The Panty Hose Phobia and Dilemma

I remember 5th grade. We had a field trip to Chicago. In my family, going into the city meant getting dressed up; especially when the agenda included a stop at the theater. Being the “appropriate” child that I was, I dressed up. I decided the best outfit would be a wool plaid skirt, white blouse, corduroy blazer (with elbow pockets), wedges and yes…panty hose. My memories of that day faded until a photo of the trip appeared on Facebook (please don’t look for it!). Funny how time has a way of shifting memories from what play I saw and what museum we went visited to memories of my feet killing me, trying to not get my cool outfit messed up and worrying I would snag my panty hose.

Yes, I was THAT kid.

Thankfully, gratefully and blessedly today’s fashion does not dictate the wearing of panty hose. I ask you, who DOES wear panty hose these days? Well, other than my mother… Don’t misunderstand my angst with panty hose. There is a definite difference between panty hose and tights. Don’t confuse the two. I am not talking tights here. I love tights. Bring on the pattern in lovely opaque hues! I’m talking panty hose; those nude or sheer leg coverings that we agree were invented by an unfashionable man in an effort to torture women.

The debate seems to be how to don our bare-leggedness when the temps fall below 50 degrees. Style monikers agree there are a few secrets to comfortably and fashionably wear bare legs and not turn blue. This seems to be a hot topic among fashion bloggers; even the Huffington Post had a piece about the annoyance of one reporter seeing bare legs in the winter. All kidding aside, there may be a time and place for panty hose, along with some simple things to keep in mind when you are going bare legged in the winter.

1.       UNDER THINGS – When talking to a fellow fashionista about this very topic, she admitted when she goes bare-legged, she wears compression garments. If you’ve ever worn one of those magical garments, you know they have a tendency to be a little, well, warm. The bare legs can help you to keep your cool.

2.       LEG MAKEUP - Honestly, panty hose are not going to keep you warm. Period. The reason to wear them has more to do with covering your legs or adding some color to those gams that haven’t seen sunlight in months. Look for a moisturizer with a hint of sunless tanner.  Or try a leg makeup product. I prefer the spray on variety. Try Sally Hanson Salon Air Brush Legs. St. Tropez is also a favorite brand among makeup artists and stylists.

3.       COMPANY APPROPIRATE – Winter means your skin becomes dry. The more you expose your skin to the elements, the more drying you will see. Be sure to employ an exfoliating and moisturizing routing into your beauty regime if your plan is go to bare-legged this winter.  

4.       SHEEN – A runway tip I’ve kept a secret for a long time is leg sheen. Typically this is a tip I only share with clients that walk the red carpet at award shows, ya know, because of all the cameras.  I am shocked I’m sharing it with you…but hey, we’re all friends, right? A leg sheen or illuminizer down the front of your legs give your legs the appearance of tone and color (without tanning). Many lotions have a bit of sheen to them (call it sparkle), that is what I am referring to.  Be sure to just use this down the FRONT of your leg, not all over.

5.       GYM SOCKS – Confession: in the winter when I wear my fave riding boots (and bare legs), I wear gym socks. Yes, I need to be sure my feet are warm or I am miserable.

6.       SEASONALLY APPROPIRATE –. One of my fashion pet peeves is seeing stylish gals not dressed for the season. Linen in winter, wool in the summer. Makes my skin crawl. When going bare legged, the rest of your outfit needs to be seasonally appropriate. Closed-toed shoes and fabrics that were made for cold weather are a good start. In addition to knee-high boots, try an ankle boot or oxford style heel.

7.       BARELY THERE – Women who are ‘all about fashion’ probably won’t seek out panty hose that nude or sheer. Before you throw back your hair and roll your eyes, let me tell you Kate Middleton wears (wait for it) yes, PANTY HOSE! I advise against going to a colored sheer panty hose (ala the 80’s).  Keep the panty hose wearing to two hues: nude or black…and wear black with caution.

8.       ACCESSORIZE – If you simply can’t get your head around going bare-legged on cold days, consider making your ‘leg covering’ an accessory. Try something textured, look into more tights than panty hose or maybe start with a cute knee-sock/tall riding boot look first?

9.       ADORN YOUR OUTFIT – If you are going to be bare-legged, but don’t want all the attention on your gams, make the rest of your outfit attention worthy. A patterned skirt, a great statement coat or maybe gobs of sparkly jewelry will bring attention away from your legs.

10.   OWN THE LOOK – It is true going bare-legged in winter months will bring some attention your way. As I always say with any style or trend, if your love it, OWN IT!  Most of your style comes from within; from your inner beauty and confidence. If you try this look and just aren’t sure if it is for you, that can affect your confidence. 

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