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I think it's a regional thing, too--in NYC, nobody wore nude or suntan hose. Such hose was considered frumpy in the extreme and was certainly not considered part of looking polished and professional. Put-together older woman wore colored hose, but not the nude kind.

A big part of it is that hose looks like crap with open-toed shoes, which are considered professional-looking in NYC if they are dressy. (Comically, one of the places where I worked was headquartered in Ohio, and HQ actually sent us a dress code that--DUN-DUN-DUN!!!--forbade the wearing of open-toed shoes. The e-mail came, there was a shocked gasp or two, and our editor-in-chief yelled out, "I have no intention of enforcing this!")

The other part of it is, I think, part of the NYC approach to beauty, which basically involves spending a gazillion dollars to make sure your skin and nails are perfect everywhere. So, you don't wear hose, and you don't wear foundation, because otherwise you just spent all that money for nothing!


I'm in my 30s and I actually wear nylons most days -- but I'm a lawyer, and I wear suits most days, and dress shoes every day, and I would have all kinds of blisters and raw spots on my feet if I were running to meetings and court with my tender little bare tootsies in my shoes. Also, I have sturdy, pale, Irish legs, and if I wore a skirt suit with bare legs, I would look like I had forgotten to finish getting dressed. My six-foot-tall boss with the sleek, shiny, tanned legs -- she looks like a million bucks with bare legs under her suit. Me, not so much.


I've often debated this with myself. If I want to stop wearing hose then I think I need to start shaving. I'm not sure I have it in me to start shaving. I hate the way it feels and I always cut myself. Of course, I'm about to move from the Northeast to Texas, so maybe I'll end up reconsidering this stand in the name of One Less Layer!


I worked in software. On most days, my entire office wore flip-flops but only really to get into the office then everyone went bare foot (except me). When I dress up I wear either black pantyhose or none depending on the season. I, like SP, am pale so nekkid paste-y white legs aren't too pretty against a dark skirt. I just cannot pull off the Dita Von Tease look nor do I want an oompa loompa spray tan. I will say the more expensive pantyhose are far more comfortable.

HA! I do remember Lisa, you and Amelia defined business success as landing a job for X-amount of money a year and no pantyhose during our runs to Bennington, VT back in the "Troylette" days. I see your love of pantyhose endures.


I wear stockings--part of it is the Ohio thing, where it's cold and conservative, and that I've done stints in both law and banking. Like SP, I'm sturdy, pale and usually bruised.


Another option - no skirts or dresses! That's how I get around the issue. I too would have the blister/pasty leg issues mentioned above if I tried to wear a skirt without hose. I'm a lawyer too, but I just wear pants suits. I think I have one skirt in the closet that I can pull out if absolutely necessary.


Thank goodness I haven't had to wear hose since the late 90s. Kansas, conservative, etc. The small hardware company where I worked went business casual in 1994 or 1995 which was HUGE! But my next job was at a ultra conservative engineering firm where the men wore dark pants, white shirts and ties every day. Women were required to wear hose and because the rules were company wide, open toed shoes were forbidden as well. Fortunately, they finally went business casual in 1997 around the same time I started working on telecom projects at companies that were either casual or even permitted jeans.

Hopefully my next job will be a jeans-allowed work place.

Lisa S.

I do remember Lisa, you and Amelia defined business success as landing a job for X-amount of money a year and no pantyhose during our runs to Bennington, VT back in the "Troylette" days.

Ha! That's right. What is kind of unnerving is how I've shaped my career around the no-hose requirement, and the work-at-home-when-I-want condition. Professional milestones? Bah! I'm about comfort.


I was an editor at a banking publisher for a while in the mid-90s (in Austin, Texas), and they had a written dress code that required hose for women. Well, I don't even like wearing skirts, so I chose to follow the male dress code. I got in trouble for that.

But, anyway, yes, hose are stupid and fragile and a waste of money and I'm glad they're going away.


I work in TV, so I wear jeans most days. On days I wear skirts, I'll either wear opaque tights or no tights at all. I only wear nylons when I have a super formal occasion in the winter. And that's really rare.

To me, someone wearing a skirt & nylons is generally either quite a bit older that me (I'm 30) or someone "professional". I am distinctly not professional - I feel like a faker if I'm wearing nylons with a skirt.


I turned down a very nice job offer with a quasi-governmental mortgage entity as late as 2000 because they required a full suit and pantyhose 5x a week. I hadn't gone to graduate school to keep buying pantyhose and suits. Suits were for interviewing, as far as I was concerned.

I had a miserable job for about 6 months just out of college with a guy who was ex-Coopers & Lybrand. He leased his office space from a law firm in downtown DC and (dun dun dun!) I was required to wear hose, although I cheated and wore long skirts sometimes.


It will be a cold day in hell before I wear pantyhose. I think the last time I had to do it was when I was working at Last Call for Neiman Marcus and I wanted to KILL MYSELF.

That shit is oppression, plain and simple, and there is absolutely no reason to have crotch sweat on a daily basis. If I had to wear suits to work, I would wear pantsuits and trouser socks.



Yeah, I wear pants. I am not a fan of pantyhose. My legs are not covered in the sort of skin one wants to see - I am pale and angiomatous, and I hate shaving, so sheers are out. Opaque pantyhose are not, in my book, preferable to colored tights - it's obvious that is not leg skin, and there aren't many outfits that call for what amounts to pale brown tights, so why not just color-coordinate?

Bare legs are, however, not an option for the same reason sheer hose aren't. (Besides, my legs stick together if it's hot.) So I wear pants year-round. I figured out years ago that even if it's something so formal that a suit is required, and someone might frown at pants, you can still crank up the formality to maximum with jewelry, shoes, hair and make-up.


Pantyhose is just awful. It snags constantly, your legs have a weird fake tan look, and for what? I have only worn them for job interviews.
Nobody here wears them, even the older women.

My mother is of the previous generation and she swears that pantyhose keep her legs warm. HOW?!?! Tying Kleenex to my legs would keep them warmer than pantyhose does.

Awful stuff.


I'll add my voice to the chorus noting that pantyhose are just not comfortable. Also, there's the whole thing where the waist slides down the whole day long, and you have to make emergency pit stops to haul the things back up so that the crotch doesn't wind up around your knees. I think that's why the article concludes that ties are worse--the guy wearing hose I'm sure wore new ones under pants, and he should have worn slighty stretched-out ones under a short skirt for the full experience.


I've been noticing black hose on women lately -- black is about all I would consider wearing but I have not worn pantyhose in ten years. My legs are not long and tanned either, sadly.

I almost exclusively wear pants unless it's the weekend and I'm dressing up. I'm really not comfortable in a skirt. And I don't wear heels anymore. I wish I could as there are some cute ones but everytime I put on a pair I wonder why I have just given myself hours of agony and pain. I am in the market for a pair of very comfortable and plucky heels to wear to a friend's wedding -- I have a smashing dress that just won't do without heels. But, I'll wonder why that is so while I'm at it.

(I always end up bringing flats for later in the evening when I feel I've given fabulousness its due diligence and everyone is too drunk to care what my shoes look like.)


I have never once worn hose for my current job (environmental consultant), in fact I generally wear jeans two to three days each week.

My mom, the public school teacher, still wears them every day. Maybe it's an Ohio thing?

Kate M.

My office dress code is actually a range from business casual to business formal (but no jeans allowed, except Fridays in the summer). I won't wear pantyhose with open-toed shoes but if I'm wearing a suit and closed-toe shoes, then I'll suffer with the stockings. I'm also part-Irish: pasty legs need something to hide their pastiness (or at least, mine do).


One of the advantage of holding a job that requires evening (5 p.m.-1 a.m.), weekend and holiday hours is the freedom to go without pantyhose. In the winter, I wear black tights -- usually nylon, but wool if it's really cold -- with dresses or skirts; in the summer, I wear closed-toe shoes, no stockings.

I'm a copy editor for a daily newspaper in the Northeast, and I usually have little contact with the public. And if any of my coworkers are spending enough time looking at my legs that they're getting perturbed by what they see, they're not doing their work -- and they're going to miss deadline!


You are so right about ties not getting runs. The thing that angered me the most about hose (note the past tense) is paying money for disposable clothing. Disposable!

I own one pair of black hose that I wore to church occasionally this past winter when my knees weren't looking so great. Usually, though, I'll choose tights if the legs need to be covered.

My current job has no dress code. I've actually gotten flack for wearing shoes that make a sound on the bare floor -- i.e., something besides flip flops and tennis shoes.


I've owned my own business for nine years, and I get to wear jeans and birks and t-shirts. I also deal with paint on a regular basis, and clay, so being washable is my current concern.

However, in my pre-crafting life, I had a job in the corporate office for a high-end department store chain. I was required to be dressed "for the floor" every day. Except, I never went on the floor, so I finally said to my boss that it was either hose or make-up, but I wouldn't wear both. They told me I could stop wearing make-up. Made no sense, but it was the decision.

February 24, 1999 was the last day I wore pantyhose to work.


I'm ten years out of school and work in engineering - not exactly the most socially progressive of occupations. I'm finding this conversation fascinating because I started out in St Louis wearing stockings, and now am in DC where stockings/pantyhose only happens in the winter when I want an extra layer for warmth and/or don't feel like shaving. I love skirts and dresses and I guess I felt like I wanted to be taken seriously at my first job. My second job was a big codified place in the DC area, but my female boss there wasn't of the pantyhose school. They did have a dress code there, but we all universally ignored it - the male side of it made sense, but the female side did not at all. And now, I work for a male boss of the polo-shirt-and-chinos variety in a double wide trailer at a wastewater treatment plant (sexy!). There is no dress code, especially for women, so I just make it up.

I have always refused to wear full-out pantyhose in any sort of heat. I'm 5'9" which seems to mean crotch creep on a serious scale, on top of crotch sweat. Yuck. I'm also Canadian with a non-air-conditioned car, so there is no way I am wearing any more clothing than I have to in the humid hotness of summer. So my small collection of legwear is mostly woolly tights for winter and a neglected pile of stockings. It helps that my one suit is for interviews/proposals only, and thus only gets out once a year, if that.


I'm really late to this discussion. Here's why I don't wear hose: I am the completely wrong body type. I'm almost 5'9, but my legs are short (longish torso), plus I'm a plus-sized gal. Most hose that would fit my hips and/or waist are made for women with much longer legs or who are generally just taller. They inevitably end up bunched around my ankles or knees before the day is half over.

My solution is to wear longish skirts - slightly below the knee - with plain coloured knee socks if I need to "dress up". While I work with the public, we don't have a dress code at work so I could theoretically wear jeans every day (although I limit myself to Fridays and Saturdays, and days where I know I'm doing a lot of climbing over and under things).


YOu almost certainly don't have legs good enough to go bare. It's make-up for your legs.

Lisa Schmeiser

B -- may I call you B? I don't dare presume that the B stands for "brave" -- B, unless you've seen my legs in person, you have no room to comment on whether or not I should be wearing hose. (And if you've seen my legs in person ... well, consider yourself privileged, my friend.)

But you keep on dispensing your judge-y little tips! It's good to see the pantyhose lobby go grassroots on the blogs.

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