Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Forgive me for not shedding a tear...

I have never been a fan of nylons a.k.a pantyhose.

I heard the report this morning that Hanes says that hosiery sales have dropped in the past decade. The average woman wears hose 2 times a week - instead of 3.5 days.

As far as I'm concerned, this is a welcome change.

Nylons are hot. Some might go so far as to say suffocating. They seem to cut off circulation - especially the knee high variety. And - they are incredibly disposable. I would look at a pair of nylons sideways and they would run. Back in the day, I knew all sorts of tricks for nylons - clear nail polish, hair spray. I tried different brands - thinking the more expensive brands would last longer. No luck.

Then, there was also the problem of finding a shade that matched your skin tone. I had more than a few pair that left my legs looking close to a shade of orange oompa-loompa.

I agree with the report I heard this morning - that this change is generational. I know of at least one woman (of a certain generation) who wears nylons under jeans. It's also obvious that there are standards of acceptance in different cultures. While in Russia, for example, female college students would wear nylons to class and short skirts - while the men would wear suits. I find the thought of American college students hysterical.

I am grateful that I don't work in an industry (law, accounting) where I would have to dress in full business dress each day. I have a tremendous amount of sympathy for anyone who has to wear a suit and/or hose. It's expensive and uncomfortable.

Despite all the gains of women in the past decades, working men and women dress very differently. Perhaps I'm guilty of looking through a grass is always greener haze - but it does seem that men have it easier. And - less expensive. In my business casual environment, a men's wardrobe consists of polo shirts and khakis. Women have a wide range of options, but if skirts are worn, the hose need to be there as well. A pair of hose could run anywhere from $2 to $8 or more. And for the less graceful of us, that could add up to a pair of hose or two per week.

And - I associate nylons with organized religion. Have to say it, but I do. Growing up in a religion where it was almost as must of a sin for a woman to wear pants on Sunday as taking the lord's name in vain, I became well acquainted with hose. This same religion also has a policy where women are encouraged to wear nylons - even in the summer.

If someone could explain to me a good reason for women to wear nylons, I am willing to listen. What exactly is so different for women without a sheer nylon covering and those with? As if the slim piece of fabric increased modesty. I could rail on controlling women through fashion - but why bother? It's been better argued before.

But I will state for the record. I personally will try to avoid wearing hose if at all possible. I welcome the cultural change that women no longer are required to keep their legs covered in suffocating nylon mesh.


C. L. Hanson said...

I'm with you -- I always hated wearing nylons!!!

In my mind, nylons will forever be one of the many discomforts associated with church. I essentially gave them up around the same time I gave up church (although I occasionally dig out a pair for weddings...).

I think the reason they're expected at LDS church is not so much a question of modesty as it is a question of being careful to look polished and beautiful. In the same way you're expected to wear a dress and make-up and do up your hair, you're expected to wear nylons...


Liseysmom said...

I unfortunately have to wear nylons almost every day to work. I hate them. I get around it by wearing pants when I can or if I wear a long enough skirt, I'll just wear boots.