Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Take Off, Eh. You Hosiery.

*Writer's note: The title of this blog is meant to be read in a Doug and Bob McKenzie aka Strange Brew voice. Unfamiliar? Hoser. Watch this you tube clip and then you might be welcomed back into my life:

As a burlesque performer, I focus quite a bit on leg wear. In fact, I have a whole act built around a "drunken stocking peel." (Wanna see? Here's the you tube clip for that:
OK, now that I'm done with my shameless self-promotion, here's the "run down" (get it? run?) on hosiery:

  • The earliest form of hosiery was worn by men; because women were not allowed to show their legs....Because that would have been the worst thing ever.
  • Women started wearing hosiery in the 16th century when Queen Elizabeth received her first pair of silk stockings in 1560. 
  • During World War II, nylon was very scarce as the military needed the material to build tents and tarps. Since women didn't have access to nylons, they used makeup on their legs to create the illusion of stockings; even drawing a backseam up the leg with black eyeliner. I'm guessing you would have to have a friend do that for you as I can't even fathom how one would draw on the back of one's own leg....
  • In 2006, the NBA banned tights. Players like Le Bron James and Kobe Bryant got upset because they wore tights under their shorts for extra support. True story. And a little fact for you sports fans.
  • The transition of popularity from thigh-high nylons to full pantyhose can be traced to the popularity of the miniskirt. As hemlines rose, the top of the nylon had to get higher and higher, resulting in the use of the full pantyhose. 
  • Pantyhose were invented in 1959 by Allen Grant.  For those men who love the look of thigh-highs on women, Allen Grant is an asshole.
  • According to a British 2011 study, 1/3 of men wear pantyhose (or some form of hosiery) underneath their work suits. 
  • And here's an answer to a question that is on a lot of women's minds: Why can't they make pantyhose or stockings that don't run? Well, they can...but you wouldn't want to wear them. The nylon (or silk) can be woven much tighter so that it won't run, but it wouldn't stretch or conform to the shape of your legs. So, stop complaining, ladies. At least you don't to have to draw on your pantyhose with eyeliner...
Inspired for some new hosiery? Well, this won't run. Guaranteed. And it's on sale today!

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