How to Wear Stockings and Suspender Belts

How to Wear Stockings and Suspender Belts

1940s and 1950s Reproduction Fashion

If you're new to wearing stockings and suspender belts, they can appear a little daunting! Believe us, once you’ve had a little practise you’ll find wearing them just as quick and easy as pulling on a pair of opaque tights.

How to put on a suspender Belt. What Katie Did tell you everything you need to know about wearing stockings and suspender belts

What Are Stockings?

When we talk about stockings, we’re talking about hosiery which finishes on the thigh and does not have any silicone or elastic to keep them up. If you’re looking for ‘stockings’ that can be worn without a suspender belt then you need to look for ‘hold ups’, or ‘stay ups’. As fewer people wear true stockings today, the word ‘stockings’ can be used to cover a variety of hosiery in the same way that the word ‘corset’ is used by the fashion world for all kinds of garments.

How to Put on Stockings

Although nylon, from which most stockings are made, is very strong, stockings themselves are very delicate.

You can get opaque stockings but most stockings tend to be sheer, including our Glamour Seams and Fully Fashioned which are both 15 denier.

Denier refers to the weight of the nylon and varies from 5 (super, super sheer) to 40 (semi opaque) to 80+ opaque.

Sheer stockings are delicate so you need to take care when handling them and putting them on. Back in the ‘50s workers in Fully Fashioned stocking factories used to have 2 manicures a day (on arriving and after lunch) to ensure their hands didn’t cause any damage to the delicate nylons they were working with.

How to put on stockings. Everything you need to know about putting on seamed stockings and attaching them to your suspender belt.
How to attach and wear stockings. Wearing stockings is easy and comfortable once you know how. read our guide to be a stockings and suspenders expert
How to put on your stockings. All the wearing stocking tips you need at What Katie Did, we explain the secrets behind successful stocking wearing.
  1. Do not pull your stockings on like a pair of socks! This is guaranteed to cause hitches in your precious stockings. Take your stockings and holding them by the welt (top) bunch up the stockings so you can slip your toe in the end without it coming into contact with the rest of your stocking. It might be easier to sit at this stage.
  2. Ease the stocking over your heel and when you reach your ankle feel around the back to ensure that the seam is in the correct position.
  3. Gradually pull the stocking up checking every few inches to ensure that the seam is straight, it is a lot easier to fix as you go along than wait until you’ve reached the top. If you’re sitting you will need to stand once you reach your knee.
  4. Pull the stocking up to full length and do a final seam check. It is likely you will need to make some adjustments and a mirror will come in handy. Hopefully your seam will be straight up to your knee, which means you will just need to pull your stocking down and adjust from the knee up. Any lower down and you will need to pull your stocking down and start from the ankle again.
How to put on seamed stockings and how to keep your seams straight, all is explained in our how to wear stocking and suspenders feature

Stocking Tip

If you get a snag or run in your stockings you can prevent it getting bigger with a little clear nail polish or squirt of hairspray.

The Suspender Belt

In recent years, suspender belts have been given an unwarranted bad reputation as being difficult and uncomfortable to wear. This is mainly because they are now designed by mainstream lingerie brands as boudoir wear and not for every day. Often you’ll see fashion suspender belts worn at hip level by models, which means they’re liable to slip down. The actual suspenders tend to be very narrow elastic with small clips and adjusters that frequently slide. It’s really no surprise that some companies now photograph their suspender belts with no stockings attached at all!

What to look for in a Suspender Belt

  1. Your suspender belt needs to sit on your waist, not your hips. Your hips are bigger than your waist so by positioning your belt at the narrowest point of your body will help prevent the garment from sliding down.
  2. Your suspender belt should be worn quite tightly. It’s designed to hold your stockings up and they need to be attached to something secure. 

Suspender Tip

If you have a fashion suspender belt you love but after reading our tips are ready to throw it away, don’t be hasty.

Turn a fashion suspender belt into a more wearable style, by taking in the waist and stitching the adjusters into place.

3. A deeper style suspender belt is more comfortable than a very narrow style. It doesn’t have to be super deep, anything 3 inches or more is fine. If you are wearing it tightly as recommended then 1” wide belt might dig in.

4. On the elastic suspender straps you’ll find adjusters. On mainstream belts these tend to be the same kind of adjusters you find on your bra straps and frequently slide down which, in turn, makes your stockings slide down.

Our suspender belts have an adjuster with metal teeth so once you have clicked it into place then it stays there!

5. Mainstream fashion suspender belts tend to have narrow little suspender clips which we presume is to make the garment look dainty, but there will also be a cost element to take into consideration here: the pennies add up.

Our suspender clips are made from nickel free metal and are big enough to not only hold your stockings securely but also make them easier to do up.

Attaching Your Stockings to Your Suspender Belt

  1. If you’re wearing a new suspender belt, undo the clips before you put it on. Pull the rubber button up to the top of the metal section so you can undo it. Your stocking welt (top) will sit between the metal (front) part of your suspender clip, and the rubber part (back).
  2. Start by attaching your front two suspender clips. Again, it might help to do this in front of a mirror as you need to attach them where your suspender straps hang. If you attach them too far out or in then they’ll pull your stocking tops out of place.
  3. Next, attach your back straps. Ignore the old wives tale that says that your back suspender should attach directly above your seam: it is not true! The suspender clip should sit to the outside the seam, ideally in a vertical line from where it hangs down.
  4. Finally, attach the side suspenders (if your belt has them), again, where they hang in a vertical line.
  5. Take a quick look to see if you have even spacing between both legs and that the positioning feels comfortable before adjusting your suspender adjusters. If you tend to wear the same brand stockings once you have clipped the adjusters into a comfortable position it’s unlikely you’ll have to adjust again, but if you wear multiple brands you can adjust the length of your suspender straps to the length of your stockings.
How to put on a suspender Belt. What Katie Did tell you everything you need to know about wearing stockings and suspender belts
How to attach stockings to your suspender belt. Read What Katie Did's guide to wearing seamed stockings and suspender belts.
How to wear stockings and suspender belts. All you need to know with clear instuctions and images by stocking experts What Katie Did.
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Wilhelmima af Fera

Wilhelmina af Fera, is originally from Northern Finland but nowadays lives in Espoo Finland, close to Helsinki. She is a passionate vintage-enthusiast and started wearing What Katie Did lingerie and stockings in her everyday life several years ago. She love all things vintage, metal (music,) and photography which is her other main hobby besides modelling. Besides being a model and photographer she am a student, studying IT and is hoping to become a coder in the near future.

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