A post on the Pen Fatales blog reminded me of a class I took in college. It was an English class covering Victorian women writers. One of our assignments was to write a paper comparing something from those times with a current thing.
My paper discussed the development of underwear for women. In Victorian times, how the wife was dressed was a direct reflection of the wealth of her husband. That was partly why they wore hoop skirts. Those big skirts declared the woman to be a lady of leisure. But hoop skirts being easily flipped up and not very modest led to the development of underwear.
I compared that to the development of pantyhose. I drew the conclusion that the mini skirt was the reason pantyhose came to be. With skirts as short as those early mini skirts, there was no way a woman could wear stockings and garters.
As I remember, the professor gave me a decent grade for my paper although she thought I was stretching things a bit. I wish I had kept that paper. It would be fun to go back and read it again.