs used in teen and utilitarian stockings.

Textures: Patterned stockings. Diamonds, herringbones, and waves were the most popular. These styles were very popular during the 60’s. Hosiery companies began to buy modern knitting machines which had infinite knitting possibilities that allowed enormous variations.

Modern Stockings: As modern knitting techniques improved and the machinery became more expensive and complicated, stockings evolved through several phases. Modern machines knit tubes that are boarded, or “heat set” to the shape of the leg; the heel pocket was no longer knit-in as in the 50’s. To improve fit, the yarn companies came up with several “improvements” that would forever change the future of classic hosiery.

The first was the stretch stocking, actually a crimped yarn that was knit and packaged unboarded in a limited size range that conformed to the leg when worn. Popular brands were, Cling-Along, Agilon, and Cantrece. The ultimate fit solution that effects the stockings made today, is to add Lycra, another Dupont invention that creates an elasticized stretch stocking that clings to the leg to the knitting yarn. This is used in almost all modern stockings and pantyhose. The effect is to create a support stocking effect. This type of stocking is not as sheer as the flat knit version of these stockings.

Here are some helpful videos that explain many of these terms

Reprint from Stockingirl

 

Mar 03

Who Still Wears Hosiery

hosiery ad

For much of the 20th century, hosiery and particularly pantyhose were an essential component of any polished woman’s outfit. But then, many Gen X and Boomers stopped wearing pantyhose years ago, dismissing them as uncomfortable and easily ruined by runs. Most Millennial women have never even worn them, and thanks to more casual office wear, they don’t need to in most offices.

Overall sales for sheer hose are down 8% in the 12-month period ending in September, according to the NPD Group / Consumer Tracking Service, and just last year, Cosmopolitan’s style editor declared that hose was not okay.

But pantyhose is far from extinct. In fact, it is enjoying a small bit of a popularity among younger women, according to the NPD Group. Sheer hosiery had $482 million in sales in the one year period ending May 2015, the NPD Group reports, and 27% of those sales were to Millennials, which considering its increase of 9%, the group calls a notable revival.

What’s driving the popularity

kate middleton in hosieryWhile the fashion-forward (and Gen X) First Lady Michelle Obama does not wear them, Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, a Millennial, notably does. She even inspired the “Kate effect” upon her royal engagement in 2010, boosting sales of styles and brands she wears, and in the case of hose sales surged. Hose have even made some recent appearances on runways,

A Google search for “pantyhose” brings links to major brands like No Nonsense and Hanes, but also shows another modern iteration of the legwear: as an object of fetish. One of the top results is a six-minute voyeuristic video called “Secretary in miniskirt, pantyhose and heels.” Many of the photos appearing at the Instagram hashtag #pantyhose (less than half a million hits, compared to #tights’ 1.1 million and #leggings’ 2.3 million), appear focused on the sexual aspect as well, with a more specific tag, #pantyhosefetish, also bringing up more than 60,000 posts.

And, while many companies have eased up their dress codes, pantyhose are still required in some types of workplaces.

Here’s a rundown of employers keeping the pantyhose industry alive.

Health care: Pantyhose were required wearing for women workers at the Mayo Clinic, but as of June, they’ve been removed from the dress and decorum policy, which forbids jeans, fleece and hiking boots.

But they’re still required in some other health care workplaces. Female officers of the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service must wear sheer hose when wearing skirts or dresses. All employees of Summa Health System, the largest employer in Summit County, Ohio with over 9,000 workers, must wear hose or tights if wearing skirts or dresses. (Also on Summa’s list of no-nos: “extreme or faddish” hair colors, visible piercings in excess of 2 per ear, visible tattoos, and going commando.) This did not go over well with all employees, according to posts on the job ratings site Glassdoor.com: “Female employees shouldn’t be required to wear panty hose and closed toe shoes because it just reinforces the misogynistic attitude that women’s bodies are dangerous and must be concealed,” said one worker’s comment. “Even the nuns that work in our affiliated hospitals are wearing sandals and capris.”

Financial services: In 2010 the Swiss bank UBS issued a persnickety 44-page dress code which specified, among many other rules and items of grooming advice (avoid garlic breath), what colors of stockings and undergarments were required (skin-tone). “Always wear stockings with dark trousers. If you wear a skirt, wearing tights remains binding even in hot weather.” That code was mocked, and the company later issued a shorter revision. Anecdotal evidence indicates that in numerous conservative workplaces including corporate, finance, and banking jobs, pantyhose is still either expressly or implicitly required. For lawyers, it can depend on the day’s duties, and if it’s a court appearance day, it can depend on the judge.

ladies in banking

Politics: While it’s not required, hose are still worn in Washington, D.C., which the Fashion Whip blog called “one of the last bastions of formal attire in the country,” though the columnists attribute the hose-wearing more to Republican figures and wives. A congressional staffer told them, “Tights are all over the Hill in the winter, on everyone, because we all wear skirts so often. But come summer, the only women in hosiery are staffers who work for Southern, Republican senators. Then it’s sheer, nude pantyhose every day.”

Non-conservative restaurants: Hose doesn’t have to be polished or demure. At the “breastaurant” Hooters, “Hooters Girls” female wait staff wear Tamara brand shiny, tan, footless hose as part of the uniform. The capri-style hose is less likely to run, more comfortable, easier to clean, and fits a range of leg lengths. (Employees also wear slouchy white socks on top.) The Tamara hose are dispensed in vending machines in Hooters bathrooms in addition to being sold online. The Hooters style is also worn by cheerleaders, and the brand also makes a light support line of hose for casino workers.

hooters

Flight attendants: Each airline’s flight attendants wear distinctive uniforms, including opaque tights or sheer hose with skirts or dress styles. It’s not just a matter of a complete uniform being part of the airline’s branding, but because of the hours spent working at high altitude, there’s also a safety element. Compression stockings can help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and there’s a line called Sky-Highs marketed just to flight attendants.

flight attendants

Amanda Pleva, a flight attendant with 13 years of experience, wears Spanx tights for her uniform, but says the DVT concern is a definite threat. “Compression hose is great as well as convenient because it doesn’t snag as much.” That’s fortunate, as Sky-Highs cost $25 a pair–but Pleva said some insurance plans may cover the cost.

Reprint from Fortune Magazine

Mar 03

The Death of Hosiery or Why Legs Went Bare

types of hose

For decades upon decades, women wore hosiery.  All through the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, this is simply what the ladies wore… but then, suddenly, it went away.  Indeed, it happened so fast (perhaps somewhere in the late 1980s) that I didn’t even notice until hosiery had all but vanished from the face of the earth.  What the hell happened?

In the UK and much of Europe, hosiery has made a comeback in recent years, but in the United States it is entirely absent.  I grew up surrounded by hosiery, so I must admit, I’m a bit sad to wave it goodbye.  In the 70s, all the foxy babes on TV wore them: Charlie’s Angels, Daisy Duke, Chrissy Snow, Wonder Woman, Julie Barnes (The Mod Squad), Marcia Brady,… the list goes on and on. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a perv with a stocking fetish. I just grew up with them, and like most guys my age, was sorry to see them leave.

The question is “why?” – or to be more precise “WTF?”  I’ve done a bit of research by asking a few ladies and come up with a few theories of my own.  Feel free to offer your own explanation for their mysterious disappearance, and together we can solve this mystery.

hosiery ad

One commenter said,”I think it’s important to remember a few things before you count pantyhose out: for the last 500 years, women have worn some type of leg hosiery. The bare leg look essentially came in vogue around the year 2000. It reined supreme for about 10 years before pantyhose started to make a sneaking comeback. So tell me– what’s the aberration? For years the fashonistas said that pantyhose “made your legs look orange” and that “they make you look like an old woman”. Well, Kate Middleton came along and proved that one wrong in spades. Additionally, the fashionistas said that pantyhose were expensive, that they ruined easily, and were downright unhealthy to wear. Well, the same thing is true of high heels, and I don’t see them going away anytime soon. Finally, you have a whole generation of young women coming of age who really know nothing about pantyhose except what they’ve heard from Mom, their Aunt, or maybe older sister. However, they know this: Mom is now devoutly bare leg. So is Aunt Jane. And the bare leg look is going to be the new “mom jeans” fashion faux paus to avoid at all costs. I’ll even say it plainly: The bare leg look is SOOOOOOOOOOOO 2006…..

Sheers and Ultra-sheers actually make a women’s legs look younger, healthier. The bare leg look which shows off veins, bruises, scrapes, bony feet, bony knees, spider veins and other blemishes do NOT make you look younger.”

They have simply gone out of style.

We are all fashion followers, so it stands to reason that what is not marketed in Cosmo, Vogue, etc, as trendy and stylish is not purchased. The fashionistas for years have been telling young women that only grandmothers and old ladies wear pantyhose, that nude pantyhose makes your legs look like they’re encased in a sausage, and that it also makes your legs look orange. Kate Middleton helped change that conception in the UK, but it’s still pervasive in the U.S..

That’s the obvious answer. But dig deeper and ask why they went out of vogue in the first place…

American women are known to follow fashion trends religiously from fashionistas, media, and celebrities on tv shows, movies, books, magazines, and the internet. Some people said that the bare leg trend originated from the TV series “Sex and the City” where Carrie Bradshaw and her friends are always seen bare legged in designer shoes year round in New York causing many women including celebrities, fashion models, various tv personalities from news reporters, anchors, talk show hosts, and former US first lady Mooch…Michelle Obama to abandon hose in droves and go out bare legged, regardless of the weather.

Carrie bradshaw and company, Michelle Obama all had bare legs

The so called fashionistas may have declared pantyhose out of style, but there are a number celebrities such as Beyonce, Katy Perry, Zoey Deschanel, and Ariana Grande that wear pantyhose at various events. Would these women be considered granny if they wear hose to an event? If these fashionistas are considering them granny, they are showing a lack of respect towards these stars who are being themselves by dressing very classy and professional for an event. The negativity from the fashionistas about Ariana Grande’s pantyhose caused her to break down in tears at the Grammys a few months back. Hose is pretty much in style in Europe, not because of Kate Middleton, but they never went out of style, even in Eastern European countries such as Russia, Estonia, Poland and Asian countries such as Japan and Korea where women wear them as a culture and tradition of femininity as opposed to fashion influence in America.

Hosiery is an annoyance and inconvenience to women

They often have runs, which require frequent purchases. Also, a run can cause embarrassment. I am told they are uncomfortable. They have a tendency to slip down, and can create annoying wrinkles in your shoes.

hosiery ad

 

The problem is that women are wearing the wrong size and style of hose. Instead, they are wearing the cheap brands of hosiery from the dollar stores, supermarkets, drug stores instead of well known quality brand names of hosiery. Another factor is that the American hosiery companies are not following the European method in investing in new technology to producing nylon in order to make hose soft and silky. Instead they were too focused on sticking with the old method of stiching the nylon to gain profit, causing hose to be tight and constricting eventually causing runs on legs, and women to hate wearing them. All of this contributed to the downfall of hosiery in America. Even the pantyhose advertisements that were seen on TV and magazines throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s disappeared as well.

Tan legs are “in”

A function of hosiery (especially nude hose) was to improve the tone of the leg.  Now that most women in the US tan their legs and “tan in a bottle” is abundant, this function of hosiery became no longer necessary.

sunjunkie-fake-tan5

Women gained control over the mass marketed female images and fashion industry

What women wore and what was deemed fashionable used to be dictated exclusively by men.  If men thought legs looked better in hose, then by God, women are going to have to wear hose.  Once women had a say in the process, the inconvenient pain-in-the-ass hosiery was kicked to the curb.  The feminist movement may have played the role in allowing women to gain power over men. Not only women are controlling the fashion industry, but gay men who only care about dictating what is in and out of fashion, and pantyhose was no exception

We’re comfortable showing bare skin

For a time, hosiery basically served to censor a woman’s bare leg.  In other words, it was more than a little bit naughty (and in poor taste) to show off a bare leg; now that that taboo is long gone, yet another function of hosiery is gone.

Unless they are toned, not all women have the legs to pull off the bare leg look. Some women have various skin blemishes such as pastiness, blotchiness, and veins on their legs, thin and knobby knees, crusty and unevened toes. If a woman tries to pull off the bare leg look with all those blemishes, it would look downright tacky, disgusting, and unprofessional

bad legs, blemishes, spots

Razor blade improvements

It’s easy to overlook this factor, but vast improvements in the comfort, ease and effectiveness of modern razors definitely has had an impact.  Women’s razor blades of today actually provide a smooth finish without carving your legs like a turkey.  The need for hosiery to mask the effects of unfriendly razors is long gone.

Skirts aren’t as short

The heyday of the miniskirt is long since gone. With much less leg shown, so there isn’t much need for hosiery which improves the appearance of the leg. Not so for crossdressers, of course, who never seem to find a skirt that is too short 🙂

That annoying “swishing” sound

It’s certainly not the primary reason hosiery went kaput, but according to the ladies in my informal poll, it is a contributing factor.  The swish-swish-swish with every step was often a source of embarrassment.

They look bad with open-toed shoes

Even the biggest pantyhose enthusiast will have to admit they look a little ridiculous with open-toed shoes.

But these answers still don’t get to the core. I mean, women have always had these issues with hose; and skirts haven’t always been super short; however, they were fine with wearing them back when… why not now?

hosiery with and without open toes

So what is wrong with pantyhose and open toe shoes? If the fashionistas think that pantyhose and open toe shoes are a fashion faux pas, what is the point of making sheer and sandalfoot pantyhose then?? To me, this is just a myth, misconception, and pet peeve to discourage women from wearing pantyhose with open toe shoes. Women wearing pantyhose with open toe shoes is still elegant and common today like it was in the 70s and 80s, even in some European countries as well.

Americans have gotten slovenly

If you look back a few decades, you’ll see people dressed up more. Men wore hats and kept their shoes shined. Women wore gloves and were rarely seen outside the home without makeup on. The change from well-groomed and “dolled up” to today’s state of shabbiness was a gradual transition. The hippie counter culture was the first to make strides in this area.  For whatever reason, this casualness just got more and more casual.

You always hear that today’s society is overly concerned with outward appearances. However, it’s interesting to note that we’ve never cared less about the way we present ourselves. In this climate, it was only a matter of time before hosiery bit the dust.

This is the most common part of all. American women have gotten lazy when it comes to dressing up nowadays. Instead of dressing like a lady, they decided to dress like a slob and skank which is showing a lack of class and professionalism in America. They are also giving America a bad name and reputation around the world in caring less how they dress even in other countries where it is considered etiquette to dress classy and professional at an event that calls for wearing pantyhose with their outfits. One example is Actress Rita Wilson (Tom Hanks’ wife) who did not know that she had to wear pantyhose at a Royal Event in the presence of the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Rita later admitted that she does not own a pair of sheer hose herself. Another example is hose hating former US first lady Michelle Obama who was criticized for not wearing hose at an event in the Czech Republic that calls for women wearing pantyhose, despite the fact she previouly wore them during her husband’s first presidential inauguration in 2009. The ever increasing presence of the internet has casualized the workplace environment causing some workplaces to loosen their dress codes, and employees to conduct their work away from their workplace. As a result of loosened dress codes, women are now dressing more casual by wearing less skirts and dresses, and wearing pants even flip flops to work like if they are going to the beach. Women can’t dress too casually in a business setting in a European or Asian country, where dress codes in some workplaces are known to be strict due in large part to their country’s business culture.

Hosiery Coming Back

There is a poll on stylebistro called “What Do You Think of Wearing Tights Under Shorts?” As of now, 81% like and only 19% dislike. Mind you, this is about the more casual look of opaques (not sheer/ultra-sheer) with shorts (not even dresses or skirts). Hosiery does look better than bare leg, in many situations.

Besides, there are so many new types, new technology out there since prior to the 90’s. The sheer/ultra sheer skin tones look far more natural and appealing than before. As a bonus, there are of course many options for giving the appearance that you’ve lost a dress size (tummy control, especially with high waist, bum lifting, leg messaging, etc). There are even some that are made specifically for hotter climates such as the Silkies 65 Degree Control Top Sheer Pantyhose (in regular & toe-less). There are even hosiery that have a G-string affect made by Trasparenze (& others), if your into that, anti cellulite hosiery made by Solidea (& others), moisturizing hosiery made by Solidea, Cette (& others) and non-slip sole hosiery made especially for high heels by Marks & Spence, Frappe, Verano (& others).

hosiery ad sheer elegance

Like Kate Middleton, Beyoncé, Zoey Deschanel, Sofia Vergara, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and many of the younger 20 somethings from Disney, many more young and middle aged women should take notice that hosiery just looks better with dresses and skirts and has come a very long way in the last decade or so!