The Invention of Pantyhose

by Lovely Girl | in Fashion, The Tell All

The pantyhose and tights we now take for granted when getting dressed each morning are a fairly new invention in the world of hosiery. Invented a mere 50 years ago, pantyhose was born out of necessity – and were created by a man? Well not totally, as they say behind every great man is a woman with an idea. The invention of pantyhose were not exception to that rule, when hosiery mogul Allen Grant of Glen Raven Mills in North Carolina introduced the first pair of pantyhose in 1959 it was because of an idea sparked by his very pregnant wife and her discomfort with managing garters and stockings while heavily pregnant. Since going without the proper attire, which in 1953 meant girdles, garters and stockings, wasn’t an option, Mrs. Grant took it upon herself to sew a sample of what would eventually become modern pantyhose. By taking a standard pair of panties and attaching her stockings.

Mr. Grant then took his wife’s idea and moved with it, bringing the idea to his colleagues Arthur Roger, J.O Austin and Irvin Combs (yes, all men). Modern pantyhose were thus invented… although they weren’t called pantyhose but “Panti-Legs”

By 1959 the world’s first commercial pantyhose hit the shelves, although this new invention didn’t go flying off the shelves until the Mary Quant’s London Look hit the scene in the mid-sixties, with miniskirts that needed the seamless, hardware-free legwear for the rising hemlines. Mary Quant’s pantyhose further improved the original Glen Raven Mills version of the Panti-legs to Tights. The shorter skirt styles that encouraged showing more leg paved the way for bold colored tights and patterns.

Since the mid-sixties pantyhose and tights have come in and out of fashion, from Madonna fishnets of the eighties to the nude nylons that Kate Middleton is currently stepping out in. The choices are now endless with patterns, colors and nude shades that can enhance every woman’s individual style.

By Cristina Casciano-King of Peek Brooklyn



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