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March 24, 2008

Death to Pantyhose

                                           

Death to Pantyhose

by Michele

Recently I was thinking about head gear.  The heroine of my favorite series of time travel books, a thoroughly modern Twentieth Century woman, found herself in the Eighteenth Century and absolutely refused to wear a kerch.  What the hell is a kerch? I wondered, and why would she rather piss people off than wear one?  I'd just had a similar experience trying to visualize the racy "French hood" made popular by Anne Boleyn -- until the movie poster for "The Other Boleyn Girl" came out and I saw Natalie Portman wearing a kind of saucer thing on her head.  Wouldn't you know, my kerch question got answered in the same way.  Last weekend I watched the premiere of "John Adams" on HBO, and there was the admirable Laura Linney wearing a stupid little scrap of lace that I wouldn't be caught dead in either.  Aha, kerch!, I thought, no wonder.  Even worse were the men in their ridiculous wigs. I'm sure everyone's happy we dispensed with that nonsense centuries ago. 

                                                

Kerches and French hoods naturally set me thinking about JFK's inaugural address and its great unintended consequence -- the death of the modern millinery trade.  One guy takes off his hat to give a speech, and suddenly sartorial history is cut into two parts.  The part where you wouldn't any more leave the house without your hat than without your shoes or your pants, and the part where wearing a hat marks you as a weirdo.   Think about it, who just wears a hat any more?  Monica Lewinsky in her black beret? Proves my point; Miss Fashion Savvy she ain't.  The fedora and the pillbox have gone the way of the French hood and the kerch.  People reading about them in the 22nd Century won't even be able to imagine them without visual aids.

I'd been ruminating about head gear for a while when I had a sudden revelation.  Hats aren't the last thing to fall into the fashion black hole, and they're not the most important either.  A week or so ago, I was admiring the pedicure of Kelley from the Lee County Library System at an event in Fort Myers.  (There's your shout-out, Kelley.  Now you'd better post!)  Kelley had elaborate designs painted on her toes, flowers in black, white and silver.  Fancy pedicures were de rigeur in Florida, she explained, since women no longer wear panty hose.

She was right.  We've been liberated!  I was born and raised in the era of pantyhose, and I have lived to witness its death.  This, to me, is a much greater historical moment than the fall of the powdered wig.

I'd sort of realized this a number of years earlier, based on my experiences as a woman lawyer wearing  -- or not wearing --pants to work.  The year I started in the U.S. Attorney's Office, Bill Clinton was President and Janet Reno was Attorney General.  My boss in General Crimes was a tough woman, a liberal and a feminist.  My first week on the job, she called me into her office.  "You're pantsuit is beautiful," she said, "but you can't wear it to the office.  Pants are not appropriate for a woman in the courtroom."  I was pissed, but I listened, especially since she told me that certain male judges might refuse to let me appear in their courtrooms if I was wearing pants.  Who wants to risk humiliation like that, even at the hands of some crotchety old geezer whose days on the bench are numbered? 

For the eight years that I served, I heeded her advice and wore skirts to work without fail.  Then one day toward the end of my tenure, I made a bunch of arrests on a big case and spent some time doing bail hearings in magistrate's court, a place that as a senior prosecutor, I rarely visited.  All the baby prosecutors were hanging out there, stuck with bail duty.  I didn't recognize them or know their names, but one thing I couldn't miss.  The young female prosecutors all wore pants.

I looked down at my outfit -- skirt suit, with the skirt hitting above the knee, and heels.  I look like a slut, I thought.  They look like professionals. It was obvious.  Women in pants are taken more seriously.  Women in pants are de-sexed.  Nobody's looking at your legs while you're arguing legal precedent.  And moreover -- no more pantyhose!!! No more huge runs just when you have to stand up to deliver your summation.  No more feeling like your nether regions are tied up in a strait jacket.  No more wading through the pile of ratty old hose, none of which are presentable to wear.  No more freezing legs in winter time.                                                

   Hallelujah!

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Comments

I remember when LA Law had one of its female characters appear consistently in pants - in court and everything. It actually started a discussion in my law firm. At the time, in my 20s and still wearing heels everyday, I was interested, but had already invested in dresses and suits with skirts, so it made no real difference to me.

Now? I'm not sure I even own a skirt that fits. I know I haven't worn one in at least 8 or 9 years.

As for pantyhose, when we were kids, my parents used to make us wear something we called leotards - pantyhose for little girls. They had not one natural fiber in them and were itchy and wouldn't stay up. We HATED them, and used to chant, on the way home from Church, "Burn all leotards!"

Do they still make the hose in those egg shapes? I thought of them at Easter time - you could fit a lot of stuff in those things.

This makes me sad. Skirts have become popular and fun again. I love them and wear them all the time. In summer, shorts are not always appropriate, capris are on par with 3/4 length sleeves in screaming "old lady," so I wear skirts. Of course, I'm not a professional anything, and I've already been de-sexed by virtue of being middle aged.

Although you've gone over to the pants side (See? We just can't agree on anything, Michele), I will give you some advice on how to survive wearing skirts: thigh highs and spray-on skin toner. That's way to go.

I wear skirts in the summer to work (in an office), but never pantyhose. Thank God the bare legs are allowed now. We went to a formal dinner in the fall, which was in a hotel, and I had to leave the party and run down to the lobby and buy black hose from the front desk, because the ones I had brought from home were so old, the elastic gave out and they were falling down as I was trying to eat my appetizers.

Our office is mostly "business casual", which for me is dress pants and a blouse or sweater. (For others, it means whatever they find on the floor when they roll out of bed, which drives me nuts.) I will occasionally do a skirt with tights in the winter, but look forward to the summer and freedom of skirts with bare legs. I will never miss pantyhose!

The hat thing, though, I kind of miss. My dad always wore hats, and my Mom had some left over from the Jackie O period when I was young. It was kind of cool. Now, no one wears them, especially women, because they ruin your hair. Then, you just never took them off, so it didn't matter.

God, I'm so out of it here in Vermont.....I know pantyhose are over and I so appreciate that. Still.....there used to be a certain girdle like advantage to them. Now it's all hanging out.

Ramona, I will definitely check out the spray on skin toner. Or is it tanner? And doesn't thigh high defeat the purpose of not wearing pantyhose.

But, agreed, those things were awful. And I still don't get the racy French hood. When I read the other Boleyn girl I kept going to wikipedia to look it up.

Pantyhose - UGH! Hate them, hate them. The last time I wore them was last Easter, for church, when I figured if Jesus could die on a cross for me, the least I could do in return was struggle into those demonic hose. I do love the look of skirts, but I'm too big to do them justice. I'll take pants and capris any day (capris look old-lady? Say it isn't so!)

As for hats - I just came off six years of wearing one every single day. Alopecia left me hairless, and I covered my egg-head with sequined baseball caps. Lots of fun, and I have some really pretty ones, but every day for six years? Now that I have hair again, I refuse to touch a hat unless it's 30 below zero.

Sarah, I use tanner in the summer--more accurately, moisturizer with a bit of "golden sun" or some such nonsense, but it isn't as orange as tanner--but the toner is basically foundation in a can. You spray it over your legs and it evens out the skin tone and hides bruises, broken veins, etc. Just don't wear white, or jump in a swimming pool.

Wait. What's wrong with stockings with a garter belt? Maybe with a pattern, always black or white, never ecru, beige, tan, nude, or even navy.... Or is that just a men's fantasy?

Seriously, when my wife was pregnant 18 years ago, I tried to find support stockings so that she wouldn't have to wear panty hose, and I wasn't able to. Of course, that was about 10 years B.I. (Before Internet), so now I probably would be able to find them.

Kris, the old lady comment is a running joke. No offense meant. The truth is, I look terrible in capris, so I want to spoil them for everyone!

Skirts by choice -- in summertime, outside the workplace -- no problem. Garter belts and stockings for, uh, entertainment -- not a problem either. Those are matters of choice. But requiring hose in the workplace was a badge of servitude, no different than corsets and stays.

Sarah -- for those who choose constriction for the sake of shape, there are now Spanx (which I've never tried; can anyone report?)

Kris -- hats when needed for medical reasons are totally exempted from this discussion. Thanks for bringing that up. We're all so happy you don't need one any longer.

I own one pair of panythose for my wedding/funeral dress. Other than that, it's knee highs for my slacks. Bare legs, toes, and denim are not allowed to be seen where I work...too many people pushed the envelope and it got to looking like eveyone was coming in directly from dumpster diving.

I remember when hats (or at least lacy little scarves) and gloves were a must in church, and when one went shoppping. I don't miss the formality of those days, but I sure do miss the civility.

Go, Josh! I was trying to figure out how to bring up the stockings/garter belt look without veering off into "Adult Territory". Used to be that was The Look, along with the fedoras on men and pillboxes on women Michele mentions. Personally speaking, I'd love to see Men's Hats make a comeback.

Neckties, anyone? There's a fun fashion accessory; take a length of material, tie it around your neck, and keep it there all day long. Then again, maybe my prejudice is due to an 18.5" neck....

Now, see, neckties I'd keep . .. .

This is so odd. I had a rare incident of insomnia, woke at 3:30 a.m. and decided to clean out a drawer that stores my supply of -- yes, pantyhose. And tights AND leotards and garter belts and stockings and weird pregnancy items and as i threw things away and gave things away (do the homeless want baby blue pantyhose anymore than I do?) I kept on wondering, "will these ever make a comeback?" I guess the answer is . . . nope.

Sarah- Spanx!(the body shapers) They not only hold you in, they give good back support too.
That said, I sit on the fence as far as pantyhose are concerned. Legs that are tanned and toned can pull it off. Pasty white legs and uncared for feet...not cool. They suggest over-sleeping and "oh my god I'm going to be late"! My legs have always looked odd to me, and I'm not fond of my toes, even with a pedicure. Functional, yes. Pretty, no. I have one pair of dress sandals for use under long skirts and slacks, but my toes stay covered otherwise. We're not allowed sandals at B&N...picture dropping a coffee table book on your foot. Not good. Bless the trouser sock people :o)
ramona, capri p[ants are ok, but I like cropped better. Shorts? Only in my dreams :o)

Sarah- Spanx!(the body shapers) They not only hold you in, they give good back support too.
That said, I sit on the fence as far as pantyhose are concerned. Legs that are tanned and toned can pull it off. Pasty white legs and uncared for feet...not cool. They suggest over-sleeping and "oh my god I'm going to be late"! My legs have always looked odd to me, and I'm not fond of my toes, even with a pedicure. Functional, yes. Pretty, no. I have one pair of dress sandals for use under long skirts and slacks, but my toes stay covered otherwise. We're not allowed sandals at B&N...picture dropping a coffee table book on your foot. Not good. Bless the trouser sock people :o)
ramona, capri pants are ok, but I like cropped better. Shorts? Only in my dreams :o)

Geez...would someone erase that second post? I swear this PC has the hiccups!
Happy Monday all!

Oh and Harley, never say never...look at bell bottoms and wide leg pants and skinny jeans. They're on one of those revolving dry cleaner racks...every so often the fashion world "re-discovers" them.

Maryann - I tried Spandx and HATED every piece I bought. I think I still have some in the package and those things are expensive.

As I read the original post and replies, I tried to remember the last time I work hose and I can't. Maybe I need to pull a Harley and just toss them.

Garter belt and stockings...ahhh that takes me back to junior hight (when pantyhose was JUST being introduced and not that common)...Those garters digging into my thighs...ouch.

Since I retired and am at home most of the day, dressing up for me is putting on a bra (is that TMI???) LOL

Death to pantyhose.

I's like to see some stats on sales of panyhose. Judging from this crew's posts, if you're a L'eggs distributor your days are numbered. Although I agree it's a loss in terms of free supplies for kids' art projects.

Personally I still do have that drawer filled with an old mess of pantyhose. But why?? Harley, you've inspired me. There's no need to keep that old mess, and it's going on my spring cleaning list. Now if only spring would come. . .

Opps, that "I'd like to see"

Cyndi, package up those Spanx and send 'em to me. I'm willing to try anything.

Ramona, if the 3/4 length sleeve is abolished, I may never leave the house again.

Put on my new Spanx yesterday, decided I didn't need/want to wear it. I wanted to breathe. Let me tell you, that thing was certainly shaping my body and not necessarily in a good way. I had to have my husband help me get it off! And I threw away all my panty hose a week or so ago...even the lace ones I bought in Paris years ago. Viva liberation....er freedom.

Right on, Michele! One of the major benefits of teaching in a biology department whose primary emphasis is the field sciences (as opposed to lab sciences) is that the dress code is decidedly casual (I could probably write a dissertation on why that is, but won't), so I've never been required to wear skirs or hose to work. Which isn't to say I didn't -- although mostly I did the long skirts in the summer, or the old jumpers-with-boots in winter.

Anyway, at this point in my life, I own not a single skirt or dress. I may have a pair of tights in my sock drawer; I don't remember why I bought them. No hose except for my 1 pair of all-purpose knee-highs for the rare occassions calling for pumps or dress flats. And in a really fun change-of-pace, my Healthy Lifestyle Change allowed me to buy some really cute skorts last year, worn hose-less, of course.

This may sound odd, but when we were cleaning out my Mom's house, I kept one pair of hose from her drawer stuffed with the silly things. I use it to braid my horse's tail before shows. It works like a champ, and I know Mom would approve :)

Oh -- about those hats. I think Fedoras are sexy (on men and women, for that matter). I kind of wish hats would make a comeback, except for the whole hat-hair thing. Me, I stick to baseball caps . . .

My youngest daughter goes to a mostly male military college (she had a full scholarship, that's why), and when I visited recently I saw a good illustration of the difference between groomed and not groomed. This directly relates to the stockings issue. The seniors at this college, when out of uniform, are allowed to wear navy blazers, open collar shirts, and grey slacks (or straight skirt, which she's having a rough time finding). A local non-military college is mostly female, and the difference between the visiting girls and those who attend the military school is so striking. They all, every single one of them, wear flip-flops, and short skirts, and usually show a lot of cleavage. Compared to the clean-cut and modestly dressed (but sharp) military girls, they all look quite slutty. I wish I'd taken some photos.

I envy people whose legs are a nice, even tone, and who can get away with not wearing stockings, but that's not me. I still wear skirts a lot, and enjoy them. Mostly, it's because of the "uniform" I wear at home--jeans, turtleneck and down vest in the winter; shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops in the summer. When I leave the house it's a nice treat to get a little dressier. It is nice not to feel the need to wear pantyhose in the summer, though. And with all the cute flats available, skirts are more fun to wear these days.

Michele, capri pants can be very flattering, but only if you find some that are cut like bootcut pants, fitting close to the body down to the knee, then flaring out a little. If they are just straight-legged, they flatter no one. For the same reason that "What Not to Wear" says that miniskirts are not appropriate for anyone over 35, shorts in public are not, either, in my opinion. I will not be caught dead in shorts, unless I'm at home or working out. And even then, they are not really short.

I really miss hats! Growing up in the Kennedy era, and wearing hats to church, we had a lot of them in the 50's and 60's. Somewhere I just read an article about horseracing in Kentucky, with photos of ladies wearing very cool hats. And of course, if you ever attend a wedding in England, hats are de rigeur. Apparently, the bigger the better, too.

Oh, yeah, and another tip, for those of you who travel: Before you throw away all your pantyhose, keep the leg of one pair, cut off just as high as you can. Use this to hold money and passport, tied around your waist, under your clothing. It's the best, most secure way I've found to keep my money safe, and it was shown to me by a woman who has traveled to every country on earth. It's actually pretty comfortable, too.

For the people who worry about uneven leg tone: http://www.sallyhansen.com/product.cfm?product=149

The instructions say to spray onto your hands and apply manually, but I just spray down my legs. First time I tried it was to cover up a bruise and I have been hooked ever since, but only for special occasions. Rest of the time, I just use tanning moisturizer, and it's fine.

People, I am not exactly Miss Brazil. If I can walk around in skirts without dogs howling, you can, too!

Oh, Ramona, you are too Miss Brazil!

I don't want anyone to get the idea from this blog that I'm against heels or skirts or capri pants or 3/4 length sleeves. I love all those things -- especially skirts and heels. I own shoes with 4 1/2 inch heels fer crying out loud. But they're not for the workplace, and I never ever ever wear them with pantyhose.

I just remembered another thing Kelley from Fort Myers (who hasn't posted yet!) told me. She once met Sonny Bono, and Sonny gave her this piece of advice. If you want to be taken seriously in the business world, wear pants. If you wear a skirt, men will be looking at your legs instead of listening to what you have to say. Who knew -- Sonny Bono, the voice of reason.

I gave up pantyhose with the latex allergy (stopped in a dark parking lot on the way home from a reunion to rip them off, the itching was that bad). Hanes did finally make some latex free, which I take very good care of to have for very special occasions. Now with the "incredible swelling foot" I have to wear compression stockings, which is going to play havoc with the skirts and sandals freedom of summer. Drat!
Spanx sound like girdles, which I was glad so we got rid of. I was looking for a poem about freeing one's hips, and instead found Maya Angelou's wonderful poem -- Phenomenal Woman
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I'm a mass of contradictions.

To the office today, I have on a suit, black & white pinstripes with pants, and heals without pantyhose.

For Easter church this weekend, I wore a skirt, sweater set, and pantyhose with heels.

I have a drawer dedicated to pantyhose complete with emergency "new pairs" in black, and off black. Also have real stockings and garters.

I just purchased capri pants, 3/4 lenght t-shirts, and skirts.

Sadly, no hats besides baseball caps (in a rainbow of colors).

Hopefully, one day a week or so, I'll be in fashion.

Sunshiny and flowers are blooming, and they are mowing grass here in OK. I think I'll drive with the sunroof open at lunch. (Too bad the baseball cap won't look good with my suit.)

A friend also wore color-coordinated baseball caps, during chemo. She found the turbans and wigs just too hot. She passed her wardrobe of caps on to another teacher when she also had chemo.
At Ren. Faire, we were told that all decent women of the time would have covered their hair with a scarf, in addition to wearing a hat. Too hot for me, so I guess I'm an "indecent" storyteller. (At least I keep my elbows covered).
Another teaching friend said that his definition of proper shoes was any shoes that were comfortable enough that he could smile during his last (7th) period class -- I adopted that standard!

A friend also wore color-coordinated baseball caps, during chemo. She found the turbans and wigs just too hot. She passed her wardrobe of caps on to another teacher when she also had chemo.
At Ren. Faire, we were told that all decent women of the time would have covered their hair with a scarf, in addition to wearing a hat. Too hot for me, so I guess I'm an "indecent" storyteller. (At least I keep my elbows covered).
Another teaching friend said that his definition of proper shoes was any shoes that were comfortable enough that he could smile during his last (7th) period class -- I adopted that standard!

another double-post to remove . . .
Doncha just love technology?

Ramona, you rock. You've made me feel better about trying to wear skirts this summer. Our heat (which you know) is just too damned much for jeans, and I'm not going to wear shorts (I am not that sadistic). But the tanning moisturizer with skirts, I could maybe do.

Michele, I wore that stupid pantyhose for a while, too, in my 20s, and am thrilled it's gone away for the most part. I think the only ones which didn't run as soon as I put them on were the super expensive ones, and then I would live in fear of getting them nicked just before having to stand up in front of a group.

I'm a hat person, but I'm having a tough time finding a decent Panama straw hat for the price I'm willing to pay.

My daughter wears tights with her uniform, but, like all the girls in her class, she wears nylon shorts under her skirt. I think she could wear knee socks, but she doesn't like socks to ride high on her calf--she thinks it makes her too much like Miss Trunchbull. It will be interesting to see her in her dress for the Junior Cotillion dance that she is invited to with the other 7th graders who go to the poshest mostly Protestant middle schools in town. Her parents are forcing her to go. Apparently, it is not easy to find dressy-dresses for 13 year olds that are not strapless or spaghetti strapped. My wife managed, though.

Josh, the issue of formal dress for teenagers should be the subject of a blog unto itself. A few years ago, I attended the annual awards banquet of our local horse show association, and was appalled beyond belief at what young teens were wearing. Thank goodness mine never tried it!

Yes, I figured the guys would like the garter belts! ( guys should have to wear them and stilettos, then see how sexy you think they are!)
I bought pantyhose to wear to step daughters wedding--9 yrs ago. Pulled out a pair for a funeral last year and they had dry-rotted! So once a year, I will buy a pair off clearance, just in case I need them, not likely, since I only own 1 dress and 2 skirts.

How about a blog on prom dresses? Mine was so awful that more than two decades later I still cringe thinking about it. And the girl who went with the guy I *wanted* to go with, wouldn't you know she had the best dress in the place.

I can't remember the last time I wore a skirt or dress. Work is jeans casual. A few months ago I cleaned out my closet of all my old dresses but I kept one skirt "just in case". Living in So. California - I can get away with wearing nice pants for any occasion.

Teenage & younger boys wear baseball caps 24/7. At least my nephews and their friends do. Personally, I look lousy in hats so I'm thankful it's not standard wear for women any more.

Josh, a true Panama hat is an investment. But it will last your lifetime. Unless your wife decides to murder you, in which case you can will it to your son.

Michele, I am not questioning your knowledge about the perception of professional women in skirts. I have no real-life experience in that regard. But I would like to point out that, if a man thinks a woman is a slut because she's in a skirt, whether it is part of a business suit or casual, it's his thinking that is skewered. But I think we already knew that.

You beat me to commenting on Josh's remark about appropriate formal wear for 13-year-olds. What a challenge. That would indeed be a great blog.

I wear slacks to work in the winter; skirts & tops, bare legs, and sandals in the summer. I am anxiously awaiting the mornings it won't be 33 degrees at the time I go to work! I'm in the scarves, hats, and wigs now that I'm having chemo.
I loved picking out a new hat every spring. I miss wearing them regularly to church, but I do not miss wearing pantyhose. Those only go on for weddings, funerals, and other special occasions - and then not if it's too hot!

Hey, Karen. That's my uniform, too!

Ramona - is it too early to start the moisturizer with the tanning stuff? I use that, too. Golden.

Josh, take a look at this hat:

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10151&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&partNumber=55240&hvarTarget=search&cmCat=SearchResults

A couple of years ago my husband was gathering gear for a trip to the rainforests in Costa Rica, and we found that the Bass Pro Shops have a mother lode of headgear. Reasonably priced, too.

Even when I was skinny I didn't like going without panty hose. It just doesn't feel right. I just solve the problem by wearing pants to everything. Dear Hubby complains, but he doesn't have to wear it.

I have one dress for funerals. And I bought a skirt & sleeveless sweater combo...I just haven't worn it yet! Color looks great on me, just havent had the guts to wear it.

Back in the 70s, when I was young, my mum would make me wear panyhose when we had to dress up for something special. Then, when I joined the airforce, I got to wear them everyday - better yet, they let me wear black court shoes (er, high heeled black pumps) with them. Gave the summer and winter uniforms a bit of a feminine lift. Otherwise it was polished black minnie-mouse lace up shoes. Sigh. When I was in Darwin, it was permissible to forego the pantyhose for white sox and minnie mouse shoes and cotton 'drabs' dress because of the heat and humidity, and what it did to personal health. :-D

Actually, when we were hitting the nightclubs I went looking for the sexy black stockings or pantyhose that had the rhinestone bows or spiderwebs on the back of the ankle, and always with the black seam. Damn I'm wistful for them now. Double damn - the 80s fashions made my very full bosom look good. I miss them. Sigh. :-D

Marianne

I miss the fashions!! My bosom is still well endowed and gets cursed when I can never buy off the rack clothes.

Marianne

Thanks for the hat info, Karen. $9.95 is the price range I look for, given how hard I am on hats. I got one at a Tom Thumb on Perdido Key for $6.95, and I've gotten a couple at Target for $12.95. I had a real Panama hat, which would have been $50 at retail, and I loved it. Gone, all of them. I think my children are embarrassed by my hats, although maybe it's just the person wearing them.

Sarah, it takes about a week for the glow to show, at least with the high-fashion brands I generally use (Vaseline and Aveeno!) It fades pretty quickly, and if the color gets too dark, just skip a day or two. Also, avoid getting any on elbows or knees, because it darkens too much and looks dirty--unless the dirty knees look is one you desire, for whatever reason.

I should probably make a disclaimer here that #1--I don't work for any of these companies and, #2--you are basically dyeing your skin slowly, over a long period of time. That might be worrisome to people who are prone to skin conditions, or aren't as vain as I am and willing to take my chances.

Marianne/Mothrababe -- a military uniform, hose and heels. Now *that* is sexy! Bet those boy soldiers had problems concentrating.

I agree with Ramona that the it's the guys making the problem, but we're the ones who have to take the consequences. I'd rather wear pants and not have to worry about it. Then again, I used to work in law enforcement, and even though the vast majority of the guys are perfect gentlemen, a few aren't. If I'd spent those years in pants instead of skirts and heels, maybe I could've avoided the awkward moments?

Sarah, what the heck are you gonna do with a self-tanner around here in this weather, other than get your clothes stained?

Michele, I'm sorry, but this is a blatant hijack, a news story about J. K. Rowling's battle with depression, and her refusal to be ashamed about it. Yet another reason why I so admire and respect this woman.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080324/ap_en_ot/people_rowling;_ylt=AvQBHQGCJDU5dPzHthfFqRdY24cA

Ramona, what is it with you and the 3/4 sleeves? Are we gonna have to get down and dirty about this?

And, yes, JK Rowling's story should be printed out and sent to every teenager in America. Plus a few depondent adults who come to mind, too.

Michele, a girl can dream, can't she?

As much as I hate pantyhose, I always wear them when I wear skirts or dresses. My skin is so pale that my legs look like chalk...so appealing! In the summer I wear white hose and in winter white or black. I prefer to think that I'm accessorizing and not hiding my obvious lack of pigment. I was so glad when crop pants and capri pants came back in style because wearing them helps reduce the amount of pasty skin I show in the summer. And for my arms, I'm right there with you, Nancy...3/4 sleeves rule!

Michele: winter working blues - think dark blue grey, straight skirt, matching bomber jacket (squared off shoulders and cinched at the waist), tan hose, and black heels. VERRRRY 1940s. With my figure, I could carry it well. The summer garbadine sky blue dresses hung like sacks on me because the top fit well, but the rest of the dress swam liberally. I went from a size 16 to a size 10 in four weeks on rookies, er bootcamp, and they had to completely retailor everything. :-D Those were the days...

Marianne

The virtue of 3/4 sleeves is that old-lady elbows--which can give away your age faster than your face--are covered up. I'd rather show almost anything other than my elbows.

My military school daughter wears that same kind of uniform, except mostly with pants, and they flatter her figure, as well. But I just learned that their uniforms are made for men! They are lobbying to get the ones made for women in the military, which fit much better.

I am a larger person. But I hate 3/4 sleeves. They bunch up at the elbows and cut off my circulation. I can't wear long sleeves, bor that reason and that I get too hot. Until I get the ambiton together to lose weight like my sister has, I am stuck looking rather like a frump. Dear Hubby told me I had to stop buying plaid shirts because I was starting to look like a man. I think the boobs are a BIG giveaway!

Once a year I reluctantly put on a dress, panty hose, and shoes that aren't flip flops. All this for a yearly writer's conference banquet.
I live in T-shirts and jeans or capris the rest of the year. Of course there are those few weddings and funerals where the above attire is mandatory, for which I dig the dress out of the closet and squeeze into the panty hose.
Yes, I wear panty hose. I have dogs who enjoy using me for home base at the end of a wild dash around the house, yard, or whatever. I need to hide those gorgeous and quite permanent bruises. Spraying tanning stuff on my legs doesn't do the trick.

nancy - you are so welcome to my spandx! :)

I want to wear a hat. I'd love to wear a hat. The trouble is that I have never found one I can wear and not look stupid.

As for pantyhose, I've never understood how you've been wearing them all these years. I always thought any alternative would be preferable. I also always thought that it's good to be a guy because we never have to put out the same level of effort expected of you just to get dressed. We've had it easy for a long time but now they're convincing some of us to shave our chests while others are starting to wear make-up. It seems we've learned nothing from you.

Ramona, Enough with the 3/4 sleeve put downs. I loved them when I was a little girl and I still love them today. If you don't cut it out, I will personally come up to your house and give you a good old fashion Southern lady slap.

Hey, I am only stating my personal opinion about the 3/4 length sleeves. It's not like I am proposing legislation. If you want to look like a Golden Girl, be my guest.

It's sad really, the number of people who think they have the legs to pull off going bare ALL the time. Hey, I like wearing my shorts and bumming around like the next person. But when it comes to work or a formal occasion, an outfit doesn't look complete without some kind of stocking, whether it be thi-hi's or the dreaded pantyhose. I have expereinced the bare look and I have to say, there are plenty of women who ain't pulling it off. It's an unsight;y mess out there, ladies, and no amount of fake-tan spray-on crap will hide the hideous legs I'm seeing. My God! I blame 'Sex and the City'!

Now let's talk about these crappy, knarled toes and callous feet scrunched into open-toed shoes. Same damn problem there too. Too many woman who think they're pulling that look off too. Got news for most of my lady friends out there, you ain't foolin' anybody. Cover up already!

Hello. I am a gentleman that adores silky Pantyhose on a Woman.
It is not a 'fetish', but surely a passion of mine since I was a little boy.

As for Pantyhose being dead or gone; I easily disagree with that statement. There are now more pantyhose websites on the internet than any other form of lingerie. Same for 'stories', 'forums', etc... By far too!
And now with so many celebs and high fashion folk that insist on wearing Pantyhose all the time, they are only coming back stronger. (Zooey DesChanel, Rhianna, Lindsay Lohan, Sienna Miller, Amanda Bynes, Beyonce, etc...)

For those of you that have not tried the upscale hosiery from Europe- the difference is night and day. People wearing/feeling them do not talk of snagging, itching, sagging, pulling, 'runn'ing'/laddering, ill-fitting, etc...- but they mention the silky sensual feeling, the softness, the smooth texture, the alluring look, how Fashion forward and of course sexy.
There will always be people that like or do not like them. Just wanted to make my mention of yet another person that truly does.

Sad, very sad! I HATED pantyhose when they first came out, but I "went over to the dark side" years ago! I seldom buy US brands anymore because they are so poorly made. Give me my Pretty Polly and Aristoc and I'm a happy girl!

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