Let's bring back pantyhose. What was once the chic and modern answer to a girdle or garter belt with stockings is considered old-fashioned and fussy and has been for years. Well, I'm tired of that. Pantyhose are a godsend for legs that are less than perfect. Pantyhose work like living Photoshop. What's not to love?
Way back when— in the middle of the last century (1953 to be exact)— pantyhose were invented in America by Allen Gant of Glen Raven Knitting Mills. His was the first, but not last, of the "combination stockings/panty". It wasn't until the early '60s (think shorter skirts and the youth revolution) that pantyhose really caught on—ie my mother threw away her girdle and started wearing them.
The iconic packaging of L'eggs (and its clever name) were invented for Hanes by graphic designer Roger Ferriter in 1969. As pantyhose were small enough to squoosh into a little ball, he realized they could fit into something the size of an egg. Thus the distinctive L'eggs container was hatched. Three years later the No Nonsense brand entered the market. The two (like Coke and Pepsi) have been fighting it out ever since (though L'eggs dropped their plastic egg packaging in the '90s).
|A battle royal|
It's been a losing battle though. Women gradually stopped wearing hose of any kind, even in frigid climates. New York City fashion editors were among the first to go no-hose, and it gets pretty cold in New York. I can imagine they were never too popular in the south. When we moved to Texas in 2003, sales associates at Nordstrom, where I worked, had to don them October 1 and could ditch them by May 1 (with great sighs of relief).
|Anna does not cotton to hose|
As a new Texan I wanted to look hip and not be labeled "old". As time goes by I dread showing my bare legs. In kindest terms, they have become a bit mottled. I don't tan anymore. Daily leg makeup is a pain to apply. Rub-on tan looks fake and needs to be tended. I'm happy when cooler weather comes around, and I can pull on opaque tights.
Sporadically, patterned hose come into fashion— tiny dots or textures. Some years fishnets are trashy, some years tres chic. I keep mine around just in case.
Kate Middleton wears pantyhose, but I suspect it's because her mother-in-law the Queen frowns on bare legs. Kate has increased the sale of "tights" (as pantyhose are known in the UK) by 40%, but that new-found popularity hasn't crossed the pond.
I've started tip-toeing into actual pantyhose again. Mine are sheer, with little sheen, very close to my natural skin tone. I'm still a bit defensive but hoping maybe I can change the world— one leg at a time.