Neutral Seamed Stockings

Neutral Seamed Stockings

Nude & Black Seamed Stockings

If you're a fan of 'true' vintage do you have to keep to nude seamed stockings for daywear and black for evening? Katie investigates.

If you're new to retro style hosiery, or hosiery of any kind, then the terminology can be confusing - but help is at hand!

Check out our guide to hosiery and all will be revealed.

Seamed Stockings in the 1940s and 1950s

Today, there really aren't any rules when it comes to what seamed stockings you wear when. Traditionally, women in the '40s and '50s, which is the era of What Katie Did, focused on doing the most. They wore a nude natural tone during the day and possibly sheer black during the evening, it would have been very rare to wear black during the day. Depending on how much money you had, you might have worn black in the evening for special occasions, or you might have just kept to a neutral seamed stocking.

Having said that, today there are no rules and you can wear whatever you want. Even back in the day, there were some women who wore exactly what they wanted and they didn't play by the rules either!

At What Katie Did, we make three neutral skin toned seamed stocking and one black. In the 1940s and 1950s, there would have been a lot more skin tones available in stockings. Of course, everyone would have worn stockings back then, so a lot more were being made and it was easier for big companies to make a wide variety of colours. Whereas we’re constrained by the amount of customers we have in our little niche market and can only make what really sells. Because you have to make stockings in high quantities, it's not always possible to make everything we want to.

Vintage Dior Stocking Swatch Card

vintage christian dior stockng shade card

There has been a little bit of controversy with our contrast black seamed stockings, which were inspired by the 1940s and '50s. The heat generally comes from ‘stocking experts’ (the use of inverted comments replaces my raised eyebrow here), who are call out costume designers for not using proper fully fashioned seamed stockings in films and TV shows. There are only a couple fully fashioned stocking companies left in the world today and the vintage Reading machines have a top speed is 30 pairs per hour. When you're making a film or a TV show, it's simply not possible to obtain that many pairs of fully fashioned stockings.

Our Champagne with black seamed stockings ruffled a few features in the film ‘Allied’ as they were given a real close up in the trailer: an amazing shot of legs walking over broken glass. The so-called stocking experts picked up on this and said, they wouldn't have worn them back in the day, and while our nylon Glamour Seamed Stockings certainly would not have been around, a contrast silk or rayon Fully Fashioned Stockings would not have been out of the question.

Vintage Black, Contrast and Grey Seamed Stockings

black fully fashioned stockings
contrast seam fully fashioned stockings
grey fully fashioned stockings

When it comes to black seamed stockings, they were generally kept for evening wear. This could have been because black stockings are actually very easy to damage. If you're wearing a nude skin tone and you hitched them, the hitch doesn't show, but if you're wearing sheer black then the hitch does show. So by wearing a more natural skin tone, then your stockings last longer and are more durable than black. There would have been some women who just liked wearing black and enjoyed wearing black stockings and would've worn them during the day as well. It just depended on their personal style and finances.

We supply lingerie and stockings for the TV show ‘Peaky Blinders’, in particular the strong female character ‘Aunt Polly’, who the costume department decided to dress in black seamed stockings during the day. If anyone can carry off black nylons for daywear it’s certainly Polly!

The moral of the story is don't worry too much about what you should or shouldn't wear when it comes to seamed stockings. Although the majority of women would have played by the so-called rules and kept it neutral or kept it black, in reality women would have made mixed and matched and changed it up and wore exactly what they wanted to. Of course, this depended on A), whether they could get hold of them and B), whether they could actually afford them.

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