Does She Or Doesn't She? Wear Pantyhose That Is.

As I've mentioned before, I hate them. Especially in the summer. However, I consider nylons or pantyhose different from tights. I love different colored tights and I'm always freezing, so I wear them all the time in the winter.

Everyday people search for guidance on the topic of hosiery and land on my old post. That blog post has some serious legs. It's one of my most read and most commented blog posts ever, so I decided to revisit the subject.

I wrote that post the summer of 2009 and received comments even last year.  One search that I see often, which I find quite curious is nylons and pantyhose on women over 50. I've never heard of a certain age being paired with wearing nylons or pantyhose and wonder why people are searching for this. What's up with that?

Just in case you don't click over to the post, below are a few of the most interesting and ahem, less provocative comments shall we say. Just a couple of small edits were made.
Pantyhose should be a fashion faux pas! No one actually believes the flesh tone stuff is your real skin! And why would you want flesh colored tights??? So bizarre. Like another writer mentioned, I prefer colored tights or NO pantyhose. Yuck. Plus, it's impossible to find the right skin tone.
I wear them everyday no matter what the weather is Hot or cold. And I work at a job that I'm not required to wear them. Pantyhose have come a long way since the 60's, 70's, and even 80's and they are much more comfortable to wear. I wear the higher end hose, and they don't run as easy. Find a brand of hose you like the feel and fit, and start showing your legs in hose. It is a more professional look, and show you care about your appearance. Hollywood is starting to wear hose again, and they are showing up on runways as well.
There are women who wear tights in cooler weather. There are women who love shopping for tights, to find the perfect pair for a particular outfit. I'm a man (whose wife wears hosiery) and I can understand not wanting to wear them in warm weather. That's fine. But what about cooler weather? If you wear tights then what's the big difference in wearing pantyhose? If you're single you might like to know that more men will check you out if you're wearing hosiery than if you're not. Legs surely can be a way to get noticed. Sheer pantyhose turns a sexy pair of legs into simply irresistible. Hate hose? Try stay-up stockings. Fashion designers and TV alone do not dictate what is in. Pantyhose are definitely not completely out of style. If they were then Nordstrom and Macys wouldn't have the selection they do (and they're not selling them to women only over 50!)
I lived in Los Angeles for 10 and a half years and absolutely no one wore pantyhose. They were way out of style. Now I live in North Carolina and I'm worried I may have to go buy some. Fortunately, they appear to be out of style here, too. When I started in the working world, in the early '90s, they were the thing to wear. Now I think they look really '80s blue power suit.
I recently left the Marine Corps and in our uniforms we had to wear stockings (with skirts). From the time I was 5 years old, I hated wearing panty hose; however, recently I got a new job, and started to wear them again. Initially I did not, but found it so cold in my office, it is the only thing keeping me warm!! Now, I actually like wearing them, which is the complete opposite of how I felt just a few weeks ago... I do think they look more professional, too, but it is not required... I say go with what works for you.
Women whine too much. In 2009 men are forced to wear business suits and a tie -- which has been the standard dress for business men for over a century. No way around it in the workplace. Woman on the other hand can practically wear sweatpants to work and get away with it. So it is hard to feel sorry for women who cry about office dress codes -- let alone pantyhose.
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Well, we're deep into summer now and in the middle of a heat wave here on the East Coast. As you can see in the picture above, I'm very much unhosed at the moment. I do know that if something dressy or formal comes up out of the blue, I might have to put on hose even if I don't like it.

I got some advice for all of us from fashion blogger Natalie Live of The Tiny Closet. She says that if a woman wants to wear stockings or tights with her skirts, dresses, slacks, then let the woman wear her hosiery. "If she doesn't, fine."

Natalie adds that outside of professional fields (government, politics, banking, law, and medicine) stockings are worn as accessories - not as coverups. Nude hosiery is definitely dated and never seen in modern fashion, especially in large metropolitan cities

By the way, she says that she's only worn hosiery on her blog twice and they were black opaque. For me when I must, they will be black and the most sheer that I can find. 

Another reason that I decided to revisit this topic, was because of a recent article that I read about a judge who issued a Memo on professional dress for attorneys. While the issue of pantyhose was not directly addressed in the Memo, there was great concern by women attorneys that hosiery would be required. See a portion of the article below.
Many female attorneys, including Nashville-based Karla Miller, who handles some Rutherford cases, heard chatter that Taylor’s rules include mandatory pantyhose — an accusation Taylor denies. By way of explanation, Taylor said: “They’re usually behind the podium. I only see their upper bodies.”
Luckily the judge quickly put this ugly rumor to rest. So attorneys appearing before Judge Royce Taylor, who used to be a Navy Seal by the way, can at least be confident that they are okay to go happily unhosed.

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Margie said…
Great post Lisa.
I have not worn pantyhose in a very, very long time, I hate them too but do love tights like you:)
Lisa Johnson said…
margie - Thank you! I think we're in good company! : )
Anonymous said…
If women only knew how much more polished and classy they look in a nice pair of hose, they just add the finishing touch to any outfit.
Lisa Johnson said…
anonymous - Thanks for piping in!
Anonymous said…
I'm 43 and the last time I felt obligated to don nude pantyhose was for an eighth grade band recital in 1983. I lived in California for many years & thankfully these atrocious things seemed to disappear. Now, as a professional working in an office in NY, there are no hose unless black & sheer usually with black or gray skirts and the occasional pair of tasteful tights in the winter. I see women of varied ages out and about sometimes who are wearing nude hose. It always strikes me odd and, frankly, looks ridiculous. Generally speaking, the rest of the outfit on these women tends to be dated, shabby, or uncoordinated or ill-fitting. They just don't seem to have it together but are trying to look dressed up. But it misses the mark entirely and they appear to have been coached by some well meaning older friend or mother. Nude hose on most women simple appear tacky, nerdy, and sometimes even disturbing to look at. White legs by contrast can be quite beautiful and a welcome sight. Tan is really not the ideal anymore either. Bottom line-- do what feels right to you in every situation & if you wear them, wear them and all of your clothes with style and choose the very highest quality hose you can afford. Use sheer black or other lightly tinted, sheer or delicates patterned stockings (lines, dots can be sexy). And know the mores of your geographic region, your City, and your office.
Lisa Johnson said…
anonymous - I agree about the nude pantyhose. Absolutely horrid! I do have to disagree with choosing white legs over tan legs. Whatever color legs you have are fine! After the Marathon Bombings here, I think most of us are grateful to have our own working legs. My main point is that when it is super hot out, especially humid, wearing hose is truly horrible. A very particular season specific discomfort. So I ditch them in the summer and enjoy bare legs.
Anonymous said…
I maybe crazy but I love wearing pantyhose. I have worn them since they came out. Back in the 60`s they were terrable they were scratchy and never seemed to fit or last long.
Another thing I found very uncomfortable was they were what I called toe tied. The toe section was tied and stiched like a ballon. I would be walking along and my big toe would pussh through.
That was so uncomfortable and continued letting more toes through the hole and the nylon would cut into the skin and at times cut the skin.
I went back to tights they diddnt have the spandex then and very few colors. they would bag at the knees and bag around your ankles.
then I remember the company that packed several style and types of pantyhose in plastic eggs.
then came Leggs active support which as an nurse were a heaven send. They were a support nylon and spandes pantyhose that messaged your legs and kept you warm.
I was addicted to them and the lengh of ttime they would last.
I wish they would come back they have an sheer energy active support but not as nice as the active support in the red box.
They came in about five colors my favorite were suntan, beidge and taupe.
thank you for lettting me ramble on.
I enjoy hearing the stories of how women feel about pantyhose
I am transgendered. Love all the pretty things women wear and learn from them.
Lisa Johnson said…
jenny - Thanks for your comment! You just gave me a flashback to those nylons in the plastic eggs. LOL! : )

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