My Thoughts on Pantyhose on a Cold April Day: Are They "In Vogue" Again?
So, it's mid-April in the CLE, and all my boots, heavy sweaters, and winter fabrics, including my thick opaque tights, have been packed away for the season. Quite frankly, I packed them away on my spring vacation, as I was ready to fully transition to spring wear back in March. But alas, we have not had much spring weather with the exception of two abnormally warm days last weekend. I'm getting anxious to wear some new things I've purchased over the last few months, as well as bust out some of my old tried and true spring favorites that I've missed for the last year. I've been trying my best to put together nice transitional outfits or benign, non-seasonal outfits, while staying warm without looking like it's the middle of January. This has been especially difficult with skirts. Believe it or not, I actually prefer skirts and dresses to pants at work. I feel like they are way more comfortable and actually look more flattering on women. They don't stretch out in the legs after sitting at my desk or in meetings for hours at a time and allow more movement.
While I typically wear skirts with bare legs at this time of the year, it was way too cold for that today. I was not in the mood to wear pants, and I despised the thought of busting out my winter-y looking tights and black patterned pantyhose. What should a girl do? I briefly thought about just biting the bullet and going bare legged today; however, I'm still pretty pasty looking (even through use of my Jergens Gradual Tanning lotion), and I quite honestly did not feel like answering the question of whether or not I was cold all day. I thought back to a couple occasions over the course of the past winter, where I saw some of my favorite fashionable women don nude pantyhose. My boss wore nude pantyhose with a suit to work one day, and not only did she look ultra professional, her legs looked great and WARM. Last week, on another cold April day, a lawyer friend of mine wore nude pantyhose with her suiting after being at the courthouse. She looked beautiful and professional. In addition, I read a few recent blog posts from other bloggers on wearing pantyhose, which all indicated that it may not be so bad after all. These posts were also part of my inspiration (including another local CLE blogger), and they are all linked up below.
As I sat there looking at my skirts and wondering what to do, I checked my pantyhouse/tights storage, and as I thought, there lay ONE pair of nude pantyhose. I thought back to my two pretty and fashionable friends and said, "What the heck? Let's go for it. I stopped caring what people thought about me a long time ago anyways." And I wore nude pantyhose today with my outfit.
So what are my real thoughts? My blog post may not be as pretty as the others I've linked up below, but I'll give my initial thoughts on why I think it's ok to wear pantyhose, as well as my thoughts on other opaque tights and patterned tights.
To get the vocabulary straight:
- Pantyhose: Thin, sheer nylon tights that typically come in nude, tan, or black
- Opaque Tights: Thicker tights that are opaque and do not allow any skin to show. They are stretchier and thinner than a legging and are more similar to a pantyhose in nature with thicker and more opaque material. These can come in all sorts of colors.
- Pattern Pantyhose: I own several pairs of pantyhose that are nylon or a stretchy sweater texture. These are typically black with different patterns that can look fun but often look best with solid skirts, especially a solid black skirt.
**For those of you who do not know, regular pantyhose, especially those in the nude or tan color, have become a major fashion no-no or even an issue of embarrassment (although, this may be changing, as this post suggests). Why? I do not know. Black pantyhose are more acceptable, while opaque tights and pattern pantyhose/tights are more common, particularly in the winter, and are freely sold at fashionable and trendy retailers.**
My Thoughts, Advice, and Options:
- When did pantyhose become so passe? I'll never know or understand. I grew up seeing my mom and grandma wearing pantyhose in the 80s, and their legs always looked great. I remember seeing this as girly, adult, and fashionable.
- Back in the high couture fashion of the 40s, 50s, and 60s, pantyhose were a fashion staple. I especially like those with the seam up the back of the leg. In the 40s during the war, women did not know what to do, as the materials of silk, rayon, and nylon were unavailable due to being needed to fight the war. Women even drew lines up the back of their leg to CREATE the illusion that they WERE wearing pantyhose (check info on this out here). Pantyhose were considered glamorous! When did this all change? I find one analysis of this trend very interesting (find it here), but like I've seen in blogs and in photos, it is quite popular in Europe again (but not the US).
- Let's be honest--they really do make everyone's legs look better--especially if it's the middle of winter or cold. Yes, there is leg make-up, but I tend to avoid this unless it's a special occasion, as it's just too messy, takes too long, and gets all over my bathroom. I love fake spray tans, but it's a lot of work (and still very messy) if you do it yourself, expensive if you get it done, and it doesn't last after a workout and shower. Lastly, I will always continue to use my Jergens lotion that gradually gives you color; however, the color is subtle and can sometimes be splotchy after shaving or showering. To me, pantyhose are a much simpler and less time-consuming solution that lead to no streaks or missed spots on your legs.
- Another honest thought--it's just not possible to avoid pantyhose or tights in colder climates or in the winter. We often see opaque tights in Cleveland with some black pantyhose at times. I'm sorry--if you're bare legged in January because you didn't want to wear pantyhose, you just look absolutely ridiculous IMHO.
- I love the look of opaque tights, black pantyhose, or black patterned tights/pantyhose with skirts and boots in the winter, and it is often a go-to for me; however, you know how many skirts have sat in my closet since October because they didn't go with these limited options?! In all actuality, there are some outfits that look better with nude pantyhose. Yes, you can just wait to wear them until it warms up, but I get bored and don't want to be limited in my options when it's cold (as I already am as boots are my only option when it snows).
- In some office settings, especially those that are conservative, pantyhose are still considered to be the norm. In addition, if you read ANY article on interviewing, almost ALL of them advise you to wear pantyhose and NOT go with bare legs. This is why I saw my lawyer friend wearing pantyhose to the courthouse. I'm not sure it is because it is conservative rather than pantyhose is seen as more polished and dressy compared to more casual bare legs.
- As I mentioned above, pantyhose have become more "in vogue" in Europe. As we all know, Europe is generally more stylish and on trend than the US. We often follow many years later. Here are some examples of the impeccable Kate Middleton wearing pantyhose:
So knowing all this, I decided to wear nude pantyhose today with my ankle booties, floral pencil skirt (with a spring vibe), and a light sweater. I looked on trend and in spring season, my legs looked flawless, and I felt comfortable and warm all day. I definitely noticed that my pantyhose-covered legs were warmer than they would be if they were bare.
Now, once it starts to warm up, I won't wear pantyhose or wear with sandals or open-toed shoes. My legs will get more color as it gets warmer, and I generally take better care of my legs when I know they will be seen more often. I'm lucky my office is more business casual, so bare legs in the spring or summer is allowed. I'm just saying, I'm not going to be ashamed or afraid to wear nude pantyhose if I want to look polished, create a new outfit, or keep warm if necessary. I loved my outfit today and may even wear pantyhose Friday with an outfit because I want to be warm and cute!
Like I said before, I stopped caring about what people thought about me a long time ago. If you're judging me because I'm wearing pantyhose, you either care too much, have too much time on your hands, or are just jelly because my legs look pretty good in the middle of January. :).
After knowing this information, are you more tempted to wear pantyhose? If you want ideas on how to do so, check out these articles:
Here are my outfit details from today: