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Fashion Etiquette: Pantyhose & Tights Vs. Pasty, Ashy Legs

January 28, 2010

First off, I can understand why ladies believe it is proper to have bare legs.  There is a new kind of “burn the bra” movement, except this time is revolves around “ditching the pantyhose”.

In all actuality, the pantyhose movement is not very old itself.  Long dresses meant that women could get away with not shaving their legs and they didn’t bother doing so.  In cooler months, I prefer tights to pantyhose and I don’t shave my legs everyday either.  What’s under my skirt, stays under my skirt.

As the weather warms and I wear skirts with varying hemlines,  I prefer pantyhose to bare legs and I do shave before wearing sheer hose.

This whole pantyhose or not debate is understandable, but I feel that when you are putting a look together that pantyhose adds a touch of finish to the ensemble.

There are pros and cons to the entire subject and I will mention some of them here.  Yet, I want it to be known that the legs are a sexy feature on a woman and to have them exposed may give a man a little too much view of you.  I think that modesty is always the best policy…legs included.

Pantyhose Pros:

  • Pantyhose Can Give You A Nice Uniform Shape & Color On Your Legs: People suffer with all kinds of leg imperfections.  Cellulite, scars, skin discolorations,  varicose veins…what ever.  Pantyhose and thigh-high hose (or stockings)sheer support or semi opaque- can give your legs a nice shape and color so you won’t worry about what you really don’t want to worry about when it comes to your legs.  Pantyhose can shore up some of your cellulite, give a uniform color to an otherwise discolored leg, and the more opaque the panty hose, the more you’ll conceal unsightly varicose veins and scars.
  • Tights Are My Best Friends: I truly like tights.  Most are semi-to-completely opaque (opaque relates to the color and density of the tights not being see thru or sheer.)  Opaque tights cover  the leg in color or pattern completely and for me, I don’t have to worry about my legs showing too much in a skirt.  In winter, they give great coverage and keep legs warm from toe to hip.  Tights rule.  I really cold weather, the thick cable knit tights are so warm with a winter skirt and a pair of boots.
  • Control Top Is The Secret: I have always loved the control top, skin matching pantyhose.  You know they are not going to slide down around your ankles because they are too busy giving your midsection a nice shape.  Do you know how many pasty, ashy legged women with paunchy bellies I see?  A lot of them.  Ladies, you know that you feel better when you look better.  It’s part of our culture and a way of life, especially when it comes to our bellies.  So, get a little assistance firming up that middle with a two-fer…Pantyhose with a control top panty.
  • An Awesome Accessory: Like earrings and bracelets, pantyhose and tights make awesome accessories to your wardrobe.  Done correctly, tights or pantyhose can make or break an outfit.  Pantyhose and stockings come in all types of textures, colors, patterns, but be sure that you don’t go overboard with the styles with your outfits.  Pick a pair that will be the accent piece and plan the outfit around the pantyhose.  There is nothing worse than too much color in an outfit that include a pair of mismatched pantyhose. Pantyhose with back seams and fish net stockings are two sexy alternatives to regular day wear pantyhose, yet I would probably only wear the seamed stockings during the day.  Otherwise, say the sexy stocking for your dates or evenings out.

The Down Side Of Pantyhose

  • The Open Toe Shoes & Sandals: Several years ago Oprah wanted the control of a pantyhose on her legs, then she wanted to wear open toe shoes…Someone head her cry and created Spanx.  Ladies, there is no use wearing a pair of pantyhose with an open toe shoe.  The point of pantyhose is not to expose your toes while wearing them, that is just as unsightly as wearing socks and sandals .  If your toes are out in the open toe shoes, then they are out.  If you wear closed toe shoes, then your toes are covered.
  • Summer, The No Hose Season?: I `believe that sheer pantyhose were made for summer, but I can understand the complaints about wearing pantyhose in the summer because of the heat.  My thoughts are that you should be comfortable, and if that does not include wearing pantyhose in hot weather, then so be it.  But, this is not a pass to not wear them to upscale or professional functions where you will be in an air-conditioned area.
  • Pantyhose Go Running:  All pantyhose run no matter how much you paid for them.  This is a pet peeve for many women and only a pet peeve for me because I don’t want to have to go get another pair every time I get a snag.  So, whet I do is save the ones with a snag for wearing under long skirts or pants.  Of course, you can stop the run by dabbing on clear nail polish at both ends of the run.
  • Can You Play Matchy-Matchy?: In the pantyhose game there is a true problem.  SOmeone forgot that Nude only means nude for a person with that skin tone.  Certainly women with pale legs could not match nude pantyhose with their legs.  Thus begins the cyclical problem of women and matching skin colors with items they purchase.  WHat I find disheartening is a woman of color, is the lack of color choices between nude and black to match my legs.  Companies are getting better, but it’s still tough.  Just as it is still a task to find a matching liquid makeup foundation.

A Solution For The Hose

If It’s Too Hot For Hose…: If you are uncomfortable in hose for summer, then make sure the imperfections you don’t want to share on your legs are covered as they would have been had you worn pantyhose.  Tame the dry, discolorations of your legs.  Tanner for light-med skin.  Lotion for med-dark skin.  Shave well…And don’t forget Knee-Highs or Thigh-Highs  if you are wearing a below the knee, slacks or upper-casual capris.

You don’t have to give up hose, tights, stocking and nylons completely unless you truly loathe them and I don’t mean because they are part of some dress code or policy.  I mean if you truly don’t like the way they feel on ya, then don’t wear them.  If it’s some rule that you have to wear pantyhose, don’t hate the pantyhose…hate the messenger.

Besides, there are just some settings, business or otherwise, where bare legs are way too casual…and kinda tacky.

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