Helanca and Larkwood Stockings, 1958

Since I posted those white stockings last week, I thought I might follow up with an ad showing the colors available in 1958.  Stocking makers had experimented with color in the heels, toes and seams of stockings in the early 1950s, but 1958 seems to be the year they tried to sell stockings to match one’s dress or skirt.  I’m a bit too young to remember what women were wearing in 1958, but somehow I can’t picture colored legs.  But that was the time of the horrible sack dress, so who knows?  Anybody?

Helanca was a type of nylon yarn developed by a Swiss company.  It was seen mainly in tights, leotards and sweaters.


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12 responses to “Helanca and Larkwood Stockings, 1958

  1. How very interesting! I usually associate colored leg-wear with the 60s and 70s – where mod was all the rage and pop art had an influence on style.


    • So do I. I can remember how in 1966 I got several pairs of colored stockings for Christmas, along with some white and some colored fishnets. We wore then layered and though we were the Mod-est girls around.


  2. 1958….I was married with 1 little girl (age 2) with another one on the way….and far away the fashion scene. I do not remember ANY colored stockings. It could be because I was now living in Dallas, NC…a long way from my teen world of fashion in Milwaukee. So I have nothing to add about stockings. Sorry.

    However, I was familiar with “sack dresses”…. In 1946-47. We sewed two rectangles of fabric together, up both sides….left a slit for a head and sewed across each end = the “shoulder to be”…. then hemmed the bottom edge. Added a cool belt at the waist and that was it….A Sack Dress. I made a dozen for friends in the 8th grade. Is this a description of the “horrible” sack dress you mentioned, Lizzie? (at 14 years old, I thought they were the “cat’s pajamas”. smile


    • I’m sure your sack dresses were adorable! No, I’m talking about the very short lived fashion of 1957-58, where cheap dress makers tried to adapt a complicated fitting couture style being made by Balenciaga and Givenchy. It was a big fashion disaster, and let to many, many jokes.


  3. Love those colourful stockings!

    BTW! Here’s some more information about Helanca from a post I wrote last year http://wp.me/psCQD-1ZO


  4. I don’t recall really seeing coloured tights in general on women from the 1950’s. It was always nude nylons or bare legs. Although asthetically, I don’t thrive on matching your tights to your dress, BUT, it does make you appear taller, so am all for that.


  5. Teresa

    “Leaves turn — so can legs” brilliant!


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  7. Christina

    Really curious to see if anyone can find a fashion editorial from the 1950’s which features a model wearing couture plus coloured not black stockings.


  8. Emme Yott

    OK, it’s been 5 years since that post but in case someone is still wondering, coloured legs indeed existed in the late 1950s.
    This photo is from 1959: https://i.pinimg.com/564x/70/bf/8b/70bf8b3905c2fc90c1446f4b300d75cd.jpg
    and this one: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/34/fa/e7/34fae7cb43c7d5f5d43461f3ed791f78.jpg
    and so is this video, where at 2:05 you can see a model wearing coral tights matching her sweater dress: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ry42qgROwTY


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