16 November 2011

The death of pantyhose

An article at Slate ponders the decline of a longstanding fashion trend:
Whither pantyhose? For the last 15 years, sales have been going down, down, down, the victim of leg tanner, open-toed shoes, more casual dress codes, and the general fickleness of fashion. But in recent months, pantyhose makers have sighted just the faintest glimmer of hope...

The brand’s hope is to introduce the concept of pantyhose to young women who were toddlers when L’eggs last advertised on television. These young women appear happy to buy what’s called “novelty” hosiery...

Sheer pantyhose have come to be seen as fusty, the province of grandmas, nurses and orange-legged Hooters girls. Many women in their 20s and 30s don’t even don pantyhose to attend weddings, much to the astonishment of older women who wouldn’t dream of attending a formal event bare-legged...

The newest L’eggs ad is definitely a throwback, and that’s part of its problem. The sort of polished look that pantyhose offer looks antiquated now, like a woman is trying too hard. “Many people associate sheer with grandma,” Cohen says. Reversing that would require the opposite of an earnest and upbeat TV ad. It would require sophistication or cleverness or irony or shock value. It would require making pantyhose seem somehow new again...


  1. Now I've seen everything. Fashion is fickle and comes around in cycles every few years.
    So when are elephant pants coming back?

  2. I would love to wear hose with the seam up the back (they look good with pencil skirts) but I can't justify spending the moolah on something I'm almost guaranteed to tear the second time I wear it.

  3. With better stay-put technology, thigh-highs are a LOT sexier than pantyhose, and a lot more versatile and comfortable. So I say wave bye bye to pantyhose forever.

  4. So long, pantyhose! Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

    Those things are the most uncomfortable, impractical, awful things ever invented.

  5. Not to mention they can cause yeast infections on really hot days.

  6. Sounds like another case supporting Laver's Law :)

  7. But how do women wear business suits withOUT pantyhose? I would feel like a hick if I put on a dress suit and heels and didn't wear hose of some kind. Ew.

    I'm not in a position to hire anyone but if I interviewed a woman who wore classic business but did NOT wear hose, I'd think very carefully before hiring her. (And just to be fair, I guess I'd have to ask to see all the men's ankles in case they were going without hose, too.)

    P.S. (My 'are you a bot' word is "mutziest." Is that the general attitude of German Shepherds?)

  8. I haven't worn a skirt in literally decades, or heels either, but I can't fathom how a woman can wear heels without hose--not for looks but for comfort.

    --Swift Loris


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