Seams the way to classic elegance. 

From the eternal question when guys feel compelled to ask if you are wearing stockings, by way of a compliment on ones summery looking hosiery, to a look of horror that anyone could have the audacity to display seams in public. 

There is little doubt that seams provoke comment. They provide a focal point on the legs that draws the eyes towards them. They add a classic and timeless look to an outfit.

For those that wish to step out in seamed stockings for the first time it is interesting to note that not all seams are the same and that heels come in a variety of delightful shapes.

Traditional nylon fully fashioned stockings are made by knitting the material into flat sheets that are cut to the shape of a leg, folded in half, with the two sides sewn together to form a seam. 100% nylon stockings will contain no Lycra and therefore have little or no stretch.  The top of the seam where it meets the double layer of nylon at the top of the stocking; known as the welt, is completed by the welt being turned over and a finishing loop applied. This process is needed to allow the needle sewing the seam to be withdrawn. 

Fully Fashioned Stockings Full Contrast Cuban Heel H2027. Priced at £26.50. 

(https://www.whatkatiedid.com/product/918/fully-fashioned-stockings-full-contrast-cuban-heel?fes_pva_id=158937&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIldKJ86DZ1QIVxbztCh2ClAVpEAQYASABEgIrM_D_BwE).

Reinforced Heel and Toe stockings (RHT) are also made from nylon but have distinct differences from fully fashioned stockings. There is no keyhole in the welt, and although RHTs with seams are available, the seam is solely for decorative purposes as the process of circular knitting the stocking on barrels removes the need for a seam.


RHT Seamed Stockings. Priced at £12.95.

(http://www.touchable.co.uk/shop-pages/product-stockings-reinforced-heel-toe-rht-seamed-15820.html).

Most stockings that we wear today are a composition of nylon and Lycra (elastane); that allows their stretch, with the seams and heels being decorative to reproduce a vintage style. 


Seamed Stockings Red Glamour H2039. Priced at £10.00.

(https://www.whatkatiedid.com/en_gb/product/1348/seamed-stockings-contrast-red).

As mentioned earlier there are also a number of styles of heels (photos http://www.vintage-legs.com). 

Cuban Heel – where the reinforced part is squared off above the back of the ankle, rather than tapering to a point.

Similar to the Cuban heel, the reinforced part of the stocking comes to a wider square above the back of the ankle, with the width above the ankle being similar to that on the bottom of the foot.

A mix between the Point and Cuban heels with the inclusion of a thin outline that traces the entire heel design.

Sometimes referred to as a French heel the reinforced section tapers off to a point that helps to accentuate the length and shape of the leg.

I should be pleased to answer any questions that anyone may have through the comments function or by email to rations2rocknroll@outlook.com.

Cx.

@Rations2R_n_R does not own the copyright to the images included herein. We use our blog to showcase retro and vintage fashion and, where we can, credit the copyright owner of any content by way of a link to their website. Please email rations2rocknroll@outlook.com if you are the owner of any content included and would like us to either change or remove anything that we post.

Blossom & be pretty in pink. 

Welcome to today’s vintage style fashion pick.

From http://www.britishretro.co.uk (link below *). 

‘Rhonda’s Revenge’ Magnolia Orchid Vintage 50s Style Limited Edition Pencil Dress designed & manufactured in the UK and featuring an off-the-shoulder Bardot style neckline with classical angled sleeves and a straight bateau back neckline. The dress is made from stretch cotton with a satin lined & front boned bodice and a concealed zip at the back. There is also a 8 inch vent at the back of the skirt. Priced at £58.00.

Yesterday I was wearing from What Katie Did…


…Seamed Stockings Sky Glamour that come in an array of delightful colours including (and featured before)…

15 denier Seamed Stockings Pink Glamour H2049 (link below **) featuring a shocking pink seam with a translucent champagne leg and pink point heel, seam and welt. Made in Italy from stretch nylon and elastane for ease of fit. Priced at  £10.00. 

Cx.
* https://www.britishretro.co.uk/product/rhondas-revenge-pink-floral-vintage-50s-style-pencil/

** https://www.whatkatiedid.com/en_gb/product/1425/seamed-stockings-contrast-pink-glamour

@Rations2R_n_R neither owns the copyright to the images nor much of the written content included herein. We use our blog to showcase retro and vintage fashion and, where we can, credit the copyright owner of any content by way of a link to their website. Please email rations2rocknroll@outlook.com if you are the owner of any content included and would like us to either amend or remove anything that we post. 

Stocking up ones hosiery draw. 

Welcome to today’s vintage style fashion pick where I have selected two pairs of stockings that I possess.

I should also like to explain a little about each pair that are quite different for a number of reasons.

Firstly from http://www.touchable.co.uk (link below *).

Genuine reciprocated heel and reinforced (RHT) toe sheer stockings featuring a deep welt and after welt with an external seam from welt to toe for extra definition. Made from 100% Nylon (and therefore non-stretch) the 15 denier construction using the sheerest of yarns specifically matched to give an appearance as stylish as fully-fashioned stockings. Priced at £12.95.

Secondly from http://www.whatkatiedid.com (link below ** and I am hoping that the colour is as sweet as it appears in the promotional photograph).

Seamed Stockings Sky Glamour H2051. 15 denier seamed nylons with a translucent champagne leg and sky blue point heel, seam and welt. Made in Italy from stretch nylon and elastane for ease of fit. Priced at £10.00.

Cx. 

* http://www.touchable.co.uk/shop-pages/product-stockings-reinforced-heel-toe-rht-seamed-15820.html

** https://www.whatkatiedid.com/en_gb/product/1427/seamed-stockings-sky-blue-glamour

@Rations2R_n_R neither owns the copyright to the professional images nor much of the written content included herein. We use our blog to showcase retro and vintage fashion and, where we can, credit the copyright owner of any content by way of a link to their website. Please email rations2rocknroll@outlook.com if you are the owner of any content included and would like us to either amend or remove anything that we post. 

Candyfloss and she’s a cracker. 

I believe that I have fallen in love with today’s vintage style fashion pick.

From https://prettykittyfashion.co.uk (link below *).


Light Pink Ruffle Shoulder Bodycon Pencil Dress featuring ruched detail to waist and a gold reverse zipper. Fully lined. Measures 32″ from underarm to hem. Available up to Size UK 18. Priced at £49.99 with free postage. 

I would suggest seamed hosiery would complete a classic look.

From http://www.whatkatiedid.com (link below **).

15 denier Seamed Stockings Pink Glamour H2049 with a translucent champagne leg and pink point heel, seam and welt. Made in Italy from stretch nylon and elastane for ease of fit. Priced at £10.00.

Or, for those that prefer tights, also from http://www.whatkatiedid.com (link below ***). 

Seamed Tights Pink H2061. Sheer champagne colour tights with a delicate baby pink seam. Contains elastane for a perfect fit combining comfort of today with glamour of yesteryear. Sheer 15 denier with a contrasting heel and seam to the top of the leg. Made in Italy. Priced at £10.00.

Find the shoes to match. After all I cannot do all the work and ready to go! 

Cx.

* https://prettykittyfashion.co.uk/products/pale-pink-ruffle-shoulder-bodycon-pencil-dress?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=googlepla&variant=39071691139&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8Ijb4dmz1QIVzpPtCh1pJgOTEAQYAiABEgIWCvD_BwE

** https://www.whatkatiedid.com/en_gb/product/1425/seamed-stockings-contrast-pink-glamour#&gid=1&pid=2

*** https://www.whatkatiedid.com/en_gb/product/1478/seamed-tights-pink

@Rations2R_n_R neither owns the copyright to the images nor much of the written content included herein. We use our blog to showcase retro and vintage fashion and, where we can, credit the copyright owner of any content by way of a link to their website. Please email rations2rocknroll@outlook.com if you are the owner of any content included and would like us to either amend or remove anything that we post. 

My heart skips a beat. 

Welcome to today’s vintage style fashion pick.

From http://www.kit-n-heels.co.uk (link below *).


Wilma – Vintage 1950’s Style Wiggle Dress – Lindy Bop with heart shape print chiffon fabric to top and insert at base of skirt, heart shaped buttons at top and above skirt inset, fitted pencil skirt and Peter Pan collar. The dress also features contrasting heart shape to bodice, a 6″ kick pleat to back, short chiffon sleeves and a hidden back zip. Priced at £36.00.

The dress is shown paired with seamed hosiery; the ideal accompaniment for a pencil dress, to achieve an authentic vintage style look.

Please find below a link to our friends at online hosiery boutique Heels and Toes Inc. (**). 

Cx.

* https://www.kit-n-heels.co.uk/products/wilma-wiggle-dress

** http://www.heelsandtoes.ca/

@Rations2R_n_R neither owns the copyright to the images nor much of the written content included herein. We use our blog to showcase retro and vintage fashion and, where we can, credit the copyright owner of any content by way of a link to their website. Please email rations2rocknroll@outlook.com if you are the owner of any content included and would like us to either amend or remove anything that we post. Christine Ashbeck (founder of @Rations2R_n_R). 

Miss Joanne…up close and personal. 

I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to collaborate with @Miss_Joanne_F who, despite possibly causing her some embarrassment, may be regarded as being somewhat of an expert in the field of vintage style foundation wear. In a two for the price of one offer the first part of our blog post shall be in the form of questions and answers with the second part being an insight into “What goes in to being Joanne”. 

Thank you for chatting with @Rations2R_n_R Joanne.

Christine @Rations2R_n_R (C). It would be nice to start by hearing a little about you Joanne.

Joanne @Miss_Joanne_F (J). I’m 59, and moved to the Los Angeles area from Scotland in 1999. I’m what I would describe as a “Recreational Crossdresser”: I don’t live as a woman 24/7, but have been dressing on and off since 1971!

JF2

(C). For how long have you presented as female in public? 

(J). I first presented as female in public in 2013. My presentation and “character” have evolved considerably since then, even in that relatively short time!

(C). Please tell us your inspiration that lead to @Miss_Joanne_F.

(J). The image I try to present is that of a businesswoman my age – someone like an office manager or the VP of a small company. She is professionally attired, and wouldn’t look out of place presenting the evening news. I have “modelled” my presentation on two fictitious characters:


This is Evelyn Harper from the comedy “Two and a Half Men”, played by veteran actress Holland Taylor. Evelyn is always very smartly dressed, sells high-end houses and isn’t above using her feminine attributes to complete a sale. She’s what we used to call “a bit of a goer” 😊

This is Gloria Akalitus, played by Anna Deavere Smith. Gloria is the Administrator of All Saints Hospital in the drama “Nurse Jackie”, and always dresses in a manner commensurate with her lofty position. She was heard to remark over a post-work drink “Men go weak at the knees for a woman in a skirt suit”.

So, this is the sort of woman I aspire to be. Smart and professional with a hint of sexiness thrown in!

(C). Were you presented with obstacles on your journey to the place that you are now and, particularly, at the beginning?

JF3

(J). Obstacles? Where to begin…..when this all started for me, I was 13. That’s, by all accounts, a fairly common time for a desire to crossdress to first emerge, around the onset of puberty. I was an (adopted) only child, so no sister(s) to rob from! I had to make do with Mum’s clothes. Looking back, I think she knew what was going on. Also, there was no internet, no easy way to buy items discreetly, no way to interact with others of the same inclination. You felt very “alone”, and wondered if you were the only one.

(C). The world has changed considerably over the years but there are still many people that are either reluctant to, or will not accept, diversity. Please tell us about any personal experiences that you feel able to share. 

(J). I haven’t personally had any issues while being out and about dressed – indeed, I’ve had doors held open for me by men on more than one occasion! That’s always met with a smile and a softly spoken “Thank You”. Someone once said to me that I dress in a very “age-appropriate” manner – I’m about four months from being 60, so I’m not going to try to dress like a 30 year old woman! My approach is a “common-sense” one: do the things a woman my age would do. I do a lot of observing how women my age behave and learn from that.

One thing that comes up often is the whole “bathroom” issue. I’ve had lovely brief conversations with ladies in there while washing my hands! One of us girls told me that there were two cardinal rules for the bathroom. Firstly, do whatever you’ve gone there to do, use the facility for the intended purposes, don’t do anything weird. Secondly: make sure your feet are pointing the right way! I do have a little bathroom tale over on my own blog at https://missjoannefitzpatrick.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/the-perils-of-automatic-toilets/

(C). Moving on to our mutual love of retro style lingerie. I am sure that our followers would like to know your reasons for favouring “traditional” underpinnings.

JF4

(J). Simple answer on that: Mother. Although she stood 5’11” and weighed about 8 stone, she was never without her girdle, and she stuck with stockings until the bitter end. As I mentioned earlier, my beginnings were with her clothes, and I’ve stuck with that style ever since. There’s just a certain elegance about girdles, corselettes, that sort of thing. I love the look and feel, and there’s a certain feeling of being “put together” when I’m dressed. I feel confident and am able to present confidently.

(C). Which garment do you consider as a favourite in your lingerie wardrobe and why?

(J). Favourite has to be the Rago 9357 open corselette – I own all five colourways! I find it to be a very comfortable garment for all-day wear, plus it looks great! I was going away for an overnight, and had packed my mocha and black one, which I showed to a lady I worked with at the time with whom I had shared my “secret”. Her eyes almost popped out of her head, and she said “That is SOOOOOO sexy!”. I think she may subsequently have bought one or two for herself 😊

(C). You live in California; not an area known for its cool climate. Presenting as female whilst wearing traditional foundations must prove challenging at times!

(J). It’s a very good question. I’ve never felt “uncomfortable”, even on hot days, although I’ve lost a few pounds on occasion! I’m a great believer that if your shapewear is uncomfortable or indeed, painful, than you’re wearing the wrong size and/or the wrong garment(s). I’ll write separately in some more detail about just what goes into my overall presentation. (See  below “What goes in to being Joanne” *.)

(C). The view of @Rations2R_n_R is that retro and vintage outfits are best complimented by appropriate foundations. I am sure that you agree. Please tell us your reasons and how you would encourage others to follow your example. 

JF1

(J).  I’m a great believer that if you’re going to do something, you should do it fully and properly. Example: let’s say you’re going to a 50s event, and you have a dress from that era’s style. You shouldn’t go bare-legged, women from that time wouldn’t have. And, say a gust of wind were to come along, it shouldn’t expose a thong! The presentation should be fully consistent with the era, so it should be brassiere & open girdle (or corselette) underneath with full briefs or a mid-thigh leg, and proper stockings.

(C). Although to many of us a somewhat tedious debate, there are those that are new to retro underthings, who will ask “knickers over or under a suspender belt”? I know our views agree on this but I should like you to share your opinion on this matter. 


(J). Ah, the perennial question! I mentioned knickers with a mid-thigh leg: that’s what Mum wore, and she was always a “knickers over” lady. I’ve gone both ways, but have settled on under, since I think it gives a nicer look, but is less convenient for the Ladies’ Powder Room 😊. At the end of the day, it’s personal preference.

(C). Please tell us your favoured retailers for vintage style lingerie and hosiery and why?”

(J). The only “bricks and mortar” place I’ve ever heard of having Rago product on display around here was an “adult store” (so a friend told me…..honest!). I shop online, mainly at AmericanShapewear.com, who carry the full range. I usually get my briefs at HerRoom.com – I look to find ones in the same colour as my girdles and corselettes, and they have a great selection in all sizes. As for nylons: no chance of finding them in stores. I get my “everyday” ones (Berkshire SexyHose, they have a pretty lace top) at EssentialApparel.com. For something like seams or fishnets: eBay!

*”What goes in to being Joanne“.

JF5

…the whole “process” of becoming Joanne. It’s quite involved!

First thing to understand is the terminology. The word “Transition” is often mistakenly used in connection with crossdressing. “Transitioning” is what someone who is undergoing a sex change does. When someone like me goes from male to female presentation, we “Transform”.
It’s also a very common misconception that male to female crossdressers do so because they want to have “relations” with other men and/or ultimately wish to undergo a sex change. The vast majority of us are heterosexual males. One thing to add is that in an online discussion I was reading recently, someone hypothesised about a “magic pill” that would turn us into women for one or more days, and most would try it!
When I first started going out and about, I quickly realised that I wanted to have the “full feminine experience”. That, for me, includes wearing a latex vaginal prosthesis to hide my “man bits”. If someone were to take a sly peek up my skirt, they’d see the proverbial “camel toe”! I’ve adapted mine to work in conjunction with a men’s “athletic support”.
I’ve also recently taken to wearing something to give me a bit of a bum! In common with many men, I don’t have much in that department – I’m sure you’re familiar with the excellent Corsetiere.net site where Ivy Leaf mentions that an experienced corsetiere could tell from the measurements that they were a man’s! If you’re so inclined, you can read my review of the product I use at https://missjoannefitzpatrick.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/joanne-reviews-caboost/
I also get a full (Well, all the bits that the salon will do!) waxing every few weeks. I love to feel smooth, especially as I put my nylons on 😊
Makeup is something that many of us find challenging. Most shops will do a “tutorial” in return for a minimum purchase (US$50-75). They’ll sit you down in a chair for a couple of hours and work with you to find an ideal “look”! One thing I emphasise is that there is no “one size fits all” solution for cosmetics: everyone has different needs.
“Everything you wanted to know about crossdressing but we’re afraid to ask. ❤️”

Thank you for your enthusiasm Joanne in a most informative and honest chat. I am so pleased, and grateful, that we got together. 

I send my best wishes to you for the future.

Cx.


Stepping out in style with Heels and Toes Inc.

I am immensely grateful to have the opportunity to chat with the founders of Heels and Toes Inc. I should like to express a sincere appreciation as I understand how busy that they are in both their personal and professional lives. 

Christine @Rations2R_n_R (C) Our followers would love to know about the people behind Heels and Toes.

@HeelsToesInc (H) Heels and Toes Inc. is an online hosiery boutique featuring superior legwear, including tights, stockings and unisex fashion socks. We are a husband and wife team, raising two rambunctious young children, who want to offer women and men quality, stylish, contemporary European legwear right here in Canada.  


(C) Please tell us about the motivation that led to Heels and Toes.

(H) As a couple, we love to get dressed up for a night out. A suit or sport jacket and tie for him and a fabulous dress or skirt for her. Given Canada’s cooler climate, hosiery is a possibility for many months of the year. Accessorizing an outfit with an alluring seam or sensuous stocking became a fun way to add some glamour to our evenings out. Over the years, we built up a large collection of quality tights, stockings and holdups and one day we jokingly said that, “We had enough hosiery to open up our own store!”. We looked into it and decided to create Heels and Toes Inc as a ‘side business’ to our professional careers. Our own experiences have taught us that quality fashionable products are often difficult to find, especially in the Canadian market. We want to offer superior service and quality products at reasonable prices.

(C) When was Heels and Toes online boutique established?

(H) We opened our online boutique in October 2016. It’s been quite an adventure for us as we navigate the art of business and try to merge it with our love of fine legwear and socks.

(C) I am interested to learn the reasons for stocking the brands that you do?

(H) Over the years, we have become familiar with many different brands. Trasparenze, an Italian manufacturer, quickly became one of our favourites. They are a fantastic brand that hold up well over time and offer some very creative designs.

We made the decision to carry Fiore due largely to their extremely creative designs, patterns and products.

We were introduced to Cecilia de Rafael during our honeymoon in Spain and love their glossy Sevilla pantyhose.

When looking for quality stockings, we found Secrets In Lace to be second to none. They offer the finest stockings and their seamed hosiery is stunning with both modern outfits and for that retro look.

We added Glamory to our collection when we began receiving requests for quality hosiery for the curvier and taller woman. As half of our company falls into the ‘tall’ category, this is always an area that we feel is worthy of investigation. We quickly fell in love with their products and found everything they said to be true. The response to this product has been positive and it clearly fulfilled a need with our clientele.

We also wanted to add some great socks for the men. HS is a worldwide brand that offers high quality products and very cool designs. Friday Sock Company is a local brand, based here in Calgary and offers fantastic mismatched socks that are some of the most creative designs we have ever seen.


(C) Of the products that you stock which are the most popular and why do you believe that is?

(H) Our most popular products are Cecilia de Rafael Sevilla Gloss Tights, Fiore Lili Sheer Tights, Trasparenze Sara Stockings and Fiore Glam Hold Ups. We have also begun receiving a great response from our Glamory line.

We have a distinguished client base of professional women who wear the Sevilla and Lili sheer tights on a daily basis. These products are offered in a great size range, hold up well to multiple wears and are priced at or below department store brands.  

The Trasparenze Sara are fantastically soft, plain top stockings that offer superior comfort at a reasonable price. There is something almost magical about a woman in plain top stockings. Simple and sexy!

The same can be said for the Fiore Glam Hold Ups. They are a comfortable satin top thigh high that fit perfectly at the office or for a night on the town.

Glamory is quickly becoming better known and offers ALL women the comfort of quality tights, stockings and holdups.

(C) Rations2RocknRoll has a love of vintage style fashion and favours stockings as part of my retro ensemble. Stockings have had somewhat of a renaissance in recent years. I would love to hear your thoughts as to why this is.

(H) Stockings are the epitome of sexy. They offer an alluring glimpse into our past and today’s manufacturers have created such a comfortable product that women can now enjoy both comfort and sexiness, all at once. For many, stockings are the most alluring of lingerie products. The glimpse of the stocking top and the thought of what lies underneath, drives men crazy and allows women to feel sexy. They are a classy way to add something special to any outfit.

(C) Does Heels and Toes ship internationally?

(H) Our main focus is to provide hosiery to the women of Canada and the United States although we do ship internationally to most of Europe, Australia and Japan. Unfortunately costs for shipping outside of North America are relatively high compared to some of the great hosiery retailers in the UK and Europe.


(C) Our followers would love to hear about the plans for Heels & Toes for the future.

(H) Our goal remains the same as it was the day we opened. To provide women and men with quality service and the finest in hosiery. As we grow our brand, it is our hope to add more products and manufacturers to our line. Whether it be tights, stockings, holdups, leggings or socks, we want women and men to experience the comfort that only quality hosiery offers.

(C) Please tell us your website address where customers may view your hold up highlights, your stockings selection and your tantalising tights?

(H) Our website is http://www.heelsandtoes.ca. Heels and Toes Inc. offers unique and fashionable hosiery for work and play. Whether it’s classic office attire, something ‘special’ for that evening out or colourfully designed dress socks, Heels and Toes Inc. wants to have you covered and looking your best. We are located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and offer our customers the ultimate in quality, craftsmanship and creativity.

This has been a most interesting read and is clear evidence of the passion that Heels and Toes have for quality hosiery. 
Thank you again to Heels and Toes Inc. for their enthusiasm in the latest of my collaborative blog posts.

I send my best wishes for every success in the future.

Cx.