When I first started performing way back in the ’90s, it was stock standard that all showgirls wore stockings.
And when I say “wore stockings”, I mean wore stockings. We would wear three pairs of 70 denier tights, with a layer of fishnets. It would be like wearing a woollen second skin. Coupled with nice big hairy male legs, the heat produced from these was extraordinary, not to mention the smell.
Why did we do it? It definitely wasn’t for comfort, as they were the most uncomfortable things I have ever worn. Maybe it was laziness. We didn’t all want to shave our legs, opting to keep our furry male legs while dancing as ladies in the evening.
Those older than us told us that wearing stockings made everyone in the cast uniformed — they matched your skin tones and the cast looked like a troupe. Alhough I’d never seen beige or off-tan skin, we danced for years with two-toned — the top half normal and the bottom half some weird off skin colour.
Many years ago I decided to shave my legs for the first time and go out commando from stockings. I was living with Vanity Faire and she had been a convert for years, swishing around town barelegged.
Building up confidence, I bought new razors and was ready to take it all off. Placing one leg in the bathtub, I slipped and fell spat against the side of the tub, leaving the biggest bruise behind my knee. Needless to say I had to wear my stockings for a couple more weeks till it healed.
But since I ran my Gillette up my leg the first time, I haven’t really looked back. Granted, I started to get tattoos and to show them off on my legs helps with no stockings, but the comfort and coolness are fabulous.
But what if you decide you want to go the stockings route? There are a few rules to remember.
If you are not shaving or clippering your legs, you need to go for a heavier tight. They go up in denier, so 70 denier is very thick and a couple of pairs of those should cover the hairiest lady.
When you buy your nylons, try and get Sheer to the Waist, this will avoid the ‘bike pant’ look a control top will give you.
Stockings have a little breathing pad, called a gusset. When you wear stockings, make sure that is covered — nasty gusset reveal can be embarrassing. To help stop this you should always wear undies on top of your stockings, this will help hold them up and stop Gertie Gusset popping out.
As the season changes, I would like to welcome all my new barelegged sisters. Come feel the breeze with me!