Pantyhose are making a remarkable comeback this season, returning to the fashion runways of top designers around the world. From the 1920’s through every generation into 2016, the nylon stocking has undergone some rather dramatic transformations. Here is a brief look into the history of pantyhose over the decades.

The 1920’s - Synthetic Fashions

Hundreds of years ago, men were more often seen wearing stockings than women. But in the 1800’s, men started transitioning to trousers, and synthetic stockings quickly became the standard fashion accessory for women.

The 1940’s - Sexy Nylons

The nylon stocking was a huge hit for women in the 1940’s. The sexy seam running up the back of the leg drew the attention of the men as well. The first pair of nylons came on the market in 1940, with nearly 800,000 pairs purchased on the very first day that they were introduced.

Wartime America - No More Nylons

During World War II, women had to go without. Nylon was a much cherished natural resource that was strictly rationed and used for solely for the manufacturing of wartime materials, like ropes, parachutes, and rubber tires.

The 1950’s – Fashionable Fishnets and Lovely Lycra

Although fishnet stockings had been around since the 1930’s, they were usually only worn by those in the entertainment industries of stage and screen. In the mid-fifties, Lycra was invented. Before long, manufacturers of pantyhose discovered that the combination of Lycra and nylon produces a more stretchable material. Stockings fit more snuggly, and the nylon seam all but disappeared from the fashion industry.

The 1960’s – Trendy Tights

As the hemlines of skirts rose higher and higher, one-piece tights became all the rage. World-famous fashion model, Twiggy, made these new leggings extremely popular for women of the day.

The 1970’s – Flower Power

Tights were still in fashion, but by the 1970’s we were seeing a variety of colorful floral prints and other patterns designed to help women express their individuality. Top designers around the world began experimenting with all sort of intriguing styles. Career-minded women began transitioning to nude-colored options at this time.

The 1980’s - Royal Fashion

Princess Diana enters the scene in the early part of this decade. Her Royal Highness often made the news by wearing black tights with delicate seams under a couture cocktail dress or pairing blue tights with a fashionable skirt suit. Tights remained popular well into the 1990’s.

The 2000’s – Opaque Trends

Black opaque tights, leggings, and pantyhose made a huge entrance onto the fashion scene at the dawn of the new Millennium. Other colors quickly became popular as well, but the warm and durable black styles remained in fashion for much of the entire decade.

2016 and beyond!

Today, nylon stocking and pantyhose are making a huge comeback in nearly every form and style. From classic stockings with delicate seams to nude-colored options from decades past, nothing is off-limits these days. Pantyhose is now, once again, seen as the must-have fashion accessory to complete any vintage outfit.