We have mere weeks darlings to make decisions about Valentine’s Day. Let us start with an easy one:
There will be Stockings.
Think about the evening a moment. Dinner reservations, a different fragrance, a necklace not seen for long months wakened from a dark, plush, velvety bed. Valets hopping, doors held open and chairs slid gently beneath you at a candlelit table. Time does not stand still on Valentine’s Day. Time flies backwards at the speed of light to the day you met, last month, last year and further still.
However long ago that day was, Valentine’s Day takes us all back to a more romantic moment, a more romantic era. Valentine’s Day has an air of nostalgia to it. Valentine’s Day feels just a little vintage.
And there is no single garment that says romance, evokes nostalgia, and has vintage vibe quite like a pair of stockings is there?
I rest my case. There will be stockings. It is merely now a question of which ones.
We can quibble politely friends about whether they are traditional stockings fastened to a beguiling garter belt or silicon strip stay-ups. We will not, however quibble about tights. Tights get the night off on this big night. Are we agreed? I thought so.
Today then is the first of a pair of reviews of Valentine’s Day suitable hosiery. Pretty things that are amped up just a bit. Hosiery from mills that are not run of the mill. Lets start with a lovely new offering from a favorite old friend, StockinGirl.
I am a long time StockinGirl client. I was introduced years ago when I won an online giveaway from the fabulous Couture Carrie. I have written glowing things about them here on Guilty Pleasures and way back in the mists of time as a guest author on Treacle’s indispensable Lingerie Addict. Be advised, I am a fan.
No pussy-footing around here. StockinGirl is furiously focused on Stockings. They do mine bygone times for inspiration, but are not stuck in the past. Current and contemporary, rooted in the here and now, all grown up and still ready to misbehave nicely. Classic, yes. Kitsch no.
I wore a new and very celebratory StockinGirl model, Marissa, pictured above, out for New Year’s Eve (the other Hosiery High Holiday). My legs received more complements than I could count. Admittedly I also lost count of how may glasses of wine I inhaled, but I am quite certain that I do owe Marissa a good measure of credit for the complements. I do have nice legs, yes, but they popped like Champagne corks with Marissa’s help.
They are, in some respects, typical of StockinGirl stuff: well made, non-stretch, all nylon stocking with a reinforced toe. And now the departures from the typical:
Cuban Heel. Full double-dark sole and heel tapering sexily upwards a good 5 inches or so north of heel socket, surely visible above ankle straps, but narrow and subtle, not at all loud and brazen.
Back Seam. Hand sewn and dye matched to the stocking yarn. Again, subtlety and sophistication are the gorgeous effects here. Attentive, refined eyes will notice you walking away. Heads will turn, but not snap.
Welt. Double yarn, modestly dark and finished with a true keyhole notch at seam top. What does the keyhole do? Practically nothing. It does however prove that there was a caring, skilled person at the sewing machine. It is a quality hallmark.
Where the quality shows best though is in the feel. Most all-nylon stockings, even the very finest, have a characteristic hand feel that is coarse relative to contemporary, everyday Lycra-enriched hosiery. This is not a bad feeling. Just a different feeling. Marissa however has a surprising yielding feel. The thread has been treated in some clever way and the result is a pliable, warm, Chambray softness that still slides and glides on and around your legs as only an all nylon (or silk I suppose) stocking can.
Which brings me back to looks. Marissa gives off a graceful glimmer in night light, and especially under close inspection by candlelight. Marissa is not a day-to-night look. This is a dinner-to-dawn look. Sophisticated, subtle, pretty and provocative. Valentine’s Day appropriate, pitch perfect even.
Choose from go-to shades of black and nude, a newly introduced pale silver and a completely come-hither violet (above). Mine are silver, and they absolutely light up the LBD. If you are even close to borderline size-wise, get over it and go up a size. Tall and curvy girls are beautifully catered to here as well, which is to be applauded. Dynamite comes in big packages too, yes?
StockinGirl has dozens of other Valentine’s Day options from value to premium price points, including the custom, personalized Cheryl’s and Ruby’s (pictured above) Yes, your own name stitched in at stocking-top you cheeky thing you. Go ahead, drop a hint and find how how smart and motivated your man is. Look around for lingerie and accessories with the same now vibe too, including a broad selection of garter belts if you need something to hold your new stockings up.
Next up, the Valentine’s Day Time Machine will whiz us back up to the future with a look at Stay-ups that are more vixen than vintage. Stay tuned.