The Great Pantyhose Debate

Is it just me or does anyone else think the pantyhose industry is hanging on by a very thin lycra thread?? Pantyhose were all but abandoned by women in the mid-1990’s when Princess Diana showed up to an event (mid-divorce) in a  knee-length cocktail dress with a bare leg. Her fans went wild! The queen frowned, Prince Charles hardly noticed and women around the world breathed a collective sigh of relief.

I will admit, I love pantyhose. But, every situation is unique and I can tell you that there are many occasions when I am adamantly opposed to stockings of any kind…hint:  Summer 2012 was a HOT ONE!! Therefore, I can take either side of the pantyhose debate.

Situations where pantyhose or tights or stockings might be preferred : many job interviews, some offices, probably in court, maybe a funeral,possibly to meet the Queen and always if it is very cold outside.

Situations where they are not neccessary: Some job interviews, with a longer skirt, in the summer months, with open toe sandals, to meet the first lady (who rarely wears them) and never when it is 100 degrees outside.

Although there are those of us  who swear the pantyhose days’ are numbered, some say that sales are up nearly 40% from last year. This is due  (in large part) to the current Princess, Catherine, who wouldn’t be caught dead without her super sheer, nude stockings.

Kate Middleton's sheer tights

The only rule for weddings is this: If one bridesmaid wears them, everyone must wear them. For guests, it is up to each individual to decide. Iron this out early and decide if you are comfortable without, go without. But, make sure your shoes are comfortable enough to avoid blistering. On the other hand, if you feel under-dressed, wear them. To avoid looking outdated,  look for something as close to the color of your skin as possible to achieve the perfect ‘nude’  look and whatever you do – avoid suntan pantyhose at all costs (or you may be mistaken for a Hooters waitress)!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago






The Mysterious Disappearance Of Pantyhose

A long time ago women did not wear hose , or stockings as they were called. They didn’t have enough money, the material was being used for parachutes for the war effort, etc. After WWII, women would not be seen without hose, unless of course they were wearing bobby socks with saddle shoes. Then (panty)hose disappeared again, then came back again and then disappeared again. Last year when Kate Middleton married Prince William, she diligently wore hosiery to every appearance and they made a slight resurgence. The questions remains… when do you really need to wear pantyhose?

In the summer months, the general consensus is that pantyhose are hot, itchy and unnecessary. That is, unless you have some condition that makes wearing hose more comfortable (like varicose veins) or if your feet hurt in shoes without them, or if you need the color on your leg for various reasons.

In the winter months, pantyhose seem more likely. But, if you choose not to wear them for comfort reasons,  try thigh high hose or stockings …with garter belt and all to keep your legs warm.

The truth is that the preference wearing pantyhose and stockings are more of a cultural and generational thing than event-based. Most women over 50 feel wearing pantyhose completes the look and those under 50 could care less.  Ladies in the south are also more inclined to wear hose than their northern counterparts. If you do decide to wear pantyhose here are a few things to remember:

 Always carry a second pair on hand with you in case of snags.

Always wear the color closest to your own leg color. If you wear black hose it should be a sheer black , tights are too casual for a wedding.

Only wear black hose with a black dress and/or black shoes. Dress, hose and shoe don’t have to be the same color but, two of the three should . If you have slim legs, sheer hose look great with black dress and black shoes.

Watch the toe of your hose with a sandal. Nothing worse than an opaque toe cover showing through your sandals!

All bridesmaids should wear the same color hose with a shorter dress. Pictures will look odd if one lady is wearing black or dark tan and others are wearing a sheer or light color!

I doubt if anyone will ever settle the great pantyhose debate and in reality it is about what works best for everyone. Whatever you decide – make sure everyone is on board!


-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago