Fashion Diva Fun: Stockings

The following post about stockings was written by Bay Village Historical Society member and volunteer Marie Albano, who has been a tremendous help to the museum in her knowledge and interest in historical clothing.

We have more fashion on display at the Rose Hill Museum, with an emphasis on the 1920s. The museum is now open on Sundays from 2:00pm to 4:30pm (closed July 3rd).

Also open is the Osborn Learning Center which now showcases exhibits ranging from Eliot Ness and the “Untouchables” to the Sheppard murder case. It also houses various research materials from our archives for visitors.

Fashion Diva Fun: Stockings

Let’s talk stockings and I don’t mean Christmas!

Did you know that our museum has an extensive collection of stockings and socks?  Everyone tends to think that stockings came in either white or black. During the Victorian era, stockings were often matched to the shade of the gown for evening. It was also popular to match your stockings to your petticoat with purple or red being very fashionable.

1998.C.37 Victorian Maroon Stockings

Black stockings for boys and girls were considered to be strong and were typically worn until 1920.  They were made domestically and cost 25 cents/year.

When hemlines revealed more leg, it was suggested by a 1915 fashion magazine that a delicate stripe would be permissible with the new saddle oxfords. Also, plaid or polka dot stockings with plain shoes would be in good taste.

The stockings for both men and women were typically made of wool, cotton, linen or silk with silk being reserved for the very wealthy. The thread for the silk stockings was made in Lille, France. The material is called Lisle, it is actually combed Egyptian cotton made fine and silky by a mercerizing process making it stronger. In 1903 they were imported from France at $1.00/pair.

More fashion fun to come.

Dr. Marie A. Albano, D.D.S.

1996.P.FIC.02.61 possibly Mae Ligget wearing light-colored stockings in the late 1800s, from the Foote Family album

Your donations and memberships help keep these artifacts preserved and accessible to all and can be made by visiting our webpage

If you have any questions for us or are interested in volunteering in order to have a more hands-on experience with Bay Village history, please contact us at (440) 871-7338 or email us:

2021.P.FIC.010 Georgia Brown shows a bit of dark stockings at the end of their popularity in the 1910s

2020.C.FIC.265 Corset with garters (front only survive) to hold up stockings

1996.C.503 Blue Embroidered Stockings, late 1800s

1999.C.78 Green Silk Stockings, circa 1930, labeled Osborne

2020.C.FIC.281 Marvel Emil Sebert’s Lace Stockings. Sebert was an English and typing teacher in Parkview/Bay High School from 1925-1952.

Marvel Sebert from the 1947 Bay Blue Book Yearbook

2022. Bay Librarians Model Jim Shea Hosiery, 1969 

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