Lots of people have a stocking and hosiery fetish; there is just something irresistible about the look and feel of them on the legs. We asked writer Caitlin to investigate where this popular fetish comes from. 
 

Hosiery has been around probably as long as recorded history, if not longer, and so it seems has the hosiery fetish. The Romans are said to have worn something like hose made out of strips of leather, and there is some Egyptian art that suggests that they had long, woolly sock-like hoses with toes.

Technically, 'hose' is anything worn against the skin that covers the leg and generally also the foot, including thigh high socks, leggings, stockings, fishnets, fully fashioned stockings, and more. Here we see the modern-day evolutions of something that has been a part of humanity as decoration or merely protection from the elements for quite some time.

Some of the earliest iterations that resemble our modern day hosiery were more often worn by men in the 14th century. Moreover, they were pieces of fabric sewn in the shape of a leg. However, knitted socks and stockings didn't appear until the 16th century, when knitting guilds were flourishing throughout Europe. One of these was a Parisian guild said to have been founded in 1527.
 

Did Henry VIII have a hosiery fetish?

Looking at the history of stockings, Henry VIII was apparently very fond of knit silk hose imported from Italy. In the earlier days of hose, men wore decorative and colourful options, since they showed their legs readily. However, women’s fashion required them to cover their legs, and it was quite shocking to get a glimpse of their stockings.

The hidden nature of women’s hosiery didn’t keep them from being colourful and decorative options if they could afford them. Indeed, wealthy aristocrats wearing hose embroidered with silver and gold thread. But it did mean that the actual viewing of their stockings while being worn was an intensely intimate and likely sexually charged experience.

Hand-knit stockings gave way to a mechanised knitting frame during the reign of Elizabeth I. Much like the nylons stocking enthusiasts seek today they were knit flat in the shape of the leg and seamed up the back.

 


Do you have a stocking and hosiery fetish? Add Stocking Fetish to your profile and find other kinksters searching the same. :smiling_imp: 
 

 

It only takes a flash of legs

Handcranked circular machines made seamless stockings available in the 1800s. These were shapeless cylinders and not considered to be very flattering. Victorians also loved stockings, and even though they were usually not seen as decorative embroidery, they became popular. Indeed, a glimpse of this embroidery if a skirt was lifted a couple of inches was considered to be incredibly racy.

When the 20s roared in, hemlines were raised, and stockings changed forever. Popular fashion at this time was to roll stockings over garters just above the knee to give a padded look and a glimpse when skirts moved.

 

Introducing nylon to the stocking and hosiery fetish

It was in the 1910s when synthetic materials started replacing costly cotton and silk stockings, making them more readily available and thinner. It wasn’t until 1939 that nylon deputed and took the world by storm, which revolutionised the hosiery and stocking fetish. The new material seemed futuristic and was additionally bolstered by the patriotism of being an American-made material, unlike silk which was imported from Japan.

During World War 2, Dupont, the creator of nylon, switched from manufacturing stockings to manufacturing parachutes and other items to support the war effort. As a result of this, there was an intense demand and a black market for what stockings were still available.

During wartime, people would draw fake seams up the back of their legs and ‘spray on’ stockings flourished, but they didn't compare to the nylons women craved. There are even reports of people being robbed of their nylon stashes during this time. When nylons became available again after the war, DuPont had such a hard time keeping up with the demand that there were riots at a Pittsburgh department store when 40,000 women showed up for only 13,000 pairs of available stockings.

 

Woman in retro lingerie with a hosiery fetish
Nylon changed the hosiery fetish. Image via: Shutterstock.com

 

The timelessness of a stocking and hosiery fetish

Though stockings have gone in and out of fashion throughout modern history, they are a commonly fetishised article of intimate clothing. Seeing legs clad in form-fitting clothing is more and more acceptable. For example, look at how popular yoga pants are.

Hosiery still has a real allure to them, especially rarer vintage styles like fully fashioned nylons, which went out of production for a short while. Stockings are so delicate, so close to the skin, so soft - it is no wonder many people love them, and who may take things to the next level by developing a stocking and hosiery fetish.

Caitlin is a writer, sex educator, consultant, and product reviewer who focuses primarily on issues of sex toy and accessory safety, pleasure, sexuality, gender, and more. 
 

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I am researching a gift for my wife and wanted to hear any recommendations from you guys. Would it be weird if a bloke goes into a lingerie store, I feel super uncomfortable. Thoughts?

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