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Sixth Form girls' hosiery preference

School Hosiery

Posted by EmilyD on 2012-02-14 22:14:58


I'm in the 6th form - year 12. I did the poll last week.

I'm at a school (mixed) which has a uniform though completely different to the rest of the school, it's strictly enforced - a pencil skirt, blazer and jumper all in black with a white shirt, 6th form tie is optional for girls. Year 7-11 have a pleated skirt, blazer and jumper in navy, with a light blue shirt and no tie for girls. No trousers for girls at my school.

Hosiery (which this is about!) is white or navy knee or ankle socks or navy or black opaque tights from year 7; in year 9 sheer skin-colour tights are allowed as well, then in year 11 the option of socks goes - it's tights-only then. For 6th form we can wear black opaque or sheer tights in black or sheer skin-colour. The rules say 'tights' but I've been wearing stockings since soon after the start of year 11 and no-one has commented (I hate tights). No patterns are allowed, must be plain, and no bare legs.


Posted by ClareM on 2012-02-17 02:31:18

Hi Emily! Thanks for your message, and thanks for taking my poll. Sorry it took so long for me to reply: I hadn’t seen your message till today!

That’s a very interesting school uniform you describe, and quite complicated (to my mind – but then you’re used to it). So, girls go from wearing white/navy socks or navy/black opaque tights up to year 8, then years in 9 to 10 you can also wear sheer skin-coloured tights; in year 11 only tights (opaque and sheer?). In Sixth Form you are allowed to wear sheer or opaque tights (or stockings!) in black or skin colour.

What stockings have you been wearing since year 11? From what you say, you can wear sheer or opaque from year 11, but what is not clear is whether they can both be black or skin colour?

I understand no bare legs, but would you be allowed to wear socks in Sixth Form, say in Summer?

What made you start wearing stockings in year 11? What type did you wear? Was it your idea and did you buy them yourself, or did someone else give you the idea? In my case, I started wearing navy opaque stockings (tights were stipulated in the school rules) because my mum wanted me to wear stockings, like she does. She nearly always wears stockings. What about your mum?

Now, like you, I am in the Sixth Form of a mixed school in East Anglia, and we have a dresscode, which specifies plain coloured tights. I have been wearing black opaque stockings most of the time, and will start wearing sheer stockings when the weather gets better. I wear either sheer (or semi-sheer, as I’ve been told they are) or opaque stockings at all times when out of school, because my mum doesn’t approve of bare legs, and tights are banned too!

Hope to hear from you again Emily!


Posted by EmilyD on 2012-02-17 11:05:53

Hi there Clare!

The uniform isn't that complicated - basically a blue uniform for years 7 to 11, then a black and white one for the 6th form. The school was formed as a mixed school about 40 years ago, before that it was two separate single sex schools. From what I understand the blue uniform came from the girls' school and the black from the boys' one, obviously adapted so that boys or girls could wear them! No trousers for girls though.

That's right - year 7 and 8 wear white or navy socks (knee or ankle) or navy or black opaque tights. Then in year 9 and 10 sheer skin-colour tights can be worn as well. But in year 11 it's only the tights as before - no socks. 6th form wear either black or skin-colour sheer tights, or black opaque tights.

So in year 11 I wore either black opaque or skin-colour sheer stockings.

We're meant to wear tights all year round, I don't know about really hot weather in summer - though we don't seem to get really hot summers! Last summer we left school at the end of May and only came in then for GCSEs. I guess if it was really hot for days on end they'd have to make some allowance...

Stockings were my mum's idea, she made me try them! That's not as bad as it sounds though. I hate wearing tights and really only wore them for special or smart dressy occasions, I rarely wore them at school - I wore the navy socks (ankle in summer and knee in winter) to the end of year 10. Socks aren't allowed in year 11 so I tried hold-ups as looking like tights but being like really long socks. I thought they were the answer but after about a week I had a terribly embarrassing experience where one decided it wouldn't "hold up". My mum said I'd have to wear tights and get used to them, we found some in my drawer and she said she'd get me more. A few days later she came back from the shops with a suspender belt and some stockings instead - I was stunned!! I'd heard of stockings but never ever considered wearing them. I suppose they had a bit of an "image", and they were fiddly and uncomfortable. Mum told me to try them for a week before condemning them - or stop moaning about the tights!

Mum had worn stockings about 20 years ago when they came back into fashion for a while but went back to tights - she says stockings were ok but tights were more comfy and less of a fiddle... perhaps it was from mum that I'd got my impression of stockings!! She showed me how they "worked" and made me wear them that evening to "get used" to them. They were "different" but surprisingly not uncomfortable. Yes they WERE fiddly at first - not helped by mum forgetting you wear knickers over suspenders, so going to the loo was a trial to start with! Once we'd sorted that out I soon got used to doing them up - and of course you only do them once a day (unless it's PE). As for the image mum got me a plain belt from M&S, she chose a black one to match my knickers, so it all looked "practical" rather than "page 3".

Anyway to cut a long story short (and it does look rather long!!) before the week was out I was asking her to get me more! A success! I don't wear tights at all now, only stockings. I think stockings are far more comfy than tights, and just as easy to put on as tights.

I started off wearing M&S stockings but they're quite expensive - we found better ones in BHS that come in packs of 3 pairs for the same price as 1 M&S pair, they have a plain top too rather than the lacy one the M&S had, which I think is better for school. I got some opaque ones later. Now I wear a mix of black opaques, or sheer black or skin colours.

The rules at school say tights but nothing has been said about wearing stockings or others wearing hold-ups.

The school bans bare legs but mum doesn't - we go bare out of school when it's warm. And tights aren't banned either as mum and my little sis wear them.

So both our mums had us wearing stockings, but it sounds like for different reasons! Do you mind having to wear stockings, would you rather wear tights?

I'm on half term this week, are you? I'm year 12 now, are you in 12 or 13? Anyway sorry if I've rambled on a bit! Hope to hear from you too Clare.

Emily xx

Posted by ClareM on 2012-02-17 22:11:36

Hi Emily, thanks for your reply!

No, I didn't mean the uniform itself was complicated, but that it was not just a straightforward change between year 11 and year 12/13 like in my school. I'm in Year 12 by the way, but we call it Lower Sixth. So, in year 12, you now have the option of wearing tights or stockings, and they can be skin colour or black, and if black they can be sheer or opaque. So, it seems that wearing black stockings is regarded by your school as a real privilege!

Wow, you’re the only other girl I know who wears stockings because it was her mum's idea! In your case, your mum was trying to give you an alternative because you didn't like tights. In my case it was my mum trying to impose her dress standards on me. But either way, it’s resulted in us both wearing stockings to school all the time!

But your mum went and bought you stockings and suspenders to wear specifically for school. In my case, I’d been allowed to wear stockings for special occasions outside school since I was 14, and then a couple of years later when mum realised that the school would allow me to wear stockings instead of tights (she found this out because one of my friends was wearing stockings and mum noticed this when she was at our home) and she discussed it with my form mistress as well. She then told me that she wanted me to wear stockings instead of tights with my school uniform, and that meant navy opaque stockings. Like you, I was a little uncertain about this at the beginning. It’s a mixed school and I was worried that I might show too much accidentally, and then there was the changing-room worry as well.

I can imagine you were stunned when your mum produced a suspender belt and stockings that first time! Am I right youd never worn them before then and youd never seen your mum wearing them either? I was of course used to wearing stockings for a couple of years and mum had always worn them anyway.

What type of stockings were they: sheer or opaque. If the latter they were black I suppose. Did you clip the suspenders yourself? The first time I wore suspenders my mum helped me but I’d seen her putting hers on many times so really knew what to do. And there was no problem in putting my knickers on over my suspenders which I knew my mum did! How did it feel wearing them that first evening? Did you have any problems? So did you actually wear your suspenders over your knickers that first time? I can imagine you would have thought it a real inconvenience to undo the suspenders each time you wanted to go to the loo! Did you have any problem with suspenders coming undone?

So now, like me, you have no problem with stockings at all? They are just part of your normal attire. Do you wear stockings outside school? Or are there any occasions when you still wear tights? I wear stockings all the time, every day, whether at school or not, but there are occasions when Id like to wear tights, especially with a shorter skirt.

I agree entirely that I usually wear stockings with plain tops. Mum always wears stockings with plain tops, and she can’t understand why there is this prevalence for lace tops! She would never allow me to wear something like that far too provocative shed say! She does wear stockings with various decorations, or seams sometimes, but that’s because she wants to make a statement, but lace tops (which can't be seen anyway) seem slightly ludicrous.

Now that you are a confirmed stockingwearer, has this had any effect on your mum's habits? Does she ever wear stockings? You mentioned a younger sister: how old is she? Does she go to the same school? Are there any other girls in your year that wear stockings? I mean stockings with suspenders, but also do any wear hold-ups?

Gosh, I do seem to have gone on far too long!

Hope to hear from you soon!

BTW I’m wearing a loose flared cotton skirt today with 30 denier flesh-coloured stockings and black ballet pumps: it’s the last day of halfterm holiday. Boo!


Posted by EmilyD on 2012-02-18 21:11:30

Hiya Clare

We talk about Lower 6th and Upper 6th too, we're both Lower 6th then. Black sheer tights/stockings are 6th form only, but all girls can wear black opaques.

We've arrived at the same point by different routes then: in my case it's me who doesn't like tights and for you it's your mum not liking them.

Yes I had to wear some hosiery for school, I don't like tights, hold-ups don't like me, so mum had the idea of stockings - it was basically wear them or stop moaning about the tights! I'd been allowed to wear sheer tights really since starting secondary school but didn't like them so only wore them when I had to get dressed up for something like weddings or funerals, family meals and parties, that sort of thing. For school it was nearly always socks, it must have looked strange me going to school in socks while little sis was in tights!

Your mum noticed your friend wearing stockings, so you had seen others wearing stockings before you started going to school in them? Do many of your friends wear stockings (or hold-ups) instead of tights? And is that their own choice? My mum didn't check with the school, she just assumed they'd be ok - "if they don't show, they won't know" she said!

My school is mixed too and I expect the boys must have seen my stocking tops, I've seen other girls showing the tops of their hold-ups at times and I can't imagine I'm any different! None of them have said anything though, I'm not wanting to show them but it's not a disaster if it happens.

That's right, I'd never worn stockings myself and I'd never seen mum wear them (or anyone else). She had mentioned how she wore them for a while but went back to tights, so I think that's how I'd got the impression of stockings as fiddly.

My first stockings were M&S sheer skin-colour ones with a lace top, she got me about 3 pairs I think, our underwear and hosiery always came from M&S. The suspender belt came from there too, mum always bought us black knickers so she chose a black one to match

From what I remember mum did up the first suspender to show me how they worked, then watched while I did the other three. They really felt "different" with nothing round my bottom and nothing tight on the top of my legs - but not uncomfortable. The "problem" was when I went to the loo and the suspender belt was in the way, it was right over my knickers so I had to undo it at the back to get them down!! I mentioned to mum what a pain it was, then she remembered they were on "wrong way round", once that was sorted no real problems at all!

And no problems since either, yes they're just normal underwear and legwear. I was a bit wary on the first PE day but that came after I'd worn them a week so felt fairly confident, and I'd already told (and shown) my friends, they knew I didn't like tights and had seen my hold-ups disaster.

Definitely I wear them out of school, one of the "side effects" of getting stockings was that I started to wear skirts and dresses a lot more, I prefer them to trousers. I've got a Saturday job and wear them most times there too, I'm wearing stockings now (sheer black ones). I don't wear tights ever, I don't even own got any! The only time I thought about tights was when I wanted some coloured opaques but I've recently found somewhere on-line where I can get them as stockings.

I've got a couple of pairs of stockings with seams! I got them for my prom last summer. Have you ever worn ones with seams?

No mum has done her stocking wearing when she was younger and hasn't wanted to try them again. Sis is just 14, she's always been happy to wear tights but was curious and has tried stockings. When I bought some new belts I gave her one of my older ones and she bought some stockings, she's worn them a couple of times but I don't think to school. Yes she's at my school, in year 9. Others in my year wear hold-ups but I've not seen anyone else with stockings at school but I know a couple do have some suspenders.

It's nice to find someone else who wears stockings every day!

Emily xx