Chick Stuff - Pantyhose

Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Here's a little something manly for you men out there:



Enjoy. Now, on to the chick stuff!

Today's topic is pantyhose. That bane of the modern woman. Expensive. Fragile. Completely non-fire retardant. Tell me - are they IN or OUT?

When I was in the Navy, pantyhose were not optional. If you were wearing a uniform skirt, you were wearing pantyhose with it. NOT OPTIONAL. Didn't like it? Tough shit, you whiny git. Quit your bitching and get your ass over to the Navy Exchange and buy a pair of the hateful things.

When I joined the civilian workforce, I wore pantyhose with my professional attire. I wore a lot of skirts and suits, and I wore the pantyhose because that's what I knew. Then I started working with my friend Tabby.

Tabby never wore pantyhose. Dress, skirt, suit, summer, winter - she didn't care. NO PANTYHOSE. She was almost religious in her conviction that pantyhose were things of the devil, so she went bare-legged wherever she went. And I found that fascinating, because her skin was pale. Pale, pale, pale. Just like mine.

Now I had seen women go without pantyhose before - I'm not that much under a rock. But they usually had very nice tans, either from a bottle, a booth, the beach or the genes, or they were women of color. It never occurred to me that a woman like myself, long on the Irish heritage when it comes to skin color, might actually go without pantyhose and get away with it.

Well.

I still usually wore pantyhose, though. I lack self-confidence when it comes to the fancy attire, and usually I need someone who is wiser in the ways of fashion to give me some guidance before I make a change. Then I started working from home full time, and it didn't come up much. Boogie the Giant Schnauzer does not care if I wear pantyhose, and in fact, my fuzzy slippers were usually pretty much my daily staple.

But now I'm in a job where I may have to leave the house and dress for work. And I'm dying to know - pantyhose, or no? When is it acceptable to forgo the hose when you wear a dress, a skirt or a suit?

Give me some guidance, y'all. Seriously, I really shouldn't be allowed to dress myself without some help, and I do like to wear skirts and dresses occasionally in a professional capacity.

Yes, yes, I'm a dork. So sue me. And then give me some advice about pantyhose. Inquiring minds need to know.

31 comments:

The Mechanicky Gal said...

I just scanned a bunch of slides from the 50's through the 70's. Just family stuff, but the clothes that my Aunties wore were wonderful. And I know they wore hose of some sort with everything.
Now, I am in the boat with you. Very rarely do I NOT have a bruise of some sort on my shin. And the pale? I'm there. I do not like the looks of my legs without hose. Hose ALSO covers that didn't-quite-get-too-the-leg-shaving thing.
So, hateful though they are, I wear them on the few occasions when I need to look pulled together.
I also like that they smooth out unsightly jiggle and bumps. Even under pants.
But you may have to look better than regular on a more frequent basis.
Pale skin is definitely in, and if you have no bruises and shave regular-like, go without!

vince said...

I like the power tools.

Eric said...

It's probably better to wear just a stocking or a ski mask. With pantyhose, I would think the extra legging might get caught in the revolving door while you're fleeing the bank, or maybe caught in the door of your getaway vehicle. Plus, it would probably look kind of dumb and the rest of the gang may make fun of you.

Wait... what is it you do for a living again?

WendyB_09 said...

Funny, at the jobseeker meeting last night the discussion turned to what you could and could not deduct as job hunting expenses for tax purposes. All the women complained about not being able to deduct pantyhose expense, which highly amused the 2 men at the table.

As for me, I've worked in business casual for the last 10 years no matter the industry. Slacks, top of some sort, socks, sneakers. Plus pantsuits w/kneehighs when pushed to be dressier for some reason. Maybe wear hose once or twice a year for formals if I go the dress route instead of the sparkly pants? Even my interview clothes are pantsuits.

I dunno, if there is no formal dress code specifying, it would be up to your own comfort zone. And tan doesn't seem to be an issue any more, especially with the emphasis on sun protection. Pale is in.

Although in your part of the country I think it would be a warmth factor this time of year!

Random Michelle K said...

I do like to wear skirts and dresses occasionally in a professional capacity.

Well there's your problem right there...

However, on the extremely rare occasions where I've had to wear hose, I purchase the really nice expensive ones. Same goes for knee highs. I've had several pairs for years and years (remember, I rarely wear them) and they hold up fine.

Rachael said...

Honestly, I don't know. On the rare occasions I wear a skirt instead of pants, I go without pantyhose despite the fact that I'm so pale I might as well glow in the dark. This is because I've got fat thighs, and wearing pantyhose makes me feel like I'm wearing a cheese grater between my legs. Owie. But anyway, several of the ladies I work with wear skirts a lot, and pantyhose seems pretty optional for them...

ntsc said...

I'm with Vince.

My wife wore them at her last job, but she was the Executive Suite Manager for the third largest bank in NY City.

Steve Buchheit said...

Mmm, power tools. Um, what were we talking about?

Unfortunately I work in an environment where the women mostly wear jeans and I hate to admit it that I don't often check what they are wearing.

I do, however, have a funny story about a coworker who wore a pantsuit to the Dallas Office of one of the Big 3 Business Management Consulting Firms (this would be about 1993-4). Men and women travelled up three floors from across the building to see a woman not in a skirt. I would hope by now that we're beyond the "must wear nylons of some type" by now.

Nathan said...

I think it's rather presumptuous of you to assume I have nothing to add on the topic of pantyhose.

The fact that I don't doesn't make your assumption any less presumptuous.

Thank you.

That is all.

Darren said...

My wife enjoyed the power tools more than me, I think. ;-D

On the subject of hose, she swears by knee-highs in longer skirts, and thigh-highs in shorter skirts. I quote "no woman should ever be subjected to full hose."

mom in northern said...

It could be worse sweetie.
You are too young to remember the garder belt.. :-(

Trash the panty hose...knee highs work well with pants suits and they are a LOT cooler..temp wise.

Jeri said...

My office ranges from business casual to casual-casual. I'm in nice jeans, lace-trimmed cami and cardigan today - and sockless Mary Jane shoes.

That said, it SEEMS to me like hose are far more optional and a thing of the past. When I see folks wearing knee highs, in particular, it seems to age them. Textured stockings or trouser socks with slacks, and hose, tights, boots or no hose at all with skirts.

I personally prefer a longer skirt, thicker, but still lycra-based tights/stockings, and boots rather than a shorter skirt and hose - more comfy, warmer in winter.

I have some really good contemporary fashion & image consulting resources at home - I'll do some research when I get back.

Anne C. said...

Maybe this is my youth talking, but I never wear pantyhose anymore. (I did when I was a youth and still uncertain about the rules.) In the summer, a knee-length skirt and strappy heels are enormously cool (since I will not wear shorts to work, no matter how casual it is). In the winter, I rarely wear skirts, though I have noticed this year that cool textured tights are in. I might try that.

- I think skin color is not really an issue. The stigma against white skin (which in the olden days meant you were a woman of privilege)is over with the understanding of the link between tanning and skin cancer.

- As Amy pointed out, having unsightly bulges smoothed out is nice, but not enough to put up with the expense and annoyance of pantyhose IMHO.

- If I haven't shaved, I wear pants. (Wendy is right. Pantsuits are a fabulous option to have.)

I think what it comes down to for me is: wear what makes you feel happy, empowered, and comfortable (mentally, not just physically). Calibrating your self-expression for others is fine in moderation, but ultimately, there will always be those who choose to not like what they see for whatever dumbass reason they find AND those who see beyond the clothes (uber-tailored or off-the-rack) and see YOU for who and what you are.

(Which is an awesome human being, a fabulous friend, and an intelligent and capable engineer, BTW.)

Carol Elaine said...

I wear pants most of the time at work, mainly because I really hate to shave my legs. When I do get around to shaving them, I wear skirts because, pale as they are from rarely seeing the sun. I like to show them off. I don't wear pantyhose.

It really depends on your industry, though. Finance and insurance tend to be more conservative, so even now pantyhose is usually a must. JPL's dress code is all over the place (lots of balding men crossing the lab grounds from one building to another, so lots of hats - shorts, socks and Birkenstocks aren't out of place either, usually on the same person), but my boss likes me to look professional, so I do - but I still don't wear pantyhose. Knee highs with pants, but that's because it doesn't take much to chafe the skin on the top of my feet.

Janiece, are there any women in your area/industry that you can ask?

Janiece said...

As always, I appreciate the input.

Carol Elaine, there aren't that many women in my job title. Engineering is still pretty much a male dominated field, and in fact, during one of my meeting here it was like a privileged white male convention.

If I have to appear formal-formal, then I usually where a pantsuit. That way my tats are covered, as I think showing off my leg tats is less "formal" than wearing a formal pantsuit.

Carol Elaine said...

Yeah, the female engineers around here rarely interact with the public and also tend to wear pants most of the time. We're not much for skirts 'round these parts. And that includes the administrative ladies like myself.

I like Anne's idea of tights - I tend to wear opaque black tights when I want to wear a skirt but I haven't shaved. They'll be especially welcome now that the weather has turned cool and rainy. For some reason, tights are less objectionable than pantyhose - maybe because they tend to be stretchier and less likely to constrict my breathing.

Sweet said...

Pantyhose are sexy and I wear them 24/7 because a majority of makes find them sexy.

Venus Vaughn said...

This goes against my feminist side, but... keep your legs shaved and moisturized and you can forget about the hose. If you're not into shaving or lotion, then you will probably want to hose yourself up.

I am someone who does not believe that people should be judged on how they dress. I'm also not stupid, so I realize it happens anyway.

Having said that, I'm a round black woman. The only time I wear hose is for fancy formal events. Period. Hose for work is merely gilding my fantastic lily.

Janiece said...

Um, Sweet? Really - seek help.

Venus, I can't tell you how it tickles me that you describe yourself as a round black woman. That's awesome.

Venus Vaughn said...

It's all about truth in advertising, baby! I used to describe myself as "short, brown and round" but I think that many adjectives in a row confused people :-)

The Mechanicky Gal said...

Venus, you are my new bestie!
My pale as hell skin I can deal with, but why oh WHY do I have so many bruises? And FROM WHERE DO I GET THEM? But tights are GREAT.

Jeff said...

I'm not sure about the 24/7 part, but "Sweet" is right - sheer, soft, slippery nylons of any variety, whether it's pantyhose or stockings, are sexy to us guys. Just do us all a favor and skip the $1.99 No Nonsense stuff, please.

Random Michelle K said...

Mechanicky Gal, it's not just you.

I am always bruised, and more often then not, I find myself saying, "hmm.... wonder where that bruise came from? Looks like it would have hurt a lot. Why don't I remember that?"

At my last job I had permanent bruises on my hips, at the height of the benches in the lab. :)

Anne C. said...

I think that the fact that males find pantyhose sexy a very good reason NOT to wear hose in the workplace. I don't know about you, Jeff and Sweet, but I find it difficult to be effective at work when I'm thinking about sex.

Janiece said...

Anne, me, too. Very distracting.

Carol Elaine said...

*looking at cute JPL nerd boys*

I'm sorry, Anne and Janiece, did you say something?

John the Scientist said...

Anne and Michelle - heh, you guys really are in flyover country. In NYC, I swear about 75% of the professional females dress for maximum sex appeal.

Most of them don't wear hose in the summer, slightly more in the winter.

It's so common it's no longer distracting to me, or perhaps I'm just getting old and tired. :(

When I was in the lab, most women scientists had a bias against people who dressed that way.

neurondoc said...

Venus, I must be your opposite -- I'm the round white woman. And pantyhose are just plain old annoying. If only for the fact that inevitably I will stick my finger through one of the legs and just totally wreck it.

Nelly said...

I love pantyhose. I love the look and it creates a more formal or special appearance depending on the occasion.

I blame the fall of the financial institutions on the current lax dress code at the workplace.

Janiece said...

Welcome, Nelly.

I have to admit, I've been wearing them more often lately than I would prefer.

bigziggy said...

I gotta tell you, as a man with a huge pantyhose fetish, a woman in pantyhose is a huge turn on for me and for men in general. A woman in pantyhose has a power over men that most women are not aware of. It tells us men and also women that you have sexual dominance and confidence in both the workplace and in private situations. Pantyhose scream sexy no matter what you are wearing with them or just wearing them alone.NEVER, NEVER wear knee highs. That is what old ladies wear. They look like shit. Pantyhose also say that you are a professional and care about your attire and personal looks especially in the workplace. I speak for a lot of men when I say that a nicely dressed woman with bare legs, doesn't do it for us. If you're going to take the effort to beautify yourself and dress sexy for work or play, put on a pair of silky tight shiny pantyhose and watch the drool come for the mouths of the men that tke notice to you. I for one am a pile of quivering mush in the presence of a sexy woman wrapped in silky tight pantyhose and am willing to do anything for her especially if she knows how to use the power they give her to dominate her victim.