Flashback Fashion: Should Women Wear Pantyhose?

Budget Fashionista content uses affiliate links. We may earn a buck if you click and buy.

collage of women's legs with pantyhose

Back in the early-2000s, old and young generations were clashing on the topic of pantyhose of the sheer nylon variety. Traditionalists argued for the light leg covering, while the up-and-coming fashion divas gasped in horror at the thought.

Budget Fashionista on Pantyhose in 2006

Our response to the debate in 20016 was this: Apply the common-sense rule. If it’s 100 degrees outside, it’s pretty stupid to wear pantyhose; however, if it’s 10 degrees outside, it’s stupid not to wear pantyhose or some sort of covering over your legs. Use common sense and make the decision for yourself.

Our 2017 Take on Pantyhose

I stand by our 2006 advice: like anything else, to wear or not wear pantyhose is a personal decision. Whatever your choice, follow through with it confidently and just disregard what other people say.

Having said that, you might still want some guidance to help you decide. Here are a few considerations:

Pantyhose for formal occasions

Nowadays, bare legs are A-OK at even the most formal occasions. Think about awards shows in the entertainment industry; how often do celebrities have pantyhose on underneath their gowns? You’re better off investing in a good fake tanning lotion. Your legs will glow and they won’t be in danger of catching and tearing when you walk by someone else’s sequined dress.

Remember that tights are an option also. A pair of tights is a stylish choice for ultra-conservative occasions, like funerals.

Pantyhose for job interviews

A job interview is the only situation I can think of where your choice of wearing or not wearing pantyhose is really important. Wear pantyhose under your power suit if you are interviewing for a non-creative role with a very conservative company (a credit analyst with a bank, for example). It helps if you know that the hiring manager is a status quo type, versus the rogue leader who wants fresh blood to shake things up.

Do not wear pantyhose if you are interviewing with a startup or any type of organization that values creativity and thinking outside the box. If it’s cold outside, wear tights instead. If it’s hot, make sure your legs are tidy and go bare.

I realize this all sounds sort of ridiculous — like wearing pantyhose or not determines whether you’re reliable and steadfast or a creative, go-getter. But consider this part of the general bucket of advice about how to dress for the job you want. The pantyhose are one component of your outfit, and your entire outfit makes an immediate impression about who you are.

Pantyhose and choice of shoe

Never wear pantyhose with open-toed shoes. This is one of those fashion rules you probably shouldn’t break. If you must wear pantyhose, reach for the closed-toe pumps.

I will say that, personally, I never wear nude pantyhose. I just don’t like the way they look. I have gone to job interviews, weddings, cocktail parties, work events, you name it, with bare legs. I have gotten offers from those bare-legged interviews, too. Plus, no one has ever commented, positive or negative, on my lack of hose.

Choosing pantyhose

If you are going to slip on sheer hose, find a pair that matches your skin tone. They should be almost undetectable when you’re wearing them.

What the Chatter Says

Lots of people have weighed in on the pantyhose topic over the years. Here is a sampling of what they’re saying online:

Weigh in in the comments! Are you wearing pantyhose and, if so, where?

You may also like these:

8 Tips for Dressing for a Job Interview

Yea or Nay: Knee High Socks

4 Reasons Kitten Heels Are Awesome for the Workplace

 

You also might like these:

  • Sandra

    Tights or pantyhose are great I love wearing them they feel lovely and worn with a panty girdle over the top to keep them up and give your outfit a nice finish can also pull you in so you look like you have a flat tummy whilst wearing a skirt

  • deeken

    I don’t think they should wear them anymore because they’ve been complaining about them for years now. The few who do wear them are becoming a minority. It’s getting to the point where it’s odd to see a women in pantyhose. They either go bare legged or prefer pants, even in the business world. Companies are reporting more pantyhose sales to men, these days. Many men buy them online. So I guess men want to wear them under their pants or in other ways. Ladies have had their run in pantyhose [pun intended]. Turn them into a male garment. Give the ladies what they want. They want to be pantyhose free. Let guys worry about shaving their legs and runs in their pantyhose. Ladies have had to do it long enough. It’s the guy’s turn now.

  • Gina

    Bare Legs= SEX APPEAL= VERY RARELY!!!!
    Most women’s looks benefit A LOT from wearing pantyhose.

    I see a lot of women complain that they arent comfy or durable and get runs: SHAVE YOUR LEGS, CUT YOUR NAILS AND STOP BUYING DOLLAR STORE CRAP!!! With pantyhose just like anything else , you get roughly what you pay for , its not the pantyhose that is not comfortable its the crappy ones, and Stop wearing always the same old cheap colors like somewhat navy blue and almost black or off white , if its off then its not it!, Best brand I know of: WOLFORD the fatal model should work wonders on most men, the sheen and colors rock.And they feel VERY sexy.

  • matt

    I love pantyhose/tights on women or men. They make legs barable to look at, naked is yucky! I wear them, on matter what the weather, just not all the time, but it is just being to lazy or rushed to do so. The person just needs to get the right size (weight has nothing to do with the correct size) and not cheap ones. And stop using hot weather as an excuse, that is all in your head. Tight body hugging material keeps the body cooler by increasing the heat transfer from the body to the material and the air, it is a fact. You will dehydrate faster naked then by wearing clothes in warm/hot weather.

  • I’m a guy who wears pantyhose, tights, or which ever you prefer calling them… to me there all the same, I just call it wearing leg gear! Check out my site to see what I mean. I wear them all the time as a part of my everyday wear.

  • >

    I am 16 years old.
    I like wearing tights with a t-shirt in my house.
    And I do not leave my house without a pantyhose,
    especially in those days when I wear a skit.
    My legs look gorgeous and even attractive.

  • michelle

    >

    As a woman, I loathe what you call ‘pantyhose’ and what the British call tights. They are horrid. I much prefer stockings. Far sexier and easier to wear and more hygienic. Definitely not granniefied either!

    To all those women who can’t get boyfriends, try a pair of stockings on a date with a garter belt. You may be pleasantly surprised.

  • shqman

    >

    its got nothing to do with heat.  Stockings or some kind of nylons just makes anyones legs look great.  Its dressy, formal, looks nice.
    Anyone who wears a dress or skirt needs to wear stockings.
    you will look just that much better.  And it is comfortable.

  • Chip

    >

    I’m a male, and i’m not gay but I do wear Pantyhose under pants in cooler months and I also wear them under shorts at times in cooler months for support and Comfort..Men used to wear hose many many years ago so if women hate wearing why don’t they make them for men so we could be accepted ..I have alot of female friends think I look great in them and I personally enjoy the silky feeling…I was curious as to what other women think…

  • >

    You girls. You already have to the bodies to drive us men crazy. Have you ever compared women’s legs and men’s? It’s art against nature; beauty vs. the beast. And by wearing pantyhose you really can finish us off. You hide’em revealingly. You make us wanna feel them, but won’t permit. The shiny draws us like moth to a flame, only to burn up in sheer bliss.

    For me a woman’s leg is 100x sexier covered in pantyhose. The hosiery industry made tremendous efforts in the past years to make pantyhose sexy, comfortable, a joy to wear. Try a few luxury pairs ( check the lycra content – the more, the softer, shinier and even more elastic to fit better ).

  • J.R.

    >

    Here’s my two cents.

    I will admit that I am a guy who enjoys wearing nylons, both pantyhose and stockings, for sexual purposes and I absolutely LOVE seeing women wearing them.  I personally prefer stockings because of their raw sex appeal, but very much appreciate and adore pantyhose as well.  There are also times where I like bare leg.  I’m very hetrosexual and enjoy a very good sex life.  But that’s neither here nor there.

    I completely understand why many women don’t like wearing them.  I found that most of them buy the crappy drugstore type (i.e. Leggs and No Nonsense) or more mediocore brands like Hanes.  Also for pantyhose wearers, many opt for a control top, which only benefits you by making your body look slightly slimmer at the great expense of comfort.  For those that wear hose because either because they have to for work or simply want to, try some of the better brands sold in botiques and department stores.

    American brands in general do not hold a candle to European brands.  In my personal opinion, Wolfords are hands down the best hose brand out there.  They are pricey, but well worth it because they last much longer, way more comfortable, and feel much better than the lower end brands by far.  Any woman (or man) who wears hose should at least try one pair of them.  You WILL notice the difference and it will make wearing hose at least much more bearable if not enjoyable.  If you’re more budget minded, the Victorias Secret line works very well.  A very good combo of quality and affordability, and imported from Europe.  Good websites to hit up are Beautyrose.com, shapings.com, and mytights.com All carry very good quality of hose.

    Overall, avoid the cheapos and control tops at all costs.  Remember that there are many different styles and patterns out there, from mild to wild.  Select the ones that fit your personality the best, and have fun with it.

  • Gerry

    >

    As a man, I must sympathize with women when it comes to wearing hose. I’ve heard they can be uncomfortable, hot, run too easily, etc so I can’t comment as to say you should wear them for our benefit, it’s not really fair. But I will say thanks to those who do when it’s appropriate for the outfit, because they really complement the legs of almost anyone, good legs or not. My wife wears them to work and even out on occasion, she said they can be a pain (especially the cheap pairs) but they do improve her legs a lot (not my words but hers, and I agree!) She’s 33 and has both pantyhose and thigh-highs, and has at times worn them with open-toed shoes, though she says for that they must be “sandlefoot” ? Not sure what that is, but I like em!

  • kevin

    >

    In answer to the women who say men don’t know what women go thru by wearing pantyhose i say you are wrong. Many men are wearing pantyhose in 2006. Several companies even make them for us too. I wear them myself daily and they are quite comfortable if you get the proper size. I find the trend of barelegged,barefoot,painted toes with sandles look ugly,lazy,cheap and just disgusting.

  • Bunny

    >

    I must agree with Kim about men preferring pantyhose on women when you never see men wearing a pair. I think it’s kind of like a woman who prefers for a man to walk around in nylon tighteys instead of some breezy boxers… in the summer.  Not to say that I don’t feel sexier in thigh highs and garters. But how professional are garters? Also, thigh highs and garters are *GREAT FUN* when going to the bathroom, especially if the stall is tiny and the seats are dirty. That said, what about open-toed shoes?

  • Greg

    >

    Pantyhose is a must,especially in a dressy attire. When I see a lady with a nice skirt or dress with no hose, I notice immediately. If a woman takes the time to pick out a stunning outfit to wear, she should also put on a pair of matching hose or stockings. Believe me, there’s a lot of men out there noticing.

  • Bill

    >

    To me, I notice a woman who is wearing sheer hosiery with a nice outfit right away, even if it’s just nylons under a nice pair of slacks.  It seems odd now that I think about it, and perhaps it’s just the time because I don’t recall this before when all women wore nylons.  I’ve noticed, unfortunately, that ones personal appearance doesn’t mean what it once did.  It’s the same as a man in casual wear vs. a suit and tie.  To me, pantyhose completes a woman’s outfit, and helps that person just stand out with greater sophistication.

  • mario

    >

    hi , i dissagree, thigh high’s and stockings are what our grannies wore. in the time i grew up pantyhose was the thing. also stockings look slutty, what som men like but i like the classy look. todays pantyhose are very nice and there are many diffrent kinds. i know about the problem about access, which i take care of with a pair of sissors. some of the new ones from hanes dont even have a seam down the center and i have never seen anything sexyer. out with the stockings and in with pantyhose. by the way, i seen a women in shorts with opaque’s and some pumps. very very nice! however i love the look and especialy the new styles. mario

  • ron

    >

    Out with the pantyhose.  They are nice if you must.  Don’t know of anyplace where thigh hi or stockings would not be better.  Hose on the ladies is a must. 
    Bare legs are young school girl fashion.

  • mario

    >

    pantyhose, especialy sheer black ones are very sexy and look very nice. bare leggs look great too if they shaply and taned. most bare leg women could definatly benefit from some pantyhose. also stop buying the $2 drugstore or wal mart brand. go to victoria secret or to shapings.com and get some good ones, they will make all the diffrence.

  • LJ

    >

    Panty hose can drive a woman to kill if she’s uncomfortable in them.  I ripped off my stockings right at my desk one time (Lucky for me, no one was around). I hate wearing them.  But I will wear them when I have to wear my suit.  In the summer-time, I will never wear stockings, unless I’m on an interview. My legs look fine without them. 🙂

  • Kim

    >

    I think that hose or no hose totally depends on the legs.  If you can get away with no hose – all the more power to you. If you have bad legs, wear hose – they give you more structure.

    Personally, I go both ways, depending on the season, work office temperature or my mood that morning.

    BTW – It’s great to have men post comments – like Mike, but I just love hearing men say that women should wear pantyhose when they have NO IDEA of how uncomfortable they can be.

    • JS

      Interesting comment there, Kim. You are operating under the mistaken impression that no men ever wear pantyhose. I am a straight man that loves to wear pantyhose; I don’t find them uncomfortable at all, unless they’re Control Top which is why I simply do not wear Control Top. I also love to see women’s legs in pantyhose and you cannot say I don’t know what it’s like to wear pantyhose.

  • Anonymous

    >

    I love Victoria’s Secret Body By Victoria pantyhose.  The colors are wearable and sheer enough to give a no-pantyhose look.  Plus they last so much longer than the drugstore versions.

  • Lea

    >

    This is an easy one for me, NOT To Pantyhose!  But what works for me if I HAVE to wear nylons, I’ll wear a size larger so they are more comfortable and less likely to run too.

  • >

    The debate has certainly been lively on my blog Almost Girl. I have always assumed it was a don’t but then I guess there are plenty of guys who just love it. Who knows? Perhaps it comes down to personal preference?

    Almost Girl
    http://almostgirl.coffeespoons.org

    • rumboorack

      You are absolutely right. Men love to see a nice legs in pantyhose or stockings 90 out of 100.

  • Brett

    >

    as a member of the male species…I prefer some type of hose or stockings on women.ittakes an exceptional pair of legs to go barelegged and lets face it most women cannot pull this off! Pantyhose or stockings make a womens legs look so much better, here is my vote for more hose out there!

  • Crystal

    >

    I have to wear panty hose to the office, it is mandatory! I dont think that is a bad idea it does make the outfit look a little more professional. It gives it the final polish! For those of you all who dread putting those hose on every M-F I have a tip, When possible I wear thigh highs. They make me feel prettier, sexier, and more womanly. When I wear them I feel a sudden power, strong confidence come over me its an incredible boost of self confidence.

    I must say though, in the evening I would rather not wear panty hose. Its sexy to not wear panty hose and have smooth freshly shaved legs.
    Bare Legs= SEX APPEAL