They Should Also Get Off of My Lawn

I am not going to call her out by name, but I was having a conversation with a person who I am close to that just so happens to be about 10 years younger than I am. I was asking if she thought I should wear pantyhose under my floor length bridesmaid dress.

She said she had never worn pantyhose under a formal dress. In fact, she had never worn pantyhose ever.

Tights yes, hose never.

I am not that old. I am only thirty-eight. I not only wore pantyhose to at least twenty formal events, I also had to wear them to work every day for more than one job. Not because I wanted to, but because it was the dress code.

I’d noticed that Hollywood has been shunning pantyhose for years now, and I’ve always thought that women on the red carpet with short dresses and bare legs looked… unfinished. Like they forgot lipstick or earrings. I don’t mean to judge – I suck at accessorizing. I just cannot fathom how a person will get shit injected into their face for vanity yet draw the line at wearing something that is tight around the leg. Surgical augmentation?  Yes. Sewn into a dress? Yes. Wearing pain in lieu of clothes on the cover of a magazine? Sure. Pantyhose? Aw, hell no.

I don’t get it.

And it makes me feel old.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to wear pantyhose. I work from home. I don’t even usually wear shoes. But if I were going to have hundreds of paparazzo taking my picture for tens of thousands of websites, magazines and television, and I spent $60,000 on a dress, I would not want people seeing all of my bruises and mosquito bites.

That makes me sound super sexy.

I don’t think I’m old fashioned. I don’t think I’m as crotchety as this post makes me sound, although I also hate dress shorts and orange eye shadow. Maybe I am finally getting old. Maybe I’m pissy because the kids are watching “Good Luck Charlie” for the fifteenth time today, or maybe I am just tired of seeing Sarah Jessica Parker’s foot veins.

See? Foot veins. Weird.

I am tempted to ask you if you feel strongly about this too, but I don’t think I want to know.

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  1. These younguns can barely wear underwear and you want them to wear pantyhose?

  2. Just say “no” to formal shorts.

    I don’t feel strongly about pantyhose, mostly just confused about them.

    I’ve worn pantyhose a few times (like in high school, when my mom made me wear them to homecoming) but mostly go without since that seems to be “in” right now.

    I want Kate Middleton to tell me what brand of hose she wears because hers look amazing. If I had whatever kind she wears I’d wear them all the time.

    Also: what do you do about the open-toed-shoes-and-pantyhose combo? Avoid it and wear closed-toe shoes? Say “eff it, here are my pantyhose!”?

  3. Pantyhose are horrible. I haven’t worn them in at least ten years, and I never plan to wear them again until I’m an old person at risk of breaking blood clots and I may then wear compression hose but I’ll probably instead just except my more rapid demise. I love tights in the fall and winter because I’m always cold, but because I have no ass they tend to fall down and that distresses me.

    Black pantyhose are gross. Nude ones are a lie, and tan? Nope. WHITE? EEK.

    I hate panythose. I also don’t wear Spandx, though, ever. I’m so screwed.


    Everything I write today has a typo.


    (Jesus also doesn’t want me to suffer in pantyhose.)

  6. Pantyhose on a hot day….HELL NO! And if I had legs like SJP I wouldn’t wear pantyhose either. Between the awesomeness of her shoes and those legs I would’ve never noticed her veiny feet.

    PS…I’m 39…I refuse to be called or feel OLD!

  7. I am conflicted about pantyhose.

    On the one hand I find them horribly uncomfortable and there is no shade that actually matches my particular skin tone, that can be described as “dead-fish white” in the winter and “freckled dead fish” in the summer. Sure, “suntan” hose seemed super flattering in the 80s, but it was pretty much a dead giveaway to walk around with legs 10 shades darker than my arms or face.

    On the other hand, a pair of “nude” (which only looks nude for people who have normal-colored skin) hose is great for hiding spider veins.

    But I don’t care enough about my spider veins anymore to wear hose and the bare-legs trend is one I can HAPPILY get on board with. I haven’t worn hose in at least ten years.

  8. Because there has been a diminished demand for pantyhose over the last 15 years bank robbers have had to resort to increasingly bad disguises. I bet there’s a great Insert Eyeroll post in that.

  9. I don’t wear them anymore because it makes me angry to spend $6-12 on something that runs if I look at it funny. I do however wear a tummy flattening garter belt and stockings. One has a run? Just grab another. The ease of the swap and avoiding the panty hose boogaloo whenever I visit a ladies room makes them practical as well. Plus there are unlimited colors and patterns. Best lf all, they’re sexy. Not something pantyhose have ever been accused of.

  10. In 1994 when I saw Disclosure in the theatre, I was stunned when Demi Moore’s character didn’t wear pantyhose to the office. She was a high-powered executive and was NOT wearing hose. STUNNED, I tell you. And jealous.

    Recently, I saw a super-snooty-bitchy comment about nobody having worn hose since 1988. Whatever!. Hose was part of my dress-code as late as 1999 while I was in public accounting working for Ernst & Young. Even in 2005 while I was at the Federal Reserve in 2005, it was required (I “skirted” issue by wearing slacks!)

    I have no desire to wear hose ever again, while completely conceding there is a need for it. And therein lies the problem. *Despair*

    I heart this post, obviously.

  11. Oh, and I am 40.

  12. I’m 10 years older than you and I’m with you on the hose thing.

  13. OK, so now I’m confused. I thought “hose” and “pantyhose” were the US term for what I (as a Brit) would call “tights” (, yet your youngun here says she has worn tights but not pantyhose. See? Confusing!
    I don’t wear anything on my legs (despite their not-tanned-ness and mosquite bite mosaic) in the summer because I don’t go to many (any) “fancy” situations, but probably still wouldn’t as bare-legged is how ’tis done here in the south of France. I generally wear trousers (essentially jeans) in winter. But wear tights (not sure if you’ll know what I mean – kind of opaque, usually black or some other colour, definitely not “nude” or “American tan”) with a skirt or dress. I dislike them, but sometimes feel the urge to “make an effort” and wear something “feminine”.
    Wearing them under a full-length dress (even a bridesmaid’s dress) seems an unnecessary hell to me.
    So, who can enlighten me? What’s the difference between tights and (panty)hose?!

  14. I am not touching the conversation of foot veins.

    However? I’m 31 and I’ve worn panty hose before. Often for a job that I had for eight years. Not really because I had too, but because I figured if I was wearing a skirt, no one needed to be blinded by my white ass legs.

    I do think there will always be professions where people wear them. Corporate Law for instance.

  15. smart aleck says:

    I always, always wore them, even to the job where the AC died. I don’t wear them much now because I live in the deep, deep South and its too damn hot, plus coworkers wear polo shirts to work while I wear skirts and cardigans (ac in our office, only wear tank top during commute). When I have to dress up it’s thigh hi’s because they are like the dickies of the legwear world.
    Next career will require hose, so I will hoard freon for my car and suck it up

    Wore thigh hi’s under my wedding dress because it was onw less thing to worry about when I peed.

    37 3/4, and we are not old.

    Old wears knee hi’s under a skirt!!!

  16. sueinithaca says:

    Whenever I see photos like that, I wonder how they keep their feet from painfully sticking to their shoes. Are they maybe wearing old lady footsies? Only in my fantasies.

    I’m 33 and went to Catholic school in the conservative midwest. I am well-versed in wearing panty-hose, hats, tea-length dresses, and white gloves. My favorite teacher was known for stepping over the line of propriety: she taught AIDS literature in the late 80s and early 90s and refused to ever – EVER – wear pantyhose or a slip. They were equally scandalous attributes. I still hope to be like her when I grow up.

  17. Laurie speaks my mind like a twin. Except that I have an ass. Pantyhose are bullshit, life is too short.

  18. For Kirsty- (panty)hose are similar to tights, made out of thin, usually see through, nylon material. Other words for them are tights, stockings. They make your legs look great when the right color is chosen for the dress/occasion/skin color. Otherwise they look weird.

    But yes, Sarah, I agree with you. I think that there are things that you should wear hose with/to. I wear them every year to my husband’s company Christmas party, as do most of the other women. There was a young girl there last year that really needed them. She had unfortunate knees and a very short dress on. Hose would have helped the situation immensely. Do not take this comment as a blanket commendation of the pantyhose though. I, too, had to wear them for work for many, many years, In the South, even, and they are hellish in the summer months.

  19. I worked for 20 years as a lawyer in a big firm and other than on casual Fridays in the summer (and then casual summer), I had to wear either tights or hose with a skirt. I usually wore tights in the winter because I found them much more comfortable. I have been away from the law for about 8 years and am now really confused about leg coverings. I went to an alumni event at my old firm this summer and all but the oldest women were bare legged under dresses and skirts (me too). Although it felt odd, there also was no way i was putting on hose in 90 degree heat or wearing pants. I wonder if hose is expected at big client meetings or in court – I expect so.

  20. I worked for 20 years as a lawyer in a big firm and other than on casual Fridays in the summer (and then casual summer), I had to wear either tights or hose with a skirt. I usually wore tights in the winter because I found them much more comfortable. I have been away from the law for about 8 years and am now really confused about leg coverings. I went to an alumni event at my old firm this summer and all but the oldest women were bare legged under dresses and skirts (me too). Although it felt odd, there also was no way i was putting on hose in 90 degree heat or wearing pants. I wonder if hose is expected at big client meetings or in court – I imagine so.

  21. I feel strongly about Sarah Jessica Parker being heinous.

  22. I’m 31 years old and live in FL, I was raised to wear panythose with anything that showed leg that was not a sundress. I feel the same way about people looking unfinished when they’re all dressed up without pantyhose on.

  23. Yeah! And where is her slip?? What no girdle either?? How can you leave the house like that?

  24. I think pantyhose are grody, but most especially if they are sticking out of open-toed shoes. They actually make toe-less hose that have a little loop you put around your big toe, in case you are wearing open toed shoes and insist on pantyhose. I love tights, but I hate hose, and I don’t wear them. All that being said, the last time I wore them was for a job interview, and then the time before that was also for a job interview. I do think they are more polished, but I am not really a polished person for the most part.

    I do not know what orange eye shadow is.

    I think foot veins are disgusting. Wear shoes that cover your feet, you weirdo with a banana face Sarah Jessica Parker. Also, moles that big should probably be removed professionally.

    I’m a little hatey today, I’m sorry.

  25. i refuse to wear them. plus, i live in phoenix. i think they would suck the life out of me in this heat.

  26. I have never liked pantyhose on women. It always seemed so fake. But I’m a guy and I would wear PJs to work if I could, so my opinion is clearly irrelevant.

  27. I don’t have strong opinions about pantyhose. Maybe I should, but I don’t wear dresses/skirts very often.

    I have to say that I do like that Princess Kate is bringing the classy look back in and wears the pantyhose.

  28. I think it’s regional. I’m a 34 yr old Californian and I don’t think I’ve worn pantyhose since I was in 1st grade and tried wearing my mom’s to school. I had a roommate about 10 years ago who was about 22 and from the midwest. She was shocked and dismayed that neither I nor any of her workmates wore pantyhose to work. I was shocked that she did!

  29. Foot veins!! Love it…..I’ve never noticed them before, so thank you for bringing that to light. *smirk* I do believe that nylons AKA pantyhose do finish a look. They make the the dress/skirt complete. It’s kind of like going without a bra of a slip!! Yes, a slip. But because all of these women are wearing spanks, they feel like that is equivilent to stockings1 It is not! Good post! I agree with you!


  30. I shun them but will wear black hose if needed. It’s the nude ones that I really hate. I am too white. I can’t find ones that look right and I will NEVER wear them with open-toed shoes or shorts. One of the things that bugs me most about Hooters beyond it being, well, Hooters is the pantyhose with shorts. ICK!
    But yes, it is in to not wear them and so I don’t and I love it. I hate wearing them. I agree with the comment about Kate Middleton though. If anyone can bring them back it is that woman.

  31. I gotta be honest, I hate hose and will do my best to never wear them again.

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