A guide to stockings

If I had to choose only one piece of lingerie to wear for the rest of my life it would be a suspender belt and stockings (they count as one because you can’t have one without the other). Screw the undies and burn that bra because today’s post is all about the so-called extras.

So I’ve tried a fair few stockings and I’ve found some I love and some I hate. When I first started getting into lingerie I was looking for stockings everywhere and all I could find were stay-ups. So here is a rough guide of where to shop for some stocking!

Cheap stockings/ for beginners

H&M

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This was the first place I found any wearable stockings that weren’t ridiculously priced. I managed to find a few pairs of their sheer 20 denier stockings in black. They retail for around AUD $6. They feel soft on the skin and have a nice sized welt (not too big not too small) but as you would expect they do not have a reinforced heel or toe and wear through quite quick for that reason. Apart from that I have found they wash well and I’ve hardly had any pulls or runs. Made in Italy.

Gabriella

I found this brand on stockingshq.com when I was looking for plain stockings for work. They started off well but after a few wears I found the material started to pill. They are a good starter stocking if you don’t want to commit to more expensive stockings yet. I’ve tried the Cher sheer stockings from them and they have a thin reinforced toe and wear OK considering the price of $5 but wouldn’t give them a life span of more than 5 wears. Made in Poland.

Silky

These are the cheapest stockings I’ve found also from stockingshq.com. I have the knit 100% stretch nylon  stockings and the quality reflects the price. They feel weird to wear and they also come in one size fits all which only 1% of the population may fit. They are a British brand and have a reinforced toe but I avoid wearing them if I have any other choice. I have one of the varieties of the nude colours and it just doesn’t work for me. I would suggest trying the black if you were keen on these. It’s worth a try at only $2 it’s not a huge financial investment. Made in the UK as far as I’m aware.

What you can find in Department stores (Australia)

Collette Dinnigan

The well know Australian designer has ventured in to stockings and they aren’t half bad. They retail from $20-$30. They have hold ups and stay-ups but only in black and white. It’s called a bridal and boudoir collection so they have little lux details like bows at the top of the back seam and pearl details on the heel. So not super practical as I’ve had all those little extra fall off after one wear. If you are in the market for a one time wear pair of luxury stockings then I highly recommend as they feel amazing on and definitely have those designer touches. Made in Italy.

Voodoo

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The particular stockings I’m referring to are the hard to find undercover back-seam stockings.  They come in 2 colours and 2 sizes and are always sold out when I go to get more! The retail price is $16.95 which I think is good considering they are some of the most durable and fashionable stockings I’ve come across. Made in Taiwan.

Levante

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The Levante Vanessa stocking are the most widely found in Australian department store. They feature a reinforced toe and a patterned under welt. They come in 3 sizes and 3 colours that I’m aware of. These are great for everyday wear as they are soft and comfortable yet not overly delicate. I only ever wear the black in this style as the ‘natural’ looks anything but on my skin. They sell for $13.95 and are made in Italy.

Jonathan Aston

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I’m only new to trying the vintage legs back seam and heel stockings from this brand. They are a reasonable price, probably the cheapest back seam style you will find in an actual store. They retail for $14.95 and their lifespan is reasonable. I found these ones got pulls in them easier than the Voodoo style. The pulls didn’t turn into runs so were still wearable for a long time after that. The back-seam in these are quite thin which is a detail that sets them apart in the stretch vintage style stockings department. Made in Italy.

Lingerie brands

Agent Provocateur

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They have mixed reviews on their stockings but all the ones I’ve tried I love. The Astra seam and heel stretch stockings are a firm favourite of mine as are the Diablo. The prices are very high in the region of $50-$60. Cost per wear it works out OK as mine have lasted very well. The do get little pulls in them but they haven’t turned into ladders. The heel and toes are reinforced really well and haven’t had any issues with that. They have a variety of styles from stay-ups, hold-ups, silk and fashion focused colours and prints. Some of their stockings go on sale twice a year so it’s worth grabbing a pair then as they usually come down to $30. Most of their old stockings are made in France but new ones are made in Austria.

Honey Birdette

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The red retro heart stockings have a very thin welt.

I first discovered Honey Birdette because I was looking for stockings and this was one of the search results in google. Their stockings are OK. I find the colour fades fast and that holes appear in the toes after a few wears. I have some of their stockings that have a very thick welt which make them hard to attach the suspender to and give me sausage leg. But then there are stockings that have a very short welt and find they are great to wear under shorter skirts with a sturdy suspender. They sell for $29.95 normally but in the sale there are always some for $15. They are 20 denier normally and have the vintage style back seam. They only come in 2 sizes, average and tall. Their stockings are made in Taiwan.

What Katie Did

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If you are looking vintage style stockings, What Katie Did is the place to go. They have retro seamed stockings and also contrast seamed stockings in 15 denier. They come in two sizes and a few different contrast colour options. Prices start at just $13 and go up to $37.50 for the contrast Cuban heel fully fashioned stockings. The quality is fantastic as is the price per wear! Most of their stockings are made in Italy and the Fully Fashioned stockings are made in England.

L’agent

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The little sister to Agent Provocateur and their stockings collection reflects that. They have less styles available but at a lower price. Their 20 denier seam and heel stretch stockings retail for around $35. They have 3 sizes available and the stockings I have of theirs are made in Taiwan.

Nylon Stockings

Cevrin

A well know stocking brand famous for its Bicolore stockings . They are also known for being super delicate but with nylon RHT and FF stockings it is to be expected. I find the stockings very comfortable and a good way to break up the routine of wearing plain black stockings. They are at the pricier end of the scale starting from $25 and up to $65 for the silk stockings. Made in France.

Dita for Secrets in Lace

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The daytime sheer stockings are an all-time favourite of mine. When I first received them they looked so small in the packet I thought they would never fit me! They have a lot of stretch but still maintain the look and feel of nylon stockings as they are 100% nylon. I’ve worn and washed these stockings more than I can count and only now are they starting to die. They do have a reinforced toe but it’s starting to give way now. They are around $18 a pair for the daytime sheer and go up to $50 for the Dita glamour French heel. These stockings are made in the EU.

Eleganti

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These stockings are too long for me so I fold down the welt.

This is a brand that specialises in nylon stockings and are made on the original machines from the 1950’s. All are made from 100% nylon with no stretch. Prices can start from $16 for the imperfect plain nylons and go up to $50 for the perfect Fully Fashioned contrast seam stockings. One mistake I always make with this brand is ordering too big! I look at the size chart and go ‘yer I’m that tall I’ll have them’. But when they arrive they are too big around my legs and foot as the foot is shaped. With these I suggest doing a trial buy with 2 sizes in a cheaper range so you can get the sizing right. You need to look at your height, weight, foot size but then also if you have a longer torso or legs that can change what size you need to order. For example all my height is made up from my long torso and I can size down in the stockings because my legs are shorter. All Eleganti stockings are made in England.

Clio

The stockings I have tried from Clio are their Bas Prestige non-stretch RHT stockings. I purchased them through stockings.hq for just under $12. They come in five colours and 5 sizes and are made in France. I have mine in the colour Vison and it works well with my skin. They also do stretch stockings. Made in France.

Other notable brands

Pamela Mann

A great British brand that many lingerie addicts are familiar with. They offer a range of styles and are more fashion focused are not ridiculously expensive. Prices start from $14.

Veneziana

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This is a good brand if you are experimenting with nylon stockings. They still contain stretch but they feel more authentic than others brands on the market. The only down side is they only come in 2 sizes and I’ve found they shrink after washing. They also have a very thick welt. They are another brand that has a very thin back seam and interesting heel details. Prices start from $10 and the stockings are made in Italy but it is a Polish brand.

Oroblu

This is a brand I tried only once as managed to rip my stockings on the first wear. I had the sheer matt stocking 15 denier in the sun colour. This was the only stocking I found that matched my skin! They come in a range of skin tones but only 3 sizes. These were really soft to wear, I need to buy more and at only $12 I don’t need to save too much to restock. Made in Italy and found on stockingshq.com.

Ambra

14160-1 Ambra Ladder Resist Pantyhose

The Ambra Opaque no-show stay ups are a winter favourite. They are 70 denier and Hypoallergenic so good for people with sensitive skin. I find they don’t dig in like some stay ups do and if you wanted to attach a suspender to them just in case (like I do sometimes) the material is thin enough that you can. This style come sin 3 sizes and retails for $13.95. They are well worth the money, I haven’t had to replace a pair yet after 2 years of winter wear. These can be found at David Jones. Made in China.

 

If you are looking for retro seamed stockings try…

 

What Katie Did

Pamela Mann

Voodoo

If you are looking for plain stockings for work try..

Dita von teese

H&M

Levante

If you are looking for stay-ups try…

Jonathan Aston

Agent Provocateur

Ambra

What stockings have you tried and loved?

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