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

 

Future of Pantyhose in Men’s hands?


Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

Much of the feedback I got from a recent post was about how great it was that I wrote about something other than celebrities in (or not in) pantyhose for a change.

Don’t think I didn’t hear you.  I am always trying to think of new subjects.  And I’m open to your suggestions.  One just came from one of our longtime readers/commenters on this blog, libertariangman.

Here is what he wrote in a comment tonight:

Quick ActSensuous poll: What percentage of men do you think PREFER women in hosiery to “bear” legs?  And by “prefer” I mean – it matters enough to them to notice whether she’s wearing or not, and to be mildly disappointed if she isn’t.  One word of caution:  Don’t let your biases influence your vote.  Remember – if a significant majority of men preferred women in hosiery – we’d have never gotten into this situation where the hosiery industry was nearly killed off entirely. Women have never stopped wearing heels or short dresses after all.

Funny, I had been trying to come up with a subject for a new poll, anyway.  I never would have dreamed of writing libertariangman’s poll because it seems like a no-brainer to me. Of course, I am thinking that the response would be overwhelmingly positive, but then again, I was surprised by the results of a similar poll I posted on April 28, 2010:

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

The answers attached to that poll ranged from:

I choose to because I believe in and wholeheartedly support the concepts of beauty, glamour, class and sexiness inherent in pantyhose to

I choose not to because I believe in and completely support the cause for the bare legs movement … period

Surprisingly, (remember, I asked for only ladies to participate in this poll), not one vote came in for the negative response, and 19 out of 24 votes were for the positive answer.  (Three other answer-choices were of the middle-of-the-road type.)

The results of this poll (it’s still open, by the way) tell me this:  It wasn’t ladies only who responded.  But, if by some miracle, this poll reflected the true answers of real women, then that’s great.  Of course, let’s face it — we got a whole 24 total votes.  Not exactly a good measure of … well, anything really.

This is one reason I say I never would have dreamed of running libertariangman’s poll.  First, it leaves the door open for women (masquerading as men) to vote that they don’t prefer women wearing hosiery.  See how easy it would be for the results of the poll to be completely inaccurate?

Other thoughts I have about the poll, as worded by libertariangman:

“What percentage of men do you think PREFER women in hosiery to ‘bear’ legs?  And by ‘prefer’ I mean it matters enough to them to notice whether she’s wearing or not, and to be mildly disappointed if she isn’t.”

(I probably would leave out the “mildly,” and say … “and to be disappointed if she isn’t.”  Actually, in my way of thinking, I’d like to say “extremely disappointed.”)

“Remember — if a significant majority of men preferred women in hosiery — we’d have  never gotten into this situation where the hosiery industry was nearly killed off entirely. Women have never stopped wearing heels or short dresses after all.”

The way I see it, the reason we’re in this situation (“where the hosiery industry was nearly killed off”) is not because men don’t overwhelmingly prefer women in hosiery, but rather, because women no longer care what men like or want them to wear.  Instead, they don’t wear hosiery for all the reasons (dumb as they are) they continue to give:

  • They’re old-fashioned
  • They’re uncomfortable
  • They’re irrelevant in today’s society
  • They’re not in style

Of course, none of these reasons are valid.  They are merely excuses.  The main reason is that the bear legs movement was created in Hollywood, women jumped on the bandwagon, and the rest is history.  And, as for wearing short dresses and high heels, let’s all just be glad that women haven’t made these things the enemy (yet).

So, I disagree that we wouldn’t be in this mess if men preferred women in hosiery.  I believe there’s no question that men prefer women in hosiery.  Rather, I think the issue is men just didn’t make it known during those early days (late 1990s) of the “bear” legs movement that they had a strong preference for women in hosiery.   Had they done that, I believe the bear legs culture might not have taken off, or become as strong as it did.

Similarly, I believe that if men today would make their voices heard louder and in greater numbers, we might win back more women.

Professional model Kate Moss in sheer pantyhose.

Obviously, men have made their feelings known because there are hundreds of websites and blogs that promote pantyhose over bear legs today.  But that’s not enough!  Sadly, men are living up to the rap that’s always been on them:  They don’t communicate their feelings well enough to women.  If they would just care more and become more vocal, I really think it would make a difference.

And maybe that’s the point of the poll, as suggested by libertariangman.

Often, I’ve jokingly stated that men should ditch their neckties, or stop wearing socks, or maybe stop wearing belts, or even shoes.  How about a three-piece business suit complete with sandals?  Maybe that would send the message that men are tired of this ugly bear legs culture.  Enough is enough.  Women have had their fun.  They’ve gone on a long vacation, and now it’s time to get back to the real world.

I think men probably have too much class to do something like stop wearing neckties to express their disappointment in the bear legs culture.  I don’t see them stooping to the low level that women have, just to make a point.

So, maybe it’s back to celebrities.  If some of the biggest male stars out there would just go on record that they hate this bear legs thing, it might help.  Then again, I’m beginning to believe that all of Hollyweird is hopeless, so that’s probably never going to happen.

What do you think?  Do men overwhelmingly prefer women in hosiery over bear legs?

Let us know your thoughts.  And/or take the poll.

I’ve edited the poll a bit.  Ultimately, it might not tell us much of anything.  But what the heck.  We aint the Smithsonian here.

Two Jolie thrillers – One a thrill for Pantyhose lovers


Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

This month, I’ve watched two very different Angelina Jolie thrillers on DirecTV, both of which I had missed at the theater.  One was a Hitchcock-inspired thriller set against the beautiful backdrops of Paris, France and Venice, Italy, “The Tourist,” complete with classic film noir glamour in its costumes.  The other was a better action-oriented, spy movie that wasn’t worth its “Salt” when it came to the costumes.

Oh, the difference a movie’s costume designer can make. 

Responding to one of my earlier posts, “A treat when pantyhose show up unexpectedly,” Julio commented about Jolie wearing pantyhose throughout “The Tourist.” 

“The Tourist,” tells the story of an American tourist, Frank, (played by Depp) who meets a mysterious beauty, Elise, (Jolie) on a train, while traveling through Europe.  While the flirtatious encounter appears innocent, we soon learn that Elise deliberately crosses Frank’s path as part of a much more sinister plot, leading to a whirlwind romance and dangerous pursuits, as both dodge deadly criminals through historic streets of Paris, and the winding canals inVenice.

Angelina Jolie looks stunning in 'The Tourist.'

While “The Tourist” is a pretty good thriller on its own merits, the movie is helped by the beautiful scenery, which includes Jolie herself. 

Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood dressed the characters in classic, contemporary clothes “to complement but not overwhelm the breathtaking settings of Paris andVenice.”   

Atwood, who won Oscars for costume design for “Chicago” and “Memoirs of a Geisha,” told People Magazine, “My inspiration for Elise’s costumes were the Hitchcock movies – minimal elegance.  In a Hitchcock movie, everyone looked great, even if (he or she) was not a particularly chic or fashionable character.”

Jolie dressed in classic film noir glamour in "The Tourist.'
Mission accomplished in “The Tourist.” 
 
From the outset, one cannot take one’s eyes off Jolie.  In the opening sequences of the movie, Jolie wears a cream silk dress, a mocha wrap, elbow-length leather gloves, towering stilettos, and very sheer nude pantyhose, which in some lighting seem to have a cream tone themselves. 

It was so nice seeing Jolie in those very sheer and soft-textured pantyhose, especially because of the shoes she wore with that outfit, supplied by legendary designer Salvatore Ferragamo. 

Those suede, rose-colored stilettos with gold metal heels quickly earned their own identity (the Elise), named after Jolie’s character in “The Tourist,” and available at retail for $750 a pair.

Knowing Atwood’s work on such films as “Chicago” and “Nine,” as well as her devotion to classic film glamour, it’s no surprise that Jolie wore pantyhose throughout the entire film.

What is a surprise, however, is that wonderful scene our reader, Julio, described earlier.

Said Julio:

Another lovely surpise happened in “The Tourist” starring the always sexy Angelina Jolie.  About halfway through the movie, both she and Johnny Depp start to undress, each in their own rooms, and there it was – a very short glimpse of Angelina stepping out of her shoes, revealing the most lovely pantyhosed feet.  Too bad the surprise only lasted a second, but the image lasts forever.

Right then, I made a mental note to see “The Tourist,” and I got that opportunity, as it was on one of the Starz channels last night. 

That scene is exactly what’s been missing in film for decades.  When Elise slips out of her heels, the camera doesn’t cut away or pull back, or come at an inconvenient (for us) angle.  Rather, the scene is shot close up, and we get a close, clear look at Jolie’s very pretty nylon-covered toes, albeit, for only a couple of seconds.  It’s the sexiest such scene I’ve seen in about a hundred years.  

It makes me wonder why a scene like this is never shot today, and why it was shot in “The Tourist.”  For the past, well, ever really, a scene like this – if it were done at all – would be shot far away, the angle would be wrong, and the actress would have curled her toes in a way that the audience wouldn’t have gotten a good look.  And, if she were actually in pantyhose, they would have had a reinforced toe, or would have been so dark or so thick, you wouldn’t have been able to see anything. 

But in “The Tourist,” this scene is delicious.  The pantyhose is so sheer and delicate that they do what they’re supposed to do – enhance the beauty of what they cover.  This is what so many women today don’t get.  

If those stilettos Elise was wearing were open-toe or even peep-toe shoes, all the “fashion experts” would have said that the character shouldn’t have been wearing pantyhose with them.  Yet, this scene in “The Tourist” clearly shows why that thinking is just ridiculous.  The pantyhose Jolie wore were completely sheer.  One couldn’t even see a seam (not that it would matter to me because I think it’s sexy anyway), and the nylon made Jolie’s feet absolutely beautiful. 

It makes me wonder how this scene even made it into the final cut.  It wasn’t essential to the story in any way, but it was done so beautifully and tastefully.  Could this mean that someone with influence over the script – a writer or director – “gets it?”   Is this a case of someone giving the millions of people out there with a foot fetish or a pantyhose fetish (or both if we’re truly tortured souls) what they so long for – a closeup of pretty toes in pantyhose? 

Or, could it be that this scene was shot to focus our attention on those fabulous shoes, and Jolie’s pantyhosed feet were just a freebie for us?  I guess if you’re the sexiest shoes on the planet, you deserve a closeup, and ….. wait for it ….. the lovely lady wearing you had better be in pantyhose to honor your true beauty and sexiness. 

More often than not, I am disappointed in movies because the costume designer ruins the look of its female lead by dressing her in fabulous costumes, but bare legs.  

Jolie flees CIA headquarters in Washington, D.C. during a scene from the movie, 'Salt.'

A case in point is the other thriller starring Jolie, “Salt.”  Jolie plays a CIA agent named Evelyn Salt, who, while interrogating a Russian defector, is told (as her superiors listen) that she is actually a Russian sleeper agent who will assassinate the president of Russia during his upcoming visit to New York City. 

The movie then goes into practically nonstop action, as Salt employs all her spy skills to elude capture.  She runs, climbs buildings, jumps on moving trucks, and pretty much just kicks everyone’s rear end who tries to stop her, while she tries to learn the truth about her identity and clear her name. 

 In this movie, Jolie is at first dressed in what would seem to be the usual “spy wear” for a female agent, a skirt suit, pumps and ….. wait, no pantyhose?  That can’t be.  I can’t believe a CIA agent based in Washington, D.C. would be bare-legged.  

This is all the more disturbing because it follows the same thinking as another disappointing spy show, starring Piper Perabo, who is almost always bare-legged in the TV drama, “Covert Affairs.”  

While I have no way of knowing whether real-life female spys routinely wear pantyhose as part of their usual dress, I know this: costume designer Sarah Edwards didn’t do Jolie any favors in calling for bare legs with her suit.  

I hate missed opportunities, and so when Salt tries to extricate herself from CIA headquarters, there’s a scene where she kicks off her pumps, exposing some Casper-like white tootsies with bright red toenail polish.  I thought then (before I saw “The Tourist”) that this scene would have been really sexy if she had been wearing pantyhose. 

Now that I’ve seen just how gorgeous Jolie’s feet were in pantyhose in “The Tourist,” I feel even stronger that costume designer Edwards blew it in “Salt.”

For those who think it doesn’t make much difference, consider these movie stills from “Salt” and “The Tourist.”  

When seen in their expanded state, who could honestly say that Jolie’s character in “Salt” looks equally as lovely as her character in “The Touist?”

I have to wonder how much credit the costume designer in movies gets, versus how much influence the actress has over what she wears.   I would have to think that someone of Angelina Jolie’s status would insist on her character wearing pantyhose if she felt strongly about it, but maybe it doesn’t work that way.

But how can Jolie watch herself in “Salt” after seeing how much more beautiful she looked in “The Tourist?”

Maybe next time, she’ll demand more say over her wardrobe and choose pantyhose.

‘Burlesque’ a great movie/musical for Pantyhose


     If not for her starring role in the upcoming movie/musical, “Burlesque,” Christina Aguilera likely would have made her way into my column, Credit ‘Wear’ Credit is Due.  That’s because, long before Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Beyonce and a handful of other current pop stars, Aguilera has been a devoted pantyhose wearer on and off stage.  

     “Burlesque,” which opens in theaters on Nov. 24, gives me an excuse to recognize Aguilera now for her pantyhose prowess. 

     Born Dec. 18, 1980, Christina Aguilera is an American pop singer, songwriter, dancer, and officially now, actress.   Known during her childhood as “the little girl with the big voice,” singing in local talent shows and competitions, Aguilera always aspired to be a singer. 

     Indeed, Aguilera has been compared to the likes of Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston.  A review in the Los Angeles Times compared Aguilera’s vocal stylings to Barbra Streisand, Gladys Knight and Aretha Franklin.  

     “Burlesque” stars Aguilera in a role it seems she was born to play: A small-town girl, Ali (Aguilera), ventures to Los Angeles and finds her place (as well as love, family and success) at a neo-burlesque club run by a former dancer (aptly played by Cher). 

     In the movie, the burlesque club apparently encompasses not just striptease and comedy routines, but modern dance and mini-theatrical plays, performed by barely dressed women in fishnets. 

     Beginning in the early 18th century, burlesque was a form of musical and theatrical parody, in which a serious or romantic opera, or a classical theatre piece, was adapted in a broad, often risqué style that ridiculed stage conventions.

     The popular burlesque show of this period eventually evolved into the striptease which became the dominant ingredient of burlesque by the 1930s. 

     Stockings were around as early as the 16th century, mostly in the black wool variety, until silk stockings debuted in the 17th century.  These garments helped define the burlesque era.

     During the 1920s, silk or artificial silk (rayon) stockings ruled the flapper era of the Roaring 20s. 

     After World War I (1914-1918) short skirts were fashionable and long silk stockings were worn. Nylon was invented in 1930 by Dupont, and after World War II (1939-1945), nylon stockings became popular and completely replaced silk stockings until the late 1960s, when pantyhose replaced stockings and never looked back.

     Previews for “Burlesque,” look very exciting – lots of great music, dancing and pantyhose-adorned legs in action.  

     While pantyhose hadn’t been invented during the burlesque era, today, Hollywood and modern live burlesque-style shows can and do take creative license in adding the sexy wardrobe accessories to the costumes for movies and musicals depicting the jazz, burlesque and flapper eras from as early as the 16th century, to the roaring 20s, through today. 

     And here’s something I love: when some of the dancing girls in these movies wear nylon stockings, they usually are wearing very sheer-to-waist pantyhose underneath them.  But mostly, I love that the majority of the dancers in these movies just wear pantyhose, as if no one would notice or care that that makes the film historically inaccurate.  I don’t care.  I love that pantyhose are viewed as so important and necessary by the writers, directors and/or costumers of these productions.

     During the 2000s, there have been quite a few successful movies depicting the jazz, burlesque and flapper eras.

Nine’ 

     This movie/musical, described as vibrant and provacative, tells the story of film director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) as he contends with personal and professional crises near his 40th birthday, while trying to balance the demands of numerous women in his life including his wife (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Penelope Cruz), his muse (Nicole Kidman) and his confidant (Judi Dench). 

     Set in 1960s Venice, “Nine” was directed by Rob Marshall (who also directed “Chicago”) and also starred Kate Hudson, Stacy “Fergie” Ferguson and Sophia Loren.  It was released in December 2009. 

     The original Broadway production debuted in 1982 and ran for 729 performances, winning five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

 Chicago’

      “Chicago” is a dazzling spectacle that is extremely well written, well acted and wildly entertaining.  It centers on the themes of celebrity, scandal and corruption during Jazz Age Chicago.

     Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Roxie Hart (Renee’ Zellweger)  are two criminals-of-passion who find themselves awaiting trials for murder in 1920s Chicago.  Velma, a vaudevillian, and Roxie, a housewife with aspirations of having the same profession, fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows.  The film also stars and gets fabulous performances from Richard Gere, Queen Laifah, John C. Reilly and Christine Baranski (“The Good Wife“). 

     Directed and choreographed by Rob Marshall, and adapted for film by screenwriter Bill Condon, “Chicago” won six Academy Awards in 2003, including Best Picture.

 ‘Moulin Rouge!

    A young English writer ventures to Paris during the 1899 Bohemian revolution that holds in its grip the city’s drug- and prostitute-infested underworld, never more evident than at the Moulin Rouge night club.  

     The movie/musical of 2001, directed, produced, and co-written by Baz Luhrmann, was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actress for Nicole Kidman, and won two: for art direction and costume design.

     The movie stars Ewan McGregor as Christian, a young, English poet/writer, who falls in love with Nicole Kidman as Staine, a cabaret actress and the star courtesan of the Moulin Rouge. 

     The production is lush and elaborate, featuring the musical setting of the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France. 

      I haven’t seen “Nine” yet, but I plan to buy the DVD.  “Chicago” and “Moulin Rouge!” were great movies for showcasing pantyhose.   It appears that “Burlesque” will be a great movie for pantyhose lovers, too.  

     I just hope “Burlesque” delivers a story with as much charm and fun of “Chicago.”   From the previews I’ve seen, it certainly appears that the glitter and glam is there.  We’ll find out beginning on Nov. 24. 

     By the way, I intentionally left out the movie, “Showgirls,” which was great for pantyhose, but a weak and poorly written/acted storyline in my opinion. 

     Perhaps this trend of movies/musicals depicting the jazz, burlesque and flapper eras will do as much for creating an attraction for pantyhose among young women, and sparking renewed interest in pantyhose among more seasoned viewers, much the same way pop stars, such as Madonna, Lady Gaga and others, have been doing recently.

     What do you think?  Do you like these kinds of movies/musicals that feature beautiful ladies in exotic costumes, including pantyhose?   The genre seems like a dream come true for those of us who can’t get enough of our favorites celebrities embracing pantyhose on the grandest of stages.

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.

What’s your ‘feeling’ about pantyhose?


Robin Maryland
Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

What is it that we love so much about pantyhose?  Is it the look, the feel, or both?    Most people will admit that legs adorned in  pantyhose look better than “bear” legs.   I believe true lovers of pantyhose love their feel as much as their look.

What is silky?  

Almost universally, people say pantyhose have a “silky” feel, probably because that’s the word they’ve always heard associated with pantyhose.  But when they describe how pantyhose feel to the touch, most people use words such as “smooth,” “slick” or “slippery.”

I have always thought of pantyhose as silky, but to me, “silky” means extremely soft and delicate like the silk of a spider’s web.

Not exactly

When Lycra (the most widely known brand name for spandex) is added to the nylon fabric, you get a “support” effect.  Spandex is a man-made synthetic blend of rubberized particles.  That can be good for keeping pantyhose from sagging, or for therapeutic reasons.

Pantyhose made with spandex offer a  smooth, slick or slippery feeling to the touch.  If you run your hand over pantyhose like these, it will slide across effortlessly, as if on a glassy surface — like running your hand over a  dolphin as it swims by.

The tight and shiny effect of pantyhose with a high content of spandex attracts some, but doesn't make the legs look real.
The tight and shiny effect of pantyhose with a high content of spandex attracts some, but doesn’t make the legs look real.

I do understand how some people are attracted to pantyhose made with a bit of spandex.  They can look alluring and still feel petty nice.

On the other hand (or legs), pantyhose made with a high degree of spandex are very shiny (yeah, I know many people really like shiny) and elastic.

To me, those pantyhose feel like a rubber band stretched to the max.

I believe this is the reason women say they hate pantyhose and complain that they are too tight, too hot and just too uncomfortable.

Spandex-phIt’s almost as if manufacturers today believe that all women want pantyhose that will hold their tummies in and massage their legs (really?), but in so doing, the tightness can give them stomach aches and cutoff circulation to their toes.

Speaking of toes, I find it amazing when everyday real girls, or professional pantyhose models show off their feet in photos, but the pantyhose are so tight with too spandex it actually pulls their toes down and under, so they aren’t displayed properly.

Actress Mila Kunis during a scene from the recent move, 'Bad Mom.'
Actress Mila Kunis during a scene from the recent move, ‘Bad Mom.’

Sometimes, you can tell when the pantyhose are all-nylon (no spandex), as the toes are held in their natural position.  Of course, this isn’t an exact science, as some girls just have toes that aren’t straight, and they probably shouldn’t be showing them so readily.

Even so, check out this picture of actress Mila Kunis, wearing pantyhose in the movie, Bad Moms.

While it’s great to see Mila wearing pantyhose, an extremely rare event these days, they’re made with so much spandex, the fabric compresses the natural curves of her legs and squishes her toes together.

In fact, her pantyhose are so thick, you can barely make out her toes.

angelina-jolie-357613Now contrast that with another movie still, this one starring Angelina Jolie in the movie, The Tourist, and check out this scene in which Angelina slips out of her pumps.

See how much more delicate her pantyhose are (likely all-nylon, or very little spandex), as her toes are clearly and nicely displayed.

Give and take

P1160596What I love is the extremely soft and truly silky texture you get from 100 percent nylon pantyhose.  I love that when you touch that fabric, it sorta touches you back.  It gives.  It moves.  When you touch this fabric, you can really feel it, and you can make the person wearing it feel what you feel because the pantyhose will move on her legs, forcing her to “feel” the soft and silky fabric against her body.

And then, there’s the overall concept of 100 percent nylon pantyhose.  There’s just something very sexy about the sense of vulnerability that truly silky and delicate pantyhose provide.

Most of the pantyhose you find on the market today are made with some degree of spandex.  What bothers me is that women who think pantyhose are uncomfortable might never have tried anything but that kind of pantyhose.  Perhaps they don’t realize there is a choice.

2003619271I can’t fathom how anyone would describe the feeling of 100 percent nylon pantyhose as “uncomfortable.”  Nothing could be softer, silkier and more delicate than 100 percent nylon pantyhose.  They make your legs look perfect, they feel so nice on, and they feel incredible to the touch.

Pantyhose can be practical:  The right thing to wear at the office, proper for a formal or special occasion, or good for a massage.

Or, pantyhose can be beautiful, decidedly feminine and extremely sexy.

You have a choice.

 

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.