by Eva Pasco
Perhaps more memorable to me than Ralphie's Daisy
Red Ryder BB gun in A Christmas Story (1983), is that bizarre leg lamp, so evocative of nylon stockings during
the sixties. Fragile or Fra-Gee-Lay, are what they were.
Lacking the resilience of parachutes, these flimsy molted snake skins bordered
by slightly thicker bands at the thighs, were held up by garters attached to a panty
girdle. Expected to walk a mile in your penny loafers, these suckers ended up with more
runs than the New York Yankees by the end of sixth period. What is worse, many of
us Sixties Chicks washed them after wear and put them on again the next day--unless, of course, they
had gaping holes.
Pity the fool who had gym first period after peeling off
those stockings, then jamming them back onto clammy legs. Even after considerable
garter adjustment you were plagued by baggy knees and droopy nylons all day long. Sure, you could
always duck into the lav between classes in an attempt to remedy the situation with a little more tugging
and cinching. More than likely, you only succeeded in scoring another run for your valiant
efforts. No wonder so many of us discreetly slipped off our stockings on the schoolbus, stuffing them
into our handbags. Going bare legged was considered immodest, so from the bus stop to our door,
we treaded on the wild side.
When mini skirts were in vogue, fishnets, mod stockings with
a mesh lattice of threads, were a viable alternative. They still bagged and were not any more durable
in "the long run." Before Sixties Chicks burned their bras, they threw away their girdles
with the emergence of underpants attached to stockings-- pantyhouse.
Rah, Rah, Sis Boom Bah... Though this garment imposed its own discomfort from improper alignment, if you
get my drift, the perils of pantyhose still prevailed with being fra-gee-lay.
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