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The Disappearance Of Hosiery: 10 Reasons Legs Went Bare

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For decades upon decades, women wore hosiery.  All through the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, this is simply what the ladies wore… but then, suddenly, it went away.  Indeed, it happened so fast (perhaps somewhere in the late 1980s) that I didn’t even notice until hosiery had all but vanished from the face of the earth.  What the hell happened?

In the UK and much of Europe, hosiery has made a comeback in recent years, but in the United States it is entirely absent.  I grew up surrounded by hosiery, so I must admit, I’m a bit sad to wave it goodbye.  In the 70s, all the foxy babes on TV wore them: Charlie’s Angels, Daisy Duke, Chrissy Snow, Wonder Woman, Julie Barnes (The Mod Squad), Marcia Brady,… the list goes on and on. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a perv with a stocking fetish. I just grew up with them, and like most guys my age, was sorry to see them leave.

The question is “why?” – or to be more precise “WTF?”  I’ve done a bit of research by asking a few ladies and come up with a few theories of my own.  Feel free to offer your own explanation for their mysterious disappearance, and together we can solve this mystery.


hosiery 2

1. They have simply gone out of style.

We are all fashion followers, so it stands to reason that what is not marketed in Cosmo, Vogue, etc, as trendy and stylish is not purchased. The fashionistas for years have been telling young women that only grandmothers and old ladies wear pantyhose, that nude pantyhose makes your legs look like they’re encased in a sausage, and that it also makes your legs look orange. Kate Middleton helped change that conception in the UK, but it’s still pervasive in the States.

That’s the obvious answer. But dig deeper and ask why they went out of vogue in the first place…


hosiery 3

2. Hosiery is an annoyance and inconvenience to women

They often have runs, which require frequent purchases. Also, a run can cause embarrassment. I am told they are uncomfortable. They have a tendency to slip down, and can create annoying wrinkles in your shoes.



3. Tan legs are “in”

A function of hosiery (especially nude hose) was to improve the tone of the leg.  Now that most women in the US tan their legs and “tan in a bottle” is abundant, this function of hosiery became no longer necessary.


hose 2

4. Women gained control over the mass marketed female images and fashion industry

What women wore and what was deemed fashionable used to be dictated exclusively by men.  If men thought legs looked better in hose, then by God, women are going to have to wear hose.  Once women had a say in the process, the inconvenient pain-in-the-ass hosiery was kicked to the curb.


hose 3

5. We’re comfortable showing bare skin

For a time, hosiery basically served to censor a woman’s bare leg.  In other words, it was more than a little bit naughty (and in poor taste) to show off a bare leg; now that that taboo is long gone, yet another function of hosiery is gone.


hose 4

6. Razor blade improvements

It’s easy to overlook this factor, but vast improvements in the comfort, ease and effectiveness of modern razors definitely has had an impact.  Women’s razor blades of today actually provide a smooth finish without carving your legs like a turkey.  The need for hosiery to mask the effects of unfriendly razors is long gone.


hose 5

7. Skirts aren’t as short

The heyday of the miniskirt is long since gone. With much less leg shown, so there isn’t much need for hosiery which improves the appearance of the leg.


hose 6

8. That annoying “swishing” sound

It’s certainly not the primary reason hosiery went kaput, but according to the ladies in my informal poll, it is a contributing factor.  The swish-swish-swish with every step was often a source of embarrassment.


hose 7

9. They look bad with open-toed shoes

Even the biggest pantyhose enthusiast will have to admit they look a little ridiculous with open-toed shoes.

But these answers still don’t get to the core. I mean, women have always had these issues with hose; and skirts haven’t always been super short; however, they were fine with wearing them back then… why not now?


hose 8

10. Americans have gotten slovenly

If you look back a few decades, you’ll see people dressed up more. Men wore hats and kept their shoes shined. Women wore gloves and were rarely seen outside the home without makeup on. The change from well-groomed and “dolled up” to today’s state of shabbiness was a gradual transition. The hippie counter culture was the first to make strides in this area.  For whatever reason, this casualness just got more and more casual.

You always hear that today’s society is overly concerned with outward appearances. However, it’s interesting to note that we’ve never cared less about the way we present ourselves. In this climate, it was only a matter of time before hosiery bit the dust.

Of course, this begs the next question. Why have Americans gotten so casual? That, I’m afraid, is a question for another day.

hose 9

  • Nicholas Hughes

    Still alive and well in Europe.

    • Highland26

      Good to know!

  • SkeptiGal

    Reasons 1, 2, and 9 are the top explanations, with #s 2 & 9 providing the rationale for pantyhose going out of style. Another reason has has to do with pants playing a larger role in women’s fashions, thus less of a need for hose. In addition, those of us who live in areas that are freezing in the winter wear pants and skirts/dresses with boots Instead of skirts with pantyhose. Boots, in case you haven’t been to a place like DSW, are outnumbering shoes, again providing women with less need for pantyhose. I haven’t worn pantyhose in years. Tights, ie thicker hose, is making some comeback, especially with short boots and skirts, but pantyhose is (are?) dead.

    • Rick

      No, Not dead at all! Just in most of America! That certainly does not qualify as “Dead!” Too bad though, they really do look by far more attractive and I live in a very cold place in Winter. Pants. Oh well.

  • CRaeJ

    Things certainly have changed since the seventies when I came of age. I can remember actually being excited as a girl when my mom bought me several pairs of pantyhose to wear rather than the opaque tights that I’d always worn up to that time. They seemed much more “grown up”, and I wore them quite often.
    Fast forward forty years, and while I still like to wear hose to work and when I’m dressing up, I’m definitely in the minority.

    • Philip

      Good for you, CRaeJ! At least you’ll have better looking legs than the majority of women who go bare-legged looking “slutty,” which is my personal opinion. I’ve been an avid admirer of legs in nylon hosiery since seeing Mary Tyler Moore in a few episodes of the Dick Van Dyke Show as well as having a mother who wore nylons on a daily basis.

      • CRaeJ

        Thank You Philip. 🙂
        I do whatever I can to look my best, and a compliment from a gentleman makes it all worthwhile.

      • gjm11653

        I agree. Bare legs are not pretty. In shorts or sun dress acceptable, but a nice suit in court in bare legs ugh!

      • xstratusx

        A woman who chooses not to wear hose does not look “slutty.” By that estimate, most women today, who don’t wear hose, look like sl-ts. Does any female in your family not wear hose? What do you think they look like?

    • Lisfyre

      I still wear them. Like you I came of age in the seventies and my first pair just made me feel so grown up!! I don’t mind going bare legged in shorts and summer dresses but never bare legged when going to work or dressed up – in ANY season.

  • Brian A. Williams

    Here is my take on some of them:

    1. American women are known to follow fashion trends religiously from fashionistas, media, and celebrities on tv shows, movies, books, magazines, and the internet. Some people said that the bare leg trend originated from the TV series “Sex and the City” where Carrie Bradshaw and her friends are always seen bare legged in designer shoes year round in New York causing many women including celebrities, fashion models, various tv personalities from news reporters, anchors, talk show hosts, and US first lady Mooch…Michelle Obama to abandon hose in droves and go out bare legged, regardless of the weather. The so called fashionistas may have declared pantyhose out of style, but there are a number celebrities such as Beyonce, Katy Perry, Zoey Deschanel, and Ariana Grande that wear pantyhose at various events. Would these women be considered granny if they wear hose to an event? If these fashionistas are considering them granny, they are showing a lack of respect towards these stars who are being themselves by dressing very classy and professional for an event. The negativity from the fashionistas about Ariana Grande’s pantyhose caused her to break down in tears at the Grammys a few months back. Hose is pretty much in style in Europe, not because of Kate Middleton, but they never went out of style, even in Eastern European countries such as Russia, Estonia, Poland and Asian countries such as Japan and Korea where women wear them as a culture and tradition of femininity as opposed to fashion influence in America.

    2. Women are wearing the wrong size and style of hose. Instead, they are wearing the cheap brands of hosiery from the dollar stores, supermarkets, drug stores instead of well known quality brand names of hosiery. Another factor is that the American hosiery companies are not following the European method in investing in new technology to producing nylon in order to make hose soft and silky. Instead they were too focussed on sticking with the old method of stiching the nylon to gain profit, causing hose to be tight and constricting eventually causing runs on legs, and women to hate wearing them. All of this contributed to the downfall of hosiery in America. Even the pantyhose advertisements that were seen on TV and magazines throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s disappeared as well.

    4. The feminist movement may have played the role in allowing women to gain power over men. Not only women are controlling the fashion industry, but gay men who only care about dictating what is in and out of fashion, and pantyhose was no exception.

    5. Unless they are toned, not all women have the legs to pull off the bare leg look. Some women have various skin blemishes such as pastiness, blotchiness, and veins on their legs, thin and knobby knees, crusty and unevened toes. If a woman tries to pull off the bare leg look with all those blemishes, it would look downright tacky, disgusting, and unprofessional.

    9. What is wrong with pantyhose and open toe shoes? If the fashionistas think that pantyhose and open toe shoes are a fashion faux pas, what is the point of making sheer and sandalfoot pantyhose then?? To me, this is just a myth, misconception, and pet peeve to discourage women from wearing pantyhose with open toe shoes. Women wearing pantyhose with open toe shoes is still elegant and common today like it was in the 70s and 80s, even in some European countries as well.

    10. This is the most common part of all. American women have gotten lazy when it comes to dressing up nowadays. Instead of dressing like a lady, they decided to dress like a slob and skank which is showing a lack of class and professionalism in America. They are also giving America a bad name and reputation around the world in caring less how they dress even in other countries where it is considered etiquette to dress classy and professional at an event that calls for wearing pantyhose with their outfits. One example is Actress Rita Wilson (Tom Hanks’ wife) who did not know that she had to wear pantyhose at an Royal Event in the presence of the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Rita later admitted that she does not own a pair of sheer hose herself. Another example is hose hating US first lady Michelle Obama who was criticized for not wearing hose at an event in the Czech Republic that calls for women wearing pantyhose, despite the fact she previoulsy wore them during her husband’s first presidential inaugeration in 2009. The ever increasing presence of the internet has casualized the workplace environment causing some workplaces to loosen their dress codes, and employees to conduct their work away from their workplace. As a result of loosened dress codes, women are now dressing more casual by wearing less skirts and dresses, and wearing pants even flip flops to work like if they are going to the beach. Women can’t dress too casually in a business setting in a European or Asian country, where dress codes in some workplaces are known to be strict due in large part to their country’s business culture.

    • I fully agree, I started watching this tv series called Fresh Meat on hulu here in the USA. The female cast ALWAYS has some sort of nylons or tights or leggings on. Never bare legged, if more shows like this are brought to the States I’m sure the fashion trend will revert to more wearing of nylon hose, hope so because nylon hose does make legs look much better.

    • BrotherGee

      Bravo on your comments, Brian. Well said!

    • ratched

      You have WAYYYYYY too much time on your hands, lol. (Now I’m going to feel bad if you live in an iron lung or something.)

      • mary in michigan

        Brian: I enjoyed your comments & agree with you 100%. I am an “old lady” (69), so old that I wore hose with garter belts in high school. That was our dress code, dresses, skirts, dress shoes & legs covered. Sitting with the garters digging into our legs all day was not pleasant. So when pantyhose came out (around 1961?), they were wonderful!!! I can’t believe how women dress now days in an office. Last week I saw 3 women in a hospital office wearing skirts, bare legs & beach sandals, all 3 of them. They were in their 40’s. Also, stringy sloppy hairdo’s. Geez, It’s a total shame how women dress these days. I worked in a bank 10 yrs in my 40’s & we all dressed & acted appropriately. I miss those days. We were told in high school that the dress code was enforced to prepare us for the future. Women today haven’t a clue. Again, I enjoyed your message. 🙂

        • gjm11653

          I too wore garter belt with hose. I had 4 sisters and keeping us and my mom in hose was a chore. I remember on Saturday night several pair of hose hanging on a line in the kitchen. When I married and wore pantyhose I was in heaven! I am seeing many very pretty women newscasters sitting displaying their legs and they appear bare. Not really terrible looking but not real attractive either. I think hose are pure class. A sundress or similar can go without, but nothing says class in a suit or dress like great hose and shoes or heels.

        • Ma1nguy1

          mary in michigan….. I fully agree with you. I’ll be 70 this year and I hate that women have abandoned hosiery in their dress just because some fashion designer (male who already hates women) decided they weren’t necessary. When my younger sister came of age, nylons replaced her socks and she became a young lady.

    • kurzie

      Well said

  • taxcider

    Global warming. But mostly 10..I don’t begrudge a female dressing for comfort. Still I don’t understand the point of wearing thong sandals with pants to a club (?) Also the internet. People are getting connected through dating websites so again no need to look your best in public to attract a mate. Also men are guilty (me included) for focusing their attention on women’s hose legs and objectifying them. Studies show there are more single people than married…so less reason to look “attractive” to get a mate to be legitimized in society. But back to 10 I’ve seen women with B*tch tattoos, what I consider those ridiclulous piercings (especially lip studs)..ridiculous false eyelashes, constant profanity (It’s hot as s__t, I’m tired as s___) it’s like they purposely make themselves unattractive. All of which I approve so when I see a woman in pantyhose it’s a real treat. Of course I’d rather be in the 70s when I first saw Mary Tyler Moore in a leotard (seems like most TV producers tried to put most women in leotards/cocktail dresses at some point..even Mrs. Roper and Mrs. Howell) . Also one companion who wore them for me said they itched her so much she had to remove them in a McDonald’s restroom.

  • The4thStooge

    I am that person who wears sandalfoot pantyhose or stockings with sandals–it’s a weird thing, but meh. And there’s no way that I’ll wear a skirt or dress without stockings. No one needs to see the mosquito bites and other scars on my legs, so why not cover them up a bit. I don’t wear pantyhose very often though–I have skinny ankles, and I can never get them to fit correctly. (Also, if you’re over 5’8, but not “Big Mama” Pantyhose sized, you are doomed to have a very uncomfortable day, with your pantyhose sliding down your legs all day long!)

  • martin caidin

    Professional cheerleaders still wear them.

  • Tina

    Ha Ha, you had some good points. I’ve also heard some women say they think hose are a bit trampy. Like you’re only wearing them to get extra attention to your legs. Also, men have pretty much fetishized the garment. They get associated with porn now. Websites with women wearing them to turn guys on. Women don’t want to be objectified that way, especially with this newer generation of women who want equality between men and women. And men over the years have pretty much made pantyhose a fetish garment.

    Add to that, they’re a pain in the butt for women to deal with. If she has nice legs, there’s really no reason for her to wear hose. Plus, it’s become more acceptable for women to wear pants. In a lot of jobs now, pants and comfortable shoes make more sense. High heels and pantyhose are a fashion pain in the butt for them.

    I think pantyhose are mostly used these days by women who want extra attention from men. To most women that means trampy. They associate it with acting like a prostitute, or being easy.

    Let’s put it this way. They know it turns guys on. But if you’re the boss at work, or if you’re trying to be taken seriously by guys, you don’t want to be turning them on. So I think what’s really killing pantyhose these days, is Guys. They over fetishized the garment. And if you think about it, why do guys like them to wear pantyhose? They want to get a little turned on by it. That’s the truth behind it. Women today are going to school and are getting high paying jobs. They don’t need to dress in a way to attract a guy to take care of them. Not like before. The culture has changed, so the impression of the garment has changed. The impression is, this what guys want me to wear, but I will wear what I like. Often times, that’s not pantyhose.

    • MadisonW

      If pantyhose are seen by women as something that men “sexualised,” why, then are high heels shoes or thongs/g-strings not seen this way too?
      I think it has more to do with the 90’s trend of bare legs, which, IMO, was/is a terrible trend and that when many of the younger women of today think of pantyhose, they think of the brands/styles of those of their grandmother. Hosiery has come a very, very long way since the 80’s.

      • liv

        Thongs and Gstrings are going away, while kind of popular they do not the main selling garments when it comes to women’s underwear.

    • Rick

      Oooow “Sniff” “Sniff” “Waaaah” Come on! Please! Women are slaves to fashion and frankly don’t speak for young women until you educate yourself with other mainstream societies where women look great showing off their legs and if you want equality then vote for it and make it happen! You can have equality and still present yourself as sophisticated feminine without damaging your ego.

      • CLB11267

        I like this “they don’t need to dress up to attract a guy to take care of them” concept. That may be true, but even if so women do seem to “want” men. Go look at any magazine catering to women; within a couple pages of any “Pantyhose Suck” article there will likely be a “Why Can’t I Find a Good Man” story. Now that is a many faceted issue, but one of those facets is guys don’t take women who dress like androgynous slobs 24/7 seriously.

        Also, it’s really ironic the Tinas of the world get really put-off that modern males avoid wearing suits and ties on a regular basis!

        • Disgruntled_OlderGuy

          I completely agree with your comment. Heaven forbid women actually wear something that pleases a man. We can’t have that. And these same women will whine in frustration why they can’t ever find a good man or there aren’t any good men out there. Go figure. “guys don’t take women who dress like androgynous slobs 24/7 seriously”…..this nailed it.

      • Optimusnorm

        As my Eastern European female former colleagues have said (Masters and Phd level educated) they don’t agree with Western Feminism because it seems they want to make women like men…rather than make women and men equal before the law and in opportunity. I’ve heard the same sentiments from East Asian and South American women too, particular directed at American women.

        But American women think this is all an affront to equality and gender to make small efforts even sometimes.

        I dated a couple of American women and they didn’t even wear hosiery at the opera or when I took them to 5 star hotels. As nice as some of them were I always felt there was a lack of effort going on compared to the European and East Asian women I dated in my time.

        Of course it’s not just about hosiery – it’s the whole package but as a man who very much makes an effort to dress well especially when in the company of ladies I see no reason why they can’t do the same. Of course they are free to do as they please but they can’t complain when I date other cultures.

  • hal09i

    I think its important to remember a few things before you count pantyhose out: for the last 500 years, woman have worn some type of leg hosiery. The bare leg look essentially came in vogue around the year 2000. It reined supreme for about 10 years before pantyhose started to make a sneaking comeback. So tell me– what’s the aberration? For years the fashonistas said that pantyhose “made your legs look orange” and that “they make you look like an old woman”. Well, Kate Middleton came along and proved that one wrong in spades. Additionally, the fashionistas said that pantyhose were expensive, that they ruined easily, and were downright unhealthy to wear. Well, the same thing is true of high heels, and I don’t see them going away anytime soon. Finally, you have a whole generation of young women coming of age who really know nothing about pantyhose except what they’ve heard from Mom, their Aunt, or maybe older sister. However, they know this: Mom is now devoutly bare leg. So is Aunt Jane. And the bare leg look is going to be the new “mom jeans” fashion faux paus to avoid at all costs. I’ll even say it plainly: The bare leg look is SOOOOOOOOOOOO 2006………

  • Highland26

    You got it right with #10. We need to make a complete about face, but the political climate of today seems to be a roadblock. And yes, I still wear hose!

  • MadisonW

    Hosiery – Not just for weddings, church or other “special” events.

    Black sheers – Not the only choice! Nude sheer or ultra-sheer hosiery, when closely matched to skin tone, looks absolutely amazing!

    Sheers and Ultra-sheers actually make a women’s legs look younger, healthier. The bare leg look which shows off veins, bruises, scrapes, bony feet, bony knees, spider veins and other blemishes do NOT make you look younger.

    Set up a poll that features a non-model women’s legs (waist down, showing part of the dress or skirt) in various heels, pumps, flats, etc. Same women, same shoes. One pic of her in sheer hosiery that matches her skin tone and one bare legged. Pics side by side. Then one with pics of a women in opaques (tights) and bare legged, same women, same shoes, same picture distance and angle. Do several of these, using the same women for the side by side comparison, in various combinations of skirts/dress, heels/flats/boots and hosiery, ultra-sheer to opaque, etc.

    Do the poll without notifying the participant that it’s a poll about hosiery (or bare legs), but start the poll featuring sheer (or ultra sheer) vs bare leg pics and then opaques vs bare leg. Some women (& men) will know right away what type of poll it is, but not all.

    100% guaranteed, the majority of women & men will say the legs with hosiery look better, even though its the same (non-model) woman. And, most likely, the sheer hosiery would win the most “up” votes (vs the opaques). And, more than likely, a higher percentage of men (than women) will like the hosiery look in dresses and skirts vs. bare leg.

    You intentionally pick out a beautiful dress and sexy, gorgeous shoes and then go bare legged? Doesn’t look good.

    This would be similar to a man dressing in a nice suit or even a nice shirt and slacks with a nice pair of shoes and then not putting on nice dress socks, simply going without socks all together. A terrible look whenever he sat down or worse then crossed one leg over the other.

    Hosiery completes the look for women. Legs looks better, smoother, more elegant, etc. More complete.

    Bare legs are…well, bare. Great for shorts, great for swimsuits, great for wearing with flip flops. You know, the casual or beach scene look. Not so great for paring with dresses or skirts. Looks incomplete and too raw when matched with a dress or skirt.

    There is a poll on stylebistro called “What Do You Think of Wearing Tights Under Shorts?” As of now, 81% like and only 19% dislike. Mind you, this is about the more casual look of opaques (not sheer/ultra-sheer) with shorts (not even dresses or skirts). Hosiery does look better than bare leg, in many situations.

    Besides, there are so many new types, new technology out there since prior to the 90’s. The sheer/ultra sheer skin tones look far more natural and appealing than before. As a bonus, there are of course many options for giving the appearance that you’ve lost a dress size (tummy control, especially with high waist, bum lifting, leg messaging, etc). There are even some that are made specifically for hotter climates such as the Silkies 65 Degree Control Top Sheer Pantyhose (in regular & toe-less). There are even hosiery that have a G-string affect made by Trasparenze (& others), if your into that, anti cellulite hosiery made by Solidea (& others), moisturizing hosiery made by Solidea, Cette (& others) and non-slip sole hosiery made especially for high heels by Marks & Spence, Frappe, Verano (& others).

    Like Kate Middleton, Beyoncé, Zoey Deschanel, Sofia Vergara, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and many of the younger 20 somethings from Disney, many more young and middle aged women should take notice that hosiery just looks better with dresses and skirts and has come a very long way in the last decade or so!

    ““You suddenly have flawless legs without having to do anything,” said Ms. Dahan, 33, a Montreal-based mother of two and co-designer of Mackage, a brand of downtown chic outerwear. ”
    ““there are a lot of stars wearing them and you just don’t know they are because they are so well done — it’s one of Hollywood’s best-kept secrets,” said Mary Alice Stephenson, a stylist and fashion commentator who said she wears sheer hose to black-tie events or when she thinks she might be photographed in a short skirt.”

    • ratched

      I’m going to put one over my head. The poor woman’s guide to a face-lift, except an awful lot of law enforcement stop me for my name. Foxy me.

    • xstratusx

      The veins are still there when you take off the hose.

  • Cynthia Celeste Miller

    I think #10 is the biggest reason, to be honest. In a day and age where a lot of people (read: slobs) go to the store or even college classes wearing pajama bottoms and house slippers, it’s apparent that it has become too big of an inconvenience to even dress themselves properly, let alone with class or style.

  • Rick

    It is true that in Europe especially, Women wear hosiery including the “New Old Fashioned” Nylon stockings with garters or suspenders. Men especially find it very sexy for a woman to wear pantyhose/tights/stockings along with heels of course. Women here in America are just too inconvenienced and could care less if it looks sexy. I’m lucky in that women I date wear them. Something I read on the net stated that there are now men’s pantyhose and a fair number of men too wear nylon stockings! Fascinating.

    • Ma1nguy1

      Rick it’s not about looking sexy but looking more attractive, I’m more likely to turn my head when I see a women regardless of age dressed “fit to kill” and she’s wearing nylons with her pumps

  • TammiMoore99999

    I work in an office. I am a receptionist. So many men in that office tell me how much they like my pantyhosed legs. The wish their wife or gf wore them. I like the attention.

    • CLB11267

      I’m an attorney and I interact with a number of female attorneys and paralegals. The vast majority of these women show up to meetings and even courtrooms attired horribly. The general trend seems to be formless, drab, loose fitting clothes. I once saw a middle aged female attorney show up in court wearing what was basically a very high quality sweat shirt/sweat pants combo. Another extreme is one who usually comes to work in flats, capri pants and t-shirts with logos barely hidden by a blazer.

      There is a small handful of women who dress in dresses, skirts, hosiery and heels. At the minimum they wear tasteful pantsuits.

      The irony of this is that men and women alike in this field show much more respect to the ladies who dress up.

    • xstratusx

      That sounds highly inappropriate and borderline harassment. Glad you like it because not every woman would.

      • Jared Malan

        She said SHE liked the attention. How does it even concern you?

  • Bogomil Ochrony

    Why the irrelevant and gratuitous slur on pantyhose and stocking fetishists in a discussion of fashion evolution? Methinks the writer doth protest too much! Though I too lament the disappearance of nylons from women’s wardrobes and more generally deplore the sad fact that Americans have been getting more and more slovenly, a much bigger problem is posed by a conformist people so intimidated by society that they can neither think nor communicate candidly.

  • cindy duran

    I haven’t worn a dress since stockings,hose,panty hose dissappeared. I won’t ever where another dress and thats sad. I use to love dresses.

    • Ann Hale

      They haven’t disappeared!

      • cindy duran

        Haha guess that’s true. Just don’t see them on legs any more.

    • KTina

      I very rarely wear dresses or skirts and it’s specifically because of pantyhose shaming. Legs look better in hose but stubborn women don’t cared and will continue to look crappy and unkempt so they can be “comfortable”.

      • CLB11267

        Pantyhose shaming? Yeah, I believe that exists!
        Something that always amazes me is how in this current anti-pantyhose environment tights and leggings are going strong when the season is right and even the most strident fashionistas will sing the praises of these pantyhose-like items of clothing. Doesn’t make a lot of sense since much of the problems with pantyhose exist in tights and leggings…

        • KTina

          I hate tights! They itch.
          One more thing….just the thought of squishy bare feet crammed into pumps makes my skin crawl. THAT’S uncomfortable and disgusting.
          Damn Sex in the City!!!!!! They started it all.

          • liv

            no they didn’t.

          • Oort Cloud

            I agree. It started in at least 1994, maybe before that.

      • J.r. Dorland

        So does that mean you are ashamed to wear hosiery or afraid of the school house bully ?

      • Oort Cloud

        Same here. I haven’t worn a white skirt or dress since 1994 because I couldn’t figure out what to wear with them. And I haven’t worn a skirt or dress in a very long time because of hose shaming. Commenters here don’t seem to realize that other women will straight up shame other women for wearing them. I get enough judgment for things I can’t help. The hose shaming is very strong. I had it phrased to me that women who want to wear hose are ashamed of their bodies, trying to get away with camouflage, and supporting the mean old bank manager types who want to enforce dress codes etc. So the shaming isn’t just about fashion. It’s as if the woman who wants to wear hose is manipulative, deceitful, and ashamed of her flaws.

        • Chipsie

          Wow….I’m sorry to hear you experienced this. Are you and the women you refer to in your early twenties?

        • cheeze.wiz

          You’re full of crap… All my friends are women… And not one of them shams anyone for their clothing choices or hose choices… Wear what you want

    • J.r. Dorland

      And that is also one root to the problem. Be who you are and quit worrying about what other people think. That the root of being a real person and living life for you, not other woman..!!!

      • Oort Cloud

        Making enemies of the bully type fashionista women is a real quick way not to get promoted at work, for one thing.

    • cheeze.wiz

      If you want to wear them. Wear them… If you don’t then don’t..

    • Ma1nguy1

      Why is someone holding a gun on you forbidding you to wear a dress???????

  • Ann Hale

    Tattoos, nose rings, bare legs, tacky clothes, low cut cleavage revealing tops, men with nasty feet in sandals… this is what passes for normal today. It’s gross!

  • Dan

    I think another reason is that hosiery doesn’t look good poking out of the impossibly ugly shoes women wear now. Hosiery is sexy; ugly shoes are not. Plus I’m not sure women know what sexy is anymore. Seem to me like being half naked means sexy for far too many of them. As for sexy stocking well the world’s most fetching TV personality right now, Rachel Riley, could use a bit of saucing up when it comes to her gams (see how old I am???). I’ve been watching the 80’s unfunny sitcom Sledge Hammer lately and marvel at how lovely inspector Doreau is in her classic mid-height pumps (and tight mini skirts of course). 🙂 Ladies, the next best thing to a pair of perfectly tanned legs is a pair of sheer black stockings. After having writtne all that I realize I haven’t helped with finding out why! I don’t know!!!!!!

    • xstratusx

      Maybe women don’t care what men think is sexy because they want to dress for themselves and not men.

      • Ma1nguy1

        If a woman goes out with me she WILL wear hosiery if she’s wearing a dress with pumps or there won’t be a date. BTW I’m a gentleman in every respect and I have class and there aren’t a lot of us out there. So she will wear hose or sit at home alone on Saturday night if she wants to go out with me……

        • Maureen Welch

          Wow. Major A hole-but thanks for alerting women so they can avoid a control freak like you.
          Anybody who has to proclaim they “have class” -doesn’t and shows their ignorance of the word’s definition and social connotations.

          • Ma1nguy1

            +Maureen Welch Ms Welch nothing you say to me means nothing. You see I have no shortage of women all with minds of their own who would go out with me knowing what I expect when it comes to attire. “control freak” you say? hardly, you totally misjudge me, however I do have standards which I will NOT compromise. Then again women outnumber us anyway 4 to 1….. BTW I happen to be a Black American in case you’re assuming that I might be another White guy who’s a control freak

          • Ma1nguy1

            One more thing if American women don’t acquiesce there are the Asian women who are trained to honor their men/husbands. Yeah the feminists have done whatever to degrade the men in America, so we American men can find wives from abroad while you wenches wallow in women’s lib

  • Kay

    I noticed the trend and stopped wearing pantyhose, except rarely, when Princess Diana seldom wore them.

  • James Duprey

    The only reason we look at their legs is because of hosery. I’ve seen so many bare legs that I’m about to puke. They are so ugly. Has no person ever walked up and told them??????

    • liv

      God forbid a woman have ugly legs… and wear hose just to appease you… What makes you think your legs are attractive. And what makes you think women give a shit if you think their legs are ugly or not.

      • Highland26


        • cheeze.wiz

          Go wear a pair of hose and find something to vacuum

        • Ma1nguy1

          AMEN AND AMEN!!!!!!!!!!

      • Ma1nguy1

        cheeze.wiz I know I have beautiful muscular big legs, been told by countless women but I also wear OTC dress socks with slacks when I’m going out with a woman. I never wear shoes without socks, I don’t care what the fashion police says…. I’m not governed by dictates of fashion. Go ahead and follow the feminists and you will be left alone. YEAH if a woman goes out with me on a dress up date SHE WILL WEAR HOSE end of discussion……

        • cheeze.wiz

          So you tell women how to dress? You dictate to them how to dress? You’re their fashion police? You’re such a full of shit hyprocrate…

        • cheeze.wiz

          If my man doesn’t want to wear socks with his slacks he doesn’t have to wear socks… Nor would I tell him he had too… Why don’t you stop telling women how to dress we don’t care… Haha

          • Ma1nguy1

            +cheeze.wiz there are less of us “FEW GOOD MEN” out there so we’re in the position to tell you what we like and if you want to share your life with us you’ll acquiesce.

          • cheeze.wiz

            I’ve never met a good man who called himself a good man…

            I also know plenty of good men and even adopted a kid with one… He would never tell me how to dress nor I him…

            but go on keep calling yourself a good man… at least someone believes it

          • cheeze.wiz

            Also I do share my life… With an amazing man… He’s kind, he has a good heart, he is a great father, he’s smart and brave… He loves me and I love him and I’d never tell him how to dress or if he can or can’t get a tattoo or how to wear his hair. I’d love him how ever he chose to dress or look because it’s not just how he looked that made me love him but who he is. So I don’t think you know anything about anything other than control and being a spoiled brat

      • James Duprey

        Some things need to be said straight up. Yes, you are doing it to appease the male population. Do you understand? But in doing it, you are doing it for yourself too. Have a little pride and show some respect for yourself. Others will admire that….instead of dishing out the “here it is take it or leave it”. We don’t want that and I suspect nobody else does either. Of course you can get dressed for the day, sit in a closed room, and say to yourself…”I am doing this for myself”. Geez. Do we have to teach everything?

        • cheeze.wiz

          I do not wear panty hose and I’d never wear them for a man…. Why don’t you take your old views back to the past…

        • cheeze.wiz

          Also I’d never demand my man dress or wear something be didn’t like or want to wear to appease to me or other women. That’s stupid… Do you understand… Do we have to teach everything… Like it’s not your place to control what or tell someone how to dress to appease you…

    • Optimusnorm

      To be fair even if a lady has fantastic legs good hosiery makes them look better. More is less as they say.

      I’m in good shape for my age but get more compliments from women in a suit than I do in shorts.

      It’s not rocket science.

    • xstratusx

      Due to prevalent discrimination, many women dress for themselves and don’t care what men think anymore. I’m sure many women think you dress unattractively as well.

      • Ma1nguy1

        xstratusx I’m not worried about what women think of me, because I know that I’m a catch and a gentleman with class to boot and was raised to respect women. So if they want to go out with me they’d better follow the program and wear hose if they’re wearing dresses and closed pumps. Bare legs are not attractive to me even if she has great legs.

        • cheeze.wiz

          You’re a gentleman… But you have a program a woman had to follow? Yeah you’re a real catch… A real catch and release

          • Ma1nguy1

            +cheeze.wiz I’m not boasting but while I can’t speak for other men, I’m not a wanderer with a roving eye. She will always have my complete and undivided attention and loyalty but she will wear nylons…get it?

          • cheeze.wiz


            But keep talking… Seems you might actually believe you’re a good person… And not a controlling jerk

          • Ma1nguy1

            None so blind as those who will not see…… I’m sorry for you….Have a great life with your significant other. As for me I will always have plenty of great company

          • cheeze.wiz

            I see you… In fact you’re so transparent I think I’ve heard you called glass… Or maybe even crystal. Always a controlling psycho claiming to be a great catch and talks about all the great company he had yet seems to always be on websites calling women shallow and ungrateful for not dressing to please him… Ugh you’re so old and boring… At least dinosaurs are fossel fuel… You’re just a fossel… Times are moving forward and youre still in the past clutching to those good Ol days of panty hose and segregation… I know it doesn’t please you that your office assistant isn’t looking to marry or impress you any where other than at work… But this is life now and younger people don’t listen to old farts who cling to the outdated…

            It’s always some old biddy claiming “back in my day… “… Well it’s my day now and we don’t care

          • Ma1nguy1

            Please move on with your life, I have nothing more to discuss with you because I’m not changing the way I think. I have a right to express my views under the US Constitution. LOL,,,,,,, hahahahahahahahaha, you must think I’m a “WHITE MAN” ? Segregation???? I fought in Viet-Nam as a 20 year old man, when President Johnson and FBI DIrector J Edgar Hoover connived to get us brothas off the streets and drafted to fight their war during the turbulent 60s….. what a joke. I happen to be a Black American man who grew up in the 60s/70s. College educated and now retired.

          • cheeze.wiz

            Oh you said it online so it must be true… For someone so liberated you sure are closed minded… And for someone who fought your think you’d appreciate people’s right to chose what they want to wear or not wear… But as usual its some old man claiming he knows what’s best and claiming he won’t change… Well the world is changing and we’re leaving you in the past.

            Oh and my amazing dude… Did four tours in Iraqi… He is a marine and was a machine gunner… Oh and is Hispanic… He’s never once said that he thinks a woman should dress any type of way or thinks the Taliban is correct or just in how they treat women…

            So you sir are so full of shit

          • Ma1nguy1

            No need for you to be insulting, typical of your generation no respect, no proper home training…… BTW I’m glad your significant other came back unharmed……

          • cheeze.wiz

            I don’t respect people because they are old… Being old just means you haven’t died yet. I’m not going to respect someone who demands women dress a certain way and openly says he understands the Taliban… Nah… If you’re shit im going to treat you how you deserve to be treated…

          • cheeze.wiz

            No you’re not glad. And I didn’t tell you to gain some sympathy… I’m simply saying from one man who also fought for his country he is very different from you and deserves love and respect because he’s kind and warm and generous… But men like you… Who know suffering and being demanded to do something even though they may not want too act as if a woman owes them pretty legs disgust me. A woman owes you no more than you owe her and that is to be treated like a person… Not something there for your pleasure.

          • Ma1nguy1

            Now you’re trying to read my mind when I expressed my sentiments regarding your partner. You see I’ve been to “The Wall” and then I’m 20 years old again as I look and see names of those guys who were in Viet Nam, One I knew from elementary school it is very sobering. You weren’t even born yet. We didn’t have the country’s support back then. They called us baby killers and threw rocks at us. I just turned 21 in Viet-Nam. I personally never shot at anyone because I was a medic

          • cheeze.wiz

            I thought you fought… So which is it… Do I think it’s right… No I think anyone forced to fight for their government is a victim and eat is wrong… So for someone who knows such suffering treat women like people who aren’t there for your pleasure but they’re too live their lives and enjoy them just as you are… If you want respect be worth giving it to.

          • cheeze.wiz

            I highly doubt what you’ve said about yourself is true… And if v what you say is true then I’d suspect any lovely lady black or other wise would not listen to a damn thing you said about how they should of shouldn’t dress…. Oh and I find war appalling… And I find it disgusting that you think the way the Taliban treats women it’s just… Especially when that is a militant group that forces people to fight… Just as you were… How disgusting your soul must be.

          • cheeze.wiz

            You not once mentioned any exceptions… Nor did you ever say you’d want to know why a woman didn’t wear them… But here you are claiming that I’m not on subject… Yet I’ve said from the beginning that women don’t care what you think nor do they dress for you…. Or should they ever have to give you a reason for why they do or do not wear something… It’s not your business… Your program is old and outdated just like you and your company…

          • Ma1nguy1

            Look miss I did grow up with sisters too and I know the pros and cons of nylons….. Since we’re now a society where most women opt for pants over skirts/dresses no problem but if they’re going out to a dressy event where dresses are the rage (not talking about young women going to the club) I still prefer going out with a woman who is wearing nylons unless she is wearing a full length gown. My opinion is I find a woman wearing hose is more attractive

          • cheeze.wiz

            I doubt you have sisters

          • Ma1nguy1

            I have no reason to lie about that. Two are gone from me now and yes we were very close and I still have a baby sister who is close to me.

          • cheeze.wiz

            you’re fine too have your opinion but that doesn’t mean society or women care what your opinion is… You see how that works…. You can also say whatever you want online… Doesn’t mean you aren’t going to be criticized… Get it?

          • Ma1nguy1

            Criticized? Oh yes even the President gets it no matter what he says or do, he’s not going to make everyone happy. As for me, we’re at a stalemate, I have my way of thinking and you have yours so you just have to agree to disagree without insulting the integrity of the other person.

          • cheeze.wiz

            I think you’re disgusting and full of shit… If you’re insulted perhaps it’s because it rings true… Also you claiming to have sisters then saying you understand the Taliban makes you nothing but slime to me. I don’t have to be respectful or kind to someone who is grossly misogynistic

          • Ma1nguy1

            Never said I agreed with the Taliban or their ways. Just like I see red when I used to see abused women coming into my recovery room with wired jaws because their husbands or boyfriends beat them up and then they refuse to charge them and then they ask about them when they wake up. Me, I want to go out and kill those dirtbags but I can’t

          • cheeze.wiz

            WTF are you talking about…

          • Ma1nguy1

            Just replying to your response on a comment I made regarding the “Taliban” earlier or have you already forgotten?

          • Ma1nguy1

            Anyway I’ve had enough of this discussion, I don’t have to deal with your cursing too……..

          • cheeze.wiz

            Go back and read what you said… You’re slime

          • Ma1nguy1

            I’ve not resorted to calling names nor cursing, so who’s the better one here………. Just go away…. I don’t need your sorry responses

          • cheeze.wiz

            So this is all about how you look… Don’t worry you look lime a crazy controlling psycho… Make sure those ladies stay with the orgasm and you make sure to demand they call you a great guy and tell you you’re a gentleman… Haha

          • cheeze.wiz

            Love and respect isn’t control… What if you meet a woman wearing pants and find out she haa artificial legs? You gonna demand she dress how you want….? Or what if you meet a woman who had scars on her legs from a terrible accident and she likes to show them off to show she’s a survivor and strong… You going to demand she cover up? If you ate so small minded that someone not wearing something is a deal breaker you’re not a good person… You’re controlling and abusive. Love doesn’t control people.. Love makes people want to be better and supports them… It doesn’t make such silly demands

          • Ma1nguy1

            We’re not talking about physical disabilities here. stay on the subject, typical woman going off on tangents which have absolutely nothing to do with the current discussion. While I believe in women’s rights, now I see why they have the taliban in the Middle East……….

          • cheeze.wiz

            Oh so now there are exceptions to your rules… I thought she had to get with the program… How’s that back tracking going

          • Ma1nguy1

            Look I’m sick and tired of this tawdry bickering, you’re not going to change my point of view, I meant what I said and retract nothing, which does not adhere to the mundane tawdry effects of earthly mordification. Good bye

          • cheeze.wiz

            I don’t care to change it… But it won’t stop from calling you gross and full of shit as well as a liar.

        • Eric Heiss

          Your comments are very good. I can see someone ‘trying’ to read your, “I’m not worried about what Women think of me, because…” comment as negative – maybe they can somehow pull that out (trying), but it is quite obvious that your sentence of “follow the program” meant the saying of, “get with the program”. Like our Mothers would tell us, “You think you’re wearing your pajamas to go shopping?-you better get with the program Mister!” And then ‘someone’ CHOSE to take that (and then everything else you typed) as a negative toward them. (ungh..) “you have a program to follow?” (like rules~ no. it was a figure of speech to express that one is seeing something way out of line, hence, ‘get with the program’).

          Carrying on… *I met a lovely girl. I liked her immediately. When we went on our 1st date, she was dressed in a long dress w/a slit in it, bare legs and combat boots (“Dr. Martens”) (“Your Mother wears combat boots!”) 🙂 I was completely turned-off from her appearance. (not her mind, her face, her heart and everything else). 2nd date she wore jeans~ fine. 3rd date she dressed almost the same as the 1st. I mentioned to her as we were looking at clothes together, there was a big photograph/advertisement that showed Zooey DesChanel, I mentioned how she is one of my favorite dressed people. My date then said, “Yes she dresses great. But do you like her wearing Pantyhose as well?” (I used to be the common shy guy and afraid to admit to this~ but I changed over becoming older and wiser) My answer was a confident, “YES, you just named maybe my favorite part of her outfits.” She said, “Really? I thought guys in America (she was from Eastern Europe) did not like that.” I told her about the stigma on the word and hollywood, and commoners following fads, etc. She was very happy that I liked that, she told me, “I like to dress more Lady-like, but I thought the Americans would see it as pushy or something.” I told her that the fad is changing again and she would be looked-up to, even if one or two dolts bark at such because they need to feel superior on something that they think no one will defend. (easy targets). She then started dressing much better (always including very attractive Pantyhose) and with that so many other things fell into place. She walked better, she felt much more confident in her appearance (and being covered-up enough when wearing something short), etc… She then had my heart-racing all the time. 🙂 ————-

          * As for the topics title (reasons why the disappearance of Hosiery) – most of them were covered, but a few were left-out: Spring and Autumn becoming hotter. ‘Sex and the City’ gaining popularity (its producer was a Woman that hated Pantyhose big time). The Hosiery companies in the U.S. all stopped advertising at the same time. Women were buying the cheapest ones they could find (like buying a suit at a dollar store). Mis-pronouncing the word ‘Pantyhose’. (there is a T in there!). Young teenage girls rebelling against dressing-up. The little-girl look supposedly becoming in/sexy. (brittany was trying for in that video). Actors stopped dressing nice- thinking that dressing like a douche would keep the press and photogs away. Models for big industry become younger and younger and younger. (wouldn’t show a 14 yr old modeling a short mini-skirt, much less a Pantyhose ad). Tanning booths radiation and fake tan chemicals became popular for that time. People afraid to admit to liking. Public knowledge (they only know the cheap brands and still get wrong size/colour/etc). Models becoming skinnier and skinnier. (Jutting knee caps attractive?) Fashion shows on tv worry of being ‘hip’. Complaining about something gives a feeling of superiority over dim folk. …the list goes on. To the Males and especially the Ladies that commented positive on merely the positive things of lovely Hosiery~ big thanks and big hugs. 🙂

    • Ma1nguy1

      +James Duprey Man I’m so glad that there are other men out there who feel as I do about women’s attire…. I’m so sick and tired of bare legs in dress pumps. It looks so skank… like a “working girl” and whoever designed those ugly hideous platform pumps ought to be shot, I hated the platforms in the 70s and I hate them even more now. I don’t care how nice the legs are, there are always splotches and scars or whatever…. If she’s going out with me, she will wear nylons end of discussion

      • James Duprey

        Right on. The problem with women’s fashion today is no one is gutsy enough to tell them to their face…”you really look stupid”. Trust me. If we did, that crap would change in a minute. Just remember that we’re not in the workplace when we exit those doors. No more brainwashing of how we are supposed to act. You can, in fact, voice your opinion, and it should be done freely. Some good just might come of it.

        • Ma1nguy1

          A man after my own heart… LOL…. I know that they are many more out there like us who hold to this viewpoint. I blame the feminists…I have no problem with equal rights for women in all aspects but we still hold the ACE Card in the deck, meaning there are less of us men and more women in the population but then you’ve got to narrow down the numbers when you consider the amount of gay men as well…. So that widens the selection process where women are concerned so we still have the upper hand and if women want us then they have to acquiesce to our expectations

          • LM1278

            I am a woman and I agree with all the men here. The way women dress these days is disgraceful! We ought to be ashamed of ourselves. And yes, I would dress nicely if a man asked me to. It’s called respect for the other person. I would hope the same from a man if I asked him to dress a certain way for an occasion. I have been online for the last 3 days looking for a slip! I cannot even find a simple slip to wear underneath a dress. That’s another issue I could go on about as to why women need to wear slips! I am a 38 year old woman, and not some old granny who wears slips and hose. But over the last decade or so, my wardrobe has become more classy, sophisticated,and age appropriate. I wear them because it is the proper thing to do. A slip makes your clothing look nice, hang better, and gives a hint of modesty. Hose make your legs look attractive. They are classy and appropriate. Ladies, please bring back hose and slips!

          • Ma1nguy1

            as a man I would dress appropriately as well and more so if I expect the lady to dress to my expectations.

  • Me

    They make them for men now and a lot of men wear them. So I guess it’s just a garnmet switch taking place. Women prefer pants these days. I don’t see many women in dresses anymore and if they wear one, it’s without pantyhose. The exception is older ladies usually seniors, at that’s mostly at church.

    • xstratusx

      I wonder if women start telling men that they look good in pantyhose, will men wear them? Because there’s an awful lot of men here who think women should wear them to please men. How about everyone – men and women – wear hose? That sounds fair.

  • kurzie

    When wearing a dress/skirt and heels, unless one has “killer legs,” pantyhose are an absolute necessity. When I see women with spindly white legs or heavyset women going bare legged, I give an involuntary shudder. No matter how pretty the clothes and accessories they wear, my eyes are drawn to the ugliness of their legs. It’s funny how women flock to buy spanx and other bodyshapers when a sheer pair of control top pantyhose not only covers leg flaws, they shape the torso as well. I don’t care a wit about the fashionistas. Most women look terrible in dresses/skirts unless they sport a pair of pantyhose.

    • Ma1nguy1

      I could not say it better

  • Erin

    I was actually born in the 90’s and I do know of them. I actually have a few pairs. Typically, pantyhose are just worn for dresses and skirts. It’s usually optional if it’s casual, but if its a formal event you must wear pantyhose. Im half and half with my opinion if them. I love them and the patterns they can have but as a women for big hips, big thighs, and a smaller waist, it is so damn hard to find a fitting pair. Plus when your thighs rub against each other with them on it kinda hurts. Also, I’m really pale, so nude hose are just so contrasting it looks orange and just… Not good.

    • Ma1nguy1

      If you’re going to a garden tea party or a luncheon and wearing a dress, then open toe heels without nylons is okay but in the evening if you’re going to a dressy event with closed toe pumps…….PLEASE wear nylons

      • cheeze.wiz


      • cheeze.wiz

        She should wear what she wants

  • Larry Johnson

    Bare legs. Yuck.

  • gjm11653

    I don’t agree with all in this article. I never noticed a swish? What is that? I love love pantyhose and no legs look good without them. Pantyhose without the toe dark are great for open toe shoes. And most females have cellulite and pantyhose help hide it. I see short skirts all over the television news females so short skirts are still the norm. Runs were not that common because hose became more resilent. Bare legs don’t look good in classic suits and dresses. A summer sundress and a few other summer clothes are great without but that is about all.

    • Ma1nguy1

      I fully agree with your statement. You’re right “bare legs” look hideous in classic suits and dressy dresses.

  • Optimusnorm

    I’m from England and am fortunate enough to be very well travelled, and also to have worked with people from every continent.

    I will say, and this my anecdotal observation that Americans in general are not as well dressed. I of course know Americans who dress very well and can certainly point to Europeans who dress terribly but as a general rule they are not as well turned out as Europeans and East Asians – especially for dates and formal occasions. No where is this more apparent than with hosiery.

    As an example (again my observations not fact – but it seems many agree) we had a 1920s themed New Years party this past new year. We’re all working professionals with good work/life balances and decent bank accounts. The party was a mix of Europeans, Americans and East Asians. All the European and East Asian women wore hosiery with their outfits – and I mean stockings not pantyhose (it was a 1920s party remember plus it’s New Years eve remember). Of the six American ladies there one wore what looked like cheap fishnets and the other wore sheer nude pantyhose…the other American women were quite catty towards her I recall. She even made an excuse for wearing them! I asked her when no one was listening and she said she likes wearing hosiery but most American women make negative comments about it. Very strange.

    Strange people…I know there are many marvelous American ladies out there who buck the current lazy trends but they seem fewer and far between since the late 1990s. Americans used to be famous for their glamour and style – now they seem famous for their flip flops and shorts.

    Sadly this culture is being exported elsewhere.

  • tolleyfox

    I wore hosiery from the time I started middle school, so I too started out clipping them on too (only from a sexy little girdle-I forget what we called them back then). Pantyhose were a huge improvement over those. Being allowed to wear hosiery was a HUGE “rite of passage” for western women. I would like to throw in my 2¢ worth acquired over 52 years: Regarding the author’s comments—

    No. 1 . Style- I believe the whole bare-legged look started in California. After all, most of the celebrities live there. Even the New York celebrities eventually move there, or winter there. It’s warm there! it is okay to go bare-legged. But, going bare-legged in the middle of a New England or Minnesota winter doesn’t make sense! Apparently, the younger generations are like sheep (sorry, I said it) and follow trends without much thought. I hear they even go bare-legged in in other cold portions of the US. Oh, it is okay to wear colored or textured tights everywhere, although I don’t know why. Perhaps they saw them on the runway once! Oh, and by the way, Kate Middleton wears them because it is REQUIRED by the Royal Family and the Queen would have a hissy fit if she didn’t!

    No. 2. Annoyance- All of those reasons can pretty much be disregarded. Thigh-high hosiery don’t slip down, don’t wrinkle, are extremely comfortable, mainly because they have a wide band of silicone on the inside of the top which sticks to your leg and holds them up. Not that younger people (other than the Amish) find anything embarrassing anymore, thigh highs can have a wide band of lace at the top, which If anything, makes them extremely sexy.

    No. 3. Tan Legs are In- To maintain a spray tan is expensive. In an attempt to emulate Celebrities and California

    styles, spray tans are more expensive than hosiery, making them more inaccessible to everyone, and thus, more “upscale”. But wait, —they make hosiery in colors like “tan”, which give the appearance of a tanned leg too.

    No. 5. We’re Comfortable Showing Bare Skin- That’s an understatement. Remember those tabloid pictures that kept appearing of Brittany
    Spears getting out of a car?! Number 5 can be combined with—

    No. 7. Skirts Aren’t As Short- Where has this guy been?! I see skirts on teenagers and twenty-somethings that make me cringe every time they move because their skirt just barely clears the bottom of their butt-cheeks. One gust of wind or bending over 2 degrees could be a disaster.

    No. 6. Razor Blade Improvements- I don’t believe that women wore hosiery to “mask” nicks and cuts, and that the two had anything to do with one another.

    No. 8. That Annoying Swishing Sound- This only happened with CERTAIN kinds of hosiery. If you bought the right mesh, dictating weave and thickness, you could do away with sounds. Also, most of that “swishiness” had been improved by the end of hosiery-wearing.

    No. 9. Open-toed Shoes- Only “old ladies” wore the hosiery with the dark toe area that looked bad in open-toed shoes. The industry came up with both sheer toe boxes and hosiery made especially for sandals, with a split between the big toe and the rest, or sheer hosiery that stopped just before the toes. No longer were open-toed shoes a problem.

    No 10. Americans have gotten slovenly- I don’t think Americans wake up in the morning and say, “Gee, I think I’ll try to look like a slob today.”

    I think they simply don’t know HOW to dress properly. Parents don’t have the kind of influence they did in prior generations because we have gotten more humane in child-rearing and don’t FORCE children to do things. , They don’t say, “polish all your shoes, “style your hair,” or “wear a shirt and tie to school”. They just assume that their children would know to do the same things they did growing up (and not realizing the extent of peer group pressure). This can also go the other way–Have you ever seen a group of young girls going out on a Friday or Saturday night? They are dressed up all right, but not in the way of earlier generations. SHORT, TIGHT, dresses, NO hosiery, HIGH stilettos, and lots of make-up.

    Let’s face it, the only legs that look good bare are those of young women. and even those of young women could be improved with a good pair of hosiery. When I was a young woman I was on a particular airline and every time I saw a flight attendant go down the aisle I noticed what gorgeous legs they all had. I finally asked a flight attendant what made their legs look so shiny and tan and she said, They are SHEER support hose”. I knew about support hose at the time— those thick, heavy-looking stockings only “older” women wore. But now flight attendants were wearing them, those (“Super)models” of the skies! You know why the stockings were so beautiful? They had this “sheen and sparkle” to them that covered up ANY type of blemish, vein, scar etc.,, but, also in their case, tan! I ran out and got some right away! So, they don’t have to be frumpy-looking!

    I see glimmers of hope that hosiery is coming back. It is starting to appear in magazines, on TV, and other fashionable places. YOUNG women have probably NEVER had the chance to experience it. So wearing hosiery could come back as a NEW style trend! And let’s face it— hosiery does keep legs warm. It’s silly for those ladies in New York, and northern states to continue to go bare-legged in the winter for no good reason! We don’t expect women in California and Florida to wear tights in 90 degree heat. And STYLE should not dictate what we wear when it is beyond all reasonable thought.

  • marabenefici23forever

    Hosiery is only to be worn in an office environment or in the winter. I find it to be yet another thing forced on us women by men and the companies that sell them. They are a waste of money, uncomfortable, restrictive, ridiculous, and a thing of the past. (Famous people might wear them, but that’s most likely because they are being paid to do so.)

    • xstratusx

      Agreed. This commenting area seems to be flooded with sick fetishists .

  • Ma1nguy1

    I don’t give a rip what women think, but as a man I don’t think a woman looks fully dressed without hose and if she’s going out with me then she damn well better wear hose. In the islands it’s warm and humid so bare legs is okay provided she wears open toe heels or sandals. However if she wears closed pumps or heels then hosiery completes otherwise she looks like a “working girl” that I see on the streets wearing pumps and no nylons, probably no underwear either. Now women of color often put lotion on their legs to get rid of the ashy look and thus have smooth looking legs. Most white girls don’t bother with lotion on the legs and it shows because I notice. regardless of color, I can’t stand looking at splotches on the legs which is often camouflaged by hose. Elder women look hideous in pumps without nylons, you see the veins wrinkle in the legs and splotches. Bottom line ladies if you’re dressed to the nines and not wearing nylons it looks like shoddy. Flight attendants wear hose if they’re wearing skirts, female attorneys wear hose to court, in the military women wear hose when in uniform. I’M OLD SCHOOL AND WILL NOT CHANGE

    • xstratusx

      I’m glad you don’t care what women think because we don’t care what you think, which is why we no longer wear constricting pantyhose.

      • Ma1nguy1

        but then you’re not going out with me either. BTW there’s less men in the population 4:1 perhaps, so maybe you should rethink your attitude

    • cheeze.wiz

      It’s fine you’re old school… But we don’t care… Oh and panty hose didn’t hit the reason world until the twenties which gave women a smooth look to their legs with short skirts.. Before hairless bodies were a thing… Stockings were written to keep warm and sheer ones were made so women could stay warm in the winter as their hemlines rose but we’re less likely to be worn in summer months and warm clients and didn’t really find their way into year round fashion until ww2 when women really entered the professional working force outside of farms and factories and in offices and they were part of the dress codes… So…. Again we don’t care

  • ballen1133

    The only time bare legs and dresses go together is when wearing a sun dress. Bare, white legs and dresses…just looks sloppy. And bare feet in heels…enjoy the blisters.

    • cheeze.wiz

      Why do you wear shitty heels

  • Bingo

    They were uncomfortable, slipped down, snagged on everything and went up in flames if you got too near a floor furnace. Not to mention they gave you yeast infections in the summer.

    • Ma1nguy1

      Then get a garter belt but a woman is never more attractive when she’s dressed up and wearing nylons

  • gjm11653

    I think this is the most stupid idiotic article ever written. Not one of those reasons make sense. Most women I know and I have 4 sisters and 3 sister in laws with numerous friends and we all were wearing pantyhose past the 90s decades. We all worked and wore them daily. Many of us retired at 50 and not working do not wear them daily but still wear them. And they were never uncomfortable. One friend wear them with shorts all the time. Actually they were very comfortable. And the color choice was is so extensive how could you not find a color you looked good in. I wore black alot even though I am white because I wore black dresses and suits. And the toe was not an issue because sheer toes for toeless heels or for stronger wear in an enclosed shoe go with reenforced toe. Much better than ugly toes many women have.

  • ChrisAngel

    I don’t know what popped in my mind and make me google “When did it become fashionable to NOT wear pantyhose” and it got me here…..the original post was made 2 years ago but want to comment. There are many great posts already. Love that some still wear them….love to read some men prefer them on women….love MadisonW’s idea of a poll….Brian A. Williams “take”, especially #10 which rings truth….Anyways, let me paint a picture of who I am…I am 47…. I’m tall, blonde, thin build and always tan. I grew up where women did wear them to work, to church, to parties….almost everywhere. If we got a horrible run in the hose, there was no question of taking them off and going bare-we would rather the embarrassing run. Far more acceptable. I didn’t like wearing them. As I got older and in the working place and HAD to wear them…. I wore them and hated all the fusing with them. So uncomfortable!!!! I eventually ventured into the big department stores and found there were so many different kinds. I found trying all the different styles was a challenge in itself. Finally tried “Thigh high” nylons. That was it, I found MY nylons! They weren’t constricting, saggy, twisting, bunching or hot and unbreathable. No swishing sound when I walked. Not to mention, the men I dated loved them. When one ran-the other was still good to have as a spare. I miss them. However I do love going bare too. But, BUT, I do still wear them when I personally feel it’s proper.

  • herecomesjohnny321

    The beginning of bare legs was one or more of those starlets being interviewed on the late night TV shows (David Letterman, Jay Leno etc). Gwyneth Paltrow famously wore so much oil on her bare legs that it must’ve left a greasy stain on the couch. Other leggy models and actresses did the same (with more careful use of the said oil) and the rest of the world quickly followed.

    The statement they were making was this: “My legs are so great, I don’t need ANYTHING to make them look better, because they cannot look any better than this.”

    I remember back in the 80s when Helena Christensen did a walk on the runway with no hosiery and no shoes, only the mini dress or whatever it was… and everyone commented how while other models looked so-so, Helena could rock this minimalist approach and still look like a million bucks. She had and probably still has the best pins in the world.

    Now, if you wore hosiery after all that, you were basically “admitting” that your legs were not that great. So, masses followed, as no one wants to make a statement that “my legs need hosiery to look sexy”.

    And now that woman are beginning to relax a bit about not looking like Helena Christensen, they are slowly coming back to hosiery, although not in the US. But as soon as one of the Jennifers or some other anatomic bomb hits the late night TV in hosiery, you can bet your life that the next day at office every woman will be wearing them.

  • Highland26

    News nugget: This lady still wears hosiery!

    • Ma1nguy1

      Great!!!!!!!! forget the male fashionista who already hates women. You’re always very attractive when you’re wearing hose

  • xstratusx

    “Once women had a say in the process, the inconvenient pain-in-the-ass hosiery was kicked to the curb.”

    As a woman, I believe this is 90% of the reason. Hose are very uncomfortable and I don’t want a man telling me how to dress.

  • Ma1nguy1

    cheez.wiz You can call me whatever name you wish but I will no abase myself to that level of name calling. I am secure in who I am, perhaps damaged goods with my share of flaws and shortcomings. I’m not one who takes women to bed indiscriminately, I’m still a gentleman and that will never change about me……….

  • Eliza Wilson

    Stockings definitely disappeared off the face of the earth. I always remember my mom and grandmother wearing them with every outfit, including under pants for a smooth look. Because I grew up with stockings, I still wear them till today. I have changed it up a bit though because i do agree that the regular pantyhose can be a bit annoying so now i wear thigh highs. I came across this america hosiery brand when searching for pantyhose alternatives. Let me tell you guys how great these luxury thigh highs are. The thigh highs are from Italy, so its great quality and they’re extremely affordable. The company is called VienneMilano (check them out). They offer a great and diverse collection. I love their products so much that i continuously recommend them. I know you guys are thinking thigh highs = lingerie but i promise you they can be worn just as you would wear regular pantyhose.

  • Ma1nguy1

    I can’t wait for hosiery to come back, meanwhile I can deal with sitting home alone but I’m not going out with a woman dressed fit to kill but refuses to wear nylons with closed pumps, sorry, I’m old school and I refuse to change and could care less about the reasons women may give I’m not interested………bare legs in dressy attire is NOT attractive to me…..Probably not wearing undergarments either which to me is skanky and nasty

  • LM1278

    I agree wholeheartedly! Women look terrible when they go out in public. I have the same question about slips. Impossible to find now. But yes, you need a slip. No one wants to see your butt cheeks through a dress or skirt, and your legs aren’t that attractive that they should be bare. I completely agree that we have gone way too casual. Ladies used to look clean and lovely when they went out. Now they look like slobs. Who said a plus size can wear leggings and tank tops? Just ugh! There is a huge push for wear whatever you want. The problem with that is, it simply doesn’t look good. We do care about how we look and who cares what people think? Yet we care very much. Not everything looks good on everyone. Not everyone can wear every style. To get back to the point in pantyhose, please, for the love of God, wear them.