The History of Stockings

Stockings, also commonly simply referred to as “hose,” are those elastic garments that fit closely to the legs and cover them from the foot up to above the knee. There are many types of stockings on the market nowadays, some of which go just above the knee and are held in place via garters that hook to the panties and some of which that go all the way over the bottom and come up to rest on the hips or waist. Nowadays stockings come in various types of transparencies, styles and colors, and they are mostly worn with dresses and skirts. However, stocking lingerie is nothing new. It’s been around for centuries.

In fact, stockings are so ancient that there is no clear origin of when they came about. What is known is that the word “stock” is ancient in origin and before the 15th century, the word was used to refer to the lower part of the body, most particularly the legs and thighs part. Originally, though, stockings were not created for the stylish reasons they are today. Instead, they were worn for warmth. Before the 1590s, they were made out of woven cloth, but after that time period, the first knitting machines came along, and they were invented for the sole purpose of knitting stockings. Then, stockings could be made of linen, wool, cotton or silk.

It wasn’t until the 1920s that the sheer, sexy stockings came along, and they came along as a response to the shorter dresses women were wearing and as a nod to propriety. They were a way that women could still show off their legs while having them covered at the same time — if only by a sheer, transparent garment. Of course, the fashion industry also began to offer them in different styles and different shades of transparency too.

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