So there has been a debate as of late… “wear” do nylons stand today in the halls of fashion. Are they at the forefront on the marble pedestal... are they retired docents giving tours…or are they taking tickets in the coat check room? As one who has worked in the Intimate Apparel Dept TWICE…
Here’s the lowdown: Only wear nylons if
A) they MAKE the outfit
B) they are required (by rule or occasion...)
C) you have super hairy legs (in which case I would recommend fishnets in black or nude depending…NOTHING hides hair like fishnets…never think that just by wearing nylons your legs are “passing” for hairless…so says the lazy leg-waxer…)
These days, self tanner is the new nylon. No joke, look in the magazines and estimate the ratio of nyloned legs compared to bare… It’s not to say NOone is wearing them (see A). It’s just that SKIN is IN. (I totally just coined that phrase…) Bare legs can even fly in the wintertime with a little maintainance (i.e. a little color...).
Opposed to self tanner? Did you know that no two self tanners are alike? I used to avoid the stuff like the plague because it smelled SO bad on me. I then found out (through the modern revelation that is Vogue Magazine) that you need to try several different brands to find one that reacts well with your personal chemistry. It’s just like dealing with a man ladies...a gotta date ‘til ya mate. And you might be surprised that an inexpensive brand works with your skin! (I would recommend starting with Clarins, Clinique, and Bath & Body Works…my fave)
If there is anyone out there who is still attending the antiquated tanning booth, let me refer you to my forthcoming blog entitled “Oozing Lesions, Leathery Skin, and Other Bad Habits I Picked Up in the Eighties.”
But if you are determined to wear the nylons, let’s explore the options…
The World of Foundation Garments Part IV: Nylons and Hoisery according to c.a.o.r.
Appropriate When...they are required or for a super conservative or formal occasion. While by today's standards, anything goes, nylons add a level of decorum that is sometimes a necessary element to an outfit. The more sheer, the more sexy.
Inappropriate When…they are ill fitting whether they are too tight and constricting or too loose and baggy i.e. elephant anlkes. They are also inappropriate when they are of cheap and inconsistant weave. The nicer the quality of hose, the more expensive, sorry, no exceptions...
Rating (out of 5) 3
Appropriate When... and IF you need them, explore types of control from only tummy to butt to thigh to all of the above.
Inappropriate When…parts of you bulge out of them. Suggestion: pull them up as high as you can and use as minimizing bra…
Appropriate When... hell freezes over or you are an old woman living in Florida. I know Stacy and Clinton said it was OK, but I question their judgement. Nylons are considered more conservative, and occasions to dress conservatively (court, funerals, and eagle scout courts of honor…) require more sensible shoes than the open toed variety...generally
Inappropriate When…Nevah!…(say that in an indignant tone of voice…and a Brittish accent…) That is so say they are NEVER appropriate in my fashion book. It's an oxymoron. Nylons for sandals? Think it through logically folks… Plus, I hate the seam...
Appropriate When...you need to wear nylons often and you don't cut your toe nails as often…
Inappropriate When…anyone can view them whether your shoes are on or off.
Appropriate When...you are aged, on your feet A LOT, a diabetic with poor circulation, OR are in need of KILLER control. They are more like tights than nylons, and for young people who need the control, sheer black is an appropriate choice, but never nude!
Inappropriate When…you don't want to feel like astuffed sausage.
Thigh Highs: Self Supporting
Appropriate When...ever you need to wear hoisery. Honestly, why are you women even bothering with the pantyhose unless there is a dress or ourfit that requires them AND some support? They are GOD'S gift to women! Imagine this: no pulling them off and on to visit the bathroom, when one leg runs, so what? they come in packs of two often and you've got another leg! No uncomfortable waist line/rolling issues...And is there anything sexier than a little lacy secret?
Inappropriate When…they show.
Garters & Belts
Appropriate When...you are allergic to the self adhesive of thigh highs. Or if you just can't stand the feeling. Garter belts can often privide a little tummy control. They're not only for the bedroom..though they do the trick there. Tip: wear your underwear ON TOP of the garter belt so the bathroom trip is not as complicated. Or wear split croch panties, but that's never classy...
Inappropriate When…they show, or when they can be seen through the clothes as lumps and bumps.
Knee Highs: Nylons
Appropriate When... you have a rare occasions.
Inappropriate When…you are wearing knickers or skirts where there is a possibility that they might be seen. Let me be more frank, NEVER WITH SKIRTS and low shoes.
Appropriate When... you need to wear nice slacks and nice shoes. Should generally be the same color as your pants unless you are trying to make some sort of statement.
Appropriate When...you are a grandma who no longer cares or notices, but who doesn't like sweaty feet.
Inappropriate When…you don't have a pace maker.
Appropriate When...worn with short to mid legnth skirts and boots. a staple of the 90's tights are losing their grip, but they are still popular and fashionable in colder climates.
Inappropriate When…the weather is obviously too warm or the occasion is too formal.
Appropriate When...something a little more sexy is called for, but the weather is still cool.
Inappropriate When…used as a substitute for sheer nylons.
Appropriate When...good fashion judgement is used. Subtle patterns worn with little or no pattern in the clothing is a great use of patterned tights. Great with boots!
Inappropriate When…they are printed with items that should NEVER be found on legs e.i fruit, stripes (unless you are a witch or a goth), balloons, cartoon characters etc.
Fishnets: Single Net
Appropriate When...they do not distract from the outfit. They should not usually be the focal point. Beware that a common visual cue for fishnets is one that is often associated with women of ill repute. So ignore the stares of the older generation, 'cuz times, they are a'changin'...
Inappropriate When…a more conservative hose is required. They are not a straight across substitute for nylons.
Fishnets: Double Net
Appropriate When...you require a more chic look in hose, but when the fun and sexiness of a fishnet is desired.
Inappropriate When…there in the slightest hole in the hose (NOTHING is more tawdry than fishnets with a hole) or when you are actaully trying to catch fish.
And that's it folks. Not to leave our male audience out in the cold. If you are shopping for yourself or a loved one (we do not judge you here...), all hoisery should have a size chart on the back. It doesn't go by foot size, it is by height and weight. So if any of you are over 5'10" (Aiden?) you will need to check out the specialty sizes...