Monday, 25 May 2009

Stockings, suspender belts, holdups, tights and Nora Batty

Stockings and suspenders, holdups or tights. What should I wear?

This kind of question sometimes distracts my mind from the worries of financial crises, corruption in politics and a host of other important questions.

There are times when the selection of appropriate leg-wear is an important issue.

Stockings and suspenders are my favourite choice. By a long way. For myself as well as on other people. This preference has, I know, roots in the days when the occasional pair of stockings was pretty much my only experience of feminine attire.

There is something nice about rolling stockings up over freshly shaven legs. It feels so very … well … feminine. And yes, I know. Tthe way that stockings and femininity are so closely linked together in my mind may be more a reflection of the state of my mind than of the real world.

There are downsides though.

Fastening stockings to suspender belts can sometimes drive me to distraction. Especially the strap at the back right. For some reason this has a tendency to be infuriatingly more difficult than all the rest. Scratched nail polish. Broken finger nails. I have to stop and slowly count to 10. Short skirts can be a problem as well. I mean … depending on where a girl is going it is sometimes advisable to be showing no more than the odd glimpse of a stocking top.

And also … it is most inconvenient to have a suspender fastening pop undone part way through an evening. Although, this can be quite entertaining. Laura, Nikki and myself had a very pleasant giggle watching Sonya refastening Billie’s stockings at Pink Punters last year. In fact, I think all three of us were silently hoping for an un-popping experience of our own.

Tights on the other hand … or perhaps that should be on the other leg … tights are practical. They work fine with really really really short skirts and dresses. But somehow they don’t seem so feminine as stockings. I know, I know … my mind is twisted. It is definitely true though, going to spend a penny (this is a British euphemism for going for a pee … and I am old enough to know where the phrase came from) is much more laborious when wearing tights than stockings.

Hold ups. These are great … so long as they hold up. I remember buying a basque at Anne Summers once and the lady at the shop suggesting that rather than just getting stockings … hold ups would give added protection against an un-popping. Well – this depends on the holdups. Some of them have a habit of becoming slide-downs.

Primark used to sell some very nice holdups. The large size went all the way to the tops of my legs and they never slid down at all.

Alas, no longer. They have been replaced by a newer, shorter version that slips and slides. A couple of weeks ago I was at home wearing a pair of these and part way through the evening Sally said she wasn’t so sure about the Nora Batty look that I had acquired. For anyone that doesn’t know Nora … here she is:



Of course … Wikipedia says more (

I don’t think that Nora ever bought holdups from Primark … but you never know.

Either way … Primark is no longer a purveyor of holdup stocking to me.

Holdups and suspender belts are tricky though. Getting the elasticated tops through the suspender belt eyes is seriously hard work. Not for the feint hearted or for anyone wearing nail polish that isn’t tough as diamonds.

After careful research … I asked Laura where she got hers from last week … BHS, of all places, is the place to be for both stockings and holdups. And after popping along there at the weekend I agree.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post, great ))