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In Silk Stockings, Cyd Charisse plays a Soviet official visiting Paris. In another version of this story, Ninotchka, the Soviet neighbors are scandalized at seeing her Parisian slip on the clothesline. Greta Garbo takes them down, saying wryly, "I wouldn't want the Revolution to be threatened by my underwear." Oh, but it is, my dear.

Enemies of beauty are constantly declaring that proper stockings, that is, knee-highs held up by garter belts, are "impractical", and that pantyhose are "practical". Nothing could be further from the truth. The waist on pantyhose gradually slithers down your hips unless you constantly (and inelegantly) hike it up, and when it works itself down far enough, it falls down around your knees. That never happens with proper stockings. Furthermore, pantyhose are unhygienic. Women who wear pantyhose or slacks have more, er, personal infections than women who wear skirts and stockings.

The myth that garter belts are impractical is supported by the flimsy scraps of lace sold as "garter belts" today, which are intended solely to entice one's gentleman friends, not for actual wear in the real world. Here is an example of a real garter belt, and proper fully-fashioned stockings with a seam up the back can also be found at this site.


Madeline Carroll in The 39 Steps.

I have only heard one person who had actually tried both garter belts and pantyhose still think pantyhose were better, and that person was not born female. I suppose pantyhose are all very well for men, but they are not designed for a woman's hips!

Anything Goes by Cole Porter

Times have changed,
And we've often rewound the clock
Since the Puritans got a shock
When they landed on Plymouth Rock
If today any shock they might try to stem
'Stead of landing of Plymouth Rock
Plymouth Rock would land on them.

In olden days a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking
But now God knows
Anything Goes


In the movie Cover Girl, Rita Hayworth's co-star Leslie Brooks gives us a surely unintentional glimpse of her stocking tops.

Good authors too
Who once knew better words
Now only use four letter words
Writing prose
Anything Goes

The world has gone mad today
And good's bad today
And black's white today
And day's night today



Betty Grable treats us to an accidentally-on-purpose peek at her stocking tops in A Yank In The RAF.

Just think of those shocks you've got
And those knocks you've got
And those blues you've got
From those news you've got
And those pains you've got
(If any brains you've got)
From those little radios


From Survival in the Office: The Evolution of Japanese Working Women


Secrets In Lace Retro Lingerie