New year, new hope for more pantyhose


Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous
Robin Maryland,              president, ActSensuous

Did you know that January 4 is “National Triva Day?”

I just learned that while doing research to write this post.  Turns out there are about 20 other little celebrations associated with January, including “National write the wrong year on your check month,” “Bath Safety Month” (seriously?) and “Stalking awareness month.” (OK, there’s one for you.)

I found this a few days ago when I went Googling for validation of something I saw on a TV commercial.  It’s an ad by ShoeDazzle (link below), referencing the celebration of “National Bootie Month.”   https://www.ispot.tv/ad/ACvp   I thought, “What?  Is that really a thing?”

OK, apparently, mostly, it is, only it’s really called “National Bootie Day,” and it’s actually on September 10, according to JustFab.com and other references I’ve now seen.

http://blog.justfab.com/2015/09/justfab-celebrates-nationalbootieday/

So, ShoeDazzle jumped the gun a bit (just nine months) to promote its products, but the timing of that commercial was spot-on for me, as it got me wondering all about booties worn with pantyhose, and this ad prompted me to look into the whole idea and write about it here.

Those of you who’ve gotten to know me throughout the years probably realize I don’t like the wearing of boots with dresses or skirts, but what about booties?  Hmmmm, let me think … NO.

Why do I dislike boots or booties with a dress or skirt?  Because it hides too much leg and foot. My preference has always been any kind of high heels (but not so much the platform kind), or pumps or dress sandals.  And the less the shoe, and the more the foot, the better.

British-American actress, Sienna Miller, wears a plaid tweed jacket with shorts and peep-toe booties.
British-American actress, Sienna Miller, wears a plaid tweed jacket with shorts and peep-toe booties with black tights.

On the other hand (OK, the foot), open- or peep-toe booties worn with sheer pantyhose apparently is a thing these days.

And you know what?  I’m good with that.

diane-krugerI mean, you ain’t never gonna find me sporting the look, as actress Diane Kruger (right) does, but I officially state here that I am all for it on anyone else.  Why?  If women will wear pantyhose with open- or peep-toe booties, it’s another win for all of us.

Further, it’s just one more thing that ought to drive the “fashion experts” crazy.

fpWe all know how much the fashion police out there despise, not only pantyhose, but even more so, pantyhose worn with open-toe high heels, even while no one ever follows their stupid advise.

Nevertheless (and this is huge), it now appears we’ve all finally worn down some of those fashion freak naysayers.  Case in point, check out this Vogue.com story that ran a few months ago:

http://www.vogue.com/13488139/tights-open-toe-shoes-runway-trend-spring-2017-fashion-week/

Runway model wearing sheer pantyhose with open-toe shoes.
Runway model wearing sheer pantyhose with open-toe shoes.

If, with the new year upon us, you’re looking for signs of hope and optimism about the return to mainstream status of sheer pantyhose, this Vogue.com story is a giant leap forward.

Too bad, though, that the only photo (I could find anyway) related to this new concession about sheer pantyhose being worn with open-toe shoes on the runway, is this one (left) with the model wearing some ridiculous-looking pantyhose.

Still, there’s no denying this is a huge step forward for pantyhose lovers.

I mean first, the fashion police told us pantyhose for any situation and venue were an absolute no-no.  Yes, they won quite a number of blind followers, yet, pantyhose didn’t die, did they?

And, you’ll remember, ActSensuous (which started in 2001, at the very height of the “bear” legs movement), was always here telling you not to worry; to keep the faith, as there remained a sizable pocket of resistance by classy ladies, female business execs, celebrities and thousands upon thousands of “real girls” who never gave up on pantyhose.

When the fashion watchdogs realized, but couldn’t admit, that pantyhose were still a force, they shined their negative spotlight a little lower, barking out that, of all the horrible things about pantyhose, the absolute worst was wearing them with dress sandals.

Ph toes They actually plastered this pic (left) all across the Internet, trying to show how bad that idea is, as if anybody believed anyone actually wore ugly hosiery like that with sandals.

To that, I present this image (below).

abbey-clancyThe wearer (right) is Abbey Clancy, a lingerie, catwalk model and television personality in England.

Anyone who would try to discourage this look is, well, most likely jealous, as Abbey’s feet are beautiful in those sheer pantyhose.  Often, I smiled when seeing absolutely everywhere that NOBODY was buying that rubbish the so-called fashion experts wanted women to believe:  That it was taboo to wear sheer pantyhose with open-toe shoes.

And, thankfully, from the most successful and highest profile women to the everyday real girls out and about across the whole wide world, everyone who wears pantyhose always has been wearing them with open-toe shoes.

During the past few years, the latest manifestation of that trend has been wearing pantyhose or tights with open- or peep-toe booties.  To me, that’s sorta like giving a big “Take that” to all those fashion know-it-alls.

Kylie 1

Still, I didn’t really care, and just forgot about the whole thing until I remembered seeing this picture (above) of young TV personality, Kylie Jenner, wearing open-toe booties (quite beautifully) with sheer black pantyhose during a Nickelodeon awards show a few years ago.

I thought she looked amazing, but I still figured this was a very unique thing, and as usual for me, I somehow missed the point and largely forgot about Kylie’s look back back then.  Until, that is, I saw the ShoeDazzle commercial earlier this month.

jessica-albaSo I launched an Internet search to see whether anyone else really was sporting this look?

To my surprise after three days of research, I was able to file only a handful of pics, such as this one of actress, Jessica Alba (right), to share with you.

Now, that doesn’t mean that’s all I found.  No-no-no.  I actually saved 93 pics that have something to do with the subject of this post.

And, lest ye think that what I do for you here is all just fun and games for me, let me share the dilemma I came to have.  When laying out the copy and then trying to illustrate it with the perfect artwork (meaning choosing just the right image to illustrate a specific point I make), it’s way too cumbersome to sift through the 93 choices in one folder.  So, being the super-organized type, I sorted all 93 images into different subfolders — nine to be exact.

I can hear what you’re thinking now: “That Robin, she’s a clever gal.”  Yeah, but nine subfolders to do with wearing pantyhose or tights with open- or peep-toe booties, you ask?  You bet.

You see, the problem I encountered was this whole booties thing ain’t all that black and white here.  To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, let’s go through all nine subfolders of images.  C’mon, it’ll be fun …

1. Open- or peep-toe booties with pantyhose

kylie-j-2 The very point of this post, right?  Well, the most significant photo I found was the one that started it all for me: Kylie Jenner’s look (right) during that Nickelodeon awards show.

In my opinion, she is the signature example of wearing sheer pantyhose with open-toe booties, although, I don’t get black pantyhose with white footwear.

Still, I have to give her credit for this look.  With those toes in those hose, she could pull off anything.

2. Open- or peep-toe booties without pantyhose

nina-dobrevI know what you’re thinking: Why would you show a picture of that, Robin?

Well, one cannot know what cold feels like, if one has lived one’s whole life in 90-degree weather. (Prophetic, huh?)

And since open- or peep-toe booties exist, naturally, they are (most often, I found) going to be worn with bear legs.

So here ya go.  See how they look?  Now, aren’t you glad you saw Kylie Jenner’s way of wearing them?

You’re welcome.

 

3. Booties with pantyhose

morena-baccarinYou get that?  Just plain old booties (not open- or peep-toe).  In my search, I found many more pics of regular booties, but at least, I found a bunch of pictures of women wearing them with pantyhose.  So you have to see one of them.

Probably, the most compelling pic I found of someone wearing just plain old booties (but with pantyhose) is this one of actress Morena Baccarin.  There are precious few photos of Baccarin wearing pantyhose, so to find one of her wearing pantyhose with booties seemed too significant not to show you.

Why do we care, though?   Well, it’s “National Bootie Month.”  OK, actually, it isn’t (as we covered in the beginning), but since that goof-up was what spawned this blog post, look at this picture and be thankful.  Good job.

4. Booties without pantyhose

OK, just kidding.  I’m not going to show you that.  I mean, I found a lot more of those pictures than anything else, and I did put a few of them in a folder with this name, but we’ve got more important things to cover here.  So, we’ll move on.  (You’re welcome.)

5. Just booties

Christian Louboutin-Guerilla Studded-open-toe booties.
Above, a Christian Louboutin Guerilla Studded open-toe bootie.

Seriously.  With pantyhose or without, I found so many things that might, or might not, be booties, I had to create and fill a subfolder with that name.

So, to be clear, the image you see here (right) is an authentic bootie.

6. Not actually booties

You see where I’m going with this?  Some footwear pics I found (below, left) kinda, sorta looked like booties and even had pantyhosed feet in them.   I have no idea what the heck these things are called, maybe just boots (low ones), but they aren’t in the spirit of the booties we’re talking about here.  Maybe they are just some kind of funky, chunky shoes.

just-bootsIn any case, since I collected and stored those pics (then, realized after all the experience I’d gained) that they actually aren’t booties, you have to see a pic of one of them.

Pretty nice pic, too.  At least, the girl is wearing these regular old boots with pantyhose.

 

7. Not sure

kylie-minogueThat’s right.  There are some pics of women in pantyhose wearing something that might, or might not, be a bootie.  The only thing I know for sure now is that I have no real idea what the heck a bootie is.  Hey, sue me, OK?

So here’s a picture (left) of Australian mega performer, Kylie Minogue.  See if you can tell whether those things on her feet are booties, or something else, smarty pants.  Hey, at least, she’s wearing pantyhose with them.

not-talking-about-this8. Not this

One thing I had no trouble with was being pretty clear that this image (right) is not what this blog post is about.  But I really I liked the picture.

So here it is.

9. Absolutely stupid, doesn’t count

dumbest-look-everSeriously, I made a subfolder with this title.

That’s because these pics I found, but didn’t want to find (or even see) are the dumbest thing I have ever seen in our beloved pantyhose industry.

And because I had to see it, you have to see it.

I would like to find the moron who came up with this idea, and karatefy him or her.

In fact, I’d also like to kick the frick out of the bigger moron who actually bought this idea.

Here’s how I imagine the first meeting about this product design went:

Pitchman:  Hey, I’ve got a great idea here.  How about we make pantyhose that go from the waist all the way down to the feet, but stop at the toes?

Boss:  Wait a minute, did you really just say what I think you said?  What the heck is wrong with you?

stupidPitchman:  Now, hear me out, hear me out.  We’ll call them toeless pantyhose, and that alone probably would get some  women out there to buy them.

Boss:  Why on Earth would anyone buy such a thing?

Pitchman:  Well, for years, all those fashion experts have been telling and making some truly dumbass women out there believe that they should never wear pantyhose with open-toe shoes.

So, with this new product, they can now wear pantyhose so that their legs look great, but … and here’s the best part … their toes will be bare, so they can wear their open-toe shoes the way the fashion experts tell them to.  Huh?  Huh?  Brilliant, right?

Boss:  OK, let me get this straight.  The women who …

Pitchman, interrupting the boss:  … dumbass women …

Boss:  Right, right.  The dumbass women who wear these things would have on real pantyhose that make their legs look, well, fabulous, all the way down the foot, but stop at the toes?

Pitchman: Yes, yes …

Boss:  OK, so to be clear, these …..

Pitchman, chiming in:  dumbass …

whatBoss:  Right, dumbass women, they go about their daily routines wearing, say, black pantyhose down through the shoe, and then their bare, white, pasty toes peek out to the world, and ….. I’m sorry, tell me again … why would any woman in her right mind do such an incredibly stupid thing?

Pitchman:  That’s just it.  They do incredibly stupid things.  We don’t even have to tell them it’s what the fashion experts agree with …  I mean, if we make this product, they’ll think it’s the thing, and they’ll buy ‘em and wear them.

Boss:  Yeah, OK, I’m sold.  Let’s do it.

 

hanesAre these people kidding?  I guess not, because even Hanes bought in to this concept (right), and their ad campaign actually reads:  “Hanes Silk Reflections Ultra Sheer pantyhose toeless design lets you wear sandals and open-toe shoes and show off your pedicure.”

OK, now I’ve definitely seen everything in this business.  I will have a difficult time trying to get these images out of my head now.

Readers, seriously now, is this the dumbest thing you’ve ever seen related to pantyhose?

 

In any case, it’s a new year.  And with it, comes renewed optimism that pantyhose will continue to make leaps and bounds toward returning to mainstream acceptance.

Already, we’ve seen some great signs, such as Vogue.com actually promoting the wearing of sheer pantyhose with open-toe shoes on fashion runways.  Don’t discount the significance of that.

And, with the growing fad of wearing sheer pantyhose or tights with open- or peep-toe booties making inroads, there’s definitely reason for increased confidence that we are taking the right steps forward toward bringing pantyhose all the way back.

It should be a fun ride.

Wishing you all “sheer” happiness, health and prosperity in 2017.

Oh, and by the way …..

new-act-iv-promo-1

 

2011 a Great Year for Pantyhose


Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

If the “bear” legs movement won the decade of the new millennium, pantyhose certainly got their legs back in 2011.

(NOTE: I’m putting quotes around “bear” just once and then running with it as-is. Seasoned readers get my play on words, which have their origin in one of my earlier posts: “Why Bears Don’t Wear Pantyhose.”)

No, I’m not proclaiming that everything’s back to normal; far from it. But I think greater strides were made in 2011 than at any time from 2000 on.

I do think 2011 gave us much for which to be thankful, and optimism for years to come. While things looked pretty bleak from 2000 through 2010, I am thrilled by the number of new and seasoned celebrities we saw wearing pantyhose in 2011.

In movies, on TV shows, in TV commercials, on singers/performers taking the stage, on game shows, across fashion runways, in magazines, and practically everywhere we looked in the community, we saw more pantyhose in 2011 than I think we saw in the previous 10 years. And if you want to see beautiful women in pantyhose, just do a google search, and you’ll find that pantyhose are indeed alive and well.

Pantyhose took us by storm in the late-1960s, absolutely ruled in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and enjoyed a good run through most of the ‘90s before “Sex and the City” reared its ugly head in 1998.

In the role that made her famous, actress Catherine Bach as Daisy Duke on the TV show, “The Dukes of Hazzard,” made sheer pantyhose famous.

And, in the ’70s, no one did more for pantyhose than actress Catherine Bach in her role as Daisy Duke on the TV show, “The Dukes of Hazzard.”  Bach took sheer pantyhose to icon status, wearing them with her signature short-shorts and heels on the show.

It’s difficult to imagine how and why so many women in the world would try so hard to distance themselves from the look made famous by Bach.

Looking at this picture of Catherine Bach, I can’t see how anyone could believe that pantyhose are old-fashioned and irrelevant in society today.  A look of sheer beauty and the truest sense of femininity is never irrelevant, and it never goes out of style.

I honestly didn’t believe the bear legs culture would catch on, and I never dreamed it would flourish, almost to the demise of pantyhose.

It has taken a great deal longer than I imagined, but women have begun coming to their senses again. That was clear in 2010, and never more evident than during 2011.

Still, through the darkest times of the 2000 decade, I was so pleased and encouraged by the vast number of men throughout the world voicing their displeasure over the bear legs movement. There are thousands of pantyhose forums, websites and blogs about the love and devotion that (at least) men feel for pantyhose.

I still can’t believe that so many women don’t seem to care that seemingly 99 percent of the male population loves them in pantyhose. The fact that women almost universally reject the beauty, femininity, class, elegance, and sensual characteristics inherent in pantyhose remains a complete mystery to me.

I should acknowledge that, along the way, there have been many women who never bought into the bear legs culture.  Occasionally, I read on an online forum about a woman or two who, like me, just don’t get the hostility other women have toward pantyhose.  It is so heartwarming and encouraging to read the words of some women who say they love pantyhose, and the attention and appreciation they get from wearing pantyhose for men who love it so much.  We can’t know about these everyday women on a large scale, so unfortunately, I cannot give them the praise they deserve. Still, we know they’re out there, so if you’re reading, thank you for remaining professional at the office, classy about town and always feminine in all situations.

Similarly, I’ve been delighted and encouraged by all the support from readers of The ActSensuous Blog this year. I greatly appreciate all your comments, compliments and well wishes.  So, in addition to my usual ranting and raving about celebs and the state of the pantyhose industry, in this year-in-review post, I want to share with you some things you might find interesting – the stuff you guys contribute.

Your comments

You guys write some well-conceived and thought-provoking comments.  You have a real understanding of what’s going on in the world of pantyhose.  You know the celebs who are devoted wearers, and you know the ones who aren’t.   In many of your comments, you attach links to pictures, videos and online articles about pantyhose.

I love it when you write about a colleague at work who routinely wears, or doesn’t.  I love when you write about your most memorable pantyhose experiences and the affects they had on you.

And, of course, I appreciate all the nice things you write about my different posts.  I couldn’t do this if I didn’t think you cared and appreciated it.  So thank you for all your support.

In case you ever wondered, most of those who comment on my blog are not ActSensuous customers.   Sometimes, it’s a bit embarrassing when a customer writes a comment and closes with how much he loves our products and our customer service.  I’m not asking for that, but it’s always nice to read the positive feedback, and I am sure it’s good for business.  So, to those customers/readers, I’ll say this:  That’s not what the blog is about, you don’t have to endorse us in your comments, but I know it comes from the heart, and I do appreciate very much your good intentions.

One reader complimented me a long time ago for keeping the blog separate from the business.  I never expected anyone to notice or care about that, but I always appreciated that this guy got it and pointed it out.  In fact, of the 48 (before this one) posts I’ve written since May 2009, only one was blatantly about ActSensuous – the one on April 25, 2011, called “Return of Pantyhose TV ads a Good Sign.”  In it, I shared my vision (OK, fantasy) of having a celebrity become the official spokesmodel for ActSensuous.  I wrote about the celebs I’d choose if I could.  That post was pretty popular and got some good comments, but I really thought it would get more response from you, telling me which celeb you thought would be perfect to represent ActSensuous.

And that leads me to this:

The polls

I thought polls would be a good way to be heard for those who don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on a blog post.  What could be more anonymous than that?  Even I don’t know who clicks an answer on a poll on my blog. Yet, the response numbers seem low to me.

To those who have voted on my various polls, I thank you.  Your answers to the poll questions – your voice – give me an insight as to what you think about the state of pantyhose in society today.  To demonstrate that point, I’ll share with you the results of some of those polls, starting with:

  • “Which celebrity would be perfect to represent ActSensuous?”
Following her breakout role in the movie, “The Devil Wears Prada,” Anne Hathaway has maintained a classy and feminine look, including wearing pantyhose for all the right occasions and venues.

Of the 50 votes this poll generated, Anne Hathaway garnered 14 (30%).  To put that in perspective, the next highest vote-getter was Milla Jovovich with 9 (20%).

They beat out the likes of Sandra Bullock, Bai Ling, Nicole Kidman, and four write-in names: Zhang Ziyi, Gong Li, Christie Brinkley and Morena Baccarin.

I was not surprised you chose Anne Hathaway.  I love that, even though she is so young, she gets it. While probably every celeb has her days when she just isn’t going to wear for any occasion, Anne is pretty consistent.  She has the maturity, the class and sense of femininity to wear for all the right reasons and at the right venues.  I believe Anne has a bright future as a Hollywood star, and I’d be proud to have her represent ActSensuous.

Of course I love Milla Jovovich.  She is beautiful, extremely professional, ultra classy and just plain cool.  She is a great actress, and if the truth were known, I’d choose her if I could.

Of the others, I love Bai Ling, Nicole Kidman, Zhang Ziyi and Gong Li, and I would be thrilled if any of them would even consider being the face (legs) of a pantyhose campaign, but that seems rather remote to me.

Christie Brinkley

Now, Christie Brinkley as the official spokesmodel for ActSensuous ….. that seems pretty realistic and very appealing to me.  I’ve always liked Christie.  She’s always been extremely professional, very classy and ultra feminine.

Those are some incredible legs, and she certainly understands the appeal of sheer pantyhose.

I would have thought the same thing about Morena Baccarin, but even though she can always be counted on to wear sheer pantyhose with her outfits in TV series (“The Visitors” and “Homeland”), I’ve never seen her wear during visits on late night talk shows.  I find that so frustrating because it kills my image of her.  I want to believe she is what I see in her TV roles, but have to face the reality that when she’s on her own time, she chooses not to wear.   That amazes me because she looks 100 times better in pantyhose.  Then again, isn’t that true of all of them?

  • Which Celebrity do you most want to see in pantyhose?”
Sandra Bullock performs a scene in her new movie, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” in Brooklyn.

This poll generated 91 votes, of which Sandra Bullock took 34 (37%).

She overwhelmed the likes of Jessica Alba with 22 votes (24%), Kate Beckinsale, Nicole Kidman, Bai Ling, and seven write-in answers, including Fran Drescher, Michelle Yeoh, Lucy Liu, Bette Middler, and Jenna Fisher.

Good for Sandra Bullock to win that poll.

It goes to show the popularity of the veteran action, dramatic and comedic actress among the ranks of pantyhose lovers.

Why not?  Sandra always has had the professionalism and class to wear pantyhose for the right occasions.

I would have liked to see Michelle Yeoh, Bai Ling and Lucy Liu score higher, but they do in the next poll.

  • Which Asian actress do you most want to see wearing pantyhose?”
The lovely and multi-talented Asian-American actress Lucy Liu sometimes wears pantyhose during public appearances, and when she does, she looks fabulous.

Out of 34 total votes (only 34 – what’s wrong with you people?), Lucy Liu won with 13 votes (38%).

Very impressive, as she beat out whom I think is the world’s most gorgeous woman, Zhang Ziyi, who came in second with 8 votes (24%).

This poll was won because of the popularity/familiarity of Lucy Liu.  I mean who doesn’t love her?

Ironically, from what I’ve observed, Ziyi is a much more prolific wearer of pantyhose than Lucy will ever be.

In fact, as much as I adore Lucy Liu, she breaks my heart by doing the bear legs thing much more often than wearing pantyhose.

Further, it seems the rare occasion on which we see Lucy Liu in pantyhose, she’s wearing the thick, black ones.  Yet, to behold her in sheer nude pantyhose is a breathtakingly beautiful sight. At least the black pantyhose she’s wearing in this photo are fairly sheer.

Zhang Ziyi (“Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” Rush Hour 2”) is only just becoming known to Western audiences, and since she lives in China, she’s not quite the household name Lucy Liu is.

Classy Chinese movie star Zhang Ziyi almost always wears pantyhose during public appearances.

But Ziyi is the Asian actress I most want to see in pantyhose.  To me, she is total perfection.

Other vote-getters in this poll were Tia Carrere, Michelle Yeoh, Devon Aoki, Bai Ling, Gong Li, Maggie Q, Karen Mok and Brenda Song.

Besides Zhang Ziyi, I next most want to see Michelle Yeoh in pantyhose.  I still love her more than any other Asian actress, and she is simply awesome in pantyhose, although, sadly, that’s a rare sight these days.

It’s so frustrating that Maggie Q doesn’t wear pantyhose on her hit show, “Nikita,” (or any other thing I’ve ever seen her in.)  There was a time (early 1990s) when Tia Carrere (“Wayne’s World,” “High School High,” “True Lies”) was the most beautiful thing that pantyhose ever happened to, but those days appear to be long gone.  I would guess most of you have no clue as to who Karen Mok is (“Black Mask” and “So Close”), but someday I’ll do a whole post about her.

Young model/actress Devon Aoki (“Debs” is my favorite movie of hers) is a frequent pantyhose wearer and looks amazing in them.   I haven’t seen enough of Brenda Song, but it’s neat that someone voted for her.

I love Gong Li, Maggie Cheung and Karen Mok, and they all look fabulous in pantyhose, but to me, there is just something truly remarkable about seeing Bai Ling in pantyhose. Maybe that’s because it’s so unexpected.

Bai Ling dressed beautifully, complete with brown pantyhose, during an appearance at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Nov. 4, 2011, in Hollywood, Calif.

Bai Ling is an enigma.

She is extremely intelligent and has great talent.  She is incredibly beautiful.  But she fits in perfectly within the Hollyweird culture. I don’t really get her, but I can’t help but love her.

She is known for wearing the skimpiest and strangest outfits, and looking awesome in them.

But when she wears pantyhose, it is so heartwarming to me.  She kills me in a good way.

  • Pantyhose – To Wear or Not to Wear (ladies only please)

This was not the poll that saw the widest margin of victory, but the winning answer got 19 of the 24 votes (79%). The winner, I’m happy to say, is this answer:

“I choose to because I believe in and wholeheartedly support the concepts of beauty, glamour, class and sexiness inherent in pantyhose.” Coming in second was the answer:  “I am not on one side or the other and would wear or not wear pantyhose based on the appropriateness of the situation/environment.” That answer got 3 votes (13%).

I wrote (ladies only please) at the end of the poll question because I knew what answer men would give, and I really wanted to see what women would say. I always wondered if the votes were indeed by women only. I don’t know, but there were 2 votes (8%) for the answer: “I choose not to on my own personal volition because I think pantyhose are uncomfortable, impractical and/or unnecessary.”  We know women cast that vote.

But here’s the real news: Not a single vote came in for the answers: “I choose not to because I believe in and completely support the cause for the bare legs movement … period;” or for: “I choose not to because the excuse now exists thanks to the bare legs movement.”

Hey, I’ll take our minor victories anywhere I can get them.

  • Today’s “Bear Legs culture:

This is the poll, attached to the post “Why Bears don’t wear Pantyhose,” that launched my whole “bear” legs terminology.  The answer that won this poll was: “Can’t die a horrible death soon enough.”  Still, it got only 60 votes out of 110 (55%).  Taking second place with 26 votes (24%) was the answer:  “Is to punish men (for being men).”  Sorry about that, guys.

OK, are you wondering what poll got the most activity and won by the very widest margin?  This won’t come as a surprise to most of you. It was attached to my first (and arguably best) post of 2011 (Jan. 9), titled “Why Not Pantyhose and Open-Toe High Heels?”  This post still gets comments and generates discussions, remaining one of the most popular on this blog.

  • Pantyhose with open-toe high heels?

This poll generated 160 votes – by far, the most activity of all the other polls.  The winner was the answer: “Absolutely! Yes, please!”  You gave that answer 151 votes (94%).  I’m so proud.  Getting only 7 votes (4%) was the answer: “No way! No How! Never!”  And just 2 voters (1%) selected the answer: “Who cares?”

Professional singer/dancer and TV personality Paula Abdul always wears sheer pantyhose during public events, and looks perfect in open-toe heels.

More than any of my other posts, “Why Not Pantyhose with Open-Toe High Heels?” struck a huge chord with you.  This was the post in which I first bashed all the so-called “fashion experts” for making up hard and fast rules that dictate what they say is acceptable or not for you to wear.  That anyone listens to these people is unfathomable to me.

I had no idea when I wrote it that this post would generate so many comments and poll votes.  I am so glad you overwhelmingly support the wearing of pantyhose with dress sandals.

Even more, I love it when celebs (by far the greatest influencers of fashion) completely disregard the advice of the “experts” and always wear pantyhose with open-toe heels.

Looking at the picture of Paula Abdul, I can’t imagine how there could be even a few people out there who still think this look is wrong.

 

Wrap-up

As much as I love my self-appointed mission of being the voice of hope and reason for the return of pantyhose to favor in all aspects of society, I couldn’t write this blog without your participation.  I try to make my posts compelling and entertaining, hoping to generate comments and discussion among you.  And I throw in polls to give you another avenue to express your views about pantyhose.

Sometimes, when more time than usual goes by between posts, I’m struggling to stay motivated or to come up with something I think you’ll care about.  The point is I do this for you.  I hope you will continue to contribute, and I hope more of you will get involved.

Finally, I could say this (and probably will) until I turn blue, but we owe our thanks to so many wonderful celebrities all over the world who turned out in droves wearing pantyhose this year. There’s not enough space to acknowledge all of them, but let me recognize a few we couldn’t have done without this year.

Ann Curry: She is beautiful, classy and professional. We owe her so much gratitude for keeping the bar high in TV journalism.

Carly Foulkes, the beloved T-Mobile Girl:  Now we know it wasn’t a fluke. I don’t know how many commercials she’s made now, but she’s always in one of those famous pink dresses, with awesome pumps and sheer nude pantyhose.  She’s a young hottie who potentially can influence an entire generation to dress more femininely.

Julianna Margulies is one the most professional Hollywood actress, always dressing professionally, especially wearing elegant outfits with sheer pantyhose everywhere she goes.

Julianna Margulies:  She has always been professional and classy, and now, as the star of “The Good Wife,” she can do no wrong.

She’s a great actor on arguably the best show on TV, and so, in her we have a highly visible celeb who wouldn’t be caught dead not wearing pantyhose.

Hopefully, Julianna will influence those career women who don’t think there’s anything wrong with showing up for work with bear legs.

What I like most about Julianna is that not only does she always wear pantyhose on the job, but also out in public and on late night talk shows.  She’s truly a devoted wearer.

Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Rihanna, Selena Gomez and other young professional entertainers are doing the right thing.

Perry and Gaga, and Paula Abdul are practically pantyhose ambassadors because they wear not only on stage, but also out in the public eye.

These women are priceless contributors to our cause.

Kate Middleton: Obviously, much has been made of her commitment to wearing pantyhose, and rightfully so.  She clearly is all about class and elegance and doing the right thing.  In all fairness, she may be the one woman who singlehandedly changes the course of pantyhose’s fate in global fashion circles.

Yes, 2011 was a great year for pantyhose. We’ve made up so much ground, and I am looking forward to more of the same in 2012 and beyond.

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

A Grizzly goes to London


Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

Readers of this blog have come to know and appreciate my column, Credit ‘wear’ Credit is Due, in which I heap loads of praise on some worthy celebrities for their devotion to wearing pantyhose.

And we’ve had some great ones, haven’t we?  Ann Curry, Fran Drescher, The T-Mobile Girl (Carly Foulkes), Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Middleton, and Carrie Ann Inaba (for doing a complete 180 and finally wearing pantyhose on every episode of the game show “1 vs. 100,” which she hosted recently.)

Minus that headline, I’ve also glorified some other devoted pantyhose wearers, such as Anne Hathaway, Julianna Margulies, Milla Jovovich, Meredith Vieira, Katy Perry, Parker Posey, Linda Fiorentino, Kim Basinger, Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock.  And there are many, many more who deserve such recognition.

Then, a couple of months ago, I introduced a whole different column.  This one shines the spotlight on those celebs who completely miss the boat, just don’t get it, lack the finest sense of true femininity, and always miss opportunites to show some real professionalism, elegance or class.

So, for only the second time, I am handing out the coveted (NOT) ActSensuous Grizzly Award.

And this time, the hardware goes to one Stacy London.

Fashion consultant Stacy London always wears beautiful dresses and high heels, but unfortunately, she's a devoted and vocal follower of the "bear" legs culture.

That’s right, the co-host of  TV’s “What Not to Wear,” a reality makeover show, in which London and her wonder boy sidekick, Clinton Kelly, use their superior brains and good taste (yes, I’m being sarcastic here) to completely trash the wardrobe of their guests and reinvent them in their own fashionwise images.

And, as many normal people have written in comments to online postings by or about these two “fashion experts,” they often do it in a completely arrogant and insulting manner.

A perfect "Beauty and the Beast" scenario as the professional and classy Meredith Vieira, left, who always wears pantyhose, interviews fashion expert Stacy London, who never wears pantyhose. Does London not see how much better Vieira's legs look than hers?

As readers of this blog know, I despise so-called “fashion experts” who make universal rules and tell everyone what they can and cannot wear, as if their likes or dislikes about fashion trends are somehow more appropriate and obviously more sound than what anyone else on the planet thinks.  It’s “fashion experts” like these two who’ve come up with the “rule” that one can never wear pantyhose with open-toe high heel dress shoes a rule that, incidentally, is almost never followed by anyone with half a brain, and one that is standing up less and less to scrutiny everywhere.

So Stacy London, possibly the queen of all “fashion experts,” gets the second Grizzly Award (after Sarah Jessica Parker for obvious reasons)?  But it’s not just because she’s a “fashion expert.”  Rather, it’s because she’s on record as stating that she likes bare legs for all seasons.  That, and she’s using her credentials and influence to further her own agenda — a personal dislike and distaste for pantyhose as a fashion accessory.

Here’s are a couple of excerpts from a 2008 segment of TODAY.com where London is a style contributor, answering readers’ questions about fashion:

Q: I was watching “What Not to Wear” when you appeared horrified by the idea of wearing hose. I know it’s not really the style now to wear nylons, but I have terrible spider veins on my white legs. What do I do now that skirts are knee-length and those veins are so obvious? Any advice?

A: First of all, the only hose I really hate are the semi-sheer ones in suntan or black. They look dated and remind me of a time when women would walk to work in their suits, those hose, white sweat socks and white leather aerobic sneakers. Blech. Might as well throw in a whole can of hairspray, too. Too ’80s!  Stay away from anything that has a mid-range denier number that indicates the sheerness of the hose (10 is very sheer, 30 is semi-sheer and 50 is opaque).

I recommend a good self-tanner for the pale-leg situation, but also realize that won’t help with spider veins. Look for opaque tights and try them in a subtle color, like a burgundy or deep purple, when wearing a neutral-color knee-length skirt or suit. They will hide your legs and add a visual punch to your outfits!

Q: You indicated that pantyhose were no longer proper attire. You stated that in summer, go with bare legs and in winter, wear tights.  I enjoy wearing pantyhose and want to know if I am old-fashioned if I wear them?

A:  I did not mean to indicate in my last segment that pantyhose are no longer appropriate attire. My feeling is that those that are considered day sheer or mid-denier don’t look modern, but a bit dated.  The denier number on hose shows you how sheer the stocking will be. The lower the number, the more sheer they are.

For example, a denier of 10 will be supersheer. These are great for evening, especially with a little shine or a back seam, as they look natural and simply enhance the legs for evening. A denier of 30, is what I have most trouble with; it’s neither here nor there. It’s not sheer. It’s not opaque. You know? It’s like a relationship: Either you’re in or you’re out. This wishy-washy sheerness dates an outfit to the ’70s or ’80s, when this style was most popular. But when you get to a denier of 50 or above, and the stocking is clearly opaque, I think this becomes a more modern and relevant look. A shiny tight like this can be used for day or evening.

OK, first, the country’s leading fashion expert comes out and blatantly tells women to go with bare legs in the summer?  She also tells women to use self-tanner for pale legs?  Seriously?  Second, she recommends opague tights in a subtle color, “like burgundy or deep purple?”  (Those colors are subtle?)

Stacy London actually wore this outfit during the Keep A Child Alive's 5th annual Black Ball Nov. 13, 2008 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, NY.

Hey, look, I respect others’ opinions, and the fact that London is considered a fashion expert, if that’s her best advice about leg coverings, then too bad for her and anyone who listens to her.  While I completely disagree with London about everything she says about pantyhose, I’ve got no problem with her actually saying it.  She’s entitled to say what she wants.  Where I have a problem with her is on her point about denier ratings.

She specifically says that it’s pantyhose with a denier rating of 30 that she finds objectionable.  She even cautions “If they come in an egg, you don’t want to wear them,” referring to the L’Eggs brand (owned by Hanes) of the 1970s and 80s.   But she’s wrong.  L’Eggs and their competitors (the most widely-known one being No Nonsense) made their pantyhose in a 20 denier rating.

As she said, denier rating determines how sheer the nylon fabric is.  The lower the number, the more sheer the pantyhose.  When I created ActSensuous in 2001, I looked into the 10 denier rating she referred to, and yes, they are super sheer, but the fabric is coarse and not very natural looking.  They are not soft or silky at all, and while there may be a market for them, it’s not a very big one.  You almost never see anyone wearing pantyhose like these.  And, yes, denier ratings as high as 50 are available, but they are tights that are thick and, in my view, not suitable in some venues, such as a formal dinner engagement, nor for proper business attire.

No, my problem with London’s remarks are about the pantyhose of the 1970s and 80s being so awful.  I loved pantyhose in the 70s and 80s, and I’ve never known of a 30 denier rating.   But what do I know?  The pantyhose of those decades were made almost entirely of 100 percent nylon fabric in a 20 denier, which is exactly why I made ActSensuous in a 20 denier.  I think those are precisely the kind of pantyhose that true pantyhose lovers love.  Those are the style, the look and the feel that we all miss.  Maybe London meant to say a 20 denier rating is what is so awful.

By the way, ActSensuous has hundreds and hundreds of customers from all over the world, literally from Atlanta to Bangkok, from California to Denmark, from New York to New Zealand.  We’re big in England, France and Australia.  We have customers from China, Korea and Japan.  I don’t think there is a country in which we don’t have customers.  And they all tell us ActSensuous are the softest, sheerest and sexiest pantyhose they’ve worn.  But, really, what do we all know?  We’re not “fashion experts” like Stacy London and Boy Wonder.

In doing the research for this post, I ran across this forum on the Internet:

http://askville.amazon.com/honest-opinion-Stacy-London-Clinton-Kelly-Wear-show/DiscussionBoard.do?requestId=8011723&page=1

To the question:  “What’s your honest opinion of Stacy London and Clinton Kelly of What Not to Wear?  Do you like this Show …?,  most answers were negative, but even some of the supportive ones came out against their obvious negative slant against pantyhose.

I particularly love this response:

LindsaySheers said:

… Why is (Clinton Kelly) telling me what all men find sexually alluring on women?

A lot of gay men know a lot about fashion, but to get such advice on that subject, I would like a 2nd & 3rd & straight opinion.

… These two complete followers of Brittany and Sarah Jessica Parker have agreed that they do not like pantyhose, (fine), however, they dictate to their audience and columns that, “No one likes them.” “Everyone looks bad in them.” Etc…

I think my legs are my best feature and every boyfriend I have ever had have all confessed to me, after that shyness period passed, that they were all ‘ga ga’ for me (girls in general) when wearing sheer silky pantyhose (hence my nickname, given to me by my current boyfriend sitting kind of to the side here & still a little shy) and tights, but mostly the sheer nude/tan/beige hues.

Lastly, the show was/is not only incorrect on so many levels, but caters to and from their mindset only. Falling into this show would have you most likely ending up as a follower. Be a trendsetter, not a follower. Be stylish. Be sexy. Be yourself. Not what they insist on.

Let me tell you something: this LindsaySheers gets it.  Good for her.

If ever a case could be made for wearing pantyhose, click on the image to see the expanded version. Stacy London looks very lovely in this photo, but wait until you get to see a closeup of those legs.

You know, I want to like Stacy London.

She’s a beautiful and charismatic woman, she’s very intelligent, and she has accomplished great things in her life.

Before co-hosting “What Not to Wear,” she started her career as an editor at Vogue magazine, then, became a stylist for celebrities and designers, then, a fashion contributor on many Today show formats.

She is or has been a spokeswoman for several brands, including Revlon, Pantene, Woolite and Dr. Scholl’s® For Her Comfort Insoles.

Along with Kelly, she’s written a book, “Dress Your Best: The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That’s Right for Your Body.” 

I actually felt a little bad when I named Sarah Jessica Parker the first recipient of the ActSensuous Grizzly Awards because, when researching her for the piece, I actually found several pictures of her wearing pantyhose.   That’s right, the one celeb universally “credited” with creating the bare legs culture with her “Sex and the City” TV series and movies, actually wears pantyhose fairly regularly.   It was more symbolic that SJP had to get the first Grizzly Award.

But I don’t have any reluctance about bestowing upon Stacy London the second Grizzly Award.  I can’t find a single photo of her wearing pantyhose.  Granted, some of the pics of her on the Internet are of low resolution and too small a file to really be able to tell if she’s wearing or not.  But based on everything London says and stands for, I am pretty sure she is not wearing pantyhose in any of the pics on the Internet.  Certainly, she comes across as if she hates pantyhose, thinks they are old-fashioned and irrelevant today.

The dynamic duo, Clinton Kelly and Stacy London of TV's "What Not to Wear."

I liked “What Not to Wear” when it debuted in 2002.

I watched quite a few episodes and I remember longing to see London wearing pantyhose with those beautiful dresses and high heels she always wore.  But it never happened.

I thought that was such a missed opportunity on her part — a chance for her to show professionalism, class and elegance in the role she held.  But, to her, it wasn’t a missed opportunity at all.

This lady just doesn’t believe in pantyhose … period.

Like LindsaySheers, I too was upset and offended when I saw a video of London and Boy Wonder “explaining how to wear pantyhose,” especially when they admitted the video was made only because they were getting so many inquiries from consumers about why they never talked about pantyhose.   Then, when they said that nobody looks good in suntan pantyhose and no one should ever wear them, I realized that there is probably no one more deserving of the second ActSensuous Grizzly Award than Stacy London.

Here’s that video:

http://tlc.discovery.com/videos/what-not-to-wear-how-to-wear-pantyhose.html

So, what do you think?   Could there be a more worthy recipient of the ActSensuous Grizzly Awards than Stacy London?

New fall TV shows reflect where pantyhose are in society


Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

 Never before have I paid as much attention to a fall TV series lineup, anticipating how much pantyhose would factor in the new shows. 

 Not surprisingly, it’s a mixed bag — win some, lose some.  Just as in real life, some characters who should be wearing pantyhose (career professionals) are, and some aren’t.  Then, there’s a pleasant surprise or two, such as Whitney Cummings, a young, hip, strong female character, who in scenes such as a wedding, wears, and in real-life venues, often wears during promotional appearances and talk shows.  Good for her. 

 Of course, two of the new shows were obvious suspects for displaying a lot of pantyhose — “The Playboy Club,” starring Amber Heard as a rookie Bunny in the 1960s-set mob drama at the famous Chicago Playboy Club, and “Pan Am,” featuring Christina Ricci, also in a 1960s-era drama about the world famous airline and its even more famous flight attendants, then-known as stewardesses.  

Amber Heard starred as a new Playboy Bunny in the 1960s-set drama already cancelled by NBC.

A “hare”-raising experience 

Sadly, “The Playboy Club” already has been cancelled, a victim of poor ratings, according to The Hollywood Reporter.   Well, that, and the whole hissy fit thing that the Parents Television Council (PTC) threw, calling for advertisers to boycott the show “for objectifying and degrading women.” 

Amazing the influence haters can have.  I suspect these PTC folks are the same as those pantyhose haters out there.  Too bad because many television industry types and viewers have come out in defense of the show, stating that it was in no way demeaning to women. 

 Some people must have nothing better to do than complain about nothing, and perhaps, it’s even sadder that the likes of Campbell’s Soup, Kraft, Lenovo, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Sprint, Subway and UPS Store all caved to the pressure and pulled their ads from the show’s second episode.  Then, PTC ramped up the pressure on Capital One, Chrysler and Samsung to follow suit.  Apparently, at least, Chrysler planned to continue adverstising on the show.  

 To their credit, the show’s executives pointed to some impressive ladies who were real-life Playboy Bunnies before they became famous in their own rights, including Lauren Hutton, a great actress and the world’s most famous supermodel (the first to earn $1 million a year).  Hutton was a Bunny from 1963 to 1964 at the New York Playboy Club.  Ever heard of Deborah Harry, lead singer of Blondie?  She was a Bunny from 1968 to 1973 at the New York Playboy Club.  And there was Dr. Polly Matzinger, a world renowned immunologist, who was a Bunny in 1969 at the Denver Playboy Club. 

 I guess if the whole concept of Playboy Bunnies is so demeaning to women, we should also feel sorry for all the famous women who are on record as having at least dressed up as Playboy Bunnies.  That list includes Cher, Farrah Fawcett, Sally Field, Goldie Hawn, Barbara Walters, Renee Zellweger, and Reece Witherspoon, to name a few. 

 And maybe we should offer therapy to some famous men who married Playboy Bunnies.  They include singer/songwriter Bob Dylan, Hall of Fame tennis player Jimmy Connors, and legendary talk show host Larry King.   And, let’s not forget some famous individuals whose mothers were Playboy Bunnies.  Better include some therapy for singer Jon Bon Jovi, actors Dean Cain and Corey Feldman. 

Models pose during a fashion show to mark the launch of the new Playboy Club London earlier this year in London, England. The show featured Bunny costumes dating back the the 1960s and the event featured an auction of one suit to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness in October.

 The costume designer, Isis Mussenden, for “The Playboy Club” TV show was meticulous in recreating the famous Bunny costume, matching the original specs for material, colors and the way they were designed to fit.  And, like the real-life Bunnies, Mussenden had her actresses wear two pairs of pantyhose under their costumes, a nude pair over the top of a black pair.  Obviously, it looked great, but I wish she had explained who originally came up with that idea and why it worked. 

 So, strike one show where we would have gotten lots and lots of pantyhose in each episode.  But, while “The Playboy Club” hops off the air, another hose-friendly show takes flight. 

Christina Ricci, second from left, stars in another 1960s-era drama, 'Pan Am,' about the famous former airline, its pilots and, mostly, its stewardesses.

High-flying drama 

Right out of the gate, “Pan Am,” starring Christina Ricci, captures the 1960s-era romanticism of jet travel and the international intrigue that goes along with it.  Of course, in the show, the stewardesses are wearing stockings, historically accurate for the time period, as pantyhose wouldn’t take off for a couple more years. 

During interviews with “Pan Am” costume designer Ane Crabtree, the attention to detail in accurately recreating the famous stewardess uniforms is a popular subject.  Here is an excerpt from one online interview:

Question: In the pilot, Miss Havemayer (Veanne Cox) warns Colette (Karine Vanasse) against wearing stockings that are too dark. Why is that?

Crabtree: Stockings were to be worn at all times. From one of those old manuals, I read this great quote, “A subdued, light color beautifies and gives a natural good look to the legs.” So they didn’t want too dark, which is what Miss Havemeyer says in the pilot, and they didn’t want too light. They just wanted a subtle, beautiful color on the legs. A dark color wasn’t desired because it’s too fashion-y or too flashy, too tawdry. It’s always sort of rounding back to the not being ladylike effect.

Q: How many pairs of stockings do you go through on the show?

Crabtree: We wear real stockings that don’t have stretch. You know stretch would be so much easier, however, stretch will show up as shinier on camera and that wouldn’t be true to the period. They need to be sheer, but because they’re so sheer and so delicate, they rip. We go through two pairs of stockings per girl, per day. It gets very expensive because they’re delicate. We’re going up and down stairs a million times, doing all sorts of crazy things. So, you need doubles because they’ll shred when you are getting (in and out of your shoes).

  I love the look of the beautiful uniforms, and I just pretend that those stockings are really pantyhose.

Singer and film star Zooey Deschanel makes her TV series debut on 'New Girl,' about a woman who moves in with three single guys after a breakup with her boyfriend.

Four’s company?

I haven’t seen “The New Girl,” but I know its star, Zooey Deschanel, is a devoted pantyhose wearer, so I have high hopes for this comedy about a woman who moves in with three single guys after a breakup with her boyfriend.

 Actually, that doesn’t sound like my kind of show at all, but I like Deschanel because of her devotion to wearing pantyhose, although being from the United Kingdom, she calls them tights.  Here’s a quote from her website, HelloGiggles.com:

I am a year-round tights girl. I will wear tights even if it’s 100 degrees outside. Tights are my safety blanket. In them, I know that I can do a sweet row of cartwheels anytime, anywhere without anyone catching a glimpse of my knickers.

 Well, OK, whatever.  I just love reading the actual words of a celebrity who’s a true pantyhose lover.  Thought you would, too.

 Not surprisingly, there are some new shows this fall that fall short because their characters should be wearing pantyhose, but aren’t.

Kat Dennings, left, and Beth Behrs star in '2 Broke Girls,' a comedy about two waitresses looking to turn their lives around.

Two bear-legged girls

Actually getting some positive reviews, “2 Broke Girls” is a comedy about two young women who are down on their luck, waitressing at a diner.  They strike up an unexpected friendship and try to raise enough cash to launch a cupcake business. 

I’d never heard of the two actresses, Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs, and after looking for photos for this blog post, and not finding a single one of either of them wearing pantyhose, I won’t be watching this show.  I don’t get how anyone would make a show about waitresses working at a diner, and not have them wearing pantyhose.  That just seems unrealistic to me, and it completely turns me off about the show. 

Charlie’s Grizzlies 

 I caught part of the first episode of the new “Charlie’s Angels.”  Of course, I wasn’t expecting to see the angels wearing pantyhose, but I held out some hope since Drew Barrymore is a producer of the show, and she has the class and good sense to wear pantyhose in her films.  Since every photo I’ve seen promoting the show has the angels bear-legged, I’m not impressed, and won’t be watching “Charlie’s Angels.” 

Bringing it home

 Of all the new fall shows, I think “Homeland” is going to be the most successful.  This thrilller tells the story of CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) who believes, based on intelligence she’s just gathered, that recently freed P.O.W. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) was turned by his middle eastern captives and was set free to carry out a terrorist attack on the U.S.  

“Homeland” also stars Morena Baccarin as Brody’s wife.  That’s right, Morena Baccarin, the gorgeous former head alien, Anna, of the recently canceled “V” (The Visitors), who wore beautiful dresses, high heels and sheer nude pantyhose during every single episode.  During the the first episode of “Homeland,” Baccarin and Danes had scenes where they wore pantyhose, and I’m hoping that will continue to be the case all season long. 

Returning hits 

Veteran TV actresses Jeri Ryan, third from left, and Dana Delany, next to Ryan, always look awesome in high heels and sheer nude pantyhose on 'Body of Proof.'

 Thankfully, we have a couple of reliable favorite shows back for a new season — “The Good Wife,” starring Julianna Margulies, who, along with Christine Baranski and Archie Panjabi always can be seen wearing pantyhose; and “Body of Proof,” featuring Dana Delany and Jeri Ryan, seemingly competing for who has the nicer legs in pantyhose and heels. 

Of course, there are many new and returning shows I’ve left out of this post for space reasons.  Which shows are you watching, or already disappointed in?

Pantyhose on the brink of global acceptance?


Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

I started ActSensuous in 2001 fully realizing that pantyhose were on their last legs, having barely survived the 1990s and Sarah Jessica Parker’s TV and movie series, Sex and the City, universally recognized as the origin of the bare legs movement.

Honestly, I thought that was a fad that wouldn’t last.   I couldn’t believe then that so many women throughout the world would jump on that bandwagon and ditch their pantyhose. 

It’s been a sad decade for pantyhose indeed, but I have never been more optimistic about a comeback than this year.   Even last year, I was seeing signs of wider pantyhose acceptance, as more and more TV shows and movies featured actresses wearing.   Then there were more women wearing in TV commercials. 

Katy Perry performs

And when some big-time entertainers, such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Beyonce’ starting attracting attention for their wearing, things were looking good. 

Then, there’s Julianna Margulies wearing in every episode of the best drama on TV, The Good Wife, and Morena Baccarin wearing in every episode as the beautiful and glamorous queen alien in V.

But perhaps the real measure of any product’s return to favor in the market is how often it becomes the topic of widespread media coverage.   And that’s what is happening right now. 

While so-called fashion experts, fashion magazine editors, and the legion of hose-hating women out there want you to think pantyhose have been run out of town for good, the delicate and dainty little accessory is flexing some muscles no one knew it had.

That’s because pantyhose have a new ambassador whose credibility appears to be beyond reproach and whose beauty, class, grace, elegance and charm are irresistable.  And that ambassador is Kate Middleton.

No matter the occasion or venue, Kate Middleton has the class and elegance to appear in dresses, heels and pantyhose.

Seemingly every day, stories appear in Internet fashion magazines commenting on Kate’s becoming a global fashion icon.  And recently, the subject of those stories has been Kate’s wearing pantyhose.   (Note: while pantyhose are referred to in the UK as sheer tights, and many of the writers switch between calling them tights, pantyhose and stockings, let’s just stick with pantyhose throughout.)

Funny how the main enemies of pantyhose, the “fashion experts” and fashion magazine editors, now are scrambling to try and outdo one another in covering what’s covering Kate’s lovely legs.   And while the coverage has been predominantly positive, it’s no surprise that a few of the online mags criticized Kate for wearing.   Some called her look “hopelessly old fashioned,” while others called her wearing pantyhose the “ultimate sin.”

That’s unfortunate, but not unexpected.  But what I like is that lately, the majority of the stories I’ve read (all by female writers), disagreed with those who criticize Kate, and actually defended her choice of wearing.  And many of the writers said they hope Kate’s influence ushers a return of pantyhose popularity because seeing bare legs everywhere is getting old.

Last week in a posting on CelebrityFix, staff writers delivered a piece in which Kate was photographed in a cable knit Alexander McQueen dress during a recent visit to Canada.   The writers realized it was a version of the sailor-style outfit that Sarah Jessica Parker wore in 2006.

 
 
 
The story in CelebrityFix posted this side-by-side photo composition showing Kate wearing conservative blue Prada high heels (and pantyhose, which wasn’t mentioned but is very obvious), while SJP wore red stilettos (and bare legs, again not mentioned, however it was pointed out that there was “no contest for which one has the nicer feet.”)

If anyone ever needed a visual depicting the merits of pantyhose versus bare legs, this picture ought to do the trick.   The bare legs movement has always baffled me.   I don’t get how any reasonable person could look at the image and not admit that the one on the left is far and away more attractive than the one on the right.  Why women continue to try so hard to look like the one on the right when they could look like the one on the left is beyond me.

A royal example

On Tuesday July 12, in the online Fashion and Beauty magazine Shine, staff writer Piper Weiss wrote a story with the headline: ‘Kate Middleton brings back Pantyhose.’  And the subhead read: ‘Bare legs are so 2010.’

Weiss wrote a positive piece, crediting Kate for bringing back pantyhose for a new generation, and praising her look.   Referring to bare legs, Weiss wrote that “egg-crate color is out, and clear, almost fairy-dusted iridescence is in.”

Also in her story, Weiss referred to a recent royal visit by Tom Hank’s wife, Rita Wilson, who complained that she was required to wear hosiery for an event at Buckingham Palace.  Apparently, Wilson told Harper’s Bazaar: “Women must wear closed-toe shoes — and get this — stockings!  Sheer disbelief — I don’t even own a pair of sheer hose.”

I feel sorry for Tom Hanks, first because his wife supports the bare legs look, and second, because she showed no class in complaining about what is considered elegant by the Royal Family and all it stands for.  

Another graphic example

Like the side-by-side picture showing Kate in pantyhose next to bare-legged SJP, in Weiss’ piece she notes that our own First Lady, Michelle Obama, a confirmed pantyhose hater, greeted Kate at Buckingham Palace recently, and the accompanying photo shows Kate in pantyhose and Obama doing the “ugly American” thing in not respecting another country’s culture, tradition and protocol, in this case, by showing up bare-legged.  

It goes to show that we’ve still got a long way to go, as long as women choose a look that is less professional, less classy and less attractive.  

But with Kate, and her sister, Pippa, constantly being at the center of global attention for having the class and grace to always wear pantyhose, there is plenty of reason for optimism.

Who’s the next Pantyhose Goddess?


Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

Hollywood has always blessed us with glamorous actresses who set the beauty standards of the day.

From the late 1960s through the mid-1990s, nylons were as much a staple in Hollywood as makeup.  So while it wasn’t unusual (until now) to see a TV or movie star wearing nylons on screen, a few actresses actually distinquished themselves as what I am calling Pantyhose Goddesses.

Julie Newmar appeared on Broadway in the 1950s, and had many starring roles in television and movies during the 1960s, possibly none more auspicious than her role as Catwoman on the Batman TV series.

At 5’11, 135 pounds and with 37-inch legs, it wasn’t hard to notice Newmar, but she was more than just a Hollywood glam-girl.  She did one thing that will link her to pantyhose forever – she designed her own, actually winning a patent for her design in the mid 1970s.  She called the pantyhose “Nudemar” and marketed them during the 70s and 80s.

Julie Newmar was a true Pantyhose Goddess in her day.

She said she invented them out of necessity:

“I have two drawers of pantyhose, but I don’t like what they do for my backside.

“It’s a simple improvement.  I just gathered the back seam, but it gives a woman the firm fanny of a 12-year-old.”

I like the fact that she had two drawers full of pantyhose.

In the 1970s, Catherine Bach played the character, Daisy Duke on the Dukes of Hazzard TV series, wearing short, tight cut-off jean shorts, which would become known as “Daisy Dukes.”      Apparently, network censors believed that the cut-offs were so short, that the the producers could get them on air only if Bach wore sheer-to-waist pantyhose with them, to ensure that the shorts didn’t reveal more of her than intended.

Bach certainly created a pantyhose identity for herself, if not an entire fashion trend.

But, perhaps, no actress aligned herself with pantyhose more than Joyce DeWitt during the 1970s TV series, Three’s Company.   On its Web site, Central New York Promotions states:

Being an avid pantyhose wearer, DeWitt is famous for refusing to do any scenes bare-legged. When shooting Three’s Company (1977), she always wore either pantyhose or tights, and refused to work bare-legged. Though this caused conflict between her and the show’s producers, it endeared her to hosiery manufacturers, and she became the spokeswoman for L’eggs pantyhose in the late 70s.”

That kind of professionalism, commitment to femininity and just plain good taste is very rare today.  I liked Joyce DeWitt’s style back then, but having learned her story, I’m even more impressed with her now.

I wonder:  What other actresses could or should have become Pantyhose Goddesses back in the day?

     Again, during the 70s, 80, and 90s, pantyhose were the standard of class, elegance and glamour, so actresses wearing them on screen wasn’t at all unusual.  Still, some stars just stood out from the crowd, and in the process, pantyhose gained cult-level status.

Kim Basinger starred in many movies during the 1990s, always wearing beautiful sheer pantyhose.

During the 80s and 90s, I have to say that my favorite stars who could have earned the title of Pantyhose Goddess were Kim Basinger, Michelle Pfeiffer, Linda Fiorentino and Geena Davis.

And then, there was Markie Post, Goldie Hawn, Shelly Long and Christina Applegate — all truly lovely and classy pantyhose babes.

Honorable mention could go to Jennifer Tilly, who was almost always seen in pantyhose and looked awesome in them; Fran Drescher, who really did align herself with pantyhose; and one Parker Posey, who actually was known as “Miss Pantyhose.”  This was never more evident than in the role she played as a vampire in the third installment of  Wesley Snipes’ Trinity trilogy.

Today more than ever, we need a Pantyhose Goddess in Hollywood – someone whose beauty, class and grace is so awe-inspiring that, when she permanently aligns herself with the wearing of pantyhose, it would make for an irresistable combination that would once again propel pantyhose to cult-type status.

Sandra Bullock

She’s always been so classy, and, until I saw The Proposal, I didn’t think I’d ever see her not wearing pantyhose.  She kinda let me down on this one, especially because her role in this movie was a corporate executive.

Even though she is beautiful and classy, I don’t really see Sandra in the Pantyhose Goddess role.  I think deep down, she’s sees herself as kind of a tomboy.

I believe she’ll usually choose to wear pantyhose for the proper occasion, but I don’t think it would be for any reason other than just good sense.

Nicole Kidman’s fabulous legs are always in pantyhose on screen.

Nicole Kidman

I don’t know if she’s been around long enough, is sought-after enough or revered enough, but I would love to see Nicole take this title.

Lately, I never see her on screen not wearing pantyhose, and it would be hard to find someone who looks better in them than her.

I’ve always liked Nicole, and I think she’s got the class and grace to be the one.

Milla Jovovich

The more I see her, the more I love her.  She is beautiful, but she’s also powerful and edgy.  And she’s here and now.

I love her in the Resident Evil movies, and I’ve seen her in many public appearances where she almost always is wearing pantyhose.   Not only that, but she also is a professional model who more often than not is shot in sheer pantyhose.

Milla is classy and cool, and I think she deserves to be considered a true Pantyhose Goddess.

Catherine Zeta-Jones

Catherine Zeta-Jones has the beauty and class to be the current Hollywood Pantyhose Goddess.

Catherine always carries herself with class and grace, and I never see her not wearing pantyhose.

There’s just something very captivating about her.

She has the beauty and the charisma to be the next Pantyhose Goddess, but also, she’s got the credibility and the relevance that it would take.

Morena Baccarin

That’s right, Anna, the head alien visitor on the TV series, V.

If an evil overgrown lizard who’s out to take over Earth can look that incredible in pantyhose (and she is never not wearing them on the show) she gets my vote for Hollywood Pantyhose Goddess.

Update 2013:   OK, I had based that opinion when this was written in 2010 only on what I saw of her in V,   having never heard of her before that show. Since then, I’ve seen her on many a late night talk show where she wears beautiful dresses and heels, but no pantyhose … ever!  And I’ve seen many photos of her during publicity appearances, also mostly “bear”-legged.

Just goes to show that at the end of the day, you really can’t trust an alien visitor trying to take over the world.  Too bad because Baccarin certainly looks amazing in pantyhose.  Yet, “The truth is out there:”  She doesn’t look good at all “bear”-legged.

Julianna Margulies

She might already have this title, and that would suit me just fine.  As The Good Wife, she always dresses professionally and looks great in pantyhose.  Better still, she most-often makes public appearances and guest spots on late night talk shows dressed the same way.

It really bothers me when the big stars, even when they wear pantyhose for their roles on screen, think they’re somehow obligated to follow the “trend” and go bare-legged out in public, especially, if it’s a talk show with a younger host who caters to a younger audience.

But that’s not the case with Julianna.  She always dresses beautifully and does the right thing by wearing pantyhose.  Maybe she should be the Hollywood Pantyhose Goddess.  Maybe she already is.

Update 2013:  All that might have been true when this was written in 2010, but it seems Margulies has allowed herself to be brainwashed by the masses, as I’ve seen her “bear”-legged a few times during public appearances.   That seems to indicate that it’s the professionalism, class and good taste strictly of the costume designer and producers of The Good Wife and NOT Margulies herself who deserves the credit for her wearing pantyhose on the show.

Meredith Vieira

Meredith already is a Pantyhose Goddess.  Here’s why:  Not only does she always wear pantyhose on TV shows and in public appearances, she actually has gone on record saying she “likes wearing pantyhose,” even admitting that she doesn’t wear anything underneath.

Meredith definitely deserves consideration for Pantyhose Goddess.  The question is:  Is she relevant enough today?

Honorable mention

Obviously, Anne Hathaway and Zooey Deschanel deserve consideration for Hollywood Pantyhose Goddess.  Of the two, Zooey is the more devoted and consistent wearer for all occasion and venues.  I didn’t feature Anne and Zooey here only because I think they’re too obvious, and both already might be Hollywood Pantyhose Goddesses.

Finally, I’ve got to say that I like what I see from Megan Fox, Kate Moss, Jessica Alba and Kate Beckinsale.  And, thankfully, there are many other young actresses out there who seem to understand the allure of pantyhose.  Are they ready to become Hollywood’s next Pantyhose Goddesses?  Perhaps.

OK, who’d I leave out?  I know you have your favorites, and I’d like to hear who they are and what you have to say about them.

Why the ‘Visitors’ are really here


     Twice before, I’ve written about Anna, the beautiful and charismatic leader of the Visitors from another planet. 

Morena Baccarin as Anna, the boss lady lizard, on ABC's "V" TV series is stunning in pantyhose during each episode.

     She claims the “V”s “Come in peace.  Always.”   Yeah … not sure anyone’s really buying that, Anna.    

     While Anna’s been selling the Visitors’ unselfish desire to share with us lowly humans their vastly superior medical and environmental technology, clearly, there’s something else going on here. 

     Besides, if the Visitors are so nice, why is there so much fighting going on lately between them and the members of the 5th Column, the resistence group? 

     To discern what’s really going on here, it might be helpful to understand the players – who are the good guys and who are the bad guys?    Well, that’s easy – Anna and the “V”s are the bad guys and the members of the 5th Column are the good guys, right?   Wrong! 

     You see, ABC is clever.  They’re making it look like Anna and the “V”s are the bad guys, but trust me, that just isn’t the case.  Anna is awesome!   First of all, any alien with legs like Anna’s could never be the bad guy.  Secondly, she shows up each and every week decked out in another gorgeous dress or designer suit, complete with high heels, and wearing an absolutely delicious-looking pair of sheer pantyhose.  Clearly, she and the Visitors are the good guys here. 

     So, what’s the real reason the Visitors are here?   Simple:  Anna secretly is a good alien, sent here to heal the hurt and damage caused by an earlier visitor who really was an evil alien – one Carrie Bradshaw.    You remember her – that really terrible character who singlehandedly “ran” pantyhose out of Hollywood, and subsequently, the rest of the planet, with that awful TV series of the mid-1990s, Sex and the City.  

     Anyone who’s ever seen Sarah Jessica Parker – an evil alien visitor to Earth in real life – and that stupid TV series of hers, knows who the real bad guys in the “V” show are.

     Let’s review: Carrie/Sarah Jessica Parker = bad, evil, ugly alien; Anna = good, awesome, beautiful alien.

      Yes, I think it’s clear that Anna and the Visitors are here only to save Earth from itself.   She wants to help Earth women recapture their sense of beauty, femininity, class and grace, but to do this, she and her innocent Visitors have to win us over, while battling members of the resistance group who are intent on ruining the planet by encouraging women to wear dresses, suits, even formal gowns, with gorgeous high heels and, gasp, BARE LEGS. 

     I say let Anna and the Visitors take over the world.  I’d follow her anywhere.  We less-than-exotic Earthlings can really learn from the example she’s setting.   We should thank Anna for being the supreme example of what women should be — or at least how we should look. 

     Please do take over the world, Anna, and make us a more beautiful, glamorous people.