In my opinion, women of today are becoming de-feminised, wearing less sexy clothes and attempting to be more like men. I was out with my girlfriend on Friday evening, at an open air dramatic event. She thought it a good occasion to wear FF stockings. Although she looked fantastic, you should have heard some of the comments we got. Some of these girls were wearing skirts up to their xxxxxxxx, but because my girlfriend had FFs on, she was called various names I would not like to repeat. We have got to try and get away from this attitude towards FF stockings. How can something that makes a woman look so sexy and elegant have this ‘stigma’? What we need is a high ranking lady celebrity to start wearing them (Posh Spice, Geri, Madonna or someone similar). They started the trend towards ‘maxinet’ fishnets, and now every woman seems to be wearing them (better than bare legs I suppose, but can’t hold a candle to FFs can they?) Also, the fact that you have to go to specialist retailers to buy FFs, makes them seem more ‘fetish’ to the general public. What we need is Aristoc or PP to get some of the original machines working again, and bring back FFs to the high street. I guarantee that would do the trick, or at least improve the situation.
– I am so sorry that your girlfriend was the object of any unkind or offensive remarks – and for what? Wearing fully-fashioned stockings? Something that your mother probably wore, that every single woman wore as recently as 40 years ago as a matter of course? Something that is the supreme height of elegance now? Something that gives pleasure to both wearer and observer? Something that, whilst it may have sex-appeal, can hardly be said to be over-the-top, or blatantly provocative like some of the ultra-short or ultra-tight outfits that were no doubt in evidence at the very same event?
It really is pitiable that any lady should feel discouraged from wearing something as elegant and wonderful as fully-fashioned stockings because of these awful drones who would not know femininity if it ran up and smacked their feminist noses!
I know the sort of experience you had: last year I spent some time with an habitual FF-stocking wearer, and we went to various events ranging from a well-connected official dinner, a society garden party in London, dinners at some top hotels, and various concerts etc. : Whilst fortunately there was no open hostility like you described, there were some pretty piercing glances – usually by women (the men, I suspect were glancing jealously and making poor comparison with their own womenfolk!) And one particular dragon-like American lady, adjacent to us, in the Cumberland Hotel, looked down her nose at my companion as if she was a tart dragged in off the street!
Sadly, I don’t think there’s much likelihood of a “celebrity” causing a comeback – I don’t think much of these so-called “celebrities” anyway – most of whom are bare-legged nowadays – but I do agree that the availability of FF stockings in the high street, as they were until 6 or 7 years ago, is essential to even begin to make them part of accepted and “normal” wear again. Although they are easy to buy, via the Internet and mail order (and there is now quite a variety of styles, colours etc and they can be bought for as little as £7 or £8) the average woman (or man buying for his wife etc) will not necessarily know of these suppliers. FF stockings need to be seen on display in department stores, and marketed as something special – elegant, sophisticated, etc.
If they were tied in with a film where they have been worn to glamorous effect (are there any in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin? ) some women at least might be tempted to experiment and try them – just like they are now with fishnets and those awful “net fence” things which seem to be unbelievably popular (who wants to wear barbed wire on their legs?)
Towards the end, Aristoc tried to market Harmony Point stockings as something special – they came in special gift boxes. The writing was already on the wall with their machinery failing, but now must be the time to try this again. Come on Eleganti, Gio and the others who may be reading this – put your own self-interest in profits aside for a moment and try to arrange supply contracts with the department stores, Sock Shop etc. The long-term survival of FF stockings is at stake here! I don’t mean that unkindly – you are doing a great job just keeping the machinery going – without you there would be no FF manufacture, let alone future for them – but what we need is widespread marketing, outlets and so on even if by using middleman it reduces the profits to be obtained by the manufacturers. There is no reason for FF wearing to die out – the ladies just need the opportunity to try them and see what a pleasure it is to wear them! That will only happen if they see them on sale in department stores etc when they normally buy hosiery.
The analogy has been made before: those of us who use fountain pens will never use biros unless we have to. If ink, or cartridges became restricted to a small number of specialist pen shops, then I think the next generation would hardly be likely ever to start using fountain pens – as a matter of convenient supply. Ink is still widely available, as is fountain pen use.
The women I know who have started wearing stockings again, with only one exception, wear seamless today. In my experience they don’t really want to stand out in a crowd but they do want to feel refined, sophisticated and feminine.
The one lady I know who does wear seams is a wonderful woman and a slight exhibitionist at that. When she once showed a stocking top in a pub, I tried to pull her skirt hem down but she stopped me because, she later explained, that was part of her reason for wearing stockings. This is fine by me too.
The other women I know just want to feel feminine and only want to be acknowledged in private as looking great in stockings. It is entirely a personal thing. They exclusively wear seamless stockings, sometimes modern, sometimes vintage, and I love them all for it.
As to seams, it may sound like heresy in this group, but while they may be nice I don’t really like them all that much. Give me seamless any day. Seams tend to make a woman stand out too much, and they do seem to be a taste for males if you ask me. More women will convert to stockings if they are not made to feel objects of attention.
However, I truly am sorry your girlfriend had to suffer such verbal abuse.
As to trousers, well young women wear them, and sometimes they even look okay when they’re tight and you can’t see a panty line, but the drudge of so many females wearing black trousers is really quite depressing some days.
Eventually, however, even these women will want to feel feminine again, and they will come around. Fashions change. And while this is the 21st century, stockings still sell, even if only to a minority.
Just call me an eternal optimist, but I have come to know a number of women who have come back to stockings and they are a great bunch and they have done it because they like it, not because men asked them to (although some will acknowledge that the notice they get from men is part of it).
There is still wine in the glass as far as I am concerned, but maybe I am luckier than some in knowing some more refined women who do like to be feminine.