Since the “bear” legs movement first reared its ugly head (and legs) during the mid-to-late 1990s, women throughout America have been trying to permanently “run” pantyhose out of town.
(If you’re new here and wonder about my use of the word, “bear” instead of bare, please see my explanation in the About Me section.)
But during all this time, the fashion accessory — once the staple of female professionalism, class, glamour, femininity and just plain good taste — has showed a remarkable resilience that would belie its otherwise delicate nature.
Launch an Internet search for pantyhose and you can see that not only are nylons still relevant today, but, in fact, they appear to be growing more and more popular every day. There must be thousands of websites devoted to women wearing pantyhose, and the men who love them.
And if you want to see celebrities from every corner of the planet wearing pantyhose, there are hundreds of websites, featuring millions of pictures devoted to that subject. In fact, it is more difficult to find a celebrity today who isn’t wearing pantyhose in at least a few pictures. Seeing this, one might actually think there never was a bear legs movement.
In this blog, my column, Credit “Wear” Credit is Due, has glorified many celebs who could be considered devoted pantyhose wearers. But here’s the thing: Each one I’ve praised has let me down one time or another, going bear-legged during appearances that I would have thought were the perfect venues for wearing pantyhose.
One exception is actress Jessica Alba (left), who never stopped being classy, elegant and professional enough to always wear sheer pantyhose even during the heyday of the bear legs movement.
Of course, there are some celebs, such as Sofia Vergara, Nicole Kidman, Anne Hathaway, and Zooey Deschanel, who are consistent pantyhose wearers; and some who are very frequent wearers even just out-and-about (Paris Hilton comes to mind). Nevertheless, the vast majority of celebs, including most of the aforementioned, more often than not, appear bear-legged on late night talk shows and awards ceremonies.
Similarly, there are many veteran singers/dancers who almost always wear pantyhose on stage (Madonna, Cher, Beyonce’, Jennifer Lopez), just as there are many young, rising stars (Katy Perry, Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande) whom we’ve come to expect to see in pantyhose during such events.
And among that group, I’ve observed that Ariana Grande is the most dedicated pantyhose-wearer. And, as she is only 20 years old, I could not be more impressed with her. And grateful to her.
And I love her for being a shining example for her legion of young fans in always dressing beautifully, including wearing sheer suntan pantyhose.
From this, we can conclude that these performers are professional (and maybe classy) enough to wear pantyhose on stage, realizing their legs look better under the lights.
So how in the world do some of these superstars show up to receive awards, such as during Sunday night’s American Music Awards (AMA) presentation, wearing gorgeous gowns and stilettos, yet, with bear legs?
I don’t get it. These stars mostly are consistent pantyhose wearers when performing concerts and often when making publicity appearances (Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Rihanna), then, on what should be the most special night of their careers — a night where they are recognized for their achievements among their peers, and before a national television audience — they almost to a woman, attend bear-legged.
Here’s what I don’t understand: They seem to recognize that this special night calls for the most expensive designer dresses, fabulous jewelry and amazing shoes. But pantyhose? Nah!
I present this as the first snag in the comeback of pantyhose because for all the steps forward we take when celebs wear during performances, it’s like a huge step backward when all of them gather on one stage at one time for such a significant event, and practically no one wears.
Incidentally, I didn’t watch the AMAs. Instead, I was watching Sunday Night Football and recording The Good Wife. So on commercials, I’d check in on the AMAs. I was happy for Taylor Swift, winning awards for Artist of the Year, Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist, Favorite Country Female Artist, and Favorite Country Album.
Taylor is one of the young stars who more often than not wears sheer nude pantyhose on stage, and frequently wears when she’s out-and-about.
I couldn’t wait to see what she’d wear during the AMAs. Then, I saw. Her dress wasn’t all that fancy, but it was nice. And it was super short. And I liked her high heel dress sandals.
But how could she not wear pantyhose with this outfit, for this event?
Similarly, Rihanna is extremely likely to wear pantyhose on stage with all kinds of outfits from elegant to exotic to what-the- what?
And, she’s frequently seen wearing pantyhose during public appearances.
Like Taylor, I fully expected to see Rihanna (Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist award) standing out from the herd (all disrespect fully intended) during the AMAs. However, she didn’t wear.
Then, there was my new fave, Ariana Grande, who wore the most beautiful and elegant gown of any of them.
It was floor length, but when she climbed the steps up to the stage to accept the “New Artist of the Year” award, I noticed she indeed was wearing her trademark sheer suntan pantyhose.
I am so happy that Ariana won New Artist of the Year.
I also happened to check in on the AMAs in time to see Lady Gaga’s performance of “Do what you want with my body,” and that’s about all I want to say on that subject. Other than that I think that song and performance was just another example of the all-too-many-just-like-it songs/videos that glamorize a lack of values in society today.
The only reason I bring up the performance at all is because Lady Gaga did wear her signature nude fishnet pantyhose with her outfit. Since I’m complaining that almost no one did Sunday night, I have to point out that Lady Gaga did. Nuff said about her, though.
What I loved was the performance I happened to catch by Jennifer Lopez. Now, J Lo knows how to put on a show, belting out some great vocals and high-energy salsa dance moves in three different outfits (all accessorized with suntan fishnet pantyhose).
In addition to celebs opting for bear legs during awards shows and other venues, those dreaded so-called fashion experts still are waging war on pantyhose. Granted, we don’t hear as much from them today as we did during the late 1990s through most of the decade of 2000. But they’re still out there.
Of course, I never read fashion magazines or websites, and I couldn’t care less what their so-called experts think, but when I noticed last month a picture of one of my favorite actresses wearing a cute outfit, I clicked on it, only to be taken to an online fashion site, which I found was actually putting her down.
Here’s that picture (left). It’s of Taiwanese actress Shu Qi.
She is an extremely popular model and actress throughout the world. Her first English speaking role came in the movie, The Transporter, in which she co-starred (very delightfully) with English actor Jason Statham.
Qi (her given name, pronounced Chee) is adorable and extremely professional and classy, almost always appearing in pantyhose on stage and during publicity appearances.
But the online website RCFA (Red Carpet Fashion Awards) last month slammed Qi for wearing nude tights with her outfit during an appearance at a Jimmy Choo accessories store opening ceremony in Hong Kong.
The author of RCFA, Catherine Kallon, wrote:
The actress’ Jimmy Choo accessories included a crystal-accented ‘Charlize’ clutch and ‘Anouk’ pointy pumps as expected; however, the same can’t be said for her dress.
On this occasion, the usually conservative star wore a Calla Spring 2013 printed frock with a gauze sheer insert at the waist.
It’s a cute, fun, flirty look, but the dress doesn’t sit as well as it does on the model … I could’ve overlooked most of the flaws to give Shu a pass for stepping outside the box, but why oh why is she wearing nude tights? (Robin’s note: I added the bold to highlight my point.)
And what’s up with the Paris Hilton pose?”
Wait a minute. Kallon thinks the outfit looks better on the model in the pic on the left? Really? Uh … I don’t think so. First, she looks like a refugee from a third world country. (Please … someone give that girl a cheeseburger.) How did she even get a job as a model? Second, I’d like to kick Kallon’s you know what. OK, OK, I’m not really like that, but …
I think Qi looked adorable in this outfit, and even though I’m not a fan of shiny tights (as my love is for sheer nude pantyhose), Qi absolutely rocked in them.
Fortunately, Qi almost always can be seen in sheer nude pantyhose in the many movies she’s starred in, whether romantic comedies, action or dramas.
And, another thing: While Shu Qi typically does dress professionally, elegantly and beautifully, I wouldn’t call it “conservatively,” as Kallon does. Certainly, I love that Qi has the class and good taste to most-often wear sheer pantyhose, but if Kallon and her readers think the tights she wore at Jimmy Choo’s were an eyesore, they really haven’t seen anything.
Qi has been known to wear some pretty exotic-looking pantyhose and tights during publicity events, as you’ll see later in this post.
Besides, Kallon’s stupid remarks, her post generated 23 comments, one of which was:
The dress is too young, cutesy and girly for her and sits awkwardly on her to begin with, a very wrong choice for her, the nude tights are an eyesore and bring the look down completely.
OK, I really do want to kick Nat39’s a$$. Oh, and Nat, know what a run-on sentence is? You’ve got about three sentences all rolled into one there. Hey, good job with that. And, I think we all can tell what Nat’s gender preference is.
Worse, it seemed (I’m not sure because I stopped reading, as my blood pressure was starting to soar) that all 23 comments were in support of Kallon’s opinion.
Well, I can live with an idiot “fashion expert” dissing a lovely celebrity once, but recently, I stumbled across another post by Kallon (written last year) this time, putting down Megan Fox. Seriously, Megan Fox?
Kallon posted this pic of a model wearing an outfit she liked, and contrasted it with the same look on Megan Fox, disapproving because Megan wore it with pantyhose.
OK, you decide: Who looks better, the model or Megan?
Here’s what Kallon wrote:
Getting up for the 5am Golden Globe Awards nominations announcement this morning would’ve been easy for Megan Fox, considering she’s probably used to being up at that ungodly hour with her newborn.
… Megan also opted for a lady-like look. Clearly the new mum is putting her sassy days behind her.
She wore a beautiful floral Giambattista Valli Resort 2013 dress with an ivory top and moss-green skirt which she styled with nude platform Louboutins.
This is a great look for Megan. I couldn’t be more envious of her hair, but those nude fishnet tights are jarring.” (Note: Again, I added the bold to highlight my point.)
What’s next, Kallon? You going to criticize your countrywoman, Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, for wearing sheer nude pantyhose? Unbelievable.
Now, if like me, you can’t fathom how a site like RCFA could be so demeaning to superstar celebrities for wearing pantyhose, here’s example for you:
The Fashionable Teacher Grading Red Carpet Fashions Everywhere. Are you an A+ or a Fashion Fail.
This site is run by mochababe73.
In this case, The Fashionable Teacher didn’t like an outfit Jennifer Hudson (left) wore to a movie premiere in April of this year.
Here’s what mochababe73 wrote:
“Jennifer Hudson really stood out from the crowd.
“And, not in a good way. This Emmanuel Ungaro dress was really, really busy. The animal print and polka dots have no business being in the same dress, and it’s wrong on so many levels. The two prints together are just and assault to the eyes.
On top of that, the white cuffs, gold details, and visible bra just add to the carnage.
“Love the Saint Laurent shoes, but what’s with the pantyhose?” (Note: Well, you get it by now …)
Well, for starters, they represent professionalism and class, mochababe73. And, like makeup, pantyhose greatly beautify the look of a woman’s legs, mochababe73.
Great, another “fashion expert” who knocks a celebrity for having the good sense and class to wear pantyhose with her outfit.
Actually, I don’t disagree with what the “fashion expert” said about the ensemble. That was a really strange-looking outfit. I disagree only with her nasty comment about the pantyhose Jennifer wore.
I decided to look for other photos of Jennifer Hudson wearing pantyhose. Unfortunately, I found only two.
Of course I don’t think that the negative comments of mochababe73 on her website influenced Jennifer to not wear pantyhose.
I do think it’s a shame that those who don’t have professionalism or class, use their forum as “fashion experts” to criticize celebs who do.
I suppose the pic of Jennifer (above, right) in the red dress with bear legs represents the look that mochababe73 finds more appropriate?
In any case, here is the author’s profile:
Houston, TX baby!
I am a wife and mother. I am a teacher. And, I am one wife, mother, and teacher who devours fashion. My fashion magazine collection is insane.
Hey, mochababe73, you’re a teacher? Shouldn’t you end that last part of your tagline (way up above at the start of the whole Jennifer Hudson bit) with a question mark, not a period? You have: Are you an A+ or a Fashion Fail. It should read: Are you an A+ or a Fashion Fail?
More ‘expert’ advice
Finally, it would amaze me if anyone really listens to these so-called fashion experts. I am always amused when I see an online post from a woman asking for advice about what she should or shouldn’t wear to a function.
A frequent question is “Can I wear pantyhose with open-toe dress shoes?” And all the “experts” jump on that one like vultures on road pizza. Naturally, they all attempt to talk women out of committing such a fashion no-no, and I always love how NO ONE ever follows their advice.
It remains one of the dumbest things these “fashion experts” wax on about.
Fortunately, no one’s listening.
Look at this picture of beautiful Chinese actress Cecilia Cheung (right). What could possibly be wrong with her wearing sheer pantyhose with these peep-toe heels? She has perfect toes that look all the more gorgeous under those deliciously sheer nylons.
Perhaps, there will always be a few snags that slightly delay the return of pantyhose to favor.
Still, it is so wonderful that we see cases every day in which celebrities and everyday women throughout the world choose the class, elegance and femininity that comes with wearing pantyhose.
Now, here are some of my favorite pics of Shu Qi wearing a wide variety of pantyhose and tights styles:
In addition to the many great comments and suggestions from the wonderful readers of this blog since 2009, during ActSensuous’ 12 years in business, I’ve also been contacted out of the blue many times by pantyhose lovers. Along the way, I’ve made a few friends.
I love it when a professional photographer asks for ActSenuous pantyhose to do a photo shoot. A year or so ago, I was contacted by Kim who is an amazing photographer. She asked to shoot several models in ActSensuous for a new website she was developing. I saw the preview of her site and was extremely impressed, so I was only too happy to agree to the project.
Kim’s new website, PantyHoseClass.com, officially launched this month, and you can find it at One of the reasons I love the site is that it is in a fairly unique genre’ – sort of “The Girl Next Door in Pantyhose.”
Sure, there are thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) of websites devoted to women wearing pantyhose, but Kim’s is different because it features “real girls” who truly love wearing pantyhose – and what’s even more unique – most of them are college students.
Yes, you read that correctly – COLLEGE STUDENTS. I love Kim’s website for a couple of reasons. First, the site is extremely well done. It’s professional, it’s classy, and the photography is outstanding. Second, it’s COLLEGE GIRLS. Well, mostly. At least a couple of them are college-age professionals.
This is further evidence that one of the biggest objections that pantyhose haters cite, and use in a feable attempt to brainwash today’s girls, is that pantyhose are outdated – something only older women would wear.
Of course, we know this argument doesn’t hold water because we continue to find young celebrities today who are devoted pantyhose wearers. You know who they are: Anne Hathaway, Kate Middleton, Katie Holmes, Katy Perry, Miranda Cosgrove, Paris Hilton, Selina Gomez, and Zooey Deschanel to name only a few.
But college-age girls who love to wear pantyhose all the time? That is such a positive.
Some of you may remember it was Kim who shot the pictures of her friend, Lacey, who I featured in a recent post, so you understand the kind of girls Kim finds and features in her new website, and you know the quality of Kim’s photography.
I am impressed with each of the many models on PantyHoseClass.com, but I have singled out a few I simply cannot resist. You will find them featured here one at a time, wearing ActSensuous pantyhose.
This feature is about Yesenia. The 20-year-old Yesenia is an artist in Philadelphia. A pantyhose size A, Yesenia, loves to dress professionally and glamorously for work and all other occasions. And that means pantyhose. The young professional of European and Latin ethnicity says she wears pantyhose to work, to her yoga classes, around the house, and even to sleep in.
I asked Yesenia what she loves so much about pantyhose?
“Pantyhose are good for every day and every season of the year,” she said. “Pantyhose feel like such a great piece of apparel to have on because they have many uses, and of course, pantyhose go with everything.”
Yesenia said she first realized she loved pantyhose at a young age, but the feeling took off when she was around 9 years old, starting ballet classes and wearing pink tights every day.
“It used to be the best feeling in the world, and to this day, still is,” Yesenia said. “When I put on those pink tights, I wasn’t Yesenia – I was someone else. I was a strong ballerina. I could be anyone I wanted.”
Yesenia is quick to give credit to her dance instructor, who once told her: “In these pink tights, you will live and become this beautiful work of dancing art.”
“So, of course, naturally, being a little girl, I was very eager to throw those tights on and get to dancing,” she said.
Today, Yesenia loves the feeling she gets when she slips into a pair of sheer pantyhose, saying it’s “Overwhelming and awesome that this delicate fabric could make my legs look so good.”
Yesenia isn’t sure whether men notice her more when she’s wearing pantyhose, than when she isn’t, but then again, she’s in pantyhose most of the time, and she certainly attracts a great deal of attention. Describing herself as a “natural born Gothic,” Yesenia likes to stand out, and she gets attention because of the way she dressses in general. Still, she feels that a pair of black pantyhose will always make her look better.
Asked if she could ever have a boyfriend or husband who didn’t appreciate her for wearing pantyhose, Yesenia wasn’t sure how to respond.
“I haven’t been with a guy who has had a pantyhose fetish,” she said. Then, she added: “I mean, I am sure if I worked it a certain way and worked it right, I could totally make a guy fall for it.”
No doubt about that.
Yesenia did say she frequently gets compliments from strangers about the pantyhose she wears.
“Anywhere I go, I hear all the time: “Hey, I love your pantyhose.”
Of course, not everyone appreciates her commitment to looking professional, glamorous and classy.
“I have had female friends ask me why I wear pantyhose,” Yesenia said. “Back in high school, when it really wasn’t so popular to wear them, I would get questions all the time – and not like positive ones, but more like negative ones.
“I wouldn’t say they tried to discourage me, but rather they just didn’t understand the world of pantyhose and all its wonders. I tried to explain to them it’s a magical world and pantyhose go with everything. Of course, now that it’s popular to wear tights, I never get questions anymore.”
In any case, Yesenia doesn’t consider herself special because she wears pantyhose during a time when other women find it old-fashioned to do so, or just refuse to wear them. Rather, she said she considers herself “One of those lucky old-fashioned women who love pantyhose because of all the beautiful things they can do for you and your body.”
Yesenia doesn’t pay much attention to the “bare legs culture” of today. What she would tell women who think pantyhose are so terrible? “Hah! More for me and none for you. No, really, I wouldn’t say much,” Yesenia said.
One thing Yesenia could never imagine is not wearing pantyhose to a job interview.
“I have always worn, and will always wear, pantyhose to a job interview, even if it were for something less than a very high-level professional position.
“I think it’s very unprofessional for high-level businesswomen to not wear pantyhose. It’s almost like you have this amazing suit on, but you forgot to put on your pants if you understand what I mean. I would feel so bare without pantyhose, I wouldn’t feel like I had a suit on at all.”
Wise and mature beyond her years, Yesenia says she doesn’t watch TV or movies, and doesn’t know anything about celebrities or pay attention to what they’re wearing.
“I don’t have any role models. I just try to do what’s good for me and leave it at that.”
For now, that means being a devoted daughter, sister and girlfriend who works to support her family and herself, she said.
“I believe in being good to people. I believe in putting my family first. I believe in being loyal and honest, and to never be bad to others. I always try to be understanding of everyone, and realize that the person next to you or 10 feet away from you is fighting a battle every day.”
Asked if there was anything she wanted to say that she wasn’t asked, Yesenia said:
“Sure. I love your pantyhose. Great feeling and great colors. My personal favorite is Suntan.”
Well, that was nice.
Yesenia is a lovely young lady. She is professional, classy and quite feminine. My thanks to her for wanting to model ActSensuous pantyhose for PantyHoseClass.com and my blog.
Enjoy the gallery (below) of Yesenia in ActSensuous pantyhose, and see many more photo sets of her wearing all kinds of different brands and styles on Kim’s website at (http://www.PantyHoseClass.com).
Note: I don’t know what I did, but somehow the gallery below is linked to another page where the gallery actually lives. Trust me, there are more than 2 pictures in the gallery. Clink that link, and you’ll find the real gallery.
Yesenia, a model on the new website, PantyHoseClass.com, wears all eight ActSensuous Act II colors.
All photos by Kim of PantyHoseClass.com
Visit http://www.PantyHoseClass.com to see more pics of Yesenia and all of Kim’s college-age models who love wearing pantyhose.
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.
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.
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?)
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:
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:
… 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.
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.
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:
So, what do you think? Could there be a more worthy recipient of the ActSensuous Grizzly Awards than Stacy London?
Since I started my blog in May 2009, I’ve written 30 posts. I am really proud of a few of them: “Why Bears don’t wear Pantyhose,” “A good time to be Asian,” “Even Aliens wear Pantyhose.”
But the post that has been, by a wide margin, the most read, and seemingly, the most appreciated, is the one I wrote in January of this year, “Why not Pantyhose with open-toe high heels?” So, as 2010 comes to a close, and I want to finish as strongly as I began this year, I feel compelled to give you what you obviously want.
Now, please don’t think that I couldn’t come up with something fresh and so decided to reheat this one. OK, that’s actually pretty much the case, but seriously, during this entire year, I’ve been struck with what the stats show – that, when I have, for example, 200 visits in a day, 120 people read “Why not Pantyhose with open-toe high heels?”
Similarly, more readers have participated in the poll attached to that post than any of the others. And the results? As of this writing, of the 109 votes cast, 106 (97 percent) were for “Absolutely! Yes, please!” (to wearing pantyhose with open-toe high heels); only three were for “No way! No how! Never!” (3 percent); and zero for “Who cares?”
Because this post, and the ongoing debate over the subject, struck such a nerve with you, I decided to dig a bit further into the matter. In January, my post began this way:
Lately, I’ve read several posts on various blogs in which girls are asking for advice about what to wear to a special event. Often – and I love this – they are open to wearing pantyhose but for the fact that they want to wear some sexy open-toe high heels and believe one is not supposed to wear pantyhose with such shoes. Who made that rule?
Today, my question is: Who made these people “fashion experts?”
This time, instead of stating my views, I went the scientific route and visited some websites of fashion magazines. Like everything else on the Internet, you can find tons more information than you’re looking for, so if you want to see some of what I saw, you can write this in your Google search engine: top fashion experts on pantyhose and open-toe shoes
In the interest of keeping the length of this post reasonable, I’ve selected for your viewing pleasure just three excerpts of advice/opinions about the topic from “fashion experts.’’
Here’s the question posed to the experts: “Should you wear stockings with open-toe shoes?”
(Stockings? Who wears stockings today? I’m already offended. Why couldn’t they just write pantyhose?)
Below, you’ll see a direct quote from some of what these people wrote, a blurb about who they are and their qualifications, as well as mug shots where available, and my polite response to their idiotic statements.
- “I view it as one of the worst fashion offenses a woman can commit… “When I see a woman wearing stockings with open-toed shoes, my first thought is that she must have some kind of nasty toenail fungus or calves covered with varicose veins. Wearing stockings when it is not appropriate to wear stockings always makes it look as though you have some dirty little secret to hide. So if you must wear stockings, wear them with sensible shoes. And if you must wear open-toed shoes, make sure that your toes are showing. After all, that is the whole point of open-toed shoes in the first place.”
(Marlin Bressi: An award-winning hairstylist and beauty expert whose work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers on several websites, such as Suite101.com, where he was Beauty Editor for two years.)
Hey, Marlin, it could be that the reason you used to be the beauty editor for two years is that someone finally discovered that you have no sense of fashion. “If you must wear open-toed shoes, make sure that your toes are showing…” Uh, two things for you, dude: 1.) Toes most certainly will be showing in open-toe shoes; 2.) Toes do show through pantyhose. Nylon is sheer. That means they’re see-through. Go back to strumming your guitar and smoking dope, dope. By the way, nice outfit.
- “Breathless with anticipation and wondering if you can wear pantyhose with bare toes? Relax, take a breath. The answer is no. Pantyhose and bare toes are not complimentary.”
(Anne Warchol: A retired mother of three married children. People think I’m in my 30s, and I never tell them I’m 50.)
I got news for you, Anne. It aint just that people think you’re in your 30s. They also think you’re a moron. “…wondering if you can wear pantyhose with bare toes?” Seriously? You can’t even pose the question properly. Of course one can wear pantyhose with bare toes. What – you think pantyhose are usually worn over socks? “Pantyhose and bare toes are not complimentary.” Huh? Anne, you’re not only not qualified to weigh in on the topic at hand, you’re not qualified to leave your house. And get a hairdo.
- “Tights and stockings should not be paired together. No way. No how…”
(Chelia Copeland: Highly motivated, creative and versatile journalist with a graduate degree in journalism. Over five years of writing/editing experience at a variety of newspapers, magazines, web sites, publishing companies and organizations. No photo available.)
Chelia, you’re a journalist with a graduate degree in journalism? You’ve been a professional writer and an editor? Well, so have I, and when I see two mistakes in one paragraph, I stop reading. First, the issue is whether one should wear stockings with open-toe shoes, yet, your opening statement is “Tights and stockings should not be paired together.” Huh? Then, you write that you have “over” five years of writing/editing experience …” Didn’t you learn in journalism school that the word “over” refers to a position in space, such as over the hill, or over the rainbow? You should have written that you have “more than” five years of writing/editing experience …
Whenever professional writers get the little details wrong, they lose credibility in my book. You lost me after your first paragraph, and I stopped reading. So, while I don’t know why you are arguing against wearing hose with open-toe shoes, I really just don’t care what you have to say. You have no credibility with me because, if you’re this sloppy in your own profession, you’re not qualified to comment on what is or isn’t fashionable.
There, see how delicately I handled these so-called experts? Sorry, but I have little patience with stupid people – especially those who tout themselves as experts and then have the nerve to publish their views, despite the fact that they can’t construct a simple sentence. I mean one knucklehead wrote that wearing pantyhose with open-toe shoes is ugly because the “seem” shows. I guess he means the “seam.”
I wonder if any of these people have seen a woman wearing sheer pantyhose lately? In many cases, unless you get probably way too close and/or stare with great intensity, you can hardly tell if she’s wearing pantyhose or not. And today, even the seams are delicate and sheer. And what if they do show? I think it’s sexy.
Seriously, who made these people “fashion experts?”
As long as barely-educated windbags have a forum to express themselves, unfortunately, some women will be influenced by their stupid opinions. I should point out that, thankfully, there are several writers taking the exact opposite position, so perhaps it all balances out.
One positive about this raging debate is that there is one. I mean as long as so many women are asking, and so many “experts” are answering, at least it’s a good sign for pantyhose lovers that so many people care. Unfortunately, I believe the prevailing thought is this:
“The universal no-no is to never wear sheer nude hosiery with open toe shoes or strappy sandals — it just looks tacky.”
So states fashion expert Sharon Haver of www.focusonstyle.com
I disagree with her. Fortunately, so do many women who most influence fashion – actresses from throughout the world. Check out the celebrities below. Who’s going to tell them they are committing a fashion no-no?
Happy New Year, everyone!
Update: As of May 15, 2010, 74 of you had voted on the poll attached to the original post I wrote on this subject in January. Of those, 72 (97 percent) chose the answer, “Absolutely! Yes, please.” So only 2 of the 74 cast a “No” vote. That begs the question: What monkey came up with the rule that one should NEVER wear pantyhose with open-toe high heels?
I like it when you agree with me. Good job with that.
Thank you to those who wrote comments about my January post, “Why not pantyhose with open-toe high heels?”
I try to be relevant, if not compelling, in this blog — hoping to get more of you involved in it. I really thought more of you would weigh in about pantyhose with dress sandals because my research showed that so many women absolutely believe this is a fashion no-no.
Well, of the whole six (yeah, six) comments I got about my post in January that it’s not only OK, but really sexy, to wear pantyhose with open-toe high heels, all of them were positive. Men and women agreed.
But while I wrote in the first sentence of this post that I like when you agree with me, seriously, it’s OK if you have a different opinion. The content in this blog is open to debate.
I would just like to know why so many women believe it is wrong to wear pantyhose with open-toe dress shoes. I think women everywhere believe they should never do this, but I’ve never heard anyone explain why?
Just look at the attached photo (you can expand it by clicking on it). I dare anyone to say that pantyhose should not be worn with open-toe high heels.
And for those who say that it is unsightly for the (delicate little) seam across the toes to show, I say that that is actually kinda sexy.
Let the debate continue!