Body StockingsBodystockings are hosiery items covering pretty much the entire body of the wearer, from neck to toe and sometimes even the arms. Bodystockings are made of the same kind of nylon material from which stockings and pantyhose are made. While the basic structure of the bodystocking material is the same, that is, the fibers are a nylon/lycra blend, they generally tend to be of a lower quality than the nylon and lycra used for stockings. The reason for this isn't quite clear, but it probably has to do with costs. By their nature, body stockings take up a lot of material. High quality pantyhose and stockings are rather expensive. Now multiply that by 2 and you have the cost of a high quality body-stocking. We're not 100% positive about this but we may be looking at several hundreds of dollars for a top quality bodystocking and that – let's be honest – is just not reasonable.
Bodystockings are NOT unitards. Although a high-sheen nylon lycra unitard can indeed be as sensual as a hot bodystocking, unitards were always meant to be worn as a standalone piece of clothing, most often without anything worn over (or even under) them. Bodystockings were originally meant to be worn under clothing. To make a long story short: bodystockings qualify as lingerie, while unitards most definitely don't.
Bodystockings have quite possibly evolved from pantyhose. After all, once waist to toe nylon coverage was achieved, why not take things one step further and cover up the entire body with the sensual gossamer fabric.
Bodystockings first surfaced in around 1971 and they were introduced as actual mainstream fashion items rather than sensual lingerie. Early bodystockings were meant to address some of the obvious shortcomings of other hosiery-types, more precisely pantyhose. Because of the increased elasticity of the waistbands of pantyhose, tights would often create a weird and unsightly muffin-top effect on the wearer's waist, sometimes even on extremely slim and fit women. This ugly effect was often painfully visible through clothes too. Bodystockings had no waistbands, therefore the problem of the bumps and bulges was solved. An added benefit for bodystocking wearers was the fact that these hosiery pieces showed off the wearer's midsection in a rather ruthless manner. Those who wanted to look good in their bodystockings therefore often went to great lengths dieting and exercising to look their best indeed.
The sensual streak of bodystockings soon came to light (well, almost as soon as the first items hit the store-shelves). The fashion industry capitalized on this new aspect and ever sheerer and more intricately patterned bodystockings were soon being produced. As the hosiery industry evolved, so did its actual products. The first bodystockings were rather cumbersome lingerie pieces – by today's standards at least.
Nowadays, almost countless bodystocking variants are made, in different styles and colors. There are all-sheer bodystockings, sheer ones with flower/butterfly patterns, heavily patterned ones, lace ones, fishnet bodystockings as well as fencenet ones. There are countless hosiery and bodystocking shops out there which peddle a rather intimidating selection of products. Given the large body-surface that they cover, bodystockings are an ideal canvas for hosiery designers.
Most bodystockings feature open crotches, which – in the case of risqué ones – is a rather obvious and quite necessary touch. It turns out though that the feature is a much more practical one than one would think: going to the bathroom fully clothed when wearing a bodystocking is quite an ordeal indeed, as one has to pretty much completely undress to be able to go. Open crotches make short work of that problem.
Bodystockings are available in a wide range of sizes. Most of them are quite stretchy, so they offer quite a bit of tolerance when it comes to sizing. To avoid having to wear too tight and uncomfortable bodystockings, one should always pay at least a little bit of attention to size. Plus size ladies haven't been left out of the bodystocking game either. While actual hosiery shops may not feature such specially sized bodystockings, there are plenty of online shops out there which do.
Whether they're lace ones or industrial net ones, bodystockings are generally considered some of the most feminine lingerie items. They're a close second to the good old stockings/garter belt combo in that respect as far as we're concerned.