Outsize Stockings, the down and dirty.

When Im all dressed to the nines, I love to wear my vintage nylons. I often get gals asking me where I got them. I am not the size you would normally see wearing vintage nylons. My legs are not that small. So they are shocked when I tell them, "These are vintage. More likely 1950s."

"Where did you get them!? Every time I look for plus size stockings I get a slew of crap."

After years of investigating this topic, allow me to explain a few things.
Terminology in vintage stockings is crucial. Outsize is completely different from Queen, a term that means a longer stocking more so than a wider stocking.

Here is a picture of one of my regular stockings next to one of my outsized stockings.

For most larger women, its not the foot size (which are measured by inches of the foot NOT the shoe size) that keeps you from wearing stockings, its the width of the stocking. Mainly the welt for me. Im fortunate, my legs are fairly evenly proportioned, so I can, depending on the maker, get away in straight sized vintage nylons. Its often hit and miss because I'm 5'7", and often the stockings hit at my knee, which is a no no.

Outsize is just that, stockings made for a wider leg. This description is often missed by sellers online, even though it is often labeled on the box (**Ill dig out some of my outsize boxes in a bit**). Most department stores had them, Sears, Wards, but the champion of large (or stout which I will use from now on) was Lane Bryant.

This fantabulous mail order company sold regular sized, out size and double outsize stockings. It was incredible what you could get at the time. The variety for women who, no matter the size, were deserving of the same quality fit as their smaller customers. It was really great, and makes you wonder what happened to that.

So with this, Ill give a few tips when looking for larger sized stockings online.

-Ask for a measurement of the welt. Generally when you see listings, the seller will tell the length of the stocking and the foot, but its the welt that is as important for us stout women. Generally, you are going to want a welt that is 7 1/2" wide, flat. Anything beneath that will more than likely not fit. Stockings are all about proper fit, and its crucial that you know what a good fit feels like. It helps the stocking last longer, and is much more comfortable to wear.

-If its in-between, dont risk it. Ive nabbed many stockings that were about 7" and they did not fit, at all. It was crap. Just dont bother, nylon does not stretch much, so you are fighting loosing battle.

-Ask the seller, if the welt is wider, if the stocking is marked 'outsize'. No vintage stocking is going to be marked 'plus'. Outsize, oversize, extra size, even stout were the terms used. Dont be so PC when looking for stockings.

-Wash your stocking BEFORE putting it on for a test fit. Yes, I know you cant wait to try on that lovely new pair of vintage stockings, but you also dont want them to run right out of the box. There are many lingerie washes out there. I use hosiery mate, and its great. Soak them for a few hours and let them dry. Then with your shaved and lotion leg, try them on. More details about that I have on NVL, here.

Truth be told, I severely lucked out finding the stockings I did. I also bought them at a time when they were not in such high demand. Im sure outsize stockings are still out there, and I secretly hope someone will find that abandoned warehouse filled with unused vintage Lane Bryant stock. But until then, its being a sleuth that will get you the farthest.

5 comments:

  1. I never knew these existed! Thank you for such an illuminating and informative post.

    They're certainly not something I've ever seen here in the UK - I will now be scouring US sites to find some! I too suffer from the dreaded tight welts and stockings hitting the knee.

    ReplyDelete
  2. thank you for the info LD - though I have an aversion to hosiery from my past life as a bank manager, I may have to give in some day ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. My pleasure, ladies. I figure if I can save others some time, and perhaps some heart ache, then my job is done.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have wondered about this too... I dont think I will wear vintage stockings though because I know I will ruin them and then be ssssooooo sad! Do they make repro ones in plus size that dont have the blasted silicone

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fascinating! Thank you so much for this post!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Labels

1940 (596) 1930 (387) dress (362) catalog Sunday (330) progress (209) repro (146) cotton (141) suit (137) coat (118) pattern (111) hat (98) 1950 (96) blouse (92) 1920 (85) shoes (85) etsy (78) personal (78) illustration (72) WWII (66) fabric (65) vintageville (65) gown (64) jacket (64) simplicity (64) Lane Bryant (62) day project (62) linen (62) McCall (61) Wards (61) Chicago Mail Order (58) nvl (56) butterick (55) homemaking (55) event (54) music (54) skirt (54) rayon (53) foundation garments (52) pants (52) dubarry (50) flower (46) house coat (45) separates (43) Sears (42) sweater (39) wool (39) make and mend (36) playsuit (36) stockings (36) slip (33) 1960 (32) hollywood (32) advertisement (31) showcase (31) buttons (30) holiday (30) dust bowl (27) apron (26) catalog (26) dance (26) denim (26) dyeing (26) Man Month (25) furniture (25) pajamas (25) purse (25) robe (25) accessories (24) drawing (24) NRA (23) National Bellas Hess. (23) navy (23) overalls (23) MnM11 (22) sew-along (22) day dress (21) underpants (20) giveaway (19) Spiegel (18) bra (18) gloves (18) hair (17) mnm12 (17) royalchrome (17) silk (17) CVTotI (16) PPP (16) men (16) stout (16) In Memoriam (15) costume (15) craft (15) jacket in a week (15) velvet (15) 1910 (14) Air Raid (14) bathing suit (14) children (14) jewelry (14) nightgown (14) swimsuit (14) MnM13 (13) beret (13) pictorial (13) quilt (13) repair (13) advance (12) alteration (12) cmo (12) collar (12) dress form (12) mail order (12) patterns (12) rick rack (12) seersucker (12) MnM14 (11) cloche (11) New York (10) cicada (10) depression (10) loungewear (10) piping (10) plaid (10) redingote (10) the gardenia dress (10) anne addams (9) border print (9) cape (9) cocktail (9) girdle (9) lace (9) lingerie (9) red (9) wardrobe (9) excella (8) food (8) marian martin (8) panties (8) sleeve (8) sweaters (8) tweed (8) uniform (8) bolero (7) cocktail dress (7) corduroy (7) embroidery (7) family (7) just because (7) socks (7) tiki (7) toys (7) calico (6) crepe (6) expo (6) garter (6) knitting (6) movie (6) restoration (6) scarf (6) shirtwaist (6) sick (6) sleepwear (6) zipper (6) 1970 (5) applique (5) architecture (5) bargain (5) blackface (5) body (5) book (5) brooch (5) cat (5) chambray (5) color (5) fashion (5) glass (5) jacket in a week 2 (5) jimjams (5) little things (5) museum (5) notions (5) novelty print (5) party (5) photos (5) pimp (5) pleats (5) sale (5) shopping (5) smock (5) underdress (5) vogue (5) bag (4) comments (4) elastic (4) jumper (4) pets (4) revolution (4) scallop (4) sewing (4) slippers (4) tappants (4) 1800s (3) 1900 (3) 1980 (3) VPP (3) WWI (3) corset (3) cuff (3) darning (3) dicky (3) ebay (3) furnishings (3) hats (3) lindy (3) men's (3) monogram (3) monster making (3) shirring (3) shirt (3) styling (3) summer (3) teaching (3) upholstery (3) vintage (3) viva (3) PDF (2) SAT (2) UK (2) beauty (2) beer (2) bloomers (2) blue (2) books (2) commission (2) cookies (2) cosmetics (2) deco (2) detail (2) diner (2) doll (2) flapper (2) handkerchief (2) hiking (2) kickstarter (2) learning (2) lucite (2) maternity (2) mock-up (2) natural (2) necktie (2) nylon (2) outsize (2) pin-tucking (2) pique (2) playclothes friday (2) retro (2) satin (2) singer (2) snoods (2) sporty (2) stripes (2) sundries (2) superior (2) thrift (2) two-tone (2) watches (2) wedding (2) yellow (2) yoke (2) 1990 (1) ADSLA (1) Brian (1) Casts of Color (1) Hart Schaffner n Marx (1) Lady Day (1) Rowman's (1) San Francisco (1) Steampunk (1) adventure (1) apple (1) atomic (1) baby (1) bakelite (1) bar (1) baseball (1) batman (1) beach pajamas (1) bead (1) belt (1) berthas (1) bike (1) birthday (1) black people (1) bracelets (1) burda (1) candy (1) clock (1) closet (1) comic (1) cosplay (1) couch (1) design (1) drinking (1) fagoting (1) fat people (1) feedsack (1) felt (1) flooring (1) fonts (1) gadgets (1) grading (1) guest comments (1) gusset (1) halloween (1) history (1) hood (1) hygiene (1) instructions (1) interview (1) landmark (1) lawn (1) mensturation (1) mid-century modern (1) misses (1) needle (1) notches (1) pearls (1) pictures (1) plants (1) pocket (1) portraits (1) raglan (1) refashion (1) ric rac (1) rings (1) rugs (1) sci-fi (1) sequin (1) serger (1) shades (1) sharkskin (1) shorts (1) ski suit (1) skit (1) slacks (1) standard (1) textles (1) thread (1) tour (1) travel (1) turban (1) tv (1) twill (1) type (1) umbrella (1) vest (1) video (1) vintage outing (1) winter (1) woman (1) women (1) workwear (1) writing (1)