Bare legs are sexy? Dream on…

– I would like to comment on the disturbing phenomenon of a lack of hosiery on women (particularly in the US where it has reached epidemic proportions) and offer a possible reason for it.

Forget for a moment about stockings – here we are concerned with pantyhose (tights). For men old enough to remember, consider how we felt when pantyhose became dominant over gartered stockings: perhaps the biggest objection from males was that pantyhose prevented “access”. It was so much easier to, shall we say, “pet”, when a female was not covered to the waist by a fabric that was not easily removable. With stockings, only the panties (knickers) stood in our way, and they could be gotten around. Not so with pantyhose.

So, a few generations of women grew up never wearing stockings, only pantyhose. In recent years, these young ladies have seen their sexy movie and TV stars wearing “no pantyhose”. Have they perhaps perceived that this is very sexy, because these media stars are suggesting “easy access”? And might not the stars have intended to convey this very message? I think this may be a partial explanation of what we are seeing. Since stockings have generally been much less available that pantyhose, the younger generation, not considering the alternative of wearing stockings, might very well conclude that “no-pantyhose is sexy” which, to them, equals “bare legs are sexy”.

Hopefully, newer generations will become more aware of stockings (how that will happen is another area of discussion) and realise that they are even more sexy than no hosiery. What do you think?

– I think that it is slowly changing thanks to the recent movie Moulin Rouge… at least short term. My fiance works for a major lingerie store found in most malls, and she said that she had about eight girls come in on her last day of work, and six on the day before that asking for… this is the funny part… “Moulin Rouge pantyhose” LOL! They didn’t know that they were called stay ups or stockings. None of the sales were individual… seems like friends are getting together and getting curious… then heading to Victoria’s to buy a pair. We’ll see what happens… and if it lasts.

According to her guesstimates… all were ages 17 to 20, with the oldest not possibly being older than 22.

– I would consider this a brief phenomenon, based on the Christina Aguilera influence. For those of us old enough to remember, this smacks of the whole bustier thing that happened in the 80s after Madonna hit the scene. It fizzled too.

– I’m not sure what the bare legs phenomenon is all about. It may be a combo of things – certainly the current fashion ‘style’, mixed with easy casual wear and the decline in ‘formal’ femininity. This has really been where the present generation of young women diverts from previous ones. In past generations women always seemed to spend much more time on looking good and dressing well – and ‘wanted’ to. Not so today. (Yet many young women still consider themselves feminine). In addition, a great many women have come to hate nylon hosiery of any kind. They find it restrictive and don’t necessarily equate femininity with having to wear it. I find bare legs tacky, just as I find so much of current fashion, esp among young women (low-rise pants and flares, bulbous and thick-soled boots, chunky 70s-era platform shoes) tasteless. But it may be only a trend. My fear is that a generation-and-a-half of young women are growing up not even wearing pantyhose let alone stockings…

However, if a campaign about stockings (not pantyhose) was directed at them – demonstrating how sexy, chic (esp with patterns) and non-restrictive (compared to p’hose) they are, it may turn some corner… As for Moulin Rouge my hunch is also that it will be a flash in the pan. The movie isn’t that popular, there’s little ‘buzz’ around it (except the Aguilera video, which seems to be denounced as ‘tarty’) and I don’t think it will have lasting effect. In fact on the Vogue web site, when asked if the movie would have influence on trends the few replies were directed towards foundation garments – bustiers and corsets. Not one mention about good ol’ stockings.

– While cultural influences such as movies and celebrities may influence fads as has been suggested, the real influence on fashion is values.

Correspondents here often point to the decline of elegance in America to the influence of “Libbers”. They are right in my opinion. I think the socio-political climate associated with “respect” is the real issue.

Where in America are you most likely to see elegantly dressed ladies that are dressed in gartered stockings? The opera and the Kentucky Derby are examples where large numbers of women plan their elegance for weeks in advance.

US society moves at such a fast pace that men and women view elegance as unaffordable from a time perspective. It’s in US locations where the pace is slower that elegance is most often displayed.

This subject has promoted much personal thought the past few weeks. A celebrity won’t influence the return of elegance. A movie won’t influence the return of elegance. Only significant social change related to respect for others will bring about this change, Slowly, but surely, we are moving away from elegance.

I conclude that we can only influence the change within ourselves, and influence change among those we “touch” every day with a positive, gracious example of how to express class and project elegance.

I’m wearing a business suit, white shirt, and silk tie to work today. I’m going to greet everyone I meet today with a smile, and treat each individual with respect and dignity.

– I also tend to agree that Moulin Rouge will have a relatively short and perhaps spectacular shelf life. Whilst confessing to be a bit of a “movie buff” I cannot exactly justify the reason, except that it will never join the musical evergreens such as Singing in the Rain, or the original Can Can.

The fashions will probably encourage some of the more enquiring minds to ask about the portrayed leg fashions, but it will be above the intelligence of the hordes of 18+ olds with flared pants and shapeless chunks for shoes. Society is what has to change in order to encourage even a little more class in the way ladies present themselves.

– I am in complete agreement. I was astonished by an article in the paper here last week about young ladies getting dressed up for the prom. Apparently, in addition to the whole stockings issue, this self-same generation has never worn a pair of proper high heeled shoes! When being assisted with their dresses, they had to have lessons in how to walk properly in heels, instead of clunking around flat-footed like horses. Now, isn’t that sad? It’s a telling thing that young girls have no proper mother figure to teach them posture, grace, hell even proper manners!

Could we be in need for the return of finishing schools? And while we’re on the subject, there should be the same thing for young boys – to learn how to eat properly, stand when a lady enters the room, etc. The only young boys I see of late who are polite (but still boisterous) go to Catholic boys school near my office.

– I hate to agree with everybody here, but there does seem to be a lack of knowledge on how to dress. Every weekend I get at least two or three girls in the shop who do not know the difference between stockings, hold-ups and tights. I have to point out on my body where they come to and double check at the counter (my apologies to any ladies who have bought stockings from me as I have got a few strange looks and ‘yes I know they are stockings’).

I am now changing my packaging: blue with an illustration of a girl in tights for tights and pink with an illustration of a girl in stockings for stockings and hold-ups. Perhaps it would be easier if I just changed the name to ‘Moulin Rouge Tights’.