09 May 2013

"Makeup" nylons during WWII

Silk or nylon stockings were in extremely short supply by the summer of 1942... Most women had to find ingenious methods of dressing their legs. These pictures show a woman drawing in the seam-line on “Makeup” stockings with a device made from a screw driver handle, bicycle leg clip, and an eyebrow pencil, 1942. (source: Bettman/Corbis)
From The Vintage Thimble, via good girls finish last.


  1. I recall my mother telling how she and her sister would concoct a brown dye out of kitchen supplies to paint their legs, then they took turns to stand on the kitchen and draw a darker 'seam' on the backs of each other's legs.

    My mother also begged her army-officer brother to try acquire a silk parachute for her to make underwear and a dress from....
    Len, on his next home-leave, came through.
    Mama was less than delighted. The parachute was camouflage green!

  2. Those were tough times. Families giving up 'everything but the kitchen sink' (not to mention their kin), so that the industry of war could continue to SELL bombs and bandages.

    Also, did women of this era not have calf muscles? I can't imagine this thing would ever draw a straight line.


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