Aug 11, 2009

Veronica vs. Betty. Stockings vs. Panty Hose

Still a little warm for full facial magic, curve and shape aids, flowing locks and purse packed for adventures en femme here in the south, but air conditioning is a marvel and there is under-dressing to be done. Before going on my recent prolonged Drabbatical, I did shop a little and left a couple of items in the wrapper untouched and hibernating. A rare display of self control, and a wonderful bonus of delayed gratification.

Repeat visitors and friends will have witnessed some early stirrings of the old girly game, and for Petra of course, the game begins with the gams. Later this week, I promise a new Panty Hose Parade entry on behalf of my presently, very, electrically happy legs. Givenchy is the name, and glamour is the game.

Here today though, I will divert and discourse on an ageless, ceaseless civil war. Pantyhose vs. Stockings. Your cross dressing correspondent is presumed to be a partisan for the all-in-one, up-and-over pantyhose in this fierce fracas, and while my fondness for them is real and enduring, I am nothing if not versatile, and not in the least doctrinaire on the matter.

Recently I received a note from dear friend Christine over at
Chrissie’s Place. She described her own feelings of … well … let us agree to decorously say distaste for pantyhose. We agree on so many other matters of taste, temperament and times I felt as though a little thought and perhaps a well fashioned epistle on the topic might be in order.

The act of fastening a well made stocking top to a garter belt is validation from above that you are, at that moment, special. The very nearly perfectly private show of thigh hardware embossed under ones own tight skirt is a joy to behold. Adding the ever present risk of a slipped stocking to the universe of ladder-inducing threats to gossamer hosiery just amplifies your awareness that you are dressed, studiously and decadently dressed.

Yes, I love stockings. I opined about the sad 60’s revolution that seemed to shake and sadly simplified our foundation garment habits
here. I mean every word of it. I was born out of time. I wish that we had never abandoned all the clasps, seams, hooks and eyes that held the stockings, garters and girdles of bygone times. Sadly my views on the matter were not solicited and of course would not have mattered. And so stockings elude our easy day-to-day grasps.

Yes, the gentle and constant strap tugs, the heightened requirement for care in taking a chair, the knowledge that a peek of scallop lace may be available to the innocent and not so innocent bystander, these things are meaningful. From my perspective they are feelings of privilege reserved for the refined woman, genetic or otherwise. And privileges not exercised often enough for my own tastes.

My own tastes are compromised by practicality though. First, there is the shape of my leg. Just not enough flesh at thigh top to be clung to. Stay-ups don’t. And when a true stocking is fastened to the suspender belt, yet another slightly more awkward layer is added to my already complex under-layers. Calls of nature go from a manageable ordeal to an epic battle against the forces of foam, elastic, nylon and lycra. One might crack a sweat and do undue damage to the overall appearance.

Arguably, these are struggles that we privileged cross dressers should delight in. Or at least try more often. Nobody ever said that beauty and allure would come easily. Or if they did, they were not reckoning on my desire to feel beautiful.

And so, back to Betty and Veronica. No doubt, no earthly doubt,Veronica has a top drawer stuffed with stockings and belts and other accoutrements ably deployed in her relentless war against the composure of everyone flocking around her. Betty I suspect does not so dote on her finery. Practical and attractive that Betty is. And while practical I am not in most aspects of life, in the matter of hosiery, I suppose that I am. I will reserve my big romantic flourishes for my writing. And so with the Betty's of the world in mind, you can expect more Panty Hose Parade notes here regularly.

Photo credits go to
Secrets in Lace. For those of you inclined more to stockings than pantyhose, go visit, feast your eyes, and crack open the purse for a little treat.

Happy dressing, and everything else. … Petra


Charlotte said...

To be really completely dressed you must wear stockings, the lovely feeling of stocking, grater and girdle. But sometimes you are wearing pants and have to go with pantyhose.

Cassidy Brynn said...

I am inspired...where are those fashion prints...



Leslie Ann said...

My problem with stockings and garters is that garters will not do their job unless one has hips that are wider than waist. As a genetic male (sigh), I tend toward the angular/linear end of the body type spectrum. The idea of stockings is provocative and steamy, but for me, the execution is frustratingly fraught with failure.

My pedestrian tastes: pantyhose, Betty, and Maryann. And proud of it!

chrissie said...

I am blushing..!!

But it's true. I really resented the introduction of pantyhose back in the late 'sixties, vital though they were deemed to be with the introduction of the mini-skirt.

A few years laer, when the Maxi-skirt came in, I hoped for a return to stockings, but it did not arise. I had to wait some 15 years before they came back in fashion here.

Pantyhose.... I have worn them only ONCE. Having done so, I find I cannot say "Never again!", as on that occasion they did offer a degree of convenience, once on. :)


Melissa said...

After years of wearing pantyhose, last winter I decided to start wearing stockings instead. I'm tall, and it has always been hard to find quality pantyhose that fit properly. I've only been able to find one or two brands that do. Usually, they are either too short in the crotch, or if the panty fits properly, the legs are too long, and they sag and get lose in the knees and feet after wearing them for a few minutes. The ones with a control top, and a bit of spandex in the legs seem to do better.

I've also found stockings are far more comfortable to wear than pantyhose, and they are cooler too. I wear both gartered stockings, and elastic topped thigh highs. Getting thigh highs to stay up, is just a matter of getting the right size, and the right brand, plus you have to have hairless thighs. Last year I purchased some thigh highs with the most beautiful lace tops, but instead of elastic at the top to hold them up, they had two flat silicon strips on the inside of the lace top. When I first put them on, the silicone strips seemed to be doing their job, but after walking around for a few minutes, and sitting and standing back up, I wound up my with stockings falling to below my knees. I now only wear those stockings with a garter belt. Fortunately I don't have a problem with garter belts staying up, because I was blessed with an ample bottom, plus when I went through a hormonal imbalance in my early forties, a pleasant result was not only the development of a pair of definitely female, albeit rather smallish breasts, but also some additional fat deposits in my hips and bottom.

Stockings do not necessarily have to hinder a call to nature. I've actually found them to be more convenient than pantyhose, in that respect. With thigh highs, I just lift my skirt, pull down my panties and sit. I do the same thing with gartered stockings as well; I just have to put my panties on over my garter belt. I know that hides the garter belt, but I'm usually not displaying my undies to anyone anyway. When I'm finished doing my business, I simply pull my panties back up, and let my skirt fall. I'm not bothered with having to pull up and re-adjust the legs and panty, on a pair of pantyhose.


Petra Bellejambes said...

Dears ... thanks all for the comments! Some follow on notes...

Cassidy - the fancy fashion prints are not far off. Just require a little thought on how to grade them, and what to wear them with! O, and a little happy shopping...

Leslie Ann - We share anatomical short comings. Curves are required to really merchandise a nice garter / stocking set appropriately.

Chrissie - Delighted to see you grudgingly give credit credit to pantyhose. And proud to imagine that I can make you blush :), and

Melissa - All true, and thanks for the great note. I agree, theoretically that calls of nature are more simply heeded in stockings, but in my case (see note to Leslie Ann) I slither into multiple layers of padding to achieve a more feminine profile. The whole delightful sensory ordeal is documented here You might be able to visualize how a garter set might just get in the way...

And by the way, I like your blog, and will follow your story closely.

Cheers - Petra

Treacle said...

Lord yes, there is nothing like a good garter belt for a bit of practical, everyday sexy.

When people tell me that garter belts are uncomfortable, I just tell them they haven't found the right one yet. Did you ever get a girdle?

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