Monday, January 16, 2012

In Defense of Pantyhose: Rusty Explains Her Shiny Choice


Pantyhose have gotten thrown under the bus this decade. Mostly categorized as something you’re forced to wear to church or when your grandmother visits, it seems that an awful lot of women are comfortable with discarding pantyhose (or stockings) in favor of their younger, cooler cousin, tights. Fashion gurus like Tim Gunn have said there is no reason to EVER wear sheer or nude pantyhose.

I disagree.

Here are my arguments in favor of pantyhose:

Some of us don’t tan and fake tanner makes us look orange - Going barelegged to events probably doesn’t bother people who have pigment in their skin or who are able to go out and acquire a nice even tan. For those of us with skin of a color best categorized as “see through” this is not the case. “Pasty” is a word I would use to describe my thighs, and if you look closely you can see veins. Not because I have spider veins (…yet) but because my skin is literally so pale you can see my veins through it. Nude pantyhose solves this problem for me wonderfully.

They match everything - I’m a fan of a good pair of tights, but given that they come in colors or patterns they require more thought with regards to which outfits you can wear them with. I can’t wear the same pair of tights with both my sequined mini-dress as I can with my high-necked knee length sheath dress, because they’re different colors, different styles, and I’d be wearing them to vastly different occasions. A pair of nude pantyhose, though, matches both.

Both Beyonce and Duchess Katherine wear them - Really, what better style icons could you ask for? On one side you have sexy and self confident, on the other you have tastefully refined.

Unlike other forms of shapewear, they can be sexy - Pantyhose help smooth out your legs, your butt, and if you get control top, your tummy. The same effect can be achieved with Spanx, but unlike that spandex based sausage casing, you can actually buy sexy pantyhose. Seamed, or Cuban heel stockings are sexy in any way and the thigh-high versions even more so (though the thigh highs offer less shaping help). And pantyhose require only a minute to slip off and stuff into the crevice of a sofa. Spanx take a solid five minutes and perhaps the jaws of life to get out of.

They cut down on blisters -
Having even a thin layer of nylon between my shoes and I seriously cuts down on the amount and severity of blisters that certain shoes give me. “Rusty, why are you wearing shoes that give you blisters?” Not the point.

Thigh rub sucks - Don’t look at me like you don’t know what I’m talking about. You can use most forms of deodorant/antiperspirant on your thighs to cut down on this, but hose provide better coverage and you don’t end up smelling like baby powder all over.

You don’t HAVE to wear them - Unless you actually are going to church with your grandmother, there’s no rule stating that you do or don’t have to wear pantyhose anywhere. They aren't your thing? You find them sweaty and uncomfortable? You have a devil may care attitude about blisters and an ample supply of bandaids? Wonderful! Just refrain from judging me and my smooth, lightly tan, suspiciously shimmery legs out loud. Because pantyhose also make a very handy garrote in a pinch.


  1. But they are expensive, I snag them right away and I can never use them more than once!

  2. I was actually wishing I was wearing them last night while traipsing across a long parking lot to my car in a dress. That expanse from shoes to hem of dress and coat was freezing. My problem is I'm always wearing open-toed shoes and I don't know how to pull off pantyhose with those.

  3. Lainie, you can buy pantyhose that have gap for your toes. There's one wee hole for your big toe and a separate bigger one for the rest of the little piggies. They are wonderful.

    Vee, I sound almost insane here, but use old pantyhose with holes in them for cleaning. They are the best for scrubbing showers with.

    /I'm a lawyer with fat legs that rub together who lives in a hot place. Pantyhose are my best friend. I agree with every point you've made here Rusty!

  4. Nirvanah, Anti-Chafe gel will change your life.

    1. I really should buy some but for some reason I have shame about it. Not sure why. Doesn't help the one anti-chafe cream that I know in New Zealand has this terrible ad with crying anthropomorphic boobs and thighs. It's awful.

  5. Ooh, going to have to look for the gappy pantyhose. I have translucently pale skin myself.