81. Pantyhose (Preferably without Runs)

27 Feb

You don’t see a lot of folks wearing pantyhose in the Pacific Northwest. Here, there are two choices: tights or bare legs (or the ill-advised, unfortunately named “jeggings”). It’s not that they don’t sell them at Nordstrom and such places; they do. I’m just not sure WHY, seeing as I can’t name a single person I’ve ever seen wearing them. But perhaps I’m not going to the right places, such as office conference rooms or fund-raising events on the Eastside.

I, myself, have quite the collection of tights. Some of which have never been worn due to: A. not matching anything I own and B. my innate inability to brazenly wear clashing patterns and/or colors. I’m still too much of a Southerner to disobey the 12th Commandment: “Thou shalt not go out in public looking tacky.” Before y’all start reminding me of all the freakishly unattractive ensembles the People of Walmart wear, I will say that those people are heathens.

While pantyhose come in all the colors of crayon box (the 64 pack, not the giant economy-sized one), Southerners tend to stick with the basics: nude or black, almost always opting for the “control top” variety. I’m not sure how those became so popular, seeing as what most Southerners (myself included) need is a “control muffin top.” Of course, with a little ingenuity, this problem is easily solved: buy pantyhose a size “taller” and pull them up to right under the boobs. The ladies in my family were wearing Spanx before their “founder” Sara Blakely was even born. We just didn’t bother to make millions selling them. Didn’t folks already KNOW how to do that?

One day, my sister, Jenna, was in a store checking out the Spanx display, wondering if it was time for an upgrade. Next thing she knew, her homemade Spanx and her elastic waist pants had something like a reverse magnet effect and her pants ended up around her ankles. She immediately: A. looked around her to see if anyone had noticed and B. pulled her pants back up. Probably in that order. Then she went right back to perusing the Spanx as if nothing had happened – just one of the eight million and twelve reasons why I love my sister…

Abstract art?

I’ve always been curious about the “panty” function of the hose. You know, that teeny patch of cotton in crotch. Is that really supposed to be sufficient?

In the Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love, Jill Conner Brown tells about a time when she was too pregnant for panties and getting dressed for a party. Her husband walked in and…

Jill writes: “(He) was surprised that I wasn’t wearing anything under my tights: ‘You’re not wearing any panties?’ I just said, real offhand, ‘Oh, you never wear panties to a party,’ and kept on doing whatever. He just stood there, slack-jawed, for a full thirty seconds, considering the implications, I suppose. I had moved on, forgotten about it, and he was still standing there, gaping. ‘You don’t? Nobody does?’ ‘Nobody does what?’ I asked him. ‘Panties to a party – doesn’t anybody wear ‘em?’ He was looking sort of dreamy and clearly thought he was being let in on some big secret of all womankind: that every party he’d ever been to or would ever go to – there wasn’t a pair of panties in the room – and he was the only guy who knew.”

I beg to differ.

There are still some workplaces where women are required to wear pantyhose, which I consider a cruel and unusual punishment, especially in the summertime. I would get worked up into a rant here about how unfair this is to women, but when you see a car salesman on the lot at noon on an August day clad in a suit coat AND tie, you’ll see that everybody’s equally miserable.

I’d love to hear what y’all think about pantyhose.

Also, could someone please explain why there’s such a thing as “sandal-toe” pantyhose? Like people can’t see the seam? And what exactly are “support” hose supposed to support?

Photo credits: “I know I’m a Queen” T-shirt design available at Scribblin’ Sisters.

“Abstract art?” I saw this lovely display in the restroom of a department store in Mississippi. I was happy that I had a camera phone, but sad that the photo quality was, well, not exactly “quality.”

17 Responses to “81. Pantyhose (Preferably without Runs)”

  1. ssanderson February 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    I’m old enough to remember when pantyhose were first on the market (although I was way too young to wear them)…took a while for women to ‘latch on’ to them! Yes, you would think in the hot, humid South that women would have ditched them years ago…I have discovered the joys of ‘knee hi’s and can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve worn pantyhose in the past year!

    • girloutofdixie February 28, 2011 at 12:54 am #

      Just don’t wear knee highs with dresses, or you might end up looking like Thelma Harper on “Mama’s Family.”

  2. prayersfromthepeanutgallery February 28, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    Oh, I totally used panty-hose and cut the feet out of them for my wedding. I don’t know what the draw is with spanx, and I wasn’t ABOUT to pay so much for it.
    And as far as southern women not leaving home without it, I agree totally. I wouldn’t think to go to a wedding or a funeral with my bare feet showing at the cuff of my pants or under my dress. I never wear it any other time though, because I really believe it is a modern form of torture.

    • girloutofdixie March 1, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

      I must admit, I got sucked into the Spanx hype and bought a pair of their tights on sale at Nordstrom Rack. They are part of the collection that I can’t wear till I find something that matches.

  3. Debbie February 28, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    I totally dislike pantyhose, always have! They’re too hot and clingy in summertime, and they offer no warmth in winter. Bad investment, if you ask me. And you’re so right about the “panty” part and those “sandal-toe” things — gosh, I’m glad I work solo and don’t have to fool with any of ’em!

    • girloutofdixie March 1, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

      Yeah, you’d think something that makes you hot and miserable in the summer would at least keep you warm and cozy in winter. NOPE!

  4. kn1tty cat February 28, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    But what’s a ‘jegging’ ??? I don’t think we have those in Richmond yet, do we???

    • girloutofdixie March 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

      “Jeggings” are the reincarnated form of leggings (the scourge of 90’s fashion). They’re made of stretchy denim. The name is an oh so clever blend of “jeans” and “leggings.” Don’t know if they’ve made it to Richmond, but my sister recently spotted some at Target in Jackson.

  5. delightfuleccentric February 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    I haven’t worn pantyhose in YEARS, mostly because I switched to thigh highs a long time ago. But even those I haven’t worn in forever – thank god for business casual at the office (and the fact that I no longer care how white my bare legs are). Remember those “suntan” colored pantyhose? George Hamilton suntan, maybe…

    • girloutofdixie March 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

      OH! I’d forgotten all about those “suntan” pantyhose!! George Hamilton suntan, indeed!

  6. Karen cronacher February 28, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    I iknow I could never hold down a real job because I would never wear panty hose or get up before noon.

    • girloutofdixie March 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

      I agree!

  7. Kim's Most Wonderful Sister, Jenna March 1, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    HA HA HA Delightfuleccentric…totally agree on the “suntan” hose?

    Since my sister shared one embarrassing moment about me on here (in addition to about 50 other times on her other post), I will embarrass myself further. Kim did not mention that our mother went to the school of “no underwear with Pantyhose either”…and she sold us on that notion for quite some time as well…that is until one day I was in the 10th grade and wore a skirt to school with pantyhose (yes Southerners even wore hose to SCHOOL back in the day!) and much to my dismay they got caught on a desk and ripped to high heaven…my choices were A: leave them on and try to explain all day to my friends why I would DARE wear hose with not just a run that nail polish would stop but an all out huge ass hole or B: Go Commando. I chose the latter, making it quite an “airy” rest of the day…I never went without panties again.

    • girloutofdixie March 2, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

      I love that you have no fear of public humiliation. I can’t believe I’ve never heard this story before. And I do not recall ever buying into the “pantyhose are sufficient” school of thought.

  8. Michelle September 29, 2012 at 7:39 am #

    I live In Ohio and love pantyhose. In the winter I prefer tights most of the time to keep warm. The summer time isn’t to bad because of air conditioning. I wouldn’t think of tutching a pair of tights in the summer. Believe it or not men used to were pantyhose and are starting to wear them again. I’m not revering to the gay, crossdressers, or transgendered. It was a man that invented them and were for men for the first two hundred years. I was curious about were they came from one time and found a video on you tube. Type in origen of pantyhose.

    • Kim Holloway October 8, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

      Men here in Seattle have taken to wearing skirts. They call them “utili-kilts,” but a skirt by any other name…


  1. 88. Telling folks what they ought to do. « stuff southern people like - March 22, 2011

    […] to tell everything you know.” She probably would have said this in response to my mention of the Holloway Women’s Homemade Spanx. If she’d ever had to take the witness stand, she’d have happily agreed to tell nothing but the […]

Pull up a chair and join the conversation...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: