The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

17 August 2006

Stocking up

Washington Post fashion editor Robin Givhans notes in Harper's Bazaar (September, the one that weighs eight or nine pounds):

The difference between fashion in Washington, D.C. and New York can be summed up in two words: panty hose. In New York, panty hose are an accessory that can be worn or not according to whim and weather. In D.C., panty hose are political.

Although I now live in Manhattan, for almost five years I lived in our nation's capital. I never wore panty hose in D.C. I made this decision based on personal comfort and my inability to get into a pair of sheer nude hose withour poking a hole through them. Years ago I mentioned my disdain for panty hose at a ladies' luncheon. My dining companions each a power woman in her own field gasped. A rebel was in their midst, and they were intrigued. Was I making a feminist statement of personal freedom? Was I snubbing my nose at personal propriety? Well, no, I just didn't like panty hose. "But don't you wear panty hose with your suits?" asked one woman. Did I dare admit I didn't wear those either? In a town filled with social secretaries and protocol specialists, flouting decorum is a serious matter.

Two thoughts:

  • I always thought it was one word: "pantyhose," except at JCPenney, which persisted in spelling it "pantihose" for many years.

  • Costa Tsiokos doesn't care one way or another.

I would, however, like to hear from some actual women on this matter.

Posted at 8:29 PM to Rag Trade

Actual woman here.

Number one, I hate the word "pantyhose," one word or two. Just hate it. I call them "stockings" which tends to confuse people. When they seem confused, I say, "You know, hosiery." If they are still confused and force me to say, "pantyhose" I cross them off my list. I'm weird that way.

As to wearing them, I have a love-hate relationship. Certainly they help with one's shape and coloring. They are, however, expensive, hot, and easily torn. Shopping for the correct size, shade and opacity is a nightmare, and as soon as you find the kind you like, it is discontinued. Sheer is better, but rips more easily. Opaque can make you feel like a sausage.

Sounds like the truth of the matter is that I don't care for stockings.

Posted by: Jan at 9:37 PM on 17 August 2006

I'm with Jan one hundred percent. They're like high heels - they look good and help you look more attractive by whatever that standard is that we all try to live up to. But they're NOT comfortable and they run or stretch so easily that they're very expensive. What? you've never tried them yourself??!!

Posted by: anne at 10:51 PM on 17 August 2006

Last summer, LilRed took a shot at guys who complain about mere ties:

When wearing a necktie in the scorching summer heat gives you a yeast infection, then I'll believe that a tie is just as uncomfortable as pantyhose.

I pointed out at the time that ties did not elicit a response of "Nice neck" from women, to no discernible avail.

Posted by: CGHill at 7:23 AM on 18 August 2006

I'm not sure how I should take being cited as a panty/hose (compromise between the one- and two-word spelling) fashion resource. If all that's required of that status is blogging about it one every couple of years, then I'm down.

And you won't hear me complaining about wearing the neckties. I'm having a ball buying new ones every couple of days, and showing them off in the heart of summer.

Posted by: CT at 8:58 AM on 18 August 2006

I don't think I've worn a pair of pantyhose since the days when my mom used to make me wear them to church.

I do, however, wear tights in the winter. Totally different.

Posted by: Sarah at 11:18 AM on 18 August 2006

I don't like pantyhose. They feel weird and they run often. And, in a way, they look sort of weird too. If I have to wear a dress, I only wear it during the winter. As you can tell, I try to wear pants as much as possible.

Posted by: sya at 2:36 PM on 18 August 2006