Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Hosiery Points of View

Leggy Choices
To cover or not to cover?
To match or to contrast?
These are the questions.

Bare Legs  Photo courtesy Earl Misanchuk 
Closet Content Analysis:
Hosiery as we transition from
Cold to Warm

NICE                   NO THANKS         NOTE-WORTHY            NEED
It’s a new era in fashion - there are no rules.
— Alexander McQueen

Fashionable & comfortable in +5 weather
While in Vancouver, British Columbia at the end of February, the number of women, young and older, who were not wearing any hose surprised me. I’m specifically referring to those women I saw wearing dresses or skirts on a +5 degree Celsius/41 Fahrenheit afternoon. In my mind, +5 Celsius is not bare leg weather.

I know . . . I know the debate about hose and how it makes you look frumpy and outdated. I do recognize that there are 20 somethings and younger who have never owned a pair of pantihose (or is it pantyhose). It is 2012, you do not have to buy your great grandmothers’ hose, even though it may still be available. There are “sheer" alternatives that do not look frumpy, especially in the office. It is now March but it’s still winter in Canada and it’s not that warm. There’s just something slightly disconcerting about bare legs in cold "no matter where you are in Canada" weather. 

NICE: In my “winter moving to spring” closet, I have to have dark sheer “barely black” and “nude” hose and black tights.  My favourite brand is Phantom (a Canadian company based in Toronto), particularly the Silks® Essentials line. Phantoms were the first pantyhose that I ever wore. Not that I haven’t worn others but for the most part, I am a loyal Phantom Silks wearer and "hint-o-black" control top are my standbys.

NO THANKS: Opaque black hose or tights with a short evening dress, even if the dress is black, and even in winter. (Better for me is the dark sheer “not quite black” hose.)

Any color so long as it’s black.
- Henry Ford

NOTE-WORTHY 1: Contrasting hose colours can be stylish but using a faddish multi-coloured hose to update your look is definitely for the young or someone in the creative/arts community who wants to make a statement. After a particular age, and in some professions, (that profession might determine what a particular age is), colourful hose can end up looking clownish or costume-y. But then again, retired from the office and tired of the sheer "barely black" pantyhose, may be reasons enough to have some fun with faddish legs.

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple, with a red hat, which doesn't go and doesn't suit me.
 - Jenny Joseph

With apologies to Jenny Joseph for the literary elaboration, please add, “and red stockings”.  But for those of us who err on the side of classic in our dress . . .

Color can overwhelm, . . one must understand that when it comes to color, less is often more . . .
- Joe Singer

NOTE-WORTHY 2: If you’re wearing a purple skirt and have a pair of purple tights in a similar hue, patterned or plain, it can look great. Yet this brings about two debatable issues: do you match your stockings and shoes or your skirt and stockings or all three? The fear is being too matchy-matchy. Here’s where playing with texture and pattern works. 

In the photo, the 29 year old (+ or - a couple of years) woman in grey had a thick knit dress, smooth matching hose and grey suede boots - the textures added dimension the photo can't illustrate.

Colors must fit together as pieces in a puzzle or cogs in a wheel.
- Hans Hofmann

WINTER NOTE-WORTHY 3: Spanx tight end tights. No more needs to be written, except perhaps. . .

NEED: Spanx high-waisted tight end tights. 

Email JoyDCreations with your descriptions, and if you like, your photos and I'll include your NICE, NO THANKS, NOTEWORTHY or NEED in my posts.

Hosiery Buying Tips: Have you ever bought a pair of pantyhose that didn’t quite make it up to where they are supposed to sit? As you pull up they stop half way up the thigh? It’s no wonder that we have stopped wearing them. That aside, when you find a pair that fits, buy them in multiples.

Speaking of multiples, Phantom Silks® Essentials pack of 6 at Costco (Canada) is 18.99 plus applicable provincial sales taxes. Buying each individually at a department store will cost you around $5.50. Not half price but a great saving. The setback is that colour choice is limited. Usually black, hint o black and natural are available in the 6 pack. If you are partial to "blush" and insist on that tone you'll have to pay full price.

Hosiery Care Tips: Wash by hand with delicate detergents and hang to dry. Machine washing and drying often damages the fragile nature of the fibre. If you don’t know how to do that, you probably don’t own any.

Manicures, pedicures and putting on hosiery go "hand and foot". An errant hangnail or chipped nail can elicit a string of expletives from even the most uncorrupted mouth.

Welcoming your comments on how to be sophisticated and fashionable with or without hose, no matter what your age and no matter what the season.



  1. If I have ever known anyone who is qualified to do a fashion blog it is you! You always look like a million bucks! Good luck with the blogging and have fun!

    1. How kind you are Denise. Growing up, I was the only girl with three brothers; therefore my mother, a Jackie O fan, pretty much dictated what I wore. A little natural ability and my mother's influence is my claim to fame as such.

  2. For those who know the legs in tights: both sets come from the same person but the second set certainly misrepresents the young woman's legs. Like this blog, photography is new to me and when I rotated the photo in IPhoto, the legs were distorted to a squatter shorter version (probably a hardware problem). You would have questioned my motives for posting a horizontal version. My point there was for the dress matching the hosiery and the hosiery matching the shoes, not so much for an accurate depiction of the legs. My apologies for misrepresenting her legs.


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