Lurex Hosiery – What is Lurex Material?

May 24, 2013 under Style

LUREX MATERIAL

Lurex tights by Fiore – available at the shop section

Hosiery decorated with metallic yarn, or Lurex, is a common sight these days, especially around the holiday time when people want to put on every sparkling garment they possibly can.  But have you ever wondered, how did it come to be that metal became part of our garments?  I looked up some information that may help to understand what it really is.

 

Lurex material was invented in the 1940s and it is simply a combination of several types of synthetic yarns woven together with aluminium.  It is a thread like a thin strip of a shiny film of metal-like appearance.  In some dictionaries it says that the word Lurex can refer to the shiny material that consists of such threads.  Such yarn is added to the weave to create an effect of metallic shine.  But it is never used on its own because of its roughness and lack of durability.

 

Lurex is a trade mark of such metallic yarn.  It is produced in many countries and it is obtained from aluminium foil coated with a film or an emulsion to avoid oxidation.  In order to obtain different colours, a pigment is added.

 

DISCO DECADES OF LUREX

Such clothing, containing Lurex, was unusually popular during the disco decades of 1970s and 1980s.  The first one to demonstrate tops with addition of Lurex yarn was a designer Bill Gibb in 1970s.  In 1980s this yarn was a top fashion hit and such synthetic shine is the characteristic became associated with that time.

 

Lurex pantyhose may have it all over, or just a side pattern somewhere that sparkles and creates a certain party spirit.  If you decided to buy such pantyhose, it’s best to give some thought as to where you’ll wear it.  Perhaps it’s best to save for a disco outing.

 

LUREX DECORATED PANTYHOSE

Kasima pantyhose with lurex by FiorePerhaps it’s important to say that Lurex is not meant for not for indecisive and shy women or fans of minimalism in fashion.  This is a material that draws attention to the wearer and highlights the figure.

 

Also, it is interesting to note that Lurex is not a word that is strictly associated with female wardrobe.  Some Italian stylists offer a shiny sweater and classic cut pants as an evening outfit for men.  We’ll keep you posted if Italian machos will follow stylists’ recommendations.

 

The fashion of shiny garments seems to come back every now and then, so such clothing may very well be tomorrow’s new trend again.  It’s something that today we regularly see in evening dresses, scarves, hats, stockings, and so on.  Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Diane Von Furstenberg, Max Mara, Salvatore Ferragamo, Oscar de La Renta are just some of the designers who periodically demonstrate Lurex-decorated collections.

SUPER SHINY LUREX TIGHTS

Modeled by Thomas, a big hosiery fan from Austria.  His ultra-shiny pantyhose is beautiful, but he admits that he needs to wear another sheer pair underneath because otherwise it’s just too itchy.

Lurex pantyhose Lurex pantyhose 2

Vintage Advertisement for Artificial Silk Stockings

November 18, 2012 under Vintage

I found this ad somewhere and thought to share it with my readers.  Is anyone nostalgic yet looking at those stockings with reinforced toes, soles, and heels?  Silk stockings, despite their sky high price, were the most desirable accessory for women. Even Coco Chanel said that it’s better to have a wrinkle on the skin than on the stockings.

I was in Washington DC this summer, browsing the Smithsonian district.  I kept on asking if they had vintage stockings since I’ve read on their blog that they do.  Introduction of the nylon stockings was a major milestone in the clothing industry, as you can see from the history section of this blog.

Perhaps the exhibit was no longer displayed since I couldn’t find it.  But if anyone of you have ever seen it there, please let me know and share your experiences with the rest of us.

Update from 2017: One of my internet friends here, Ian, says that he visited a car museum in England called the Lake’s Transport museum. They had a display of fashion from the 1960s and there was a pair of vintage stockings there by Mary Quant.

Pretty Garters – Guest Post Opportunity

November 16, 2012 under Love

I am looking for guest bloggers to write about garters for cross-promotion.

What a pretty accessory, but where did it come from?  At least traditionally, garters were meant to be worn in pairs with stockings to prevent them from falling down.  But isn’t it kind of bad for circulation?

Inna, the woman who did my “history of hosiery” page, said that first stay up stockings came out around 60’s.  Maybe that’s what made the garter obsolete.

There was also something online saying that there used to be tradition of a garter being brought back by the groom to show that he “did it” with the bride.  Some weddings still use it.  I find it kind of immodest, for sure would not want anything of this sort at my own wedding.

But do you notice that women wear these mostly without any stockings at all now?  I’ve been to Can Cun and they had some young bride there walking around in a mini dress, garter, and flip flops.  Can’t get funnier than this!  It was in the evening, so you can’t blame the heat.

I figured I’ll post this and see if anyone would like to do a guest post on this topic.

Interview with CJ from Tights Fashion UK

November 3, 2012 under Interviews

Fantasy Stockings is pleased to present this interview with CJ from TightsFashion, a UK-based website that provides comparison of hosiery brands and presents a lot of useful information and  beautiful photos.  

 

How did you decide to start your site?  Many people like the product, but only a few decide to go as far as you with the idea.

 

It might surprise visitors to TightsFashion on to know that there was a time when I had no interest in tights and knew nothing about them.   An engineer by training and careful with money by nature I was alarmed by how often my wife threw out tights and bought new pairs.  To cut a long story short I did some testing together with my wife to find a brand and style of hosiery that would offer the optimum value for money… the most durability for least cost while at the same time looking good.

TightsFashion was more of an accident than a plan.  I was experimenting with a few things relating to search engine rankings for another project and decided to set up a site in another area entirely to test the ideas.   I had some data on tights/pantyhose to hand from my earlier research with my wife so decided to use that as the content to save time and effort.

Then I was approached by a hosiery retailer wanting me to become an affiliate and carry advertising… the rest as they say is history.

 

Do you have any totally wild and outrageous ideas for hosiery photoshoots that you would like to create? 

 

I have one idea, but perhaps not one to share with your readers.  I would love to shoot a transsexual model, but in such a way that it was not apparent what she was; that is pass her off as just another young woman.

Why?  You might ask.   Well there was a rumour some years ago that a major hosiery retailer was using a model of this type on their packaging, the suggestion being that people who are genetically male don’t get cellulite.   I have no idea if that is true, but if they could get away with it then why couldn’t I.

 

You probably meet men who actually enjoy wearing hosiery.  Do you feel that there is a good market for men’s hosiery?

 

Hosiery for men is a tricky topic.   I think men make up a significant part of the hosiery buying and hosiery wearing population, particularly on-line.  The problem is that many/most of those men are not buying for reasons of fashion.

Some men are buying to keep warm or for medical reasons, a lot of specialist make hosiery has more in common with thermal underwear than fashion hosiery and on the whole I find it uninteresting.

My view is that for most men buying hosiery there is a fetish aspect and the fact that tights/pantyhose are made for women is part of the appeal.  My own view is that "female" hosiery is generally nicer to wear, and usually far cheaper to buy.

 

I can’t help but notice your photography skills, did you learn yourself or did you enroll in some formal training? 

 

Aside from a few hours of very basic tuition I am entirely self-taught as far as photography is concerned.  I would like to get a lot more time in the studio with models to try more things and to learn more. Some of my shoots are purely for learning and never get published.

 

I am always interested in how producers choose their models.  What is important to you and based on what criteria do you choose them?

 

Generally I use girls who are new to or hoping to get into modelling.  Partly this is to give new talent a chance, plus it lets me take complete control and work at my own pace.

 

I also try to choose models who live close by and perhaps most importantly like hosiery… the one shot I did that really disappointed me was with a model with a great body but no love of hosiery.

 

I avoid tattoos because they distract from the tights.   I don’t demand perfect skin as the whole point of the hosiery is to cover the imperfections.

 

Do you have any other interests or hobbies that you enjoy in your spare time?

 

I am not quite sure what "spare time" is.  I have rather a lot of hobbies and interests and not enough time to do them all.  I really enjoy hiking/walking and I often combine this with a love of travel.   I am very interested in wine and I run a wine tasting club that meets once a month… my holidays tend to be to places with vineyards too.

 

I enjoy working on my garden and I have a pond with koi carp.  Photography of course, outdoor rather than in the studio.

 

I am a member of a clay pigeon shooting club … (for those not familiar with the sport the "pigeons" are clay discs fired from a catapult launcher, they replaced live pigeons many decades ago), and a badminton club.

 

Why do you think that pantyhose and stockings sales declined in the past 2 decades? 

 

I don’t have any firm data on this, and of course I can really only look at the UK, but my feeling is that compared to 1992 the market is smaller but growing fast.   The growth in the number of on line retailers, and the success of more established sites like UKTights is testament to this.

 

You say that “what is right for a girlfriend and what is right for a wife are different”.  Can you explain to us how so?  In my ideal world there wouldn’t be a difference, but I realize that it may not be the case for others.

 

 

This is just an observation based on many years of experience.   A girlfriend will love it that you bought her something sexy and expensive, a wife will probably complain at the waste of money and the fact it is not the style she usually wears.  Of course it varies from woman to woman but I expect most married men will know what I mean.

 

 

You mention that in your tights review you talk about sizing.  I usually take size Medium, but I find that it really varies from brand to brand.  Why do you think they can’t just make these sizes standard worldwide to keep it simple for the consumer?

 

This is an easy one.   Look at the average woman in the USA.  Now look at the average Japanese woman.  Then consider the varying heights and shapes across Germany, Italy, France, Spain, UK… there is simply no way that you can make any small/medium/large system work across the whole range.   I do find it frustrating that the European size schemes all use similar notation but the sizes are different.

e.g. Kunert size IV is 44-46 in Germany, 46-48 in Italy and France and 50-52 in Russia, and what do those numbers mean anyway?

 


I notice that you really praise seamless pantyhose in your reviews.  Do you think that seamless would be the hosiery of the future?  I recently tried on an evening dress and realized that seams from my pantyhose were showing through the gentle fabric. 


I love seamless pantyhose but they are not the future.   I do think though that every premium brand should have a seamless style precisely for the reason that you mention, even the best flat seams can show through light and tight fashion.  That and seamless look and feel so sexy.

Why not the future?   Well they are expensive to make for one so will never displace hosiery made in two halves and seamed together.   The seamless knitting process makes it hard to knit a deep body section so they tend to be hipster styled unless you are very slim in the hips and bottom, they you can get them waist high.

 

In your tips for gift ideas, you mention that it’s best not to go with hosiery less than 10 den.  Does this mean that you personally are not a fan of ultra-sheer hosiery? 

 

On the contrary I am a huge fan of ultra-sheer hosiery, and I suspect many men buying hosiery as a gift might love the idea the ultra-sheer material on their loved one.

My advice is aimed at men who need advice and I am trying to avoid the situation of a guy buying sheer hosiery for his lady who is not a regular wearer of sheer hosiery and ruining it either taking it from the packet or putting it on, particularly if the ultra-sheer hosiery is not top quality.  I have had 10 denier 40% lycra pantyhose from the supermarket literally fall to bits as I stretched it prior to wearing.  Some of the best hosiery is 5-9 denier, but this is not for the beginner in my experience.

 

It is quite rare to see pantyhose in a fashion magazine unless it’s some kind of a winter jacket commercial that obviously won’t be styled with summer sandals.  Do you have any opinion on why this bare leg look is promoted in the fashion industry?  

 

This is an interesting question.   It shows in some ways how North America lags behind Europe in terms of fashion.  Two years ago the fashion press would still be saying "steer clear of sheer" but now sheer hosiery is popular even among, or maybe particularly among, younger women.

 

Some women of a certain age who never wore hosiery still go for the bare leg look but now they are the ones out of step with fashion.  It will be interesting to see if the look transfers over the Atlantic in the coming year.

TightsFashion is unique on the web, although there have been attempts to copy both the content and the format.   First and foremost it is a site for lovers of hosiery as a fashion item, designed to provide information on as many styles and brands as possible and to provide price comparison between the leading on line retailers.  The information on the site is provided for all to use free of charge, to promote the wearing of hosiery for the beautifying of legs everywhere.

 

If you would like to stay current with the updates from TightsFashion, you are welcome to follow CJ on Twitter, @TightsFashion, or connect on Facebook through the Tights Fashion Fan Page.  

http://www.tightsfashion.co.uk/

 

Coco Chanel and Suntan Stockings

August 7, 2012 under Vintage

Before Coco Gabrielle Chanel, suntan was something associated with peasants and women tried to avoid it at all costs.

But thanks to her, she put an end to that trend and even came out with her own line of tan stockings by Chanel.  Even up to this day, Chanel brand still offers hosiery.

Interesting Point:

Did you know that before she became a fashion legend, Coco Chanel used to work as a clerk in a small hosiery shop? Legends do start small! From humble beginnings to grandeur!

Career: Clerk, Au Sans Pareil hosiery shop, Moulins, 1902-04

This Chanel design in the photo has been copied and re-created by so many different brands. But nothing looks the same as Chanel.

*dear friends, please visit the SHOP section – this is what funds this blog*

What is this little hole for in the welt of the vintage backseam stockings?

August 3, 2012 under Vintage

What is this small hole (keyhole) for in the welt of the vintage backseam stockings?

Answer by StockingsHQ on twitter:

“That’s the finishing loop and it is needed so the needle doing the seam can be withdrawn.  It’s the mark of a genuine fully fashioned stocking as opposed to something with just a cosmetic seam.”

Real 100% nylon stockings with a keyhole in the welt – exactly the way it was in the past when ladies would stand in lines for hours to buy some.  There are only a few factories in the world that are capable of producing such vintage-like hosiery.

The thought of fully fashioned stockings and suspender belt. makes me a little bit nostalgic because there is not much of this around.  Valentine’s or your own wedding… that’s when women might give it a try.

“Blue Stocking” – isn’t it time for a new definition?

July 18, 2012 under Vintage

I am posing in a styled outfit and blue stockings with the Science World Dome in the background.

Historical Meaning of “Blue Stocking”

In some languages this is quite a common phrase, it usually refers to a completely unattractive woman who only cares about her studies or work and nothing else.

Let’s look back in history to see where this figure of speech came from.  It seems that at least all around Europe this is usually directed at a highly intellectual woman to ridicule her a little bit for her nerdy outfit.  The meaning of this expression is quite vague, depending on the country or era.  This term in German is known as Blaustrumpf, in Dutch as blauwkous and in French as bas-bleu.

Falbala stockings are beautifully decorated with gold and silver studs and ribbons.

Even though this phrase is used to describe a woman, it originated in Europe as a nickname for Benjamin Stillingfleet in the 17th century who was a botanist, translator, and an author from England.  He was a very intellectual man and without him there was no more interesting discussions.  However, he paid no attention to fashion, wearing blue stockings instead of silk black, as it was common back then.  Other sources may say that silk was too expensive, so he wore blue worsted stockings instead.

The "lack of fashion" idea was later emphasized by a French painter Honore Victorin Daumier in the mid of 19th century who painted humorous series called Les Bas Bleus to mock the blue stockings society. These paintings had a satiric nature to them, showing women in a repelling and androgynous way, completely immersed in philosophical discussions and oblivious to the mess and dirt around them.

 

Meaning of "Blue Stocking" in different countries

Germany:  This was a way to tease those who tell on others (snitch or tattle teller), thus making a reference to street policemen who wore blue stockings.

Italy:  Probably this is the only country with a positive meaning for this expression.  InVenice in XV century blue stockings were only reserved for scientists and academics.  It was an attribute of an educated person.

France:  For French this expression would be a synonym of being a slob.  It implied that one would be so immersed in intellectual development that would not pay any attention to fashion and household chores.

Eastern Block:  In former USSR this is a way to call a woman without any charm who only focuses on her work or academics.  But this is probably all coming from the French.

Could this be the reason why navy blue hosiery is so rare these days?  Could it have the negative connotation dating to the middle ages in Europe?  It is time for an upgrade.

Blue Stockings Lounge is a place to visit for unforgettable cabaret shows in South Wales.

Have you seen women wearing these at all lately?  This is 2012 and when I look at educated women, they are rarely in stockings to begin with!  There is even rarely a dress code in science-oriented companies and most women come in blue jeans, not in blue stockings.  Why can’t a woman in blue stockings be a smart and trendy lady who knows how to present herself well?

Let me share some responses here that I got from people about blue stockings.

Falbala:  There is also a UK online store called Falbala that offers hand made decorated stockings and a lot of them are blue, Karen, the owner admits that blue and gold is her favourite combination.  Their products are actually very unique and trendy, thus re-defining blue stockings as a modern fashion accessory.  I asked her how to wear blue stockings in a stylish way and this was her reply " I wear them with black denim shorts, patent black heels and a royal blue top with a gold necklace".

 

Bluestocking Lounge:  This is in fact quite a trendy burlesque lounge in South Wales and for sure they are not lacking any style.  To answer my questions about why they chose this name, this is what they had to say on Twitter about this:

"This exactly what we are about – going against the norm and doing the unexpected.  Our guests feel like they’re a secret society!  A name is just a name until you fill it with meaning by however you use it.  I took it (the name) from Bluestocking Society, the 1400s society founded in Venice by erudite men and women."

Tricity Vogue photographed by Gavin Mecaniques

Tricity Vogue :  Another interesting personality is a jazz and cabaret singer, Tricity.  She is also the co-founder of the Blue Stockings Society cabaret and burlesque sorority in London, UK.

I asked about what this expression means to her and this was her reply on Twitter: "To me blue stockings mean a combination of clever and sexy, with a healthy dose of rebellion thrown in."  What a perfect way to put it!  She wrote the best detailed history article of what blue stocking really means and where it came from.  You can read it here.

 

Links

Thank you to those who contributed to this post:

Falbala Stockings – a source of crafty and fashionable stockings in many fashion colours, including blue.

http://www.falbala.co.uk/ (UK online store)

Blue Stockings Lounge – a dynamic burlesque and alternative cabaret lounge offering a variety of shows, events, classes/workshops and custom parties.

http://bluestockinglounge.com/ (South Wales)

Tricity Voque – one of a kind vintage jazz and cabaret singer, ukulele player, co-founder of the Blue Stockings Society in London.

http://www.tricityvogue.com/ (London)

Blue Stockings Society –  London’s cabaret and burlesque sorority, founded by a cabaret performer Tricity Voque and an international burlesque clown Audacity Chutzpah.  They are a regular Time Out Critics Choice and their nights have been dubbed "London’s most celebrated sorority" with "the best line-up in town."

http://bluestockingssociety.wordpress.com (London)

 

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1938 – stockings body paint salon!

July 11, 2012 under Vintage

What are these women doing?

They are getting stockings painted on their legs.  In 1938 nylon stockings became rare because all production was needed for the war to make parachutes.

Such salons had stockings paint in all different shades and they would even draw a backseam with a special tool.  You can learn more about this in the history section of this blog.

Backseam: the only pattern not to lose popularity over the years

June 25, 2012 under Vintage

gio cuban heel fully fashioned stockingsThe only pattern to successfully outlive all turbulence  in history of women’s hosiery, without losing its popularity, is the backseam.  Sexual, not vulgar, it decorates legs like an exclamation mark, immediately attracting attention.

It even looks like some brands, like Gio or Cervin, carved out a special niche of customers who appreciate the traditional design of a fully-fashioned stocking.

Cosmetic backseam (just a straight line at the back) is relatively not hard to find if you live in a big city with plenty of department stores.  But fully-fashioned stockings are a different story.

I personally have never seen fully-fashioned stockings for sale in any retail location.  If it wouldn’t be for online hosiery stores, I would probably have no chance of getting my hands on one of those at all.

Symbol of Aristocracy – some history highlights

June 19, 2012 under Vintage

The first woman to put on stockings was Markiza de Pompadour in the 18th century.  She was the lady of Ludovik XV and for all the women around she was like an icon of style.  So all the rest followed, excited with this new trend.

Other famous women, like French Catherine de’ Medici and her neighbour Elizabeth I from England, both wore stockings for warmth and for adoration from their male admires.  Since then, hosiery is symbol of individuality and aristocracy.  Only the rich could afford to have it.

Still, hosiery remains to be a garment of high class and professionalism.  I look back to those times when hosiery was a distinction between an aristocrat lady and a peasant girl.  Knowing the history makes it more meaningful to complete my look with a pair of sheer plain pantyhose – I am keeping this wonderful tradition alive.

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