Whatever happened to panty hose?

Since I’m most annoyed with my knitting—and spent the greater part of the evening giving it the stink eye it deserved—you are about to be treated to a rant. And you are going to think I’m mad as a hatter.

Whatever happened to panty hose?

Years ago, proper young ladies such as myself wore slips and panty hose with our dresses. In “Suntan,” the preferred color. We thought nothing of it. If we needed a little extra support, we spent the extra dollar and bought the control top or “Sheer Energy,” which, when I worked retail, literally changed my life.

Then they vanished. Mysteriously. Like the dinosaur. Or the Anasazi. And women of a certain age, such as myself, wondered what to do.

As I thumb through the fashion press, which currently is presaging spring, I’ve noticed a bumper crop of kicky skirts. And bare legs.

People. I’ve been to Manhattan in March. It’s not so warm. Can’t you just feel the wind whipping underneath those flimsy, pretty little prints? Don’t you get cold? Don’t you nick yourself shaving?

Are your legs so pretty come March that you are willing to expose them to all and sundry on the Red Line, like you don’t even notice their larval cast?

Ladies, no amount of bronzer can address goose flesh.

A friend of mine, who works in a chic, lingerie store, swears by thigh-highs, which apparently are the thing. She insists she doesn’t get cold, but I’m skeptical—this being Colorado. I wonder, too, about “bunching” where elastic meets skin.

I don’t understand the antipathy to panty hose. In the heat of the summer, yes, but in temperate climes, they provide a little extra coverage and color we all need. Are we doomed to wear trousers for nine months of the year?

What’s a girl on the wrong side of 40 to do? 


Comments (11) -

February 12. 2008 01:36


Hmmm. I never noticed they'd vanished. Now admittedly I wear jeans almost all the time, but National Hosiery always made (still does) durable and reasonable panty hose ( http://tinyurl.com/25uoeg">http://tinyurl.com/25uoeg ). And L'eggs is still in business, and last time I saw them they were at Target. http://www.leggs.com/pantyhose.htm">http://www.leggs.com/pantyhose.htm .  Hanes still makes 'em, too, http://tinyurl.com/yvd8u8">http://tinyurl.com/yvd8u8 .

Although maybe Homeland Security has recognized their massive potential for criminal disguise and has removed them from the distribution channels in the big cities?

Deborah Robson |

February 12. 2008 02:41


I love 'em, for all the reasons you state.  Just wishing it would get warm enough here to ditch the wool long-johns for a sweet pair of Hanes in "Little Color."

Oh, and it would be oh-so-fun to don a skirt again.

threadingwater |

February 12. 2008 03:05


I still see pantyhose.  I don't buy them unless it's a really dressy occasion.  They are a pain, they run and they pinch too much in the waist...ugh!  I do get a little pasty in the winter, but I do banish my legs to trousers or tights or boots and a longer skirt.

Christie |

February 12. 2008 04:16


Hallelujah for fashion choices!  I too grew up during a time when there were pretty rigid fashion rules; as a skinny 8 year old I wore a slip, stockings, and a GIRDLE to go to church -- in the South, in the summer -- with much disapprobation shown if one item was eliminated [true, my stockings were lime-green fishnets, but I digress].  I remember walking to my summer job when I was 19 wearing my cute cotton-print wrap skirt and sandals w/o hose and someone yelled "Put on stockings!" at me from their car.  As someone who is always pale and hates panty hose with a white-hot passion, I applaud those bare legs --even some pale bare legs are occasionally seen in mags.  That said, I think anyone who wishes to wear panty hose should.  And thigh-highs?  Please.  I'm skeptical that they stay up.

Harper |

February 12. 2008 05:50


You just live in the wrong part of the country. Go to the South, to Texas, and there's pantyhose galore, and not on the racks at Target and WalMart. Plenty of women who wear those things on a daily basis.

I remember my sister said that at her first school where she taught, there was actually a rule that said that all women had to wear hose, even if they were wearing pants!

LaTejanaFria |

February 12. 2008 08:10


How about nude fishnets? That is what I wear in Massachusetts in the summer with an employer who mandates that "all employees must wear Hosiery".  I've worn thigh-hi's; they're good in limited circumstances (lots of sitting still) but not the most comfortable thing and best under a loose skirt. And I'll wear those granny knee hi's under long skirts, because I can take them off as so as the clock ticks to quitting time.  But winter time, it's  tights and boots all the way here in New England.

Barbara |

February 12. 2008 12:27


Pantyhose are still around. And I happen to still wear them. It's amazing to me in the winter in Denver, seeing ladies wear skirts with no pantyhose and it's cold. I look at them and am just amazed. I see hosiery being sold everywhere, so I definitey buy them. It might even be time for me to buy more.

by the by, you can always go down to Castle Rock to the Hanes outlet and buy hosiery in bulk (3 pr. pkgs) which are a bit cheaper. I like to go there every so often and stock up. I do sometimes also wear knee highs with pants. I like the additional layer of warmth.

Wanda |

February 12. 2008 20:59


Yeah, just try and take away my L'eggs Sheer Elegance sheer toe in taupe. I order 'em online directly from L'eggs.

I wear pantyhose even in the summer because I can't go barefoot in shoes -- I get huge honking blisters whenever I try.

What I want to know is what happened to slips? I have a hell of a time finding them. I have some skirts that are lined, but for unlined skirts, I want a slip, thank you.

Wendy |

February 18. 2008 16:09


hi all,I wear pantyhose almost on a daily basis,it is part of my
        I see ladies now a day that does not look pretty on bare
        legs that notice all the vains blisters.
        it is just unprofessional.


May 20. 2008 14:03


iblbavlw |

May 20. 2008 14:03

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