Wearing Pantyhose an Issue of Values


Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

     Ever since the global bare legs movement began right around the year 2000, I’ve tried to figure out how and why this happened. 

     We know that it was actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s character on Sex and the City that is universally “credited” with running pantyhose as a fashion staple out of Hollywood.   As the show was set in New York City – fashion capital of the world – it’s easy to see how women everywhere would jump on the bare legs bandwagon.  

     Its effect has been felt all over the world – although nowhere more prevalent among modern nations than in the United States. 

     Initially, the reason women gave for arbitrarily ending their decades-long commitment to wearing pantyhose was that the accessory had gone out of vogue, as evidenced by the fashion fad Parker’s show spawned. 

     But fads in fashion typically don’t stay around long, and eventually, women’s excuses for not wearing pantyhose turned to: 

  • They’re uncomfortable (the fabric being hot, itchy and saggy most often cited)
  • They’re not necessary (my legs are tanned enough) 

     I’ve never bought into the fad thing because I believe fashion always should be about good taste – especially when it comes to being professional in the workplace.  

     As for the excuse: “I don’t need to wear pantyhose because my legs are tan enough,” I think some women are just missing the point.  It’s not that simple.  Nylons do so much more than add a little color to your skin.  They cover minor skin blemishes, soften lines, and enhance the shape of your legs, giving them a look of perfection that bare or oiled legs will never have.  More than all that, pantyhose offer an allure, a sense of glamour and good taste. 

     If you read almost any blog about pantyhose, you’ll always find some women complaining that they’re uncomfortable.   Oh, come now!   That is a weak excuse given by those who are lazy, spoiled and apparently not well educated, as most of them can’t even spell the word pantyhose correctly.  

     I Googled this subject: “most uncomfortable women’s clothes” and was pleased to see that pantyhose, while they certainly made the list, weren’t exactly the Number One bad guy.  Most women cited high heels, bras and thongs as the most uncomfortable things they wore.  

     Somehow, I got sidetracked to uncomfortable uniforms, and found that female police officers in almost every country except the USA wear much more feminine uniforms, complete with high heels and pantyhose.  Check out this picture of Russian policewomen.

     In the U.S., where everyone is spoiled, we can’t get most women to wear pantyhose with a business suit in an air conditioned office.   Our women wouldn’t last a day in Russia, China, Japan, Korea, and most other countries, who clearly have higher standards of what constitutes proper dress, if not good taste.  

     But I’m not picking on just women here.  I stumbled across one blog in which the founder of some computer software company wrote that he didn’t wear business suits anymore and couldn’t imagine why anyone ever would.  His post elicited 416 comments – most agreeing with his point of view. 

     I think we have lost some of our good sense, our values and our judgment about how we present ourselves.  Pretty soon, Casual Friday will turn into Casual Tuesday-through-Friday-but-wear-something-businessy-on-Monday, just for old times sake.

     Here are some pics of female police officers in other countries.  And if you think these female officers are decked out in dress uniforms for only ceremonial occasions, notice that they’re also dressed this way on the street for routine duty.