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Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox. Pantyhose are making a comeback! At least they are according to the Wall Street Journal. We might have Kate Middleton to thank for that, or women could have just gotten really tired of applying spray tan to their legs during winter. Michelle Obama claimed a few years ago, "I stopped wearing pantyhose a long time ago, because it was painful and they'd always rip.
And I'm 5'11", so I'm tall, nothing fits. Put 'em on, rip 'em. It's inconvenient. Dorothy Parker preferred to go bare-legged as far back as the s. But while some really cool women have always preferred the bare-legged look, for most of history they were in the minority.
Nylons were extremely popular basically starting from the moment they were invented in The nylon material was new and it was billed as the best thing ever. The New York Times claimed nylons were "strong as steel" and promotional campaigns that featured models playing tug of war with them illustrated their durability. Women loved it. Literally millions of pairs were sold during their first few weeks of production. Women took to drawing lines up the back of their legs with eyebrow pencils to give the impression that they were wearing highly-prized pairs of stockings.
The film Kiss Them For Me, based on the wartime play, features a scene where a group of sailors lure women up to their room by putting a in the hotel lobby that promises "free nylons. Finally, inthose factories began producing nylons again. In the s, '40s, and '50s, nylon stockings were held up either by garter belts or by a girdle.
Girdles, if you've never worn one, are extremely uncomfortable — at least by today's standards there will certainly be a vintage aficionado out there who thinks they are very comfortable, but that aficionado is wrong. They are like a crazy cage around your waist, but they were still considered a necessity in the '50s. Inthe textile manufacturer Allen Gant Sr. That meant that she was having a nightmarish time getting into a girdle to hold up her stockings. She tried sewing a pair of stockings directly to her underwear. Grant liked it so much that she suggested her husband make something similar.
He did, but, really, Ethel Gant should get credit for inventing pantyhose. In Ebony magazine wrote about how the new garment "offered a solution to the garter problem" and bymillion pairs a year were being produced compared to only million pairs in Life magazine hailed them, inas being "a sartorial spin-off from Rock Culture, Miniskirt division. Or, at least, impossible to wear garters without the garters being seen, which was not a look many people were going for. She writes, "Each pair of pantyhose comes encased in a plastic container copied as nearly as modem technology can manage after one of nature's most perfect packages.
At Easter time, these plastic egg shaped containers are especially appealing because they come what year was pantyhose invented 'robin's-egg-blue, bunny-rabbit-pink, baby-chick yellow, pretty-pastel-purple and jelly-bean green. If you watch Mad Men you might remember a scene where the makers of Topaz pantyhose suggest that maybe they could sell pantyhose in the shape of a jewel, a suggestion which the Mad Men team collectively rolls their eyes at.
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Before Pantyhose Were a Curse, They Were a Revelation