>Shorter Dresses Call for Glamorous Hosiery- 1939-1940

>After a day of tech woes, I get to bring you what I wanted to bring you yesterday!  While leafing through this catalog from Winter of 1939-1940 I was really struck by the vast array of novelty hosiery!

 
Click on the image for a hi res version
“Shorter Dresses Call for Glamorous Hosiery”, and they really mean it, too. 
The late 30s were really interesting in terms of fashion inspiration.  In terms of some trends for this example, on one hand you’ve got Vogue and the posh high fashion magazines trumpeting the return of the “Victorian” with bustle dresses and little bonnet like perch hats, and full skirts, puffed sleeves, waist cinchers, etc.  You’ve also got mainstream American popular culture that’s caught onto the swing craze so you see in younger everyday America shorter and fuller skirts for more “swish and sway” on the dance floor.  And then there’s somewhere in the middle that mashed the two together, and I think these little stockings are probably a result of that!  You’ve got almost Victorian hosiery with clocked backs and stripes and patterns that you would think of more likely on a Gay Nineties miss than on the gams of a late thirties pigeon.
I personally would never have thought these styles were popular in these years! I think the big misconception we’ve got is that vintage stockings were prim and proper and fully fashioned with seams up the backs and the only versions there were were the pointed back, Cuban heel, or squared off heel in silk, rayon, or cotton, and in varying shades of nude.  I knew that fishnet and mesh were popular, but look at the huge scale of fishnet on the one on the far right of the image above! It reminds me of the craze for large fishnets in the early 2000’s.  But these might be even MORE wild as it says they were available in black with pink top, tan with black top, or wine with black top.  
And just look at the gorgeous tops of the stockings! I especially love the top of the stockings with the large chevrons.
Hope everyone’s having a great week!
Love,
Lauren

20 Comments on >Shorter Dresses Call for Glamorous Hosiery- 1939-1940

  1. Jaede
    February 10, 2010 at 7:44 pm (6 years ago)

    >Oh my Lauren they are fabulous !!!!

  2. Andrea
    February 10, 2010 at 8:55 pm (6 years ago)

    >Thanks for posting these pictures! I love novelty stockings!

  3. Helene
    February 10, 2010 at 9:14 pm (6 years ago)

    >Looking at the prices, and knowing that the average weekly wage for a clerical worker was probably in the $25-$40 range, some of those stockings were a real stretch. But they are lovely.

  4. casey
    February 10, 2010 at 9:29 pm (6 years ago)

    >These are fantastic! Who'd knew that our grandmothers had such "wild" hosiery available? ;) ♥ Caseyblog | elegantmusings.com

  5. Roxy (aka Hamilton Honey)
    February 10, 2010 at 10:31 pm (6 years ago)

    >Novelty indeed! And quite charming! Thanks for posting this Lauren – you always have the best stuff :)

  6. Fleur de Guerre
    February 11, 2010 at 12:20 am (6 years ago)

    >Lovely! I am coveting the chevron ones!

  7. nancy
    February 11, 2010 at 1:20 am (6 years ago)

    >And the irony is that soon hosiery would be hard to find in stores, during the war…hope these were durable so a girl could get a year or 2 out of them!

  8. Andi B. Goode
    February 11, 2010 at 3:17 am (6 years ago)

    >Wow! I had no idea they were popular, either. I knew some patterned stockings were popular in the '20s but had no idea they would have been at this point, either. I didn't think they came back in until the '60s – how fascinating! Thanks for sharing these. =D-Andi x

  9. Meg
    February 11, 2010 at 5:55 am (6 years ago)

    >Wait, wait! Don't you mean "glamourES"? ;)Those are really wild hose. I think the modern rules would still apply to these — crazy patterns on stockings only work for ladies with very slender and shapely legs. Otherwise, you are just highlighting (with high-beams!), or creating, a problem area.

  10. The Dreamstress
    February 11, 2010 at 7:20 am (6 years ago)

    >Oh my gosh, I love these! I want 1 of every pair in every colour!

  11. Brook
    February 12, 2010 at 5:17 am (6 years ago)

    >OH MY I want them all!!

  12. Charlotte
    February 12, 2010 at 9:18 am (6 years ago)

    >Wow, I love novelty hosiery (in fact I posted about it just recently), these are fabulous!CharlotteTuppence Ha'penny ~ Blitz Diary

  13. Flash
    February 20, 2010 at 4:49 am (6 years ago)

    >It’s great to see good information being shared and also to see fresh, creative ideas that have never been done before.Term paper

  14. Flash
    April 7, 2011 at 11:40 pm (4 years ago)

    >It’s great to see good information being shared and also to see fresh, creative ideas that have never been done before.Term paper

  15. Fleur de Guerre
    April 7, 2011 at 11:40 pm (4 years ago)

    >Lovely! I am coveting the chevron ones!

  16. Roxy
    April 7, 2011 at 11:40 pm (4 years ago)

    >Novelty indeed! And quite charming! Thanks for posting this Lauren – you always have the best stuff :)

  17. Helene
    April 7, 2011 at 11:40 pm (4 years ago)

    >Looking at the prices, and knowing that the average weekly wage for a clerical worker was probably in the $25-$40 range, some of those stockings were a real stretch. But they are lovely.

  18. Jaede
    April 7, 2011 at 11:40 pm (4 years ago)

    >Oh my Lauren they are fabulous !!!!

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