The Stockings Were Hung by the Chimney with Care…but not These!

Silk stockings from Bouvier Frères, Les Modes July 1922. Photo by Henri Manuel.

Silk stockings from Bouvier Frères, Les Modes July 1922. Photo by Henri Manuel.

One aspect of historic clothing that I “miss” is the practice of wearing lovely things even if they aren’t routinely seen by the public. Yes, we have Victoria and all of her secrets, but it’s not the same…whipping on a pair of panties and a bra doesn’t take much effort when it comes to selection. But when you’re living in a society and culture that ascribes meaning to the smallest detail, everything changes. And one of those details I absolutely love is the variety in (and care put into) the stockings that women used to wear when the flash of an ankle was considered revealing or provocative.

These are some of my favorite attention-getters (hubba-hubba):

But my absolute favorites are these. I would love to meet the woman who wore these – she must have had quite the personality!

Ca. 1900 – Paris. “Pair of black silk knitted stockings embroidered with green sequins and green and gold beads. Decorated with a winding silver snake that curls twice around the lower leg and whose head rests on the forepart of foot.” Given by The Dowager Lady Swaythling to Victoria and Albert Museum.

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