Confusion, lack of conviction spur bare legs look


I don’t think there’s quite as much negative press about wearing pantyhose today as there was during the past decade.  Oh, it’s still out there, yes, but it seems as if pantyhose are finding their legs again in ever-increasing numbers.

Still, there will always be the “fashion expert” haters out there haterizing on pantyhose.  And there’ll always be some women who refuse to wear for their own personal or political reasons.  But what I see happening today is more and more women who just aren’t sure whether they should wear or not.  Their dilemma: They think they don’t know what the “rules” are anymore.

It amazes me how, seemingly, the majority of women in this country are deciding what to wear or not wear based on what some individual or groups of perceived “fashion experts” preach.  Are pantyhose out?  Are they in?  It’s amazing how frequently these questions are popping up everywhere you look in magazine articles, on television talk shows, online.

What amazes me is women’s inability or unwillingness to make their own decisions.  I’m OK with human beings wanting to be “in fashion.”  Let’s see, it was bellbottoms in the 1970s, big hair in the 80s, a little of everything in the 90s, and bare legs in the 2000s.  There were narrow lapels, wide lapels.  “Dogs and cats living together.”

Fashion changes with the times.  But through the decades, fashion choices never were about being unprofessional in the workplace, disrespectful at formal venues, or displaying a lack of good taste simply out and about.  Except in the case of going bare-legged during the 2000s.

And this is where it should come down to the individual making her own decision about what is right versus wrong; what is “in” or “out” versus what is appropriate for the venue and occasion.

Doing the right thing

Not sure where actress Salma Hayek is actually headed in this photo, but this is a perfect example of how a woman should dress for a funeral.
Not sure where actress Salma Hayek is actually headed in this photo, but this is a perfect example of how a woman should dress for a funeral.

A case in point: Last week, a reader of this blog, Dr. Ray of San Antonio, Texas, wrote this email to me:

“About a year ago, my wife and I  went to a funeral of a close friend of mine for many years. Almost all of the women friends and family wore black dresses, black stockings and black high-heeled shoes.  Why does it take a sad event before women want to look attractive?”

My response to Dr. Ray:  At least, those women had the good sense and good taste to dress appropriately for that occasion.

But Dr. Ray’s larger point is that it took a funeral to get the women in his circle to wear hosiery.  To me, that means they know better.  They accept that an event as formal as a funeral warrants the wearing of hosiery, but why then do they go bare-legged at every other opportunity?

I think the answer is because they can. They can because the bare legs culture exists, so the excuse is out there.

Dr. Ray wrote to me again last night, saying that a similar situation presented itself this past Sunday, when he and his family attended a wedding.  He said his wife dressed elegantly, including wearing pantyhose, while his 17-year-old daughter did not.  That’s likely because the bare legs camp has had some success in convincing today’s younger generation that pantyhose are something only older women wear.

Of course, we know that is not true, as we are seeing more and more young entertainers wearing pantyhose today.  I believe the positive example being set by the likes of Selina Gomez, Katy Perry, Beyonce’ Knowles, Rihanna, Blake Lively, Miranda Cosgrove and Zooey Deschanel to name a few, will begin to influence more young women.

Young female characters on the teen drama series, "Gossip Girl," demonstrate class and elegance in the outfits they wear, including sheer pantyhose, as bridesmaids during a scene from the show.
Young female characters on the teen drama series, “Gossip Girl,” demonstrate class and elegance in the outfits they wear, including sheer pantyhose, as bridesmaids during a scene from the show.

And, thankfully, there are a few good television shows today that feature young women who frequently wear pantyhose.  One such show is the teen drama series, “Gossip Girl,” starring Blake Lively, who appears to be a devoted pantyhose wearer on the set and in real life.

I’ve never watched an episode of “Gossip Girl,” but lately I’ve been seeing many pics of Blake Lively on Internet sites devoted to celebrities in pantyhose.  She appears to be a very professional and classy actress, and she looks fabulous in pantyhose.

Perhaps, shows like this one will someday help to mold a generation of younger women, such as Dr. Ray’s daughter, who will have a positive view about wearing pantyhose.

For now, it’s easy to see how the competing negative and positive press about wearing pantyhose causes confusion among many women today.

No deal, divas

Another longtime reader of this blog, MJ Gruskin, last week, sent me the link to a story published in the online edition of the Tampa Bay Times newspaper:

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/divas/content/reader-question-did-pantyhose-make-comeback

Six writers (all women) apparently form a column, “Deal Divas,” in which they comment about all things fashion today.

In this case, a young woman wrote to the “Divas” about a wedding she attended, at which every woman but her wore hosiery.  The lady is confused as to how this happened, as she had thought that pantyhose were dead and gone.

Here’s the woman’s letter:

I recently went to a wedding in Hunters Green in early November. Very upscale, posh and elegant. I haven’t had many opportunities to dress to the nines so to speak in a few years. So I went all out, new dress, handbag and shoes sans hose of any kind. The bridesmaids age range was 26 to 40 and they wore hose, as well as the bride. All the female guests were wearing sheer hose in colors from nudes to tans and blacks, and many with some pretty killer sandals, too. The women were in their 20s to older than 50.  There were even a couple of women wearing them with pants. I was at a table with four other couples, all women I work with (we work with the bride).

None of us are older than 32. I never saw a single one of them in hose before, and I’ve known them for a few years. I was the only woman that wasn’t wearing any.

I have to admit I felt nearly naked and almost embarrassed. I had a fleeting thought to have my boyfriend drive me to the nearest Walgreens or CVS and buy a pair to put on. I thought hose were long gone.

Am I wrong? So what is a girl to do? Are hose coming back or have they been back and I deleted the memo?

The reply by “Deal Divas” was written by only one of the columnists, Katie Sanders, but who knows whether the other five put their stamp of approval on it?  In some places, Sanders personalizes the response with “I,” and in other places, she uses “we.”

Carole Middleton, mother of Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, not surprisingly knows what to wear to a wedding.
Carole Middleton, mother of Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, not surprisingly knows what to wear to a wedding.

In part, Sanders wrote:

“It depends on whom you ask. Since you asked us, we think it’s reasonable to assure you that you weren’t dressed down for your friend’s wedding.

“It seems odd that all of your young friends wore pantyhose. I haven’t done that as a bridesmaid or a wedding guest, and neither have my friends. We left it behind with our flouncy church gowns, you know?”

Blind leading the blind

Everyone at the wedding had the good sense and good taste to wear hosiery to a formal event, but the “Divas” say that the one woman who didn’t wear hose was not “dressed down.”  That’s the official statement of the “Divas?”  Wow.  It gets worse.  You should read the piece.

It certainly seems to prove my point: Today, women seem to want to do, not necessarily what is right, but what some “fashion experts” tell them is “now.”  And in this case, a woman who thought no one else would wear hose, so didn’t herself, finds that everyone else did, leaving her feeling out of place and slightly embarrassed.  Thus, she questions her belief that pantyhose are “out,” only to be told by the “experts” that it was odd that all those other women would do the unthinkable and wear hose (to a wedding no less), and that the hoseless woman did the right thing.

In fairness, the “Divas” reply does acknowledge (begrudgingly) that the wearing or not wearing of pantyhose is a personal issue.  Also, the reply admits that an earlier attack they made on Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton’s devotion to wearing sheer nude pantyhose was met with objections from many of their readers.  So, at the very least, the “Divas” do the proper journalism thing by telling both sides of the story, and leaving the matter up to the reader.

Heck, even a mail-order-bride in a box from Hungaria comes wearing pantyhose.
Heck, even a mail-order-bride in a box from Hungaria comes wearing pantyhose.

Still, it’s a shame that so many unprofessional and not-too-classy women who put themselves in the position of being “fashion experts,” use their forum to try to influence everyday women of society to view a fashion accessory as elegant and decidedly feminine as pantyhose as something to be disdained and avoided, simply because they have a personal dislike of it.

Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking:  Isn’t that pretty much what I’m doing?  Sure, but at least I’m using my blog to extol the virtues of pantyhose in dressing for professionalism at the office, class and elegance at the formal venue, and beauty and femininity in general, simply because I have a personal love for it.

In other words: Idiot, classless, “fashion expert” – bad guy; wise, classy me – good guy.

Makeover madness

Also, last week (wow, all these things happened last week), another longtime reader of this blog, Brian W., wrote a comment and attached this link:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/9453642/Trinny-and-Susannah-We-dont-look-at-women-as-pieces-of-meat.html

Kate Middleton doesn't need a "fashion expert's" advice about how to dress, always displaying class, elegance and good taste during public appearances.
Kate Middleton doesn’t need a “fashion expert’s” advice about how to dress, always displaying class, elegance and good taste during public appearances.

If the “Deal Divas” are bad, these women are horrible.  They’re Britain’s makeover queens, Susannah Constantine and Trinny Woodall, of the original “What Not to Wear” television show, which aired on British TV for five years beginning in 2001.

During a recent interview conducted by Celia Walden of The   Telegraph (a UK-based online newspaper), the pair offered – among other annoyances – their fashion advice for Kate Middleton:  

   Constantine: “She should wear her hair up more. When she wore that sheer green Jenny Packham dress and her hair up, it was simple but stunning.”

   Woodall:  “Oh, and the flesh-coloured tights have got to go. You can wear flesh-coloured fishnets, but that’s it.”

Unbelievable.  Of the 28 readers comments to this piece, only 25 show up at the end of the piece.

I didn’t see a comment from Brian W., but I am sure he wrote a good one.

Perhaps, my feelings can best be described by the first comment from someone who calls himself or herself “the_sentinel.”

It reads:

“Shame they can’t get a makeover themselves. What utter shite.”

Exactly.

Beauty no accident

ActSensuous has been a proud sponsor of the Mrs. America State beauty pageant organizations for the past few years.

Last year, Kristie Bear, one of our customers, won the Mrs. Idaho-America pageant, and posed in her swimsuit wearing her sash, crown and Act II Suntan pantyhose.  I was very proud.  Kristie is pictured in the News section of the ActSensuous website.

Photo by J.Wolfe Productions, Boise, ID
Chanthy Birch prepares for the judges interview during the Mrs. Idaho-America beauty pageant Oct. 13 at Kuna High School auditorium in Kuna, ID. Chanty is wearing Act II Nude.

Two months ago, Chanthy Birch, also an ActSensuous customer, competed in this year’s Mrs. Idaho-America pageant.  While she didn’t win it, she did take the honor in the Best Evening Gown category.  Chanthy wore Act II Nude and Act III Suntan throughout the pageant.

“I have to tell you it was pretty funny,” Chanthy said.  “During full dress rehearsals, I wore your pantyhose and a couple of the ladies came up to me afterward and asked me if I was plannning on wearing them during competition. I told them yes, and they said they didn’t understand what I was trying to hide.  I simply replied: I’m not hiding anything, I’m accentuating what I have.

“They, of course, thought I was completely insane! Ha ha.

“A couple of the ladies told me they didn’t even realize I was wearing pantyhose because they looked so natural and perfect for my skintone.”

Chanthy, wearing Act III Suntan, looks stunning during the swimsuit competition of the Mrs. Idaho-America beauty pageant.
Chanthy, wearing Act III Suntan, looks stunning during the swimsuit competition of the Mrs. Idaho-America beauty pageant.

Chanthy made a point I’ve been trying to get women to understand forever: Wearing pantyhose isn’t an issue of “have to.”  Rather, it’s a case of “want to.”  Pantyhose are designed to enhance the natural beauty of a woman’s legs.

Funny that men all across the world understand this, while so many women don’t.  Men say that pantyhose are like makeup for the legs.  Do women have to wear makeup?  No.  But does makeup enhance their natural beauty?  Uh, that would be a big yes.

I might never understand why so many women try so hard to villify something as soft, delicate and decidedly feminine as pantyhose.  It’s much easier for me to just appreciate and honor the special women who truly “get it,” and go the extra mile to complete their look; to enhance their natural beauty.

Thank you, Chanthy, for sharing your experience and some pictures of you in ActSensuous.

Note: Photos by J. Wolfe Productions, Boise, ID

Also, I want to thank Dr. Ray, MJ Gruskin and Brian W. for their comments and emails, which led to my writing this post.

Future of Pantyhose in Men’s hands?


Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

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

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

Here is what he wrote in a comment tonight:

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

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

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

The answers attached to that poll ranged from:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Professional model Kate Moss in sheer pantyhose.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

What’s your ‘feeling’ about pantyhose?


Robin Maryland
Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

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

What is silky?  

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

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

Not exactly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Give and take

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

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

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

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

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

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

You have a choice.

 

Wearing Pantyhose an Issue of Values


Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pantyhose – To Wear or Not To Wear II


    

Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

     Two months ago, I wrote what was originally going to be a follow-up to last year’s post: Why Bears Don’t Wear Pantyhose.  But the headline, and ultimately, the post, changed because I realized I first had to gather some current solid intelligence. 

     So I wrote the above-titled post in April and attached a poll under the same heading: Pantyhose – To Wear or Not To Wear.  The poll invited (ladies only) to select whether they choose to wear or not wear pantyhose and why/why not.  

     The choices for answers I offered were pretty strong: 

  • I choose not to because I believe in and completely support the cause for the bare legs movement … period
  • I choose not to because the excuse now exists thanks to the bare legs movement
  • I choose not to on my own personal volition because I think pantyhose are uncomfortable, impractical and/or unnecessary
  • I choose to because I believe in and wholeheartedly support the concepts of beauty, glamour, class and sexiness inherent in pantyhose
  • I am not on one side or the other and would wear or not wear pantyhose based on the appropriateness of the situation/environment
  • Other 

     I thought I was opening the door for those women with “bear” legs to pounce.  I figured that, once armed with the reasons real women gave for not wearing, I would write Why Bears Don’t Wear Pantyhose II and completely debunk all their ridiculous excuses. 

     Unfortunately, two things have kinda killed that plan.  First, no one has taken the poll (as of this writing on June 12, we’ve gotten only eight responses.)  Second, of those who did take the poll, only one of the eight chose a negative answer – the first one. 

     Now, of course, I am delighted that 88 percent of the poll takers selected the most positive response – I choose to because I believe in and wholeheartedly support the concepts of beauty, glamour, class and sexiness inherent in pantyhose

     Makes me wonder whether, despite my plea that ladies only take the poll, it was actually men who so overwhelmingly voted positively. 

     I am leaving that poll open, but I’m not expecting much more activity out of it.  

     I have seen many blogs in which women totally haterize about pantyhose and swear they never will wear them.  Yet, I give them a golden opportunity to anonymously trash the wearing of pantyhose (all they had to do was pick a button), and they don’t bite.  

     So tell me, readers (men and women), what do you think this means? Could there be a shift in fashion attitudes brewing out there?  Maybe those who’ve been committed to “bear” legs are starting to come over to the good side.  

We’re seeing more and more pantyhose these days.  They’re in magazines, TV shows, TV commercials, movies, concerts.  Are pantyhose getting a leg up in the marketplace again?

Pantyhose – To Wear or Not To Wear?


Robin Maryland, president of ActSensuous

     Ladies … hate pantyhose?  Refuse to wear them?  Here’s your chance to state for the record why.  Please take our poll at the bottom of this post.

     Last year, I wrote the post Why Bears don’t wear Pantyhose,  in which I rebuked the few lame excuses women typically give for not wearing pantyhose today.   

     The headline was my way of poking fun at myself for mistakenly using the wrong word in that post’s attached poll: Today’s Bear Legs Culture, as obviously, I meant “bare.”  (By the way, the No. 1 answer by far was “Can’t die a horrible death soon enough,” but then, I am sure it was mostly men who voted.)  

     Still, I can’t fathom why so many women are against pantyhose.  I suspect the biggest reason is just that this “bare legs” trend created in Hollywood gives them an excuse not to wear pantyhose.  They’re jumping on the bandwagon.  Oh, I’m sure there are those who are much more militant about it, but I think if pantyhose weren’t considered “not in vogue” today, women would be wearing, as they always have.  

     I was going to write a sequel to Why Bears don’t wear Pantyhose, but I decided that rather than guessing their reasons, I want to hear what they really are from real, live women today. ( Then, armed with their legitimate reasons, I’ll write Why Bears don’t wear Pantyhose II, and completely tear apart their ridiculous excuses.)  

     So here it is – The ultimate pantyhose poll.  It gives any woman who wants to participate, the opportunity to vote on why she would choose to wear or to not wear pantyhose.  I’ve offered the possible reasons, but there’s also a place to write in other answers, and I would encourage women to do that if my choices don’t reflect their true and accurate reasons.  

     Please Note: For this to work, it must be handled with the utmost integrity, so puh-leeeeeease . . .  ladies only.  Guys, please do not cast a vote.  (Feel free to comment on this post, just please don’t vote on the poll.)  The idea here is to gather real usable data.  Hard evidence.  I want to know the real reasons why women shun the wearing of pantyhose today.   

     Don’t you?