Pantyhose, stockings, tights, no matter what you call them, they have been a fashion staple for centuries. Hosiery has a long and enduring history, that has reflected the changes in our cultural heritage. Here is the fascinating background of this wardrobe staple.
The Earliest Examples Of Hosiery
Hosiery appeared in fashion around the 15th century. At first, it was primarily worn by noblemen because they offered more flexibility than trousers for things like horseback riding and fighting. The name hosiery comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “hosen” which means “covering.” The first woman to ever wear hosiery was Queen Elizabeth. Known for being a groundbreaker, she began wearing silk and wool stockings because she loved the soft feel and luxury. Following Queen Elizabeth’s lead, fashionable women adopted hosiery as their own.
Hosiery As A Social Statement
During the 18th and 19th Centuries, hosiery was worn by women, but dresses were still very long, so they weren’t worn very often. Plus, hosiery was still made with inflexible materials like wool and silk and they weren’t very practical or comfortable. Hosiery didn’t really begin gaining popularity until the 1920s when women began breaking away from the strict Victorian era and taking daring fashion risks like showing their ankles. Hosiery was worn by progressive women as a way to show off their style and newfound independence. Hosiery became the ultimate expression of freedom.
Hosiery At The Height Of Popularity
This trend continued until 1939 when DuPont invented nylon and revolutionized the world of hosiery. This new material made hosiery flexible, comfortable, and perfect for women of all sizes. Pantyhose was so popular during this time, that when WW2 began and all the material supplies went to the war effort, women would still create the illusion of wearing pantyhose. They would draw seams down their legs or use self-tanner to make it look like they were still wearing hosiery.
Hosiery In Modern Times
During the 1970s sales boomed as more women entered the workforce and hemlines got higher. This trend continued until 1987 when bare legs became a major fashion trend and offices started becoming lax on dress codes. It was during this time that hosiery began to shift and became more about wearing something fashion-forward that complemented an outfit. New styles, colors, patterns, and materials entered the market. Now hosiery is the ultimate expression of personal style.
As you can see, hosiery is more than just a wardrobe accessory, it is part of our history. Hosiery has always been a way for women to make a daring statement that reflected the times. At Hoiseree.com, we love hosiery and offer a wide variety of styles, colors, and patterns to help you express your individual style.