Grandma’s Attic and Family History of Stockings

March 10, 2014 under History, Vintage

by Julia, about her grandma in Ukraine 

One time at my grandma’s place I saw old nylon pantyhose. My grandma told me that she has even more interesting items took out a bag of old clothes from the attic.  It was full of various stockings, old pantyhose, socks, leg warmers, and spatterdashes.

vintage garter belt USSR - пояс ГђВґГђ»Р“‘ВЏ чуÐ»Р“ђВѕГђВє 1950 1960 ГђВЎГђВЎГђВЎГђ  УкрÐ°Р“ђВёГђВЅГђ°

Julia’s grandma’s garter belt

"These are the ancestors of today’s pantyhose" – said grandma – "Look."

Grandma showed me her old leg warmers that her mom wore to work. During that time buildings didn’t have proper heating and in order not to catch a cold she wore shorts, legwarmers, and socks. In the 50’s the items that saved her from the cold were spatterdashes, warm socks, and rubber boots. In addition to that great grandma wore stockings. They came in different colours – beige, black, grey, brown. Even though stockings were not warm, but they looked very fancy.

Гђ±Р“С’°Р“С’±Р“‘ƒÑˆÐºÐ¸Ð½Ñ‹ ГђВіГђµР“‘‚ры, УкрÐ°Р“ђВёГђВЅГђ°, ГђВЎГђВЎГђВЎГђ , Г‘Л†ГђµР“‘€ÑÑ‚ÑŒ

Julia is wearing her grandma’s spatterdashes

"Now, these are already my own stockings" – said grandma – "… they have a patterned knit from wool yarn.  And, here, these ones are machine knit from cotton yarn.  And these other ones are made of silk.  Such stockings were worn under long knickers and they would hold up on the legs thanks to the round elastic bands , 2 – 3 cm wide. Later we acquired stockings made of dederon (a trade mark for polyester yarn) and such stockings would attach to a garter belt. Such stockings were comfortable and pretty."

 

My grandma wore such dederon stockings for about 3 to 4 decades and she shared a funny story with me from her youth.  When she was in high school, she would run away with the other girls between classes to a discount store to buy such stockings at lower prices. Once they didn’t return in time and were late for their chemistry class. For they had to go in front of the school committee and write a note explaining where they were for half of the lesson.

"Later nylon pantyhose appeared" – grandma continued – "They were not durable and not comfortable. Those pantyhose were replaced by a type with a panel between the thighs and they were much more comfortable.

Now for plus size women there are pantyhose with an extra panel of fabric in the front and at the back and they are so elastic.  Depending on the season, there are warm styles and lace fishnet styles."

In those times men didn’t notice women in pantyhose as much as in today’s time. Stockings and pantyhose were just common items in a women’s wardrobe. Today men tend to gather around women in nice pantyhose. There is an unexplained force that in public places attracts men to the wearers of pretty pantyhose. Men, enchanted by the beauty of women’s legs in pantyhose, will not necessarily sit or stand near the one with nice legs in pantyhose, but will choose a spot from where that woman can be seen well.

 

What My Grandpa Thinks about Bare Legs in Winter

January 19, 2013 under Practical

woman walking in sheer pantyhose in the snow

Freezing my feet off in cold weather is a dangerous thing for me.  I know, if I prance around in some fancy summer heels and light pantyhose in winter, next day I’ll be down with some serious health problems in the private sector that may linger for a long time afterwards.

How do I know this if I never tried it?  Well, that’s what I’ve been told over and over when I was growing up by my Grandma.  As a child, I would come back from a walk outdoors in winter, she would take off my shoes and feel my feet.  If my feet were cold, she would panic.  She passed away last year and I miss her dearly, we were very close.

I called up my grandfather and decided to ask him about this.

 

Me: Grandpa, women here go with bare legs in winter. 

Grandpa: When I was little, we had neighbours who went practically barefoot.  They had a large family and no money to buy clothing.

Me: Well, the women here simply don’t want to bother to wear pantyhose.  I see them in dresses and bare legs on the subway.

Grandpa: I also recently saw a homeless guy in the subway with pants that had holes in them.  Really, these days people throw clothes in the dumpster.  Can’t he find pants without holes there? 

Me: Look, the women here just don’t want to wear anything on their legs.  They don’t think that it can affect their health.

Grandpa: Oh, common, they have plenty of clothes in North America!  Why would they go bare-legged if there is plenty of clothing?

 ***

No matter how I tried to explain that these women are making a conscious choice to go with bare legs, my grandpa couldn’t grasp this bizarre idea.  To him poverty was the only explanation to bare legs in cold weather.

 ***

Me: Grandpa, I remember Grandma used to tell me to keep my legs warm, especially everything below the knee.  She told me that if the feet get chilled, it will lead to gynaecological problems.

Grandpa: Not only!  It’s bad for both men and women.  Grandma knew everything about that.

Me: How do you know this?  Did you read this somewhere or is this some kind of wisdom passed down from the ancestors? 

Grandpa: It’s common knowledge that areas on your feet correspond to your other bodyparts like liver, kidneys, and so on.  Don’t you have Vietnamese people there in Vancouver?  Ask them, their Eastern Medicine is progressive.

 

There is a notion in some parts of Europe and some parts of Asia about the concept of feet being connected to other forms in a person’s body.  I guess that what you consider this to be depends on where you reside.

If you are North American, you may think of this as nonsense.  If you are in a place like Hungary, let’s say, you may think of this as common truth that everyone knows.

Thus, if you are from the States or Canada, just forget everything you read above.

Go ahead, start your day, but please wear your pantyhose anyway!

sheer pantyhose on the street with high heels