Except for mourning, the black stocking seems almost to have disappeared in Paris. Greys and onion colour, and all the snuff and mole shades can be seen everywhere. The white stocking is also in evidence. But the black silk and black thread stocking-makers are sending up bitter complaints and nobody listens to them.
The light stocking is indeed very charming fashion, especially in France, where feet are not on a large scale. The Frenchwoman does not cultivate the exact matching of shoes and stockings which is almost a religion with the Englishwoman. On the contrary, she prefers a contrast. Black shoes – especially patent leather – are still widely worn, but with light stockings. A black dress has black shoes to match, but it nearly always has light-coloured stockings, generally in the buff shades. Shoes have become so varied of recent years that the stockings were bound to follow if, indeed, they had not already led the way.
Short skirts have worked wonders with the terrible shoes and stockings which our mothers and grandmothers hid under long skirts, ostensibly in the cause of modesty. Even ungainly legs and ankles have taken to the light stocking here, and, while it emphasises their ungainliness, it has the supreme advantage of looking clean and fresh. Very delicate light silk stockings are being sold this spring – gossamer trifles, which look as though they would tear in five minutes, and sometimes do.
Good fine thread stockings are also being worn by well-dressed women, especially with coats and skirts. These have clocks, either in open-work or silk, and they fit excellently. Without any pretensions to looking like silk, they have a quality of their own – especially those in the mole shades and the better tans – which enables them adequately to take the place of the more fragile silk. With some of the cotton frocks the really good – and expensive – thread stocking looks better than silk. Paris likes the one-strap shoe with fine stockings, as making walking in the street more comfortable than do the silk stockings and the pump.