Sunday, November 16, 2014

Fashion Tip

I have a tip for you.  A fun way to perk up any outfit that's easy and cheap.  It attracts attention, garners compliments and starts conversations.  What's better than that?!

The tip is -- wear seamed stockings!  Revive a vintage staple in a modern outfit.  You don't need to wear vintage clothes, although that's enjoyable; just add a pair of seamed stockings to your normal wardrobe.  They will stand out and get major applause from everyone who notices.  Here's one of my pairs, under a dress given to me by a friend.  (The full dress is shown below.)



Seamed stockings are historically interesting.  The first stockings were made of non-stretch material (originally silk) with a seam where the material is sewn together.  They were called "fully fashioned stockings."  There are a very small number of manufacturers making stockings in the original style today, but many modern reproductions are made using stretchy materials.  The modern versions add seams as decoration, not as the integral sewing junction of real fully fashioned stockings.

One big plus of seamed stockings is that they draw attention to and flatter your legs.  Here's how good my gams look in them...




I read a cool two-part article on nylons at Smithsonian.com and learned that nylons were invented in 1935.  They were immediately and hugely popular, so much so that there were actual riots when shoppers struggled to buy the limited pairs available.

During World War II, the material used to make them was diverted to the war effort and there was a corresponding shortage of stockings.  Being resourceful, women turned to pseudo-nylons and had stockings painted onto their legs.  Don't believe me?  Check this out...




While these delights may not be in many retail stores, they're easy to find online.  I've bought some from a store is called What Katie Did.  You'll find other suppliers with a quick search.

Would you ever try these?  Why not?


40 comments:

  1. Interesting post. We watched a documentary on WWII and saw British women drawing on seams on their legs.

    I've not got any seamed stockings of my own yet.

    Nice dress BTW.

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  2. I LOVE them. But not wearing them. I hate tights as much as you love them. Visually, pantyhose are amazing. I'm constantly in awe of the difference they make to an outfit, but my skin rejects nylon in any capacity and despises being tightly restricted at all. So I find my clothing heading towards a style called 'lagenlook' that embraces loose, drapey clothing.

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  3. I have 2 pairs of seamed tights but one pair were too short for me and the line was wonky and twisted nomatterwhat I did!!! You look seriously gorgeous in this outfit!!! X

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  4. Seamed stockings are my favorite! I love the chartreuse dress on you, gorgeous!

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  5. Great tip Ally. You look awesome in that lovely dress. Awww thse heels!
    xox
    Lenya
    FashionDreams&Lifestyle

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  6. I am slowly trying on tights and other things that are tight around my legs after feeling uncomfortable with their girth much of my life. :D I love the look of seamed stockings! Maybe one day when I'm not worried about spending my money on something so delicate, I will buy a pair.

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    1. Mine cost $18 and have lasted three years..

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  7. The first stockings I had were seamed....back when I was 12 in 1959. It was always a challenge to keep them straight, not to mention the annoying garter belt I had to wear to keep them up. I assume they can be bought as pantyhose now. I would probably wear them now if they were very DARK as I have a plethora of spider veins...although my husband still says I have great gams (blush)

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    1. Yes, they come in pantyhose now (which makes them easier to wear) and, yes, they come in dark shades. Age gives all of us marks but that's no reason not to enjoy these.

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  8. You have some fantastic legs. I remember my mother talking about her older sisters painting "seams" on the backs of their legs during WWII (my mother at the time would have been in her early teens, considered too young for stockings).

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  9. These really are wonderful. I've seen so many people wearing them, especially at vintage shows or dances and you are right, they make the legs extra sexy.

    Love the colour of that dress too.

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  10. Your legs look gorgeous in these stockings. I have had them in the past however as I only wear pants now they would be a waste!

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  11. Oh, these are so pretty. I have seen these around in stores, maybe I should just try them when spring is here again!

    -Kati

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  12. I wear seamed stockings, I love them.
    This is my favourite outfit of yours,hands down, you look wonderful x

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  13. loooove that outfit! these shoes! the colors! and yes - seamed stockings!
    you glow in that dress! and it does flatter your body in the best thinkable way.
    i lost my "connection" to nylons over the last years - but in the past i loved stay up stockings, with seams, lace, fishnet. btw. - you can made a contrasting seam in fishnets by yourself - wear them back to front for the process, weave a yarn into the net, try to make a straight line.....
    xxxx

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    1. What an interesting idea. I never thought of that.

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  14. I love stockings. It amazes me that women who wear leggings have such an aversion to them. Stockings are comfortable and make your legs look gorgeous. You are case in point.

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  15. You look vintage but classic vintage so timeless in your outfit. I love seemed stockings but I don't have a pair. I do wear garters and stockings for special occasions but it's been awhile. If I weren't so huge, I'd be running out to get a pair!

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  16. I looooove seamed stockings. I've always wanted a pair since I was little girl!

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  17. Oooh, Ally, you've tapped into one of my very favourite garments now - classic (or genuine) vintage seamed stockings. They are sooo beautiful, timeless and alluringly fun. I get comments on them more days than not when sporting them (more so those with dark seams, as nude/pale ones are harder to see unless up very close to them), my favourites of which run along the lines of "Oh my gosh, I haven't seen anyone wear those since I was a teenager!" or "I remember when my girlfriend/wife used to wear those. I wish women still did. They're gorgeous!" I agree and would sport them even if I didn't wear vintage styles - that's how much I love them! :)

    Your whole outfit is immensely pretty and very becoming. Chartreuse is such a great colour, yet it - like seamed stockings - is rarely seen any more these days. Total shame on both cases! Thankfully there are fashionstas like us to keep these vintage classics going strong.

    ♥ Jessica

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  18. Love the seamed stockings, Ally! They're so becoming, and make one feel very alluring and just plain classy:-) I've collected quite a few pairs over the years and wear them whenever I can, especially with a vintage or vintage-styled outfit.

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  19. that colour is so amazing on you! and the stockings are gorgeous. they're pretty and a little bit sexy, i think!

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  20. Your legs do look great!!! And I love it that women painted them on...how resourceful. I do love the look of these, and now I love the history, too!

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  21. I have worn seamed stockings for as long as I remember. Even when I was dancing my pink ballet tights had seams! My only pet peeve with them is when women don't ensure that the seam is straight. You, however, did a wonderful job and your legs look fabulous!
    xo
    styleontheside.com

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  22. These stockings are so feminine and sexy, I tried them sometimes and felt like a star :) this is definately a great tip ! Kisses

    Fashion and Cookies/Facebook/Bloglovin/G+

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  23. HI :))))
    You look soooo pretty, chic and elegant!!! Very amazin colour of your dress! It suits you perfectly!!!! :)
    xoxo from Munich

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  24. I think seamed stockings are so elegant and sexy. And your dress is in one of my favorite colors!

    Amber
    A•Mused Blog

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  25. Love them as well. So chic and totally takes the outfit on another level!

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  26. What a great idea! So many mixed retro looks abound these days, and it's a look that goes so well with modern iterations of classic skirts. You're a genius, Ally. The big plus for you is that you have great legs and a lot of length to them ... perfect for you.
    Elegant idea to bring back. I'd particularly like a very sheer black mist color nylon with the seams. I'm old enough to have had my very first nylons the old style with a garter belt ... the silky ones can stretch and bag at the knee and wrinkle at the ankle. Have to admit that they must be better with modern fabrics!
    That's a beautiful dress (vintage?) on you ... the color is great with your hair, and the satin trim takes it right to evening. Superb fit.

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  27. No way?!?! I love when I learn something new :)
    LOVE those stockings and now i have to find some and see if my husband notices! Hahaha!!! That color looks great on you!

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  28. Where do I start? The dress is divine, and I love those shoes with it-- a very ladylike look. I've loved seeing your style develop over the years.

    I think the seamed stocking add a little "sexy" to the otherwise demure outfit. I love that contrast. I wouldn't wear seamed stockings myself, but only because I try to dray as little attention to my lumpy legs as possible!

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  29. You look so cute and vintage! I usually hate nylons/pantyhose, but your legs just look SO DAMN GOOD in those seamed stockings that I might have to give them a try :)

    Fun fact: My fiancé's grandmother used to draw the seams on her regular nylons with an eyeliner pen. Her daughters were all reminiscing about it at her funeral a few years ago.

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  30. Every time I see these seemed nylons, I can't help but think of Gilmore Girls when Emily tells Lorelei not to wear them because she looked like ten cents per dance. I have never worn them, but I will have to check them out! I think they are classy, and perfect for the holidays. I think a sheer pair like this might even look cute layered over a colored pair of tights!

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  31. LOVE this dress on you. it fits perfectly and the proportions are spot on. i know someone who has the lines tattooed on her legs. not as classy as stockings.

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  32. That dress is STUNNING on you, Ally! And jeez, I would kill for legs/gams like yours!

    I remember my History teacher in high school telling us about painting her and her sister's legs, then drawing the line up the back. I love the look of seamed stockings or nylons, but I feel that they are too overtly sexy for regular wear.

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  33. I love learning new things.
    Yes, I'd try them… and I would have never imagined that someone would draw them on !!! Us women… just don't give up.
    BTW nice dress.

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  34. As a young day dreaming crossdresser to be I remember sitting in church on Sundays watching the women walk to the alter to receive Communion. Back then all women wore dresses to church (circa early 1960s or perhpas late 1950s). As I would sit there week after week I would count the number of women who wore seamed stockings and the number of women who wore hose without the seams. My recollection is that there were a few more wearing them without seams as time passed.
    I do share your appreciation of hosiery.
    Pat

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    Replies
    1. Yes, seamed stockings had a time which slowly passed, so they then became known as outdated fashion. Now, we can celebrate them as vintage-wear.

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