six feet two in her stockings


Senior Member
Hi everyone
I'm afraid I can't get the satire here when the lady is being described "At six feet two in her stockings" in the following context from "Nights at the Circus" by Angela Carter:
At close quarters, it must be said that she looked more like a dray mare than an angel. At six feet two in her stockings, she would have to give Walser a couple of inches in order to match him and, though they said she was "divinely tall", there was, off-stage, not much of the divine about her unless there were gin palaces in heaven where she might preside behind the bar.
I'm quite confused if she's regarded tall or what is meant by "divinely tall".
  • Logos14

    Senior Member
    She was extremely tall (for a woman), being two inches taller than Waiser without shoes. Though her height was stately and potentially sublime, her habits were uncouth and rough. The contrast is between her regal or 'divine' height and her low behavior.


    Senior Member
    English UK
    X feet Y inches in his/her stocking(ed) feet is pretty much a set phrase - it simply means X feet Y inches tall without shoes on.

    So yes, she's decidedly tall. "Divinely tall" would be a flattering way of putting it: it's probably what someone has written about her in a review.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    "In her stockings" or "in her stocking feet" is usually said about women, because women often wear shoes with high heels that make them seem a lot taller than they actually are*. Men's heels aren't as high**, and are mostly all of similar height, so the same problem doesn't arise.
    *And because, today, the word stockings usually refers to what women wear. Men wear socks. However, that was not always true.
    **Today. There have been periods in the past when it was fashionable for wealthy men to wear high heels. There are also shoes that short men can wear to appear taller. Their high heels are hidden inside what looks like a regular shoe.