Should I wear Pantyhose to a Job Interview?


Seriously, how could anyone get any work done with Asakawa dressed this way for the office?

     It is said that millions of people struggle with the question of what to wear to a job interview.  

     Having worked in an executive search and recruitment business for nearly 20 years, I’ve coached hundreds of women  (and men, although not about wearing pantyhose) on this subject, but just to be fair, I researched the subject on the Internet today to learn what is being taught right now. 

     Happily, Ive found that the advice of career experts is exactly the same as it’s been forever.  Yes, women should wear pantyhose to a job interview.  

     Look, if you’re going to interview for a job at Wendy’s, you don’t need to wear a corporate grey skirted suit, with high heels and sheer nude pantyhose.  Unless the opportunity there is for a regional manager or higher level position.

      So let’s say you’re interviewing for an office position in corporate America, and the company adheres to a business-casual dress code.  What then?  Still, you wear a suit, heels and pantyhose.  Why?  Because you’re on duty. 

     It doesn’t matter what the company’s dress code is, or if you’re just lucky enough to be interviewing on casual Friday.  You are the one who needs to make a good impression.  You should always dress the way a senior manager would, or should, because it shows good character, a good attitude and demonstrates that you are serious about wanting to work at that company. 

     You will never not get a job offer because you dressed better than you needed to during the interview.  But not dressing according to accepted standards of business attire could cost you an opportunity.

     In his book, When Job-Hunting: Dress for Success, Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., of Quintessential Careers, writes:

“The standard job interviewing attire for women is a conservative dark navy or gray skirted wool blend suit.  Job experts and employers seem split on the notion of pants suits, so a skirted suit is a safer choice.  Makeup should be minimal, with lipstick and nail polish conservative tones.  Pantyhose should be flawless (no runs) and conservative in color.”

     Yes, but he’s a man, you say?  OK, well, according to Kim Zoller at Image Dynamics, 55 percent of another person’s perception of you is based on how you look.  Her Dressing for Success suggestions:

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • Coordinated blouse
  • Moderate shoes
  • Limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Tan or light hosiery

     OK, think that’s just old school?  

     How about what has to say:
  • Always wear a suit with a jacket; no dresses
  • Shoes with conservative heels
  • Conservative hosiery at or near skin color (and no runs!)

     It’s not rocket surgery (a cross between rocket science and heart surgery) here, people.  Just because Hollywood created the bare legs phenomenon to which women all over the world now subscribe, it doesn’t change the fact that in the real world, there still are standards of right and wrong, good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable. 

     And in the workplace, especially during a job interview, pantyhose should always be worn.

15 thoughts on “Should I wear Pantyhose to a Job Interview?

  • For the love (and warmth) of pantyhose

    They have been much maligned even by women themselves. One response online was the worst part of growing up is (wearing) pantyhose. Granted, when the mercury hits 90 and the humidity is insufferable, they can be tough to handle. Overall, my take is that they are functional, attractive, complement an outfit and/or look. They are as one expert noted ‘makeup for the legs’. In this particular case, they are and have been very useful.
    A little introduction and background: As an official I work basketball, soccer and girls Lacrosse. Basketball is indoor except for the Summer outdoor leagues. Soccer and lacrosse you deal more with the elements. Soccer begins in the dog days of August, ending in mid-November as the upcoming Winter is giving you a prelim. Lacrosse starts in the chill of Spring before temperatures rise by mid-May. In New Jersey those cold periods of late Fall, early Spring can mean negotiating temperatures in the 30-55 range, with wind added to spice it up. Our uniform in those outdoor sports calls for shorts. No sweats, though I am not partial to sweat pants. The early years working in the cold meant toughing it through those cold days/nights bare legged.
    One ‘nippy’ November afternoon in the mid Nineties working a junior varsity game at Randolph (NJ) during a break to allow substitutes to enter, I notice a score keeper on the Randolph bench. The young lady was attired in a heavy coat (it was cold as noted) but seemed comfortable sitting cross legged in a skirt and black tights. The idea came, the ladies get it. I decided to use pantyhose or tights under the shorts to stay warm.
    During my marathon running days prior to officiating, I often used tights in cold weather training. Surprising, never thought about them the first few years of officiating until that day.
    The first time using pantyhose for soccer was a few weeks later. Back at Randloph under the lights. Mendham vs. Randolph in a junior varsity girls tournament final as the mercury flirted with freezing at 34 degrees. Color is not a consideration so L’eggs sheer energy nude were fine. In high school soccer we have two officials, one on each sideline. The first half I am on the bench side and things go well. At the half, pull on sweats to stay warm, as can be. Second half I am on the side of the fans. I dread it thinking the laughs and comments will come from those seeing the ‘ref in pantyhose’. At the last second I peel the sweats off and take my position. The second half goes well. No comments on my legs. Two things come to mind. One, fans are there to see the teams not an official’s legs. Second, nude pantyhose can be difficult to notice, even on women. At the game’s end a Randolph soccer mom commended my game and said, “you must be freezing.” Told her I felt fine and noted the use of pantyhose. “Good idea, good for you,” she exclaimed.
    Since then I have used pantyhose and black tights. The latter on those days so cold and windy warmth was the object. Who cares if the fans see what you are wearing. warmth is the objective.
    Wound up using dance tights quite regularly. Seemed to be a natural as dancing is athletic and the tights kept you warm and were more durable as they were made for exercise and movement.
    Now a word or two on Hooters: We have several of the establishments in our area and after a lot of officiating assignments I would stop for one beer (driving, remember). Always thought the girls bought their own pantyhose from outside. Later found they purchase them from the Hooters ‘store’. Again, thought only the Hooters girls could but them until one day a server, knowing I use the ‘warm gear’ under the shorts for officiating said, “you have to get your hands on these.” Then I found the footless pantyhose was available to the public at $3.50 to 5.00 a pair depending on the location. Fashion note….Carrie, the server, said they were popular to buy as women loved the shiny shade and being footless could wear them with boots and skirts.
    At any rate, have used them quite a bit and find them excellent. They are heavier like tights, very warm and durable, to an extent. I know what the servers go through. Some say one shift then they get a rip. Other times five shifts and the pantyhose are still good. Conversely I can have one game and good bye. Other times a week of games and no runs. Taking the lead of the ladies, yours truly will not go on the field with runs or tears in the pantyhose/tights.
    Found the Hooters pantyhose, they are actually Peavey, coming in a small orange box with a cheerleader on the cover and always suntan shade. Thus the shiny, attractive look of the servers’ legs. Like dance tights they are very functional. Made for looks plus servers on their feet the pantyhose have an energizing effect on the legs. For multiple games in the cold these are great.

    Anecdotes and other items of note: “The ref is wearing pantyhose!”. So said a 7th grader after her recreation team won to advance to the finals. A few minutes earlier she spotted them on me and said “good idea.” Post game she had to announce to her celebrating teammates. Those who heard her also echoed her sentiments saying ‘good idea’ as well.
    Do you use your wife’s pantyhose? A female fan, not being sarcastic but inquisitive, inquired. No,” I told her. My wife is 5 feet tall, I am 6’3”. Our sizes don’t match.

    Rain: The increased use of field turf (artificial grass) means more games contested in inclement weather. Simply, good old precipitation. Ladies, I know how you feel. There is just nothing to explain the feeling of wet pantyhose. They seem to add weight to your movement and taking them off, well you know I need not go into gory details.
    Speaking of climate…Find that under 60 degrees the time to use pantyhose. A 55 degree day doesn’t sound extreme but if there’s a breeze (perfect for your basic L’eggs or No Nonsense nude) and it’s overcast, trust me, there is a chill. Warmer legs run the field better than chilled ones.

    The girls get it: The guys may notice, turn away and snicker among themselves. On spotting the leg wear the girls virtually always commend the choice. And in some cases, wish their legs were as warm.
    Once after a game a group of guys are at a table (at Hooters naturally). I am sipping a beer and hear the comments. Walking over I show my official shirt under my jacket and say “guys, give me a break I am a soccer ref and had a game in the cold. These are to keep my legs warm.” Their tune changed after hearing that and we all got into a nice college basketball discussion.
    “Your legs rock in them”. So said Olivia, a Hooters server noticing I worked a soccer game in the same leg wear she was using on her shift. The compliments are a nice added touch. I will hear them from soccer moms and other female fans. One lady asked how I battled the cold in shorts. Told her I have nude tights on to which she said, ‘didn’t notice but now I know why your legs look so good.” Another trio of moms during a cold playoff at night asked me what pantyhose I was wearing. They noticed the veritable suntan of Hooters. They thought it was Haynes but I told them the Hooters brand and you can purchase them at the store. To which the added “we had to know what made your legs look so great.”

    Pink: For a week in October we have Breast Cancer awareness. Needless to say it is cold. Any girls games I get, youth or high school, I work wearing pink tights. The dance supply had plenty as that color is very popular in ballet. The response has been great. Parents especially appreciate the gesture of ‘going pink’ for the cause.

    Purchasing Power: Never any problem regarding buying them. A super market is fine for pantyhose and tights. A dance supply in Northern NJ has me listed as a regular and expects me each Fall for tights. At Hooters you buy from the servers. If there are a lot of guys around the bar I will whisper my order and the server brings the box containing the pantyhose in a white bag. Once a server rang up my order and knowing me added, do you need pantyhose today?” Over 90% of the time I buy from women sales associates so there is no apprehension.
    Once at Nordstrom purchasing nude tights I told the sales lady I officiate soccer and these are for the cold. She knew soccer and knowing we use different color shirts at times said, “these (tights) will match any outfit (uniform) you wear.”

    Closing: We get a break for substitution or the like in a game, time to pull the up. Very gently as not to get a rip. Putting them on and removing with care. Mastering the art of slipping them on in a hurry, again, I know what the ladies face.
    One cold night I was going to the field press box to inform the high school girl keeping the clock how we wanted the game timed. Without thinking I gave instructions while pulling up my tights. She said, “oh you are wearing those, what a great idea on such a rotten night. Wish I had some on under my pants.”
    There are those women who look on pantyhose as a form of albatross. To me, the feminine leg looks so much more attractive. The officiating side looks on pantyhose/tights as functional and a necessary part of my uniform during those cold days and nights.
    If the legs ‘rock’ that’s a bonus.

    • Pantyhose also work well for hunting. They are a perfect base layer because they are very thin, they don’t breathe so your body heat is held against your skin, and your clothing slides on easily over them. I can never keep my feet warm in the tree stand and I can’t find running tights with feet. My base layer is a long-sleeved Lycra shirt and 30/40 denier pantyhose. It’s weird wearing something girly under hunting attire, but a $5 pair of pantyhose keeps my feet warmer.

  • Hi Robin,
    It has been a while since I have posted here. I found three articles about wearing pantyhose at your workplace. One is about wearing pantyhose to a job interview which has turned into a lengthy debate about pantyhose, bare legs, etc. Its an old article but I posted my comment at #347 back in January.

    The second article is about wearing pantyhose to work and job interviews.

    The last article is about wearing pantyhose to work. There is a moronic poster who goes the name of ME #24, who states that women wearing pantyhose are weird, moving in the wrong direction culturally, and tanned legs are better. I was able to put that poster in their place with my post but it is not displayed. I will keep you posted once my post is displayed.

    • Hi, Brian W. Thanks for your comment. Also, thanks for the links, but I just can’t read things like these. It’s bad for my blood pressure. It would make me want to find these bad people and beat them up.

      Seriously, I’ve come to accept that there will always be haters out there in every category. We can’t save the world. It’s best (for me anyway) not to give any energy to stupid pantyhose haters. Those people have no sense of class, elegance or glamour. And they probably aren’t very nice people either. So to health with them.

      I prefer to just concentrate on and appreciate the ever-growing numbers of people all over the world who are coming back to pantyhose in record fashion. They’re out there. And thank God for them.

      • You are right. There will be always the haters out there that want to promote the slob and skank image culturally, but in the end class and professionalism will always come out on top,

    • It’s funny but I had someone ask me why I was wearing pantyhose this past Easter. My reply was that I wear pantyhose everyday. So then the next question was how I felt about the strict dress code at work. When I replied that I was a stay-at-home mom (aka housewife) you would swear that a heart stopped pumping and it wasn’t mine. It almost seems that pantyhose are somehow forbidden or naughty. Oh well.

  • Another great article Robin. I agree with all your points here and am reminded of something I once heard. Do not dress for the job you have, rather dress for the job you want.

  • In many words if you wear a skirt of dress “Yes” and dressing nice means a lot. When I interviewed in the past and I saw legs not covered with pantyhose and they looked bad omg that’s all I can say…

  • Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!


  • Another great topic.

    As the old saying goes, “you only have one chance to make a first impression.” Think of a job interview as a brief window of opportunity to sell yourself. As Robin correctly points out, dressing well for an interview is no guarantee of getting hired, but dressing inappropriately can really hurt your chances.

    I’ve worked in IT for many, many years, and have interviewed literally hundreds of job applicants. Appearance matters. In fact the most memorable interview I ever did involved a woman who applied for a Sofware Development Engineering job. She showed up in a t-shirt, shorts, and Birkenstocks. I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or be offended. Either way, it was total job interview suicide. LOL!

    Another thing to consider is that sometimes multiple applicants may be qualified. A well dressed applicant sends a message of professionalism, confidence and of being highly capable. Pantyhose simply complement those characteristics.


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