The Complete Stockings Guide

At True Corset, we don’t play around when it comes to beautiful quality hosiery. With a focus on fully fashioned stockings, our collection is crafted using vintage knitting machines, allowing us to create stunning quality, authentic stockings that our customers come back for time and time again and love to wear.

One of the main reason’s our customers trust us when it comes to stockings is that we’re serious about knowing our stuff. Whether that’s flat knitting our stockings or offering advice on the perfect heel choice for your style, when we’re discussing the matter of stockings, we’ve got the expertise to back it up.

Whether you’re a newbie to the world of authentic stockings or you’re a seasoned fan with a specific question, we’ve created our Complete Guide to Stockings to make your decision-making as streamlined as possible. Finish your vintage look with the perfect pair of stockings or update your workwear wardrobe with the elegant touch of our hosiery. But first, find out everything you need to know about stockings with our 411 guide, right here.

A History of Hosiery

Hosiery has long been a part of society and fashion with Anglo-Saxon links to the word itself, meaning a covering of sorts. Although men have worn various versions of hosiery-type garments for centuries, one of the first major points in hosiery’s history came in the 16th century when Queen Elizabeth was presented with a pair of knitted silk stockings and absolutely loved them. During this century, machines were beginning to be invented to take away the job of hand-making hosiery.

Alongside the invention of Rayon, the 19th century bought with it the start of the industrial production of stockings and the beginning of the 20th century saw a revolution into the production of more and better manmade fabrics which increased the quality of the production of stockings.

In 1938 Nylon was created and within a couple of years had been used to make tights in replacement of silk and millions of pairs had been sold all over the US.

Through the ‘60s and ‘70s, we saw everything from Twiggy-style polka dot and striped tights to rock n roll fishnets, as tights took over from stockings as the most popular choice for day to day wear.

Today, women have everything from stomach-control tights to lace stockings and everything in between to choose from as hosiery continues to be a pivotal part of our wardrobes. The global hosiery industry is now said to be worth around $35 billion, proving that when it comes to our hosiery, we’re not messing around.

What Are the Different Types of Hosiery?

Because hosiery is a fairly vague term in our world, we thought we’d take a look a little more closely into the different types of hosiery that we might refer to and, in particular, the types of stockings that you might come across.

What Are Fully Fashioned Stockings?

Crafted in Nylon, Fully Fashioned stockings are the major focus for True Corset when it comes to creating beautiful stockings for our customers. Made using a vintage Reading knitting machine, which knits just 30 stockings an hour, fully fashioned stockings are knitted flat and sewn together with a seam at the back, which gives each stocking that authentic, retro finish. Each pair of fully fashioned stockings is crafted individually with a sultry denier that perfectly balances the sheerness and depth of colour.

At the top of fully fashion stockings, you’ll find the welt. This is the darker section of the stocking, which is double thickness of the stocking itself and used to attach your suspender belt. At the back of the welt, you’ll find a keyhole (finishing loop) detail that makes the stockings truly authentic. This keyhole allows the seamstress hand making each stocking to finish the seam by turning the welt in a complete circle.

What Are RHT Stockings?

Reinforced heel and toe stockings, or RHT stockings, as they are more commonly referred to, offer an ultra-robust stocking which is crafted using a folding technique at both the heel and toe. This gives these areas a darker appearance and also strengthens these areas, making them less likely to hole and allowing them to last longer.

What Are the Different Stocking Heel Types?

Do stockings all look the same to you? Well, look a little closer and you might notice some slightly more conspicuous differences when it comes to the designs of the heels. Where the seams at the heel are reinforced with folded fabric for robustness, the heel takes on a darker colour, the shape of which has changed and evolved over the decades and been given their very own names for preference. Let’s take a look at some of the heel types you’re most likely to see.

How to Care for Your Fully-Fashioned Stockings

Let’s take a look at how you can care for and make the most of your favourite fully fashioned stockings, ensuring you can wear them time and time again whilst keeping them looking brand new.

How Does Sizing Work for Fully Fashioned Stockings?

Fully fashioned stockings have very little stretch compared to other types of tights so therefore, it’s important to get the size just right when ordering. We have a general size guide that you can see below but sometimes with fully fashioned stockings, it’s not quite as easy as a direct size match.

If you have thicker or curvier legs, it’s best to size up slightly from the size you see in the guide below. This same applies if you are particularly tall. Stockings are measured in length so the larger the foot size or the thicker the legs, the lower the stocking will sit. If you are not quite sure where you sit when it comes to sizing, simply get in touch with one of our experts and we’d be more than happy to advise.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to stockings, we have a passion for authentically crafted, retro styles that add a pure sense of sophistication to any outfit. From choosing the perfect style for you to knowing the difference between a Cuban heel and a French or Point heel, we hope our complete guide has helped you learn a little more about the art, history and fashion of stockings. If you have any questions which aren’t answered here, please do feel free to get in touch with us, here at True Corset, and we’d be more than happy to help