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Stockings & Suspenders from Bea Duboir

Stockings and Suspenders Store

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    What Are Stockings

    Stockings are a form of hosiery, a piece of clothing made from a fine material that covers the legs. There are a variety of forms of stockings including vintage fully fashioned and hold ups.

    Denier

    Stockings are usually rated by the thickness of the material they are made from and this is called the denier. Here is an example of deniers that you may find:

    • 10 denier or below: Also known as Ultra Sheer, this denier is very light and rather see-through. These are perfect for the summer or for creating the appearance of nude legs

    • 10-20 denier: Also known as Semi Sheer, this denier is the most common and has a little more thickness making it perfect for everyday wear as it is more hardwearing

    • 25-35 denier: Also known as Semi Opaque, this denier is a little thicker again allowing for patterned weaves and a stronger, warmer covering for your legs

    • 40 denier plus: Also known as Opaque, this denier is thick, warm and will give the appearance of a full leg covering.

    Fully Fashioned Stockings

    Fully fashioned stockings are the choice of hosiery enthusiasts. Made using traditional knitting machinery, fully machines stockings are woven in a single open piece then sown together, creating a back seam and heel. FF stockings are relatively rare these days due to the highly skilled nature of manufacturing them.

    Those manufacturers who do continue to make stockings in this way will also often lose up to 30% of the products they produce at the quality control stage. For this reason you will often pay a premium for these luxury items but may also find a bargain on the seconds (factory rejects) market.

    RHT (Reinforced Heel and Toe) Stockings

    RHT refers to the thicker weave used on the heel and toe of a stocking. The reinforced weave helps to improve the lifetime of a stocking by making them harder wearing and preventing runs in the weave.

    Stocking Heel Shapes

    Stockings often come with reinforced heels, usually in one of three styles.

    Havana Heel – an opaque shape reaching from the toe and around the heel. The opaque heel then tapers to a squared top around ankle height. The taper is wider than a Cuban Heel.

    Cuban Heel – an opaque shape reaching from the toes and around the heel, then tapering to a longer and thinner squared top just above the ankle, a little higher than a Havana heel.

    Paris Heel – The opaque reaches from the toes and around the heel, the stretches to a triangular ‘point’. These are sometimes referred to as ‘Point Heel’ or ‘French Heel’.

    Manhattan Heel – Similar to the Cuban Heel and finished somewhere between a square and point taper.

    Stockings In Style

    Wearing stockings should be an extension of your style, so here’s some tips on creating a killer look!

    • Match your stockings with your shoes. Choose a nude colour for the stocking with a heel or backseam that matches the colour of your shoes for a look that pops

    • Go retro. Complete a vintage look with the perfect heel shape. 1940-50s style call for a Cuban or Havana Heel. For some Parisienne style, the Point Heel is perfect and for an elegant evening look for a Manhattan Heel • Keep it street. Match patterned stockings with denim shorts and some simple flats.

    • Stretch your pins. While it’s best to avoid horizontal stripes, vertical stripes have the magic ability to make your legs appear longer and slimmer

    • Just a flash. If you’re going for boots and a skirt, then you can be more daring with patterned stockings. Add a dash of flair rather than just a nude leg

    Stockings and Suspenders Newbies

    Wearing stockings for the first time is an experience. You may find them a little difficult to fix them in place comfortably at first but practice makes perfect. It’s advisable to begin wearing stockings and a belt for short periods of time while you get used to them. Having to constantly re-adjust the straps all day while you wear them for the first time can be off putting, so take small steps!

    Fitting Your Stockings Clips

    First thing to do is put on your suspender belt. This usually has a clasp at the back and should sit around your waist without dropping. Lengthen the straps almost as far as they will go then grab your first stocking, attaching the front strap first. Stockings will have a welt (a thicker strip of material) at the top to give a better grip. This first clip will help keep the stocking in place while you attach the other clips.

    Next, attach the back clip by reaching between your legs with one hand and around with the other – you’ll find this much easier than trying to reach around with both hands! Once you’ve attached the clips you can then adjust the straps to a comfortable length. Make sure that they are not so tight that they pull down your belt or overstretch the stocking. It’s a good idea to give an extra inch on the back straps to allow for more movement when sitting or stretching your legs. You can also chose to lift one leg onto a chair when fixing the rear straps to make sure the straps are not too tight when being stretched.

    Hold Ups

    Hold ups are stockings that do not require a suspender belt to be worn. They usually use a latex strip on the inside of the welt at the top of the stocking that grips the skin. The benefit of wearing hold ups is that you wont see any bumps or lines under your clothing, as can sometimes be the case with belts and suspender straps. While hold ups are more discreet and arguably more convenient than stockings and suspender belt, some wearers can suffer from irritation due to the latex.

    To avoid your hold ups slipping down at in-opportune moments, give them a stretch before wearing them and you should then find that they will stay where you put them. You may also find that hold ups tend to lose their grip after a couple of washes.

    Suspender Tights

    If you find that your hold ups don’t stay up or cause you irritation and you don’t want to wear a suspender belt, there’s a third option for you! Suspender tights bring the best of both worlds. These are stockings with an attached fabric belt and straps in one piece. These are more discreet than wearing full straps and give you more support than hold ups without resorting to full tights.