Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style

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Entries in lingerie (26)

Saturday
Nov152008

Words From the Bluestocking Salon

You might have noticed by now that I rather like stockings. I don’t mean pantyhose. Yuk. I hate the constrictive feel of them around my tush. You feel like a sausage. Even more annoying is when you go to the loo, you have to pull them down and up again caaarefully so that you don’t twist them (urgh, even more uncomfortable!). And you have to make sure patterns are straight, or you don’t just plain old go stick a finger right through those 10 deniers.

Stay-ups or thigh-highs, or whatever is your preferred appellation for them, are traditionally known as ‘stockings’. Stockings, before the invention of nylon and later, Lycra, were held up with suspenders. Men might find them sexy in the bedroom, but have you ever worn them out? The horror when one of the buttons come undone! Surreptitious fiddling, sideways looks … I’ve been there; it ain’t pretty, and I ain’t going back.

Of course, you may have read of my misadventure with stay-ups – I don’t say they always stay up, but they do add a little spice to your day!

I have managed to collect a few different pairs. You’ve seen the red ones, and the black and white striped pair. And now you’ve seen the cobalt blue ones with the saucy bows. Apparently (according to Wikipedia) in the mid-eighteenth century, blue stockings were daytime or more informal wear; however, I won’t be wearing these out in public any time soon.

They were in fact my attempt to locate some like the pair Kirsten Dunst wears as Marie Antoinette in a love scene that is the epitome of sugar and spice, and all things nice.

Once upon a time, calling a woman a ‘bluestocking’ was deemed an insult; aimed at educated, intellectual women. (Of course, that’s been reversed these days with the affectionate term, ‘bimbo’.) There was even a Blue Stockings Society of England in the mid-eighteenth century – women met together to discuss arts and literature. (Select males were invited on occasion.) That sounds rather like fun, especially when you learn that ‘tea, biscuits and other light refreshments would be served to guests by the hostesses’.

Below you’ll find some vintage ads from the 40s and 50s which are gorgeous to look at, even if they hark back to a time when many women were more bimbo than bluestocking.

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