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Wilesco

Betty Page and Opera hose

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in the 50s/60s, she appeared in what may have been this first hold up stockings called Opera hose. These were stockings that reached right high up on the tight in fact as far as right up to the crotch and were self supporting and often fishnets but not always. Quite why they are called opera hose I am unsure but perhaps due to them being worn by show ladies like dancers etc. Betty often posed in BDSM photographs and videos of the time and even today she has a big following.  

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I don't think they're actually hold ups. They stay up - at least for photos because the tops are rolled tightly down.

"Flappers" of the 20s used to do that with their silk stockings.

I think there are other pictures of Betty Page in rolled stockings not so far up her thigh.

Opera Length does indeed refer to stockings that go right to the top of the leg but they are usually held up by suspenders on shortened straps.

Betty Page is indeed one of the all time great pin-up/fetish icons. It was a shame the way she and the Klaws were harassed by sanctimonious politicians.

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What an amazing figure.........no air brushing in those days! 

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I did a bit of research as I like to wear my stockings up as high as possible. Before tights came along there were Opera or Opera Length stockings. These stockings were worn with garters (suspenders) to keep them up and usually a short skirt or shorts to hide the clips. There was a store in California owned by Lily St. Cyr called "The Undie World," which sold opera stockings and belts with very short straps. Danskin marketed fishnet opera stockings which were very long, had backseams and elastic at the top to keep them up, or they could be worn with a belt. These have not been made in many years but I did find a pair on e-bay and wear them occasionally. While opera length stockings are quite long, true opera stockings have very narrow welts at the top.

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I wear 'opera stockings' regularly because am very pale, especially my legs, so I want my legs fully covered. Mine are not true opera stockings, however - that is stockings sold for dancers, etc, but rather stockings that I have converted to be almost the same thing.  I buy very long 'hold ups, and remove the elastic band. I support the stockings with a small, short 6 strap garter belt. The result is really quite nice as there are very many hold up stockings available to choose from in many colors and degree of sheerness.  Those I buy and convert are sandal foot made by Berkshire.   I buy them by the dozen from a local lingerie shop which gives me a good price. Should you wonder, I am quite thin and on me, hold-ups don't.  When not wearing the operas, I wear a LLPG with conventional stockings which similarly covers my entire leg. And, I dislike pantyhose. 

I do have one pair of authentic opera stockings.  That is, stockings originally sold by a costume/dance wear shop for wear by a professional entertainer but they are not very nice.  Mesh knit, (not fish net) non stretch, seamless. I have never worn them, only tried them on.  Suspect they were built for durability.  The wonderful full-fashioned sheer opera stockings as worn by Betty Page and movie dancers are beautiful but I have never even SEEN any of these.  In any case, they would be far to valuable to wear, but I keep looking. 

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Oh, and I have been to fetish events that featured  Betty Page look-alike contests.  That was great fun!!!

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3 hours ago, Ellen said:

I did a bit of research as I like to wear my stockings up as high as possible. Before tights came along there were Opera or Opera Length stockings. These stockings were worn with garters (suspenders) to keep them up and usually a short skirt or shorts to hide the clips. There was a store in California owned by Lily St. Cyr called "The Undie World," which sold opera stockings and belts with very short straps. Danskin marketed fishnet opera stockings which were very long, had backseams and elastic at the top to keep them up, or they could be worn with a belt. These have not been made in many years but I did find a pair on e-bay and wear them occasionally. While opera length stockings are quite long, true opera stockings have very narrow welts at the top.

There was also the firm called 'Fredericks of Hollywood' that also sold them including six strap belts to hold them up. These I believe were 100% nylon with seams.

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A place called "Stage Undies," in Brooklyn, NY sold opera stockings. I expect that they were true opera stockings with the narrow welt. Also the Quincy (Massachusetts) Conservatory of Music had them on sale. Best guess is that they sold them to their dance students. Still researching...

 

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On 08/02/2018 at 1:02 PM, Ellen said:

I did a bit of research as I like to wear my stockings up as high as possible. Before tights came along there were Opera or Opera Length stockings. These stockings were worn with garters (suspenders) to keep them up and usually a short skirt or shorts to hide the clips. There was a store in California owned by Lily St. Cyr called "The Undie World," which sold opera stockings and belts with very short straps. Danskin marketed fishnet opera stockings which were very long, had backseams and elastic at the top to keep them up, or they could be worn with a belt. These have not been made in many years but I did find a pair on e-bay and wear them occasionally. While opera length stockings are quite long, true opera stockings have very narrow welts at the top.

Very informative and yes I have seen the kind of stockings and suspender belts (garters to you) in many of the photographs of the 50/60s. 

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On 08/02/2018 at 4:29 PM, Opera Stockings said:

I wear 'opera stockings' regularly because am very pale, especially my legs, so I want my legs fully covered. Mine are not true opera stockings, however - that is stockings sold for dancers, etc, but rather stockings that I have converted to be almost the same thing.  I buy very long 'hold ups, and remove the elastic band. I support the stockings with a small, short 6 strap garter belt. The result is really quite nice as there are very many hold up stockings available to choose from in many colors and degree of sheerness.  Those I buy and convert are sandal foot made by Berkshire.   I buy them by the dozen from a local lingerie shop which gives me a good price. Should you wonder, I am quite thin and on me, hold-ups don't.  When not wearing the operas, I wear a LLPG with conventional stockings which similarly covers my entire leg. And, I dislike pantyhose. 

I do have one pair of authentic opera stockings.  That is, stockings originally sold by a costume/dance wear shop for wear by a professional entertainer but they are not very nice.  Mesh knit, (not fish net) non stretch, seamless. I have never worn them, only tried them on.  Suspect they were built for durability.  The wonderful full-fashioned sheer opera stockings as worn by Betty Page and movie dancers are beautiful but I have never even SEEN any of these.  In any case, they would be far to valuable to wear, but I keep looking. 

Wonderful informative post, I am so glad I started this thread and what great replies to it. 

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I'm a 5' 10" male wearer, and as Opera Stockings, like my stockings to come all the way up my legs.  So I too wear long thigh highs all the way to my crotch, and fasten them snugly with a six short strap garterbelt with wide vintage clasps.  I find that I can fasten the clasps without cutting off the welt.

 

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