18th Century Striped Stockings

Last updated: Nov 20, 2021

It seems that vertical stripes are the predominant style of striped stockings in the 18th century, but there are a few examples of horizontally striped stockings or diagonally striped stockings. (Ribbed stockings appear on a separate page.)

Extant examples

  • KM 85159, a pair of white silk stockings with thinner blue and gray stripes, c. 1750-1799
  • DAR 2237, “hand-knit striped wool stocking, about 1787-1795, possibly owned by Capt. Isaac Burnett”
  • Met C.I.44.8.12a, b, a pair of silk stockings, Europe, late 18th century
  • National Maritime Museum TXT0381 and TXT0382, silk stockings with blue stripes worn by Nelson when wounded at Tenerife, c. 1797 (H/T Klára Posekaná)
  • Met C.I.44.8.13a, b, late 18th/early 19th century

Portraits and illustrations

It's possible that some of the depictions of stockings (especially those from the 1770s) are really showing ribbed stockings rather than striped stockings, or that the colored stripes were added onto the print in the 1780s or 1790s, when striped stockings become more fashionable.