For the past few months I've been going a little mad on vintage inspired undies as I wanted to get the shape correct for wearing my dresses with. A while back I bought myself a rather lovely corselette from House Of Satin which comes with suspender straps. Unfortunately I haven't wore it at all because I don't actually own any stockings. I know, gasps of shock and horror. I did own some hold ups with black seams a while ago which I got from Primark but after they all laddered I never replaced them. Even though in the 1940's bare legs just wasn't done I still don't mind because deep down I'm a practical kind of gal. I like to be able to march around and not be worrying if my stocking are going to snag on something.
It is one of those things, however, that just completes the look and I can't wear my corselette without them. So began my search for seamed stockings. In my search, well a quick google, I came across UK Tights which is apparently the Earth's biggest hosiery store so I was pretty hopeful to find something and find something I did. In the end I bought four different pairs of stockings ranging from £1.50 to £15.99.
I spent the grand total of £25.98 plus £1.95 for postage and packaging. I was pretty pleased with the cost of P&P and even happier when my order arrived the next day, snappy delivery earns big brownie points in my book.
Silky - Smooth Knit Stockings
If I'm totally honest I bought these out of pure curiosity even though they are seam free. For £1.50 I thought to myself what the heck, in the basket they go. They are soft, sheer, and apparently durable. I like the light matt colour as I'm not very tanned so need pale stockings and I also really don't like glossy stockings on me so matt is good. These come in one size which fills me with scepticism as one size fits all generally fits nobody. I do approve that they were made in the UK and they are 100% nylon.
Upon wearing them I found they hadn't lied about the softness. They feel lovely on my legs and were thicker than my other stockings which I like for winter. Also I was mighty impressed with their durability as I climbed onto a stone bridge wearing these and they didn't snag once. The one size fits all thing was a bit of an issue as I do have short legs so there was a small amount of gathering at the ankle but not as much as I was expecting which was a very pleasant surprise. All in all I was impressed especially considering the price and feel it was worth what I paid though they were more of an experiment and I'm not sure I would buy them again since they do not have a seam.
Pretty Legs - Back Seam Stockings
Another low price which I am a fan of and these come in a range of sizes so fingers crossed they have a good fit. These are nude with a black seam so these would be better for 1950s outfits rather than 40s. Despite not being terribly period accurate I do like black seamed stockings as I feel they are more dramatic and I believe them to be more slimming since the seam is so noticeable it draws the eye downward. These come with a Cuban heel which is my preferred heel also. Again these are also made in the UK and are 95% nylon and 5% lycra.
I wore these to on the Friday of Pickering War Weekend as I wanted to save my nude seams for later. I found these to be very lovely and definitely worth the price I paid for them. The tops are soft and stayed up well; also the fit was very good which was pleasing for my short legs. I also liked how pale they were since "American Tan" really doesn't suit me; orange legs and pale everywhere else looks a tad comical! I would buy these again as more of my day to day stockings since they are so reasonably priced.
Leg Avenue - Sheer Backseam Stockings
These are nude with a nude seam also so good for wearing with 1940's outfits. Unfortunately these again are one size fits all and there's no mention as to the style of heel. These are not made in the UK but are 100% nylon.
As it turns out the back seam on these was nude and the packet didn't specify heel type because there was none. The seam went down the leg and then kind of just stopped at the foot which I did not like. Also they are very thin and coupled with the one size fits no one issue I did find that they gathered at my ankle a bit. In the interest of full disclosure dear readers I have to tell you that I would not buy these again as I liked the feel of Pretty Legs ones more and they are cheaper.
Gio - Classic Fully Fashioned Stockings
The price shoots up when they become fully fashioned but blimey they are luxurious. These are fashioned by hand in Derbyshire, UK, and are made from 100% nylon. They also come in a variety of sizes for a good fit. I've never bought stockings in these sizes before so I checked the charts beforehand. This pair have point heels but I won't hold that against them.
I used to think that fully fashioned stockings was one of those things that vintage people wore in order to be period accurate and not because they actually like them. Used to being important in that sentence. As soon as I got them out of the packet, and carefully put them on following instructions from a 1940s video, I knew why ladies rave about wearing fully fashioned's. Blimey I feel so glamorous when I put them on though you do have to be mighty careful with them which I feel is some of the fun. They do have a slight shine but I didn't mind this. I think I would buy a slightly smaller size next time as they were a teeny bit loose on the ankle but they do feel just amazing clinging to your calves. I was impressed at how durable they were ultimately when I was wearing them. I didn't climb onto any bridges in them but I did think they would be a wear once kind of thing, however, I'm impressed that they have not snagged thus far.
I hope this has been helpful or at least interesting for you all and I have to say it was rather fun to experiment and try out lots of different types of stockings. I would also like to let you know that I purchased these items myself and so my thoughts are all my own. I have not been paid or received anything from Tights UK to write this specific post.
What are your thoughts on stocking readers? Do they complete the look or are they an annoyance you can do without? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!