Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pantyhose: What's with all the hate?

No bare legs for our Kate!
An article in the New York Times caught my eye today, and as soon as I read it, I started rejoicing. Here's a link to "For Pantyhose, It's Back To Work."

Pantyhose ... acceptable again? Even more radical, pantyhose back in style? Have you seen the drubbing pantyhose have been taking in the fashion press for the past 10 years? Nude hose are easily the old lady-est part of my wardrobe. They make my elastic waist Eileen Fisher pants look younger than springtime. How could pantyhose come back into style?

But when you think about it, it makes sense. Anything seriously out of fashion is sure to come back in. Dresses, Mad Men-era silhouettes, "lady" coats, and closed-toe pumps have made a comeback. Why shouldn't pantyhose?

After all, we all know that old saw you hear about the weather: if you wait long enough, it's sure to change. Well, the weather has nothing on fashion. Fashion just takes longer.

Here's how the article opens:
THIS fall, Elisa Dahan is favoring a ladylike silhouette, including body-conscious dresses from Phillip Lim and D&G pencil skirts, all worn with a new favorite accessory: hosiery. “You suddenly have flawless legs without having to do anything,” said Ms. Dahan, 33, a Montreal-based mother of two and co-designer of Mackage, a brand of downtown chic outerwear.

See what's going on here? This woman is a fashion designer, for God's sake, and she supports pantyhose. (Hee!)

And hello, I could have told her about the "suddenly flawless legs." Pantyhose instantly cover up veins, freckles, moles, hair follicles, and crepey flesh. They can make your legs look smooth and tan, even if you haven't shaved/waxed lately, used self-tanner, or been to the beach. They get rid of jiggle. If you have any tendency towards chub rub, they'll take care of that. They can be self-effacing or the focal point of your outfit. They double as girdles. They can even make shoes more comfortable.  

Madge has known all this for years.
What's bad about them? OK, they can be hot. If they don't fit correctly, they can be miserably uncomfortable. And of course, they run. And you really have to stay away from the drugstore brands. L'Eggs Suntan is of the devil. And then there was this time when a pair I was wearing spontaneously decided to fall off my body. No, I don't know how that happened, either.

But here's the thing. If you're a day or two past your last shave and you're a little pale, what's faster, easier, and cheaper?

1. Pulling on a pair of pantyhose


2. Waxing/shaving your legs; tanning/self-tanning/applying leg makeup

But don't listen to me; listen to the smartypants at the New York Times. And Dr. Patricia Wexler, who has been getting quoted in Allure for over 20 years:
But in a season when the fashion spotlight is on the leg, hosiery is finding a new generation of fans who don’t view stockings as a necessary evil mandated by office dress codes and social mores, but as a bona fide style choice with long-forgotten cosmetic powers. “It’s like that old trick cameramen use, putting a Wolford stocking over the lens to soften the look of skin,” said Dr. Patricia Wexler, a New York dermatologist who treats the fashion elite. “Except you’re actually putting it on the leg.”

No kidding. Just imagine--pantyhose actually have a purpose! They weren't invented merely to torment us!

Next thing you know, someone will realize that bras hold your breasts up. And water is wet. 

And wait until you hear this: pantyhose are new and improved:

Softer yarns, new knitting techniques (more open weaves and seamless finishes), and other innovations (like micro-encapsulated moisturizers) have made putting on and wearing hosiery a more pleasurable experience, companies say. “These are not the uncomfortable, tourniquet-type stockings women couldn’t wait to take off,” said Cathy Volker, executive vice president of global licensing for Donna Karan, which in September began selling the first new line of stockings the company had introduced to the marketplace in 10 years. Called Evolution, the line (priced at $28 a pair) features graduated compression, meaning the amount of pressure on the leg is greatest at the ankle and calf and decreases as the stocking moves upward. 
So please, ladies. Give pantyhose another chance. Or at least, don't roll your eyes when you see me wearing them.

Can't we all just get along?


  1. OMG: Panty hose are the new black!

    They make perfect sense, but I'm not sure I can do it. I've just gotten so used to opaque tights that last forever, can be machine-washed (on delicate, in a mesh bag) and (almost) never snag or run. I don't know if I can go back.

  2. I never got rid of mine, so this really vindicates my position.
    What is "chub rub?"

  3. With you every gleaming, transparent, flaw-covering step of the way.

  4. Still hate them, sorry.
    But I love your passion!
    I have a full drawer, maybe I'll go crazy and use a pair ...

  5. I love how pantyhose wearers are coming out of the closet. HOSE PRIDE!

    Green Girl: "Chub rub" is when your upper thighs touch, and you get chafed when they rub together when you walk or run. It's annoying and painful, and it's embarrassing when you start to walk like a bow-legged cowboy to keep from exacerbating it.

  6. I have a few pairs tucked away in my lingerie chest and have been wearing black footless hose by Hue to cover up my veins....
    I wore some hose by the French company Dim which were held up by lacy bands at the top and my husband used to think they were very sexy. But that must be 20 years ago!
    I'll be interested to see more on this subject.

  7. I love DKNY but with large feet most other brands cut off my toes.
    I want to know what's your favorite body shaper. My comfy one by Wacoal is so stretched out, it doesn't do its job. I have Spanx and Shatobu but don't want one that feels like a straight jacket.

  8. I love the feel of hose, and am at an age when returning to hose might be a great idea. I like control top styles the best, but man -- do they look horrible in flash photos.... What brands are recommended?

  9. i love the sheer energy regular top and have ben wearing them all aalong. the trick is to wear the panties on top wich will hold them in place, keep them from sliding and it looks better as well. sheer black always looks great. hope that help!

  10. i never stop wearing pantyhose. the best fit, price and durablity i found was leggs sheer energy regular top or sheer to waist. the trick is to wear the panties on top because if you wear them underneath, they will slide down. if you put them on top they will hold them in place and should the chance arise , theat looks better as well when the dress comes off. i found sheer energy is the best feel,price and they last longer than most expensive ones. leggs also makes great opaques!


Gentle Readers:

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xxx, Poppy.