Tights or Stockings?

Will you be seduced by the return of stockings?

They are hidden from view but surely there’s no mistaking who wears stockings There’s more choice in the shops, but is it really so easy to tell who wears what? Helen Carroll asked five women to reveal their secrets Hidden from view they may be, but surely there’s no mistaking the type of woman who chooses stockings over tights?

Tights v Stockings – Which Would you Choose?

Tights Versus Stockings

These days practicality hasn’t been sacrificed for glamour, and today’s tights don’t only reflect the very latest trends, with them you can express your personality while also hiding any minor skin imperfections (such as varicose veins, blemishes ect) and protecting your legs from the elements. With either tights or stockings you can update your leg looks, enjoy wearing the hottest trends, and look as demure or as downright outrageous as you want.

Chic Detailing

Using fabrics and designs to suit any lifestyle or choice of fashion, tights are a versatile accessory in your wardrobe, and whether you opt for sheer tights in solid colours, fishnet, florals or checks, this adaptable hosiery is a perfect choice for any occasion or situation. Made from nylon, lycra or cotton they are worn tight-fitting from the feet to the waist primarily by girls and women, but with an increasing market for males of all ages who are now wearing them too under suits and sportwear or just because they like it!

Natural tights are soft and with a matt appearance, the natural look makes them great to wear every day. Available in a number of shades, not only do legs look perfectly toned, but there is also a special range of tights known for their slimming-control features, figure-support, and invisibility under your clothes giving you a smooth and firm look. But if tights are so flattering and multi-faceted, who needs stockings?

Nylon Stockings came about in 1939 and silk stockings first made their debut in 1940. Stockings unlike tights, cover the foot and only the half of the top part of the leg. They are similar to tights in that they make the legs look streamlined, smooth and free of blemishes and this means you can wear a short dress or skirt with more confidence. Many women prefer to wear tights for everyday use but they keep stockings for special moments when they want to feel sexy in their underwear, others prefer the irresistible feeling of a natural air flow and freedom they get from a pair stockings.

Stockings can be worn with suspender belts in sizzling colours and fabrics in either modern or glamorous retro styles, which for some contributes to a feeling of sensual sexiness – or as holdups, where a silicon band keeps them in place. If you are battling with ailments like thrombosis or edema, compression stockings are specialized elastic hosiery which exerts pressure against the legs, increasing blood flow and these too are becoming available in colours other than ‘tan’.

Tights which Voice Your Style

These days with health and comfort on everyone’s minds, there seems to be a divide in opinions as whether stockings or tights are the better option. Many women will tell you that stockings are only good as a fan belt when your car breaks down or that stockings and suspenders have passed their sell-by date, others will say there has been a massive comeback and that they are now the most popular legwear. In the bedroom, whether its the man or the woman wearing them, sizzling hot stockings definitely win hands down. On the other side of the coin, there is definitely a wider choice of stylish fabrics and trendy patterns available in tights.

Tights v Stockings – which should you choose?

Retro Style Fashion – The ‘Lost’ Glamour of the 1950s

Back to the 50’s. – Although retro style hosiery & lingerie is now highly popular, the glamour of the 50’s has been lost.

Retro Style Suspender Belts

In the modern world, retro style hosiery and lingerie is very popular and as all fashions seem to have a ‘cycle’, vintage underwear has come back with a bang. Envisage some of the advertisements and the display of provocative women dressed in 40’s and 50’s design modern lingerie on television and in magazines. Even so, the styles seen as an improvement of the 1950s do not capture the glamorous aspect of the ladies of the1950’s somehow. They always seemed immaculately dressed, had impeccable manners, and just looked so well groomed. Maybe I’ve just watched too many old films…..

So, can we claim that the era of preserving a lady’s modesty while bringing out an androgynous silhouette is over? There has no doubt been an improvement in style attributed to sophistication and a change in the material used to make undergarments; but today’s retro hosiery and lingerie styles bear an uncanny resemblance to those of the late 40’s & 50’s.

How the styles have been copied
Over time, the material used in making the hosiery and lingerie has become lighter leading to a change in the style. For example, a 1950’s bra was conical, giving support to the female form and exposing attractive curves. The need to bring back the lost glamour of those days has influenced fashion over the years leading to the creation of retro style stockings, shapewear such as girdles and waist chinchers, and suspender belts.

Retro Lingerie
Most people do not consider women’s underwear and night clothes to be accessories, but in the 1940s and 1950s, lingerie was important in the creation of an attractive silhouette. The material used in making modern lingerie is mostly cotton which is softer; thus, easier to wash and better for hygiene. Even with a change in the material, the objective of the undergarments remains the same – to create an attractive figure. As such, the design is similar to that of the old classics with regards to pretty lace fabric that stretches and moulds the body. You have to agree that the modern day bikini panties are a copy of the briefs worn in the 1950s. Back then, pants reached the waist and were more like shorts, when cut lower they were called hip-huggers which women wear today – therefore, only the length has changed.

Retro lingerie is not complete without mentioning the copy of the pointed cone bras and the wonder bras introduced in the late 1950s. The wonder bra as we all know was styled to show cleavage and also accommodate larger breasts or even portray them as being larger than they actually are. The need to fit into the new wonder bra led to the invention of the fastener and extender which is a common feature in retro lingerie.

Retro Hosiery
Hosiery has seen the reintroduction of 1940’s-50’s seamed nylons and stockings fully fashioned using soft materials (spandex), bobby socks (ankle socks) and sexy seamed fishnets. Modern fashion has seen the re-awakening of retro style modified suspender belts which serve as a fashion statement rather than just to perform the task of holding up a pair of stockings. Today’s belts are an imitation of the 1950’s glamour styles which are comfortable to wear, make the woman feel sexy, and have the same effect on men as they did back then in that they are fascinated by the curvy feminine look.

Girdles, roll-ons and were a staple part of a ladies wardrobes back in the day but although we can now choose whether or not to wear it, there is a lot to be said for today’s copies of the styles of the 50’s. Shapewear based on retro styles smooth other outer garments and helps conceal our problem areas brilliantly, but it is a personal choice as to whether you wear it or not.

Control Hosiery

Control Hosiery

charnos-control-tightsSupport hosiery, control tights and stockings or shapewear is worn for a number of different reasons. They are useful in several different ways including the treatment and/or prevention of a number of health conditions
such as varicous veins, ulcers or bad circulation.

Life can be made a lot more comfortable for any women who have to stand for long periods of time such as shop assistants, nurses or restaurant workers when wearing legwear that offers a bit of support.

Control lingerie is fanastic for confidence building, smoothing out lumps and
bumps under tight clothing and adding a bit of support where necessary, depending on the style you choose.

Although not exactly known for it’s sexiness, today’s support hosiery and shapewear is comfortable to wear, looks great AND offers health benefits  -take this panty girdle with suspenders, it looks sexy as well as helping to smooth out hips, tummy and bums. Read our Article – When to wear Support Tights >>

20% Discount on Falbala Seamed Stockings

20% discount on Falbala Tights

We would like to offer our readers a special promo code for a 20% discount on the 1940’s inspired seamed stockings collection at

Karen is the designer behind the fabulous range of hand embellished or crystal back seam stockings, holdups,
studded tights and leggings/footless tights all made in Italy and decorated in the UK.

Brightly coloured tights with tassles, military medals, or gold and silver studded designs often with
a sprinkle of Swarovski crystals, are part of this fun collection that can be worn anywhere from the office to a nightclub and definately gets the thumbs up from us!

Currently the code can only be used on the back seam stocking collection but tights arriving later this
year will also be included. Valid until 31st December 2013, enter Swanky2013
when ordering from their website for your 20% off.

Welcome to Our Hosiery & Lingerie Blog

Fashion hosiery, tights and stockings

Swanky Pins welcome you to the wonderful world of fashion hosiery.  Our blog is centred around Hosiery tips, tricks & advice, the latest products on the market and covers news of the latest fashions in hosiery + some general articles and photos from ‘back in the day’ when tights were worn by men up to the glamorous golden years when women wore stockings on a daily basis.  Nowdays anything goes and the changes in hosiery designs reflect this – even since we started Swanky Pins in 2012, fashions have changed and there are now some truly complicated and magnificent designs printed on a simple pair of tights.