But for "evening" wear, they were a dismal failure. The first turn-off for me was one glance at the "lacy" bit that clings to the thigh. Rather than looking seductive, each leg appeared to be wrapped in a skinned gerbil of that muted beige colour reminiscent of granny's underwear. Rather than giggling "surprise surprise" (as one lifts one's skirt up), if you were wearing these on a hot date, you would have to encourage your paramour with a "Hey, look over there!" while you whipped the damned things off.
After my first night out, I thought of issuing a hint to stocking makers that they should top their hold-ups with cheeky red lace, or white or black, and cheer things up a bit.
But by day two I had realised why one wouldn't want to draw attention to these stocking tops. You see, having held up so well at first, they suddenly decided to show themselves in broad daylight.
It had started out OK. After a quick rinse in the sink, the second time I wore them they were cosy and tight, until at 4pm my gerbil tops emitted a rubbery squeak, then a ping! Next, one stocking was at my knees, soon to be followed by the other one. Quickly bored of tugging them up, I just let things lie at work. I was wearing a long skirt so no one was any the wiser. They were, though, when I got off my homeward train. I looked down to see two entire stockings sitting on my shoes.
Levante Hold-Ups, 26 per cent Lycra, 14 denier, pounds 5.99, at major department stores.