Hosiery is a very special thing, as we all know there are three basic types; stockings, tights (panty hose for our US readers) and hold ups. But the one that always seems to create the most interest is the stocking. As someone that has always had an attraction to hosiery, partly from a personal view in that I like the feel of them but also without a doubt they make legs look better. Nowadays however there seems to be a fashion, particularly among the younger generation to go 'bare leg' and forgo the delights of wearing hosiery. In hot sunny weather, particularly if the person happens to have lovely tanned legs I can completely understand that point of view, but at other times I still think a nylon clad leg looks better.
Stockings have a special place for many, but it seems, to me at least, to be a declining market. From what I can see from a personal point of view, is that the majority of women do not wear stockings, at least on a regular basis. Now I have to be honest here and say I prefer tights, many, particularly within the crossdressing community would not agree with me, fair enough, but for purely practical reasons, in my personal opinion tights are a much better bet. Some while ago I was given a piece of advice "Stockings are for the bedroom, tights are for every day" and I think that is a perfectly sensible assessment of the various merits of the two types of hosiery. Some will argue, that stockings, are better, but my own personal experience is that tights are just a lot more 'user friendly' you may not agree of course and that is your prerogative.
A question that has to be asked is, if most women don't wear stockings then who does? Of course there are no official figures about who buys stockings, but I suspect by far the majority are acquired by men or at the very least at the request of men. The fact is men like stockings wether that is on the female of their desire or on themselves who knows but it seems to be men are the driving force in stocking sales, and possibly in the sale of tights as well, but I somehow doubt that at the present time.
Stockings, as far as I can see started a very long decline many years ago, my Mum wore stockings, then somewhere around the mid 60's tights appeared in our household and stockings were never seen again. I suppose it coincided with high street shops, the likes of Woolworths, Marks & Spencer and British Home Stores selling tights at reasonable prices that finally saw off the stocking, at least as far as my Mum was concerned. And, I have to say who can blame her, remember Mum was not wearing stockings just for an evening out but all day every day so the convenience of tights made a lot of sense.
So what is the enduring attraction to stockings, well, yes they are a faf, just attaching them to your suspenders can be hard enough, then you bend over an the suspender lets go so you have to reattach it without anybody noticing. But there is no doubt, when you get into the bedroom, stockings are very sexy, tights just do not do it in this situation. The thing about stockings is that they take you back to a time of elegance, a time of quality when women really tried very hard to look not only good, but very classy as well. A style that has for the greater part, sadly disappeared.....
It would seem to me, without the crossdressing, and other less mainstream communities the availability of stockings would be very limited indeed. As opposed to tights, stockings are not a practical garment, but as crossdressers when did being practical ever come into the equation! Although I have said I prefer tights for most applications, stockings are something special, so if you have never tried them, you should, the experience is something else.............
For practical advice about wearing stockings, my very good friend Emma has written an excellent article on her website;