How I Became a Stocking Vixen

I always wore skirts much more than my friends growing up, mostly with knee socks in elementary school, then with various shades of pantyhose and tights when I was in high school. Not because of any fetish that I was aware of, I just gravitated that way, partially because my waist is a lot smaller than my hips and it used to be much harder to find pants that fit properly. I did always like finding interesting hose and I owned a lot of it and I did like looking at my legs a lot. I can remember lying on the couch in my rec room with my legs and feet up in the air just looking at them and thinking, "Are they pretty? I think they might be, but can I know?" in a very typical girl-becoming-a woman, kind of way. I have no idea if there was something latent in there. I suspect there must have been because of how crazy the Hosiery Monster went once I let her out of the cage.

I have always thought other female legs were gorgeous. When I was pretty young, I can remember reading an article in People magazine about three different women who each claimed she was the model for the For Your Eyes Only movie poster, and I saved that magazine for years and can remember scrutinizing it fairly often, partially because one of the women said that she had been studying her legs since she was five years old and knew every curve and had no doubt they had used her legs in the final poster (they hadn't).

I do know when the switch flipped in my head though and hosiery and shoes became truly very tingly-charged for me. I was in a Designer Shoe Warehouse, of all places, buying boots and an incredibly good-looking couple was one aisle over from me and the man was kneeling at the woman's feet helping her try on different styles of black knee boots and I could tell he was desperate for her to buy these boots. She was wearing jeans, but the leg was rolled up and she had on a pair of very dark, dense lace black hose (couldn't tell what type) and the poor guy was putting her boots on and very incredibly slowly zipping up the boots while cupping her calf and it was obviously all he could do not to lick his way up her leg. The tension in the air was incredible.

Her calf was very slender and they were trying on boot after boot because they were all too big and he ran around the store, almost in a panic, because he really wanted her to leave with some boots and she was visibly losing patience for the whole endeavor. It was obviously "his thing" and she didn't get it (except I do give her props for wearing hose under her jeans). I just sat on my little shoe-trying-on bench with one foot halfway in the Franco Sarto boot I was going to buy and tried not to stare too hard or climb over the shoes and ask if he'd put boots on me, too.

For some reason, I left there not fixated on boots so much, as really focused on hosiery. Maybe it's because the boots weren't working out for her, but she was already wearing the hosiery, I don't know, but after that I started rabidly collecting photographs of hosiery I found online and buying piles of it in stores, then garter belts, then shopping online because I wasn't satisfied with what I could find in brick-and-mortar stores. It was at the point that I realized I was spending hours every single day looking at photos of hosiery or trying on hosiery or plotting my next hosiery purchase, that I thought it might be a very good idea to start this blog. Especially since I enjoyed the thinking and looking and wearing I was doing so much.

So, that's how I became so obsessed with hosiery. I think hosiery is an endlessly fascinating subject and, recently, my focus has turned towards stockings and thigh highs more than anything else, possibly because they are slightly more novel to me, I'm not certain. They definitely feel sexy, so I don't really need to dissect it too much. I'm just very busy enjoying myself and obviously a good stocking tease is something that really turns my crank. Crank turning is a good thing in my book.


  1. Great post! I love the story of the couple at the shoe store, those types of inspiring moments stick with you forever.

    I've really enjoyed your blog, and so glad you made me aware of it, stockings are so amazing I desperately need a pair (or tons!) of seamed stockings, but never find them in my price range. Ebay is hopeless, if you know of any good seamed stocking supplier that sells for under $10 a pair, I'd love to know.


  2. Hi Solanah, I'm so happy to hear you're reading and that you like it. I really love Vixen Vintage so much and I've learned some things since I started reading your blog. You and Sam are adorable.

    I have had a hard time finding a good PNW brick and mortar supplier of back seam stockings, which are my favorite (in any type of hose)! By the time you slap shipping costs on a $10 pair of stox, it makes the price a little silly unless you're buying a bunch at once, which is why I'm focusing on B&M retailers (plus, in Portland you wouldn't even pay sales tax).

    What I have found in the brick and mortar world that I do REALLY love is Nordstrom's back seam nylon thigh highs, and they cost exactly $10. The quality and feel are excellent and they look great, especially the nude. The shade of the seam and the hose in the nude just pair really nicely. I've had some unsolicited rave reviews on those. ;)

    (For the record, if you run across some Leg Avenue stockings and they look cute and the price is right and you think you can justify the shipping, don't do it; it's a trick. I have fallen for it over and over again and one day I will learn that Leg Avenue makes adorable garbage for the most part.)

    If you are willing to order online, Pretty Polly and Cette are both good brands that make an affordable vintage seamed stocking (under $10) which are available on Stockings HQ. The PP have a point heel and the Cette have a pyramid heel. You don't get a fancy heel with the Nordstrom brand.

    Pretty Polly and Cette:

    (I'm giving you the whole Seamed and Fully-Fashioned stockings page because the individual pages for the items don't have photos. SHQ is rebuilding their site, so they probably haven't gotten to that yet)

    I'm hoping that lots of other people will chime in here. I know Treacle must have some good ideas, and Pink Nylon reviewed the Pretty Polly Vintage Nylon Hold Ups recently here:

    Hope this helps. I would love to hear from anyone out there who knows of a great place to buy hosiery in the PNW.

  3. P.S. I wear a garter belt with my thigh highs all the time just because I like the way that looks better. So, you can move the thigh high more in the stocking direction that way.

  4. Apologies, here is the correct link for the StockingsHQ hosiery.

  5. Thank you! I'll check those all out, maybe even Nordstrom rack will carry some. I wear garter belts too, I have a little collection piling up. I made a pretty pair of garters not too long ago (you'd love them) and they worked ok, until I would bend my knee too much and that would loosen the stocking and the garters would fall to the ground. I could stand such a pin-up-esque moment only once in a day, then it would get a little annoying.

    Yeah, I have one pair of nylons from leg avenue with a super cool panther with rhinestone eyes climbing up the leg, but never wear them because I know they'll tear up with a single little snag.

    Thanks so much!


  6. For inexpensive, quality hosiery from a brick and mortar store, I'd recommend Victoria's Secret. The lingerie is...less than good, but their stockings are really quite nice.

    If you're not strictly reliant on brick and mortar, Jonathan Aston is one of my all time favorite budget brands, and they make great stockings at equally great prices, including retro style backseams.

    Leg Avenue is trash. Even if their stockings cost $1.00, they'd still be too expensive.

    If your garter belt isn't holding up your stockings, it's because you need a stronger garter belt. Unfortunately, the garter belts most retailers sell are for bedroom use only, not for practical daily wear. I did a post about garter belts awhile might be able to help you:

    Finally (and I'll promise I'll leave your blog soon, Vixen!), it's not really a good idea to wear a garter belt with your stay-ups. The latex on the welt that's supposed to keep your stockings on your leg is too thick for the metal garters and will eventually warp them out of shape. Bad news for your really nice pieces.

    Great post. I love your blog! :-)

  7. Thanks, Treacle, that comment was loaded with tons of AWESOME information. One of the reasons I started this blog was so I could learn more about the world of hosiery and that tip about garter belts and hold ups being a no-no is a great thing to learn! Thanks so much for sharing everything you know and you are welcome to set up a comfy chair over here and hang out any time you like.

    I wondered if Victoria's Secret hosiery was any good, so I'm glad to hear that it's decent. I was hoping someone would weigh in on that, since they're in practically every mall and so convenient. I'll pick up a pair or two next time I'm out shopping to try them out.

    So glad you guys agree about Leg Avenue. I would actually love to do a post that was just all about the comments area being a place to say rude things about their stuff. *grin*

  8. Oooh, I can't wait to hear what you pick up. My favorite from the re-vamped VS line is the satin topped thigh highs. They're like $8.50/pair, but the satin tops make them look and feel so luxurious! :-D

  9. Sorry...make that $12.50/pair. The basic stockings are $8.50. :-S

  10. Gotta agree with you on Nordstrom. Their hosiery is outstanding quality for the price. I've worn many of my purchases from there over and over and they are still in as good of shape as they were when I first took them out of the package.

    If you're fortunate enough to live near one (they finally moved into MA about a year ago), they have a much wider selection in their dept. stores than they do online. On top of that, they always have a discount if you purchase three or more pairs.

  11. Thanks for the second on the Nordstrom quality, Pink. I agree on the staying power of the hose, which makes them an even more price-conscious purchase in the long run. Another great thing is that Nordstrom is incredibly customer-service-oriented and my hosiery lady LOVED it that I was willing to chit chat with her about socks and hose and couldn't wait to take down my info so she could call me about sales and special offers.

  12. I love the pantyhose from nordstroms, the quality of their silky sheer is really great and makes me feel yummy. I go to nordstroms rack for some really great deals - 2 pair for $9!

  13. Just discovered this site and love it!!

    Thank you so much!!


  14. What a wonderful site! My name is Geo and it's a pleasure! Please don't hesitate to visit my website as I may have some Vintage Full Fashioned Nylon Stockings that you like just waiting for you and it's been a long time!

  15. Bot sure how I missed this post, what a wonderful and enjoyable read.

    Excellent description of the events that day Lisa.

    Please continue to keep this wonderful blog has exceptional character and class...

    Now I have to think about how our paths did not cross before in the past, especially when I lived in the PacNW from 2000 to mid 2003...sigh :)


Thanks for commenting. Please keep it clean, no spam and most of all have a stockingtacular good time!


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