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Some may be looking forward to the fall fashion opportunities, and some dreading sagging knees or the necessity of dabbing clear nail polish on runs. But when tights first became a wardrobe staple, they ified something that went far beyond a simple change of season: freedom. History books credit Allen E. Ethel told her husband this would be the last trip she would be going on before the baby came, since managing the combination of thigh-high stockings, girdle and garter that women were expected to wear out was becoming too uncomfortable. When they came home, Gant was inspired and asked his wife to stitch a pair of stockings onto panties and try them on.
The process was one of trial and error. They they learned to put some control into them so they would fit at your waist. Once models such as Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton put on their minis and added tights, young shoppers rushed to department stores to get their own pairs. Their wardrobes reflected that idea by taking on a girlish spin. One group in particular seized on the youthful look: the Mods.
They repeal female sexuality by rolling back the years to pre-puberty and even younger. How could a chap imagine making a pass at a girl-child in rompers? But that was part of the appeal: the Mod look, including the tights, allowed women to extend their adolescence, the space between childhood and adulthood. No one knew this better than Mary Quant, the London-based deer who popularized the look. What really unnerved me was the awful realization that grown-up dressing was grotesque and drab. It was the way I wished I looked. The tights came in Crayola colors, playful prints and girly embellishments, capturing an innocent aesthetic.
It was the end of a certain kind of agency. Because of that, tights became part of a message of anti-establishment and looking towards the future. Squeezing into girdles and the societal expectations of femininity that came with them seemed outdated, and so young women reached for something different. Not that everyone was included in the revolution. By wearing tights and adopting ish wardrobe, women created their new reality.
Ann Tucker, a year-old secretary in the U. I women in hose a different world for me and my children. Sagging knees and runaway snags might feel like an inconvenience nowadays, but they once aled a shift towards greater freedoms. Think of that the next time you get a hole in your toe. She is a co-editor of the women in hose and author of one of the pieces it includes, not the author of the book.
at letters time. Four models walking side by side on a sidewalk in Women in hose Marlen Komar. Get our History Newsletter. Put today's news in context and see highlights from the archives. Please enter a valid address. Please attempt to up again. Up Now. An unexpected error has occurred with your up. Please try again later. Check the box if you do not wish to receive promotional offers via from TIME. You can unsubscribe at any time.
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50 Years of Pantyhose