Reader Natalie sent me this question:
I’m a bit unsure about legwear – not tights, but stockings. As a kid, my mom and grandmother taught me never to go out in a dress without them. It isn’t proper. As an adult, I am noticing that the rules for legwear aren’t as clear cut anymore. I have been challenging myself to reflect on how I feel about stockings. My feelings are mixed. I’m worried that I either look unprofessional without them, or dated and old with them. Are there any rules on how to wear stockings? How can I make them look young and fun, rather than old and dowdy?
I could’ve sworn I’ve written about this topic before, but can’t find any posts that specifically address the question of pantyhose. So. Let do this.
Bottom line: If you feel more comfortable wearing nude nylons, then by all means do so. As you may have heard, the Middleton ladies wear them frequently, and both are current style icons. Plus I know lawyers are generally required to wear them in court. Hose have come a long way over the years, and today’s nudes can really disappear against your skin. If you wear them, try to find a high-quality pair/brand that works with your specific skin tone.
Now. In my opinion, wearing pantyhose with a casual sundress and sandals may look a little awkward. Wearing pantyhose to a business casual office might seem like overkill. And nowadays most women do bare legs in summer, tights in winter, and hose only for very specific occasions. (Here in the States, anyway.) Nylons are, to some extent, representative of an bygone era and wearing them may date you. Especially if they’re obvious and/or worn in a casual context.
I’m not gonna hand down any rules for the wearing of pantyhose because I don’t really dig rules. This is a question that many women feel very strongly about on both sides, and there’s room in the world for nylon-wearers and nylon-shunners. Some women may prefer to do hose because of scarring or discoloration in their legs, to add color without tanning (fake or otherwise), or because they just feel more pulled-together with them on. Others love tights – and wear sheer patterned tights for transitional seasons – but see hose as a thing of the past. Wherever you fall, you’ll have supporters and naysayers. So you must decide for yourself.
Over to you: What are your thoughts on nylons/pantyhose? Always? Never? Only for formal occasions?
Images courtesy Kohl’s