Pantyhose Are Evil/ Pantyhose Are Good

Ask any woman about hosiery and she will have a strong opinion. Pantyhose are evil. Pantyhose provide a necessary service and are therefore good.

I bounce between the two opinions.

Just what a woman needs, no nonsense and smart support.

On the side of “Evil”, they are binding around the middle and droopy between your legs. You can never be totally comfortable when you are wearing them.

It took me years to get used to the chafing of a bra, but I never fully adapted to pantyhose.

When you are in a hurry in the bathroom, good luck. You’ll spend five minutes wrestling with your hose like they are a baby boa constrictor.

In a worst case scenario, the back of your skirt will get caught in the waistband of your hose and you will expose your back end in public. And no one will tell you.

Not that that even happened. Nope, not ever. [soft whimper]

Less extreme, hose always snag, ladder or pop when you need them most. I soaked them in salt water and stored them in the freezer (to increase the tensile strength allegedly. Urban lady-legend, I say), but my thumb would still go through right before the big meeting with the CFO.

Truly natural colors were as hard to find as a kid at chore time and I had to wear the freakishly dark “suntan”.

I never had a suntan like that. More like a chemical burn. Could I get Slightly-Darker-Than-My-Normal-Albino, please? Moontan?

Before I was promoted to stay-at-home-mom, I had a job with an incredibly stringent dress code: no open-toed shoes, no blouses revealing skin more than a few inches below the collar-bone, and always, *always* the proper hosiery.

When I first “retired” I stopped wearing a watch, exchanging billable hours for sippy cups and nap time, and I got rid of all my pantyhose. Helpful Tip: don’t burn nylon in the fireplace. It smells bad.

I first sensed the demise of the covered leg in the late 90’s when I saw a picture of a still-sexy 60’s movie star at a red carpet event.

The photo caption described her as looking matronly because of her hose. “What is a 60-year-old woman supposed to do when she’s wearing a dress?” I wondered.

The Fashion Gods had spoken, and soon the bare-legged look you saw on stars in the California warmth migrated to even the dim and chilly corners of America.

I started to feel indignant on behalf of the new underdog, pantyhose. Pantyhose, for all their ills, served an important function.

Now I’m supposed to stuff my bare feet into heels and have nothing to protect me from the rub of my shoes?

And my feet get all sweaty when they are commando. Those little micro-socklets never stay on my feet and are worse than nothing. They pop off my heels and I wind up stuffing them in my purse.

They are called pop socks because they pop off your feet.

After seeing the backs of other women’s knees at church, what else is a girl to do? One week I sat behind a trim, beautifully dressed woman in early middle age. From the pew behind her, all I could see was the map of spider veins, just like mine!

I had a Scarlett O’Hara moment.

As God is my witness, I would not exposed an innocent populace to my bare veiny, white legs ever again!

I adopted a new dress code with skirts–tights and boots. If it’s too warm for that, it’s pants city, sweetheart.

I loved the maxi dresses of the last few years. I can wear cute shoes and not expose my alabaster loveliness to the unsuspecting public. Only the tips of my pedicured toes have to show.

All other options stink.

Tanning–takes forever, increases my already high chance of skin cancer.
Tanning booths–the rocket sled to carcinoma.
Tanning spray–smells bad, lasts for mere days, turns me orange.
Professional spray tan–expensive, someone has to see me in paper panties.

I saw Gwyneth Paltrow on the Tonight Show last year (I was not stalking!) and her legs were so waxed and greased up I feared she’d slide right out of the chair and onto the carpet in front of Conan’s desk. How is this better, less effort, more attractive?

And the worst part, we were just about to achieve parity, ladies. Men could suffer too!


I can’t wait to hear what you think. I know it’s a silly topic during hard times, but we have to laugh to keep from crying these days.

Palely yours,

Photo credits: 
Pantyhose from here.
Pop Socks by auntiep
Scarlett O’Hara from here.
Gwyneth Paltrow from here.
Mantyhose from here.

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