Pantyhose happenings on my mind


Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

  It seems that the current-but-maybe-not-for-much-longer “bear” legs movement came upon us all of a sudden.   One day things were normal and good, and then suddenly pantyhose were public enemy No. 1 (among women that is).  

  It’s been a long decade-plus of the awful bear legs look, but gradually, in ever-increasing numbers, pantyhose are gaining their legs again.  Have you noticed? 

  They’re in movies and TV shows more and more.  They’re in TV commercials all the time.  They’re even on fashion runways, and that’s a real good thing.  They’re in magazines, too.   And now, they’re also the subject on more and more women’s minds as one can see on Internet discussion boards, where there’s always that question: “Are pantyhose back?”  To which some answer: “I never realized pantyhose were out.”  Love that.

  Yes, it’s looking more and more like pantyhose are starting to cling to more willing wearers each day.  With that in mind, here are some recent pantyhose happenings that are getting my attention:

Celebs deserve our thanks

   Probably the biggest reason that pantyhose are once again in mainstream consciousness is the vast and ever-growing number of Hollywood actresses, entertainers and pop stars wearing during their performances.  

As fabulous as she looks like this, it's surprising Cameron Diaz doesn't wear pantyhose more often.

  In only my second ever blog post (June 2009) titled “Calling out Professional Entertainers,” I blasted celebrities for instigating and perpetuating the bare legs movement (back then, I hadn’t come up with the idea of referring to it as “bear” legs.)   My, how far we’ve come.  I am so proud of the many veteran celebs who never left, or have now come back to pantyhose.  And that includes Cameron Diaz, who until recently, I thought would be the next recipient of my new column, “The Grizzly Awards.” 

  But I’m even prouder of the young, up-and-coming celebs who are outright pantyhose goddesses.  Yes, we’ve still got a long way to go, but I think it would be difficult to name more than a few young celebs today who are just complete bear leggers — ones you’ll NEVER see wearing pantyhose.  

A young, rising star, Selena Gomez has the class and professionalism to wear pantyhose on stage.

  I think we have to recognize and thank the likes of Jessica Alba, Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Juliana Margulies, Milla Jovovich, Nicole Kidman, Kate Middleton, Sofia Vergara, Paris Hilton, Zooey Deschanel, and of course, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Beyonce’ and Selena Gomez. 

  There are hundreds of others who deserve credit, but this is a good start. 

  Since nothing influences fashion in everyday life like what we see our favorite celebs wearing, I think we’re in a very good time and place right now with all the professional performers out there donning pantyhose. 

 

Waitin’ all day for Sunday night

  Hey, Jack, it’s a fact … the outfits Faith Hill is wearing this year during the intro theme to  Sunday Night Football are soooooooo much better.   

While this photo appears "doctored up" a bit, Faith Hill's bare legs during last year's SNF theme were an eyesore.

  Last year, she wore that way-too-short black dress with some funky, chunky (OK, ugly) shoes, and Casper-white bear legs  that (I have to say it) looked awful.  Sorry, Faith. 

This year, she wears mid-calf length pants, but with pumps and pantyhose.   

While a leather skirt would have been better, Faith Hill looks so much better in pantyhose during the SNF intro theme.

As I’ve written before, doesn’t she (whomever I’m dissing at the time) see herself on TV later and say “What was I thinking?” or “Why didn’t someone tell me ?”

  Well, one of those things must have happened in Faith’s case.   Thank you.

  Another win for pantyhose.   

More football 

  One of the hosts on NFL Network on DirecTV, Kara Henderson, was doing the bear legs thing during interviews with fellow analysts and guest coaches and players.  Uh, Kara,  “Come on, man!”  (Yeah, I know — that’s a bit featured on ESPN prior to Monday Night Football — but I couldn’t resist.)

  Again, she must have seen herself on TV or someone told her how awful her legs looked.  Now, she wears pantyhose and looks sooooo much better.  Good call.  

  Remember, I am writing just random thoughts here.  Suzy Kolber is one NFL analyst, host, sideline reporter I always liked.  She is very professional.   She used to wear pantyhose with nice suits and heels all the time.  Lately, I’ve seen her wearing pants more than anything.  I hope she doesn’t allow herself to be influenced by the vast majority of other female NFL types and stop wearing skirts and pantyhose and heels.  

Why always black pantyhose? 

  Seems when we see a celeb wearing, especially one who typically doesn’t, it’s always black pantyhose.  I mean sheer black pantyhose are nice, and certainly better than bear legs, but somtimes, I think women think it’s all they can wear.

Popular movie star Jessica Alba looks awesome in a black dress, black heels and sheer nude pantyhose.

  There used to be a line of thinking that was one should always match one’s pantyhose to the color of one’s dress. 

  And we all know how popular the LBD (little black dress) is.  I always thought that thinking was lame. 

  OK, you’re wearing a black dress, but you know … your face, your neck, your arms, your hands … they’re not black (unless you’re Minnie Mouse).  Why do you think your legs should be black just because you’re wearing a black dress? 

  Nude and Suntan are such a nice, refreshing look these days when it seems that all we ever see is black. 

Those awful ‘fashion experts’ 

  If you’ve read this blog, you know how I detest those people called fashion experts.  They probably gave themselves that title.  Since my post, “Why not pantyhose and open-toe high heels?” remains the most popular on this blog, you know how hard I’ve been on these monkeys for making that “rule” that you can NEVER wear pantyhose with dress sandals.  

Veteran model and entertainer Christie Brinkley looks incredible in sheer nude pantyhose, especially in those open-toe high heels.

  It still amazes me that everyday people seek out the advice of these fashion gurus.  It’s not like these guys’ opinions have any more value than your own good judgment, but I still see on Internet threads cases where someone wants to know if it’s OK to wear pantyhose with dress sandals.  Recently, and I love this, I’ve been seeing the fashion police cave a little on this issue.  The last piece of advice I read was that it’s OK as long as the hose is sheer at the toe (well, duh), or (and get this), if it’s thick, opaque hose.  Well, OK, I s’pose that’s better than their previous blanket “NO WAY” answers.  

  I love countering their idiot opinions with the fact that some of today’s most popular Hollywood stars (again, the number 1 influencers of fashion) always wear pantyhose with open-toe high heels.  It’s like these so-called fashion experts think they know better than everyone else, yet, the whole world is doing exactly what they tell us not to do.

Thanks but no thanks 

  The other day, I stumbled across a video made by the stars of the TV show “What Not to Wear.”  I used to watch that show, but after you’ve seen 5,000 episodes, you start to realize it’s pretty much the same story over and over again.  In any case, I never saw the show’s beautiful star, Stacy London, wearing pantyhose, and I hate missed opportunities (meaning a beautiful fashion expert who has great legs, but sadly, doesn’t enhance them with sheer pantyhose).  And now, she’s making TV commercials and still not wearing.  Guess she is squarely behind the bear legs movement. 

  So I was surprised to find a video she and her partner, Clinton Kelly, made, titled “How to wear pantyhose.”  Wait, they are talking about wearing pantyhose?  Well, I certainly wanted to hear what they had to say on the subject.

Not only is singer/songwriter Katy Perry immensely talented, she also has the class and professionalism to always wear pantyhose in public appearances. Now, how can fashion experts ever say that suntan pantyhose don't look good on anyone?

  Turns out their advice was pretty much that most women don’t want to wear pantyhose, but if you do, “That’s cool.”  Kelly advised that if you’re going to wear pantyhose, make it look deliberate; not a half a shade or two off your skin tone, but rather make it appear that you’re intentionally wearing hose, such as opaque tights.  He’s standing next to a mannequin wearing a dark blue dress, with black tights and black shoes.  

  London talks about denier ratings (the sheerness or thickness of the fabric).  Her mannequin is wearing a black dress. London recommends a very low denier (sheer) black pantyhose with a back seam to make it more elegant.  

  OK, I don’t have any real issue with their advice, except that both agreed that whatever you do, you should NEVER wear suntan pantyhose because, Kelly said, “They don’t look good on anybody.”  What?

  Meanwhile, London appears to be wearing some kind of dark blue, almost purple, dress that just didn’t do anything to flatter her lovely figure. 

  And worse, she is wearing some really ugly shoes.  Ironically, it looks as if she is wearing pantyhose (must be my eyes are bad) and if she is wearing, they sure look like suntan to me.  

Here’s the link.  See what you think:

http://video.tvguide.com/What+Not+to+Wear/How+to+Wear+Pantyhose/10335428?autoplay=true

   On one hand, I’m glad they talked about pantyhose, but I am disappointed that they admitted to covering the topic only because they had been getting questions from many viewers about why they don’t talk about pantyhose.  London’s and Kelly’s remarks have a bit of a negative tone about pantyhose, but they didn’t do any real damage.  But look at the face that London makes as she’s signing off.  Her expression seems embarrassed, almost apologetic, for even mentioning pantyhose. 

  What really bothers me is that they put down suntan.  I can tell you suntan is still far-and-away the most popular pantyhose color among devoted wearers.  I love suntan. 

  Fashion experts … whadaya gonna do?

Why that Bear still won’t Wear — the Grizzly Awards


Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

It was one of my first ever (and still favorite) posts.  It was Oct. 9, 2009.

Originally, it was called “Why women don’t wear pantyhose” but when I added a poll at the end, which I accidentally titled:  Today’s “Bear Legs Culture,” the name stuck, and I renamed the post “Why bears don’t wear pantyhose.”

In that post, I debunked the dumb reasons women give for not wearing pantyhose, and I proposed that we refer to those women from now on as having “bear” legs instead of bare legs.

Many of you picked up on that, and in your comments or letters, you refer to women going bear-legged.  Thanks for playing along.  I love that.

Since 2009, thankfully, we’ve seen quite an increase in the number of women wearing pantyhose.  We see it on TV, in TV commercials, in movies, in magazines, on the runway, and on stage.  That is great.

Yet, the majority of stories on Internet-based magazines, features and blogs about pantyhose remain negative, if not hostile.  And women still are giving dumb reasons for why they hate and won’t wear pantyhose.

So, like in October 2009, I feel it is my duty to set these bear-legged women straight.  Here’s their lame excuses for not wearing pantyhose, my response, and the logic behind my thinking:

Bears:  Pantyhose are hot. (Read that with a whiney tone).         

Robin:  Wrong, bimbo!   It’s that you’d look HOT if you were to wear pantyhose.                                                                                                    

Logic:   I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating.  You work in an office.  It’s air-conditioned.  In fact, you drive to work with the AC blasting in your vehicle.  And if pantyhose really were too hot, why then during the winter, do you complain it’s too cold to wear pantyhose?  Sorry, hater.  You gotta do better than that.

Bears:  Pantyhose are uncomfortable.

Robin:  What?  Pantyhose are soft and silky.  They’re the most delicate, decidedly feminine thing a woman could ever wear.  Pantyhose don’t weigh a pound soaking wet.  How could they be uncomfortable?

Logic:   If you wear control top or the super support kind that are made with too much Spandex, yes, pantyhose could be too tight and uncomfortable.   But instead of just swearing off pantyhose altogether, you should try 100 percent nylon pantyhose that are ultra soft and silky.  Then, if you still say that pantyhose are uncomfortable, you’re just looking for a reason to  hate on things that are feminine and that men want you to wear.

Logic II:  I know for a fact that pantyhose are not uncomfortable because it was not one of the correct answers to a question on Family Feud.   The question was “Name something women wear that hurts.”  A lovely Korean family correctly guessed 1.) Bra, 2.) Girdle, 3.) High Heels.   But when one of the family members guessed pantyhose, he got an “X” and the other family got a chance to steal the points.   They correctly guessed:  4.) Thong.   And that family won the game.

The lovely girls in the Korean family were wearing pantyhose and looked very beautiful, and I was sorry that they lost.   But, I think we can all agree now that pantyhose are not uncomfortable!

Bears:  Pantyhose are old-fashioned.

Robin:   Really?  Try telling that to Kate Middleton, Anne Hathaway, Milla Jovovich, Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Julianna Margulies.  Not convinced?  Tell that to Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Beyonce’.

Logic:   This has got to be the dumbest excuse women give for not wearing pantyhose.  Consider this:  Undergarments were invented in the 13th century.  Pantyhose were invented in the late 1960s (stockings during the 1950s).  High heels were invented sometime around the 15th century, and the first shoes were said to have been invented between 1600 and 1200 BC.  So should we all stop wearing shoes and undies now because they’re even more old-fashioned than pantyhose?  Come on, haters!

Bears:  Pantyhose are not necessary because my legs are tan enough, and pantyhose are irrelevant today because of relaxed dress code standards, even at the office.

 Robin:  Big mistake!  Sure, for informal occasions, bear legs look fine, but tan as they may be, they’re still no match for how much nicer they’d look in pantyhose.  Don’t kid yourself.  Unless you’re Zhang Ziyi (and even she wears pantyhose more than the average bear), those bear legs of your’s still have flaws.  Between uneven skin tone, blemishes, etc., your legs are less attractive without pantyhose.

Now, if you’re shopping at the supermarket on a day off, by all means, go bear-legged.  But, if you’re going to a wedding, a funeral, a fancy restaurant or any formal venue and you don’t wear pantyhose, you have no class.  If you work at a McDonald’s or Taco Bell, you don’t need to wear pantyhose.  If you work in a business office and don’t wear pantyhose, you are completely unprofessional.  Period!

Logic:   We’ve dumbed down enough in society.  Do we have to dress down, too?  The everyday people in almost every civilized nation in the world have more class, more grace and more elegance than us.  And they all dress better than we do.  It’s beyond time we improve in these areas.

When you break it down, the reasons women give for not wearing pantyhose have little or no merit.  They are giving very lame excuses.  Pantyhose were the standard of elegance throughout the 1960s, 70s, 80s and most of the 90s.  Women wouldn’t think of being seen in public without makeup or pantyhose.  And pantyhose were the standard for professionalism in the business world.

But during the 2000s, an excuse was created for not wearing pantyhose, and millions of women jumped on the bandwagon and have been trying to justify going bear-legged ever since.

As you know, in this blog, I’ve recognized and praised professional entertainers who are devoted pantyhose wearers in my series: Credit ‘Wear’ Credit is Due.  And while we’ve seen more and more entertainers wearing lately, there still are far too many women going bear-legged.

So, I am starting a new series.  This one will recognize those celebrities who never or almost never wear pantyhose.

Introducing …

That’s right, the Grizzly Awards will “honor” those celebrities who contribute to the bear legs cause by never wearing pantyhose on their TV shows, in movies, awards events, appearances on late night talk shows, and whenever they are in the public eye in general.

And the first celeb to receive this “honor” has to be:

Sarah Jessica Parker

You know the story.  SJP is “credited” with creating the bear legs movement because her character and others on the TV show and movies, ‘Sex and the City,” ditched the pantyhose with their fancy dresses and sexy shoes as they gallivanted through New York City — the fashion capital of the world.

That started it all.  Hollywood always has influenced fashion, and what SJP’s charaters did was set a bad example for women everywhere.

For the first time, pantyhose were seen as being out of style.  Then, as more and more celebrities followed suit, and everyday women in droves jumped on the bandwagon, pantyhose were practically run out of existence.

Worse, the anti-pantyhose sentiment that resulted from SJP’s show grew into outright hatred for pantyhose, which became villified among women on a global scale.

In fairness to SJP, when I searched for a photo of her for this post, I found as many pics of her wearing pantyhose as not.  That really surprised me.

Here’s what I want to know:  When SJP looks as awesome in pantyhose as she does in this picture at right, why wouldn’t she want to be seen this way all the time, or at least much more often?

As I’ve written before, I have no way of knowing whether it was SJP or the costume designer for “Sex and the City” who ultimately made the decision to feature her character without pantyhose.

Is it possible that SJP doesn’t really have an agenda against pantyhose?  Is it time for us to forgive and forget?  I’d like to say yes, but the bear legs movement that was created as a result of her character on “Sex and the City” persists today in way-too-high numbers.

And she is bear-legged in her TV commercials for Garnier, so it doesn’t seem as if she’s trying too hard to distance herself from the bear legs movement.

Fair or not, the bear legs culture has a figurehead, and the pantyhose industry has an arch enemy.  Every good story needs a villain.  Whether truly earned or not, that person will always be Sarah Jessica Parker — our first honorary recipient of the Grizzly Awards.

Stay tuned.  There’ll be more recipients in future blog posts here.

NOTE:   My thanks to Bridget Brown, owner of Solarity Design, a professional graphic arts design company, and an ActSensuous customer, for her clever artwork featuring bears and our pantyhose.

Pantyhose snagging more appreciation lately


Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

While all the haters out there continue to rear their ugly heads, pantyhose keep raising their pretty legs, and finally, it seems that more and more people are taking notice. 

In one of my first blog posts ever, Calling out Professional Entertainers (June 2009), I blamed Hollywood celebrities for their too-casual look.  Far too many of them still show a lack of professionalism and class in the way they present themselves in the public eye, but there has been a huge improvement. 

And in my Credit ‘Wear’ Credit is Due series, I’ve recognized and appreciated many actresses, entertainers and other celebs for never buying in to the ugly bare legs trend and always wearing pantyhose.  I’ve done the same for many of today’s new crop of young performers who deserve credit for embracing pantyhose and setting a good example for young women everywhere. 

Hey, I realize I can’t save the world.  There is a yin and a yang in life.  One cannot know soft if one has never experienced hard.  One cannot know cold if one has never experienced hot.  I could go on.  I won’t.  (You’re welcome). 

OK, one more: One cannot know beautiful if one has never seen ugly. 

Which brings me to this:

Madonna, left, and Britney Spears, right, who wore this costume at a much older age than Miley Cyrus, had the class and good sense to wear pantyhose underneath.

Now, let me just say that I know nothing about Miley Cyrus.  I am sure she’s a nice enough girl.  I realize she’s young, and maybe not all that bright yet.  But she is a professional entertainer.  She has to take some responsibility for her actions.  

Those who say pantyhose are old-fashioned or unnecessary think this look is attractive?

Maybe she just grew up (not sure those are the right words) during a time when none of her gal pals owned a pair of pantyhose or even knew what pantyhose are.  Maybe they don’t have pantyhose in the parts from which she hay-als.  But that didn’t stop Daisy Dukes, did it? 

Could it be that she wanted to achy breaky her daddy’s heart with that outfit?  It seems to me that someone associated with the production from which this picture was taken should have stepped in and told her how awful she looked.  Couldn’t someone have showed her a picture of herself before she went on stage?      

Again, I don’t mean to single out Miley Cyrus.  There are many entertainers just like her.  But it does go to show just how professional, classy and glamorous so many other professional performers are.  

Beyonce' is among some special young performers today who have the class and professionalism to wear pantyhose on stage.

We might expect those good qualities from entertainers like Jennifer Lopez and Madonna, who emerged on the entertainment scene during the 1980s – perhaps, the greatest pantyhose era in history. 

To me, it’s a very pleasant surprise and a real sign of hope for some semblance of class in today’s society when young entertainers, such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Beyonce’ and others choose to wear pantyhose on stage (and often in public in general.) 

Last month, Lady Gaga performed an impromptu concert for the audience before she appeared as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live.  Apparently, while setting up the stage, some fans began chanting for her to perform a couple of numbers.  And so she did. 

Lady Gaga wows audience members before the taping of her recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Not sure what to make of her outfit, but I’m not complaining.  I didn’t see that episode, so I have no idea what she wore on the set for the part that was televised, but before taping began, she rocked that audience with “Born This Way” and “Judas.”  

Maybe Lady Gaga is a bit over the top, but I love how she always brings attention to pantyhose.  And while she has been a positive influence on her contemporaries when it comes to wearing pantyhose, this outfit makes me think that Lady Gaga wants to be the undisputed Goddess of Pantyhose on stage.

Knowing that practically every man with a pulse loves women in pantyhose, I have to believe that when girls see how much their boyfriends go ga-ga for Lady Gaga, the girls would develop a different perception of pantyhose than the one the haters out there want everyone to have. 

Of course, you know how much I’ve gushed about the likes of Nicole Kidman, Milla Jovovich, Julianna Margulies, Anne Hathaway and others who are devoted pantyhose wearers.  But the one celeb who has garnered the most positive attention for pantyhose the world over remains Kate Middleton. 

On Monday, a positive story about pantyhose appeared in the Detroit Free Press by Associated Press writer Samantha Critchell: 

http://www.freep.com/article/20110822/FEATURES03/108220307/A-glimpse-stocking-Thanks-Kate-Middleton-hosiery-back-style-again?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p

 Thank you to one of this blog’s readers, peter_a, for pointing this out to me. 

And earlier this month, Melanie Coulson, a columnist for the Ottawa Citizen wrote a positive piece: http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2011/08/10/thank-you-kate-for-bringing-back-pantyhose/

 My thanks to another of this blog’s readers, Carl, for telling me about this article, and that Lady Gaga performance, too. 

Yes, it appears that pantyhose haters will always exist.  It just amazes me that they have singled out the most beautiful, feminine and classy thing a woman can wear as the object of their hatred. 

And, yes, there will always exit those who simply make bad wardrobe choices, those who just don’t “get it” and a few who will blindly jump on the bandwagon of any fashion trend.  

But all that makes it even more pleasant and heartwarming when we see the many celebs and everyday women out there who are continuing to wear pantyhose.  And isn’t it nice to see pantyhose snagging some positive press again?

Pantyhose on the brink of global acceptance?


Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

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

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

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

Katy Perry performs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A royal example

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

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

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

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

Another graphic example

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

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

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

‘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.

Perry’s ‘Hot N Cold’ – Margulies just plain Hot


Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

      By now, many of you have heard or read that Sesame Street has pulled the plug on a taped segment during which pop singer Katy Perry sings with Elmo.  The segment was supposed to run during an upcoming episode of the popular children’s show, but has been cancelled by Sesame Street because of negative comments received after the video was previewed on YouTube. 

     Sesame Street says it won’t air the segment because of the controversy generated by the risque’ dress of the pop star.  Perry is wearing a strapped yellow gown with a sheer mesh top, which does little to cover up her ample cleavage.

     In the video, Perry sings an edited-for-children version of her hit, “Hot N Cold,” to Elmo.

      Earlier today, viewer complaints prompted Sesame Street’s producer to cut the segment from its planned spot on a future TV show.  The video also has been removed from Sesame Street’s YouTube Channel.  

     The video remained on Perry’s own website for a while.  Seeing the video, I can understand some parents’ concern, but I don’t find it really offensive.  Perry’s outfit seems no less revealing than anything you might see a princess or mermaid wear in a Disney movie.  Too bad it got yanked because I thought Perry’s performance was very well done.  Her facial expressions and demeanor were very cute and innocent enough.  And, she expressed sadness that the segment was pulled, describing it as one of the most rewarding bits she’s done.  Good for her.

     I agree that the bustier-type top of her dress was a bit risque’ and inappropriate for the age of the intended audience, but I doubt that it would have had any adverse effect on them.  Here’s what I want to know: How did this even happen?  Isn’t someone at Sesame Street responsible for wardrobe?  Didn’t the video’s director have a say on the matter? 

      I do respect and appreciate that Perry thought it was important enough to wear pantyhose with the outfit. 

Katy Perry is one entertainer who can be counted on to wear pantyhose during performances and public appearances.

Many of my readers tell me that Katy Perry is one of today’s pop stars who can be counted on to wear pantyhose during her act. 

     Off stage, I don’t think Perry is as devoted a wearer of pantyhose as Lady Gaga.  I checked Perry out in a couple of galleries and saw her wearing pantyhose in only about one-third of the photos. 

     So pantyhose don’t appear to be  her signature fashion statement the way they are for Lady Gaga, but hey, one-third of the time is far better than the norm in the entertainment world, so Katy Perry is OK with me.

     It bears mentioning that Beyonce’ is another young entertainer who seems to always appear in short outfits, showing a lot of leg in pantyhose. 

     It is so good to see these young entertainers demonstrating class and professionalism in their acts.

   Hopefully, they will influence an entire generation of young women who might otherwise not find many examples of their contemporaries wearing pantyhose.

 

Talk about Hot

     Meanwhile, I wrote last time about how Julianna Margulies is so very classy, always wearing pantyhose on her hit TV show, The Good Wife, and during appearances on late night talk shows.  

Just as in her TV and movie roles, Julianna Margulies always has the class and professionalism to appear on late night talk shows wearing dresses, high heels and pantyhose.

    Funny how in the photo above it looks like Dave is going after a quick feel of Julianna’s pretty pantyhosed leg during a recent episode of  The Late Show with David Letterman.  You go, Dave!

   And check out how stunning Julianna looked recently on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon:

http://www.hulu.com/watch/179565/late-night-with-jimmyfallonjulianna-margulies

      Wow!  She is really special.  She’s extremely talented, seems to be a good person, and she carries herself with grace and elegance. 

     I’m just cynical enough to believe that this is just a fluke; that she’s going to let me down; that I’ll tune in one time and find her doing the bare legs thing during a national TV appearance, but she just keeps blowing my mind because she always wears a beautiful dress, high heels and very sheer pantyose.  This lady is classy. 

      If you aren’t watching The Good Wife, let me tell you it’s about the best drama on TV.  Very well written and wonderfully acted.  I am officially a Julianna Magulies fan now.