California just raised my taxes and I’m talking about pantyhose.

Quick question:
Are pantyhose acceptable to wear with skirts? It’s been years since I’ve worn a skirt and even more years since I’ve worn pantyhose with a skirt. And the last time that I did wear a skirt, which was a very long time ago, I was told that it was not at all okay to wear pantyhose with the skirt. I realize that even SAYING the word pantyhose makes me old, but let’s be honest, the only reason I am even considering wearing pantyhose is to smooth shit out and possibly help my sagging stomach not sag so much.
And also maybe, just maybe, try to hide the MASSIVE, GIANT varicose vein that popped out on my right calf.
so, in your opinion, how bad would it be if I made the trip to Target to buy a pair of pantyhose to wear with my new skirt?

75 thoughts on “California just raised my taxes and I’m talking about pantyhose.

  1. Beena

    Check out Lane Bryant and get some Spanx instead. I wouldn’t wear panty hose if someone paid me. Itch itch itch! Spanx will smooth out anything!

  2. lettergirl

    What color is the skirt? Can you go with a colored tight? Because those are hipper than pantyhose. Also, Target makes great faux Spanx called “assets.” They also make them in bike short length so you don’t have to go the full Monty.

  3. missbanshee

    Dammit, I say go for it. Nude only, natch, but why on earth feel self-conscious? And if you can find them, I think the back seam ones are muy sexy. Damn the man! Save the tights!

  4. stephanie

    I am the last person to talk about what’s “acceptable,” but my rule of thumb is that I wear nylons (which I prefer to say over “pantyhose” b/c that contains both “panty” and “hose”) with skirts for work, but not for casual wear. (Although sometimes not in the summer for work, unless I’m meeting with clients or in court.)
    Tights, however, are a supercute alternative to the ‘hose, if that works with the skirt you’re planning on wearing.

  5. Y

    I’m wearing a black/white skirt with either a purple or rust color sweater (haven’t decided yet.) And black shoes. Could I wear black tights? Or is that too much black? (And I write for BEAUTY HACKS, people. They should fire me. Seriously.)
    Nude, eh? I think that would work

  6. Amy

    Delurking to say that black is totally the way to go. Tights or sheer hosiery would work, but the opaque tights will do more for the varicose vein. I personally loathe the top part of tights/pantyhose and tend to go for thigh-highs for comfort reasons. That would work with spanx/alternatives, right?

  7. amanda

    First, yes, Spanx are better. Second, it depends on the shoes. If you’re wearing closed-toe shoes, then pantyhose are acceptable, but I wouldn’t go with black because it sounds like black skirt + black shoes + black hose will be too much. If you’re wearing open-toed shoes, then pantyhose are less okay.
    The shoe conundrum probably was already on your radar, but just in case it wasn’t, it needed to be said.

  8. lynne

    Pantyhose is such a cute word 🙂 Being a Brit I call them tights and wear them often, no shame there. I go for dark and opaque. My mothers generation called them nylons. She wears American Tan probably the same variety shes worn since the 1950’s.
    Top Geography tip: A good way to remember the difference between stalagmites and stalactites is the latter hang down from rock ceilings like tights 🙂

  9. Candy

    Yeah, Spanx are the way to go, but I’ll let you in on a secret. The two women who created the company have apparently split, and one of them created a line of the same undergarments for half the Spanx price and guess where they’re sold? Exclusively at Tar-jay.
    Also, I’d probably get some kick-ass boots to wear to hide the vein. They’re pretty “in” now.

  10. cindy w

    Unless I’m wearing sandals with a skirt, I always wear pantyhose or tights. I can’t stand to have my bare feet in a pair of close-toed shoes. The chafing, the blisters, the STINK when you take them off… no thanks.
    I think, based on the outfit you’re wearing, either black tights or nude hose would be totally acceptable. I’m no fashion expert, but there you go.

  11. Candy

    And the tights issue…depends on the weight of the material the skirt is made out of. I would steer away from tights if it’s a silky light-weight skirt. But if it’s wool, then tights, absolutely.

  12. A'Dell

    The thing with Nylons is that some people think EVERYONE should wear them no matter what. Like how it used to be with hats and gloves. I’ve never looked at someone wearing them and thought she was nuts.
    If you’re up for it, then I think it makes pretty much everyone look more polished.

  13. ella

    Do they even make pantyhose any more?
    I haven’t looked or bought any in ages.
    And honestly I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen anyone wearing pantyhose to work.
    If you wanna smooth things out go for the Spanx.
    I have some and they rock!

  14. C.

    That’s not true. I’m 24, and I always wear them to work if I’m wearing a skirt. I feel like it looks more pulled-together than going brazenly barelegged in the workplace. I just stick with nude or black. You should do whatever makes you comfortable.

  15. C.

    Clarification: “that’s not true” was in response to the comment further up that nobody wears pantyhose anymore. Slow typer. Sorry.

  16. heidi

    Fuck! I just wore pantyhose (black, not opaque) to a dressy professional dinner dance. Now I find out it’s a no-no. They are going to take my girl card away.

  17. Alice

    Other than avoiding tights/nylons with open toed shoes, I haven’t ever seen any ‘No! Don’t wear THAT!’ advice on them. (Other than the fact that they can be wicked uncomfortable.)
    I say go with a purple/rust tight *if* you can find one to match your top. Otherwise, a black tight with a subtle texture or pattern would be great, since the texture will keep things from being too unrelentingly dark. I think that sheer nylons would work fine, but that’s not as much help for the varicose.
    What’s the occasion? she asked intrusively.

  18. elizabeth

    I think tights would work. Just watch out that they aren’t “low rise”. I’ve bought a few pairs not knowing this. “Low rise” DOES NOT do wonders for the mid-section and makes all sorts of muffin-top issues that you do NOT want to deal with.

  19. Amy Girl

    There are some really cool panyhose/tights out there these days. I wear them most of the winter when I wear dresses/skirts. Please just don’t wear skin toned pantyhose. You know like the ones named “suntan” – buy and wear only black, brown, cream, and navy!

  20. Carrisa

    Of course it’s ok to wear pantyhose with a skirt. However, pantyhose are the devil and they suck. I agree that you should try Spanx or Assets. Probably Assets since Spanx are so damn expensive.
    Or just go to Marshall’s and/or TJ Maxx and look for a girdle thingie. I mean it won’t do anything for the vein on your leg, but you’ll feel better.

  21. SassyPants

    I was going leave you some comment loving in the form of advice but it seems all the other ladies have you covered. But just to summarize:
    Tights = Super Cute
    Do we get to see pictures?

  22. Amy

    I agree with Cindy W. I almost always wear nylons or thigh highs (when the rare occasion arises) because I can’t stand to have bare feet in closed toed shoes. Also, wearing nylons makes my thighs rubbing together less uncomfortable. (I just told the internet that my thighs rub together. I have no shame. Or dignity.)

  23. Cindi

    Okay–I guess I feel like a an old fuddy duddy but I still think pantyhose are perfectly okay for skirts and dresses. Most of these posts sound like they suggest Spanx for the purpose of holding in the tummy, but that’s not why I wear pantyhose. I really don’t care for the way my white legs look without PH when I’m dressed up. I do wear tights sometimes but only with certain skirts/dresses. And I also don’t like my bare feet in anything but my Birks during the summer. The rest of the year it’s PH or knee hose.

  24. Bethany

    Crap. I was going to say go ahead and wear the pantyhose but then I read the comments. If I ever give an opinion on fashion you should probably do the opposite.

  25. LPC

    Delurking here too. Um, I’m 52 and in the days when I wore skirts to work I always wore pantyhose. Then at some point when I looked up after years of childrearing and reentered the workforce, US Weekly said the p-hose were a no-no. Why? God only knows. But I say iconoclasts sometimes take the day. Wear whatever makes you feel like you rock. If you want to wear p-hose, and it helps to have moral support, my High WASP mother would be appalled at no p-hose. So just choose who you have sit on your shoulder and whisper to you.

  26. Kellie

    Wow, everyone’s comments are all over the map! I think that just shows there isn’t one right answer and you have to do what works best for you.
    Personally, I like back tights in the winter, especially ones with a pattern. In the spring or summer they seem to heavy and dark. If you are wearing a casual skirt with sandals, I’d just wear whatever is comfortable. If you are wearing a skirt to work and need to look more professional, I would only go with bare legs if you think your legs look nice enough to do it. People wore nylons (can’t say that word!) in professional settings because they are smooth, have an even color, are a little shiny, they are slimming, etc. They might be uncomfortable, but they are still all those other things too. I think you can get away with bare legs IF your bare legs are all of those things.
    Honestly, I think there are many people who follow fashion trends that shouldn’t. Not all fashion choices work on everyone.

  27. Amy @ Milk Breath & Margaritas

    You are not supposed to wear pantyhose with a skirt. You can wear tights – something more solid/substantial – if it’s cold.
    But sheer pantyhose are a no-no.
    If it’s warm, buy a can of bronzer or sunless tanning lotion for your legs. And Spanx are always a good plan.
    (As part of my mid-life crisis last year, I researched these matters extensively.)

  28. Ang

    Sorry, I have no comment about pantyhose. 🙂
    I do, however, want to comment about your photographs. They are AMAZING. Are you seriously thinking of becoming a professional? If not, you absolutely should. I love seeing your shots and I just think you are SO talented.
    I am just learning about photography on my own right now and I did have a question for you. How do you do that texture thing?? Can you give me any tips?? Or things that helped you when you first started out? I would be forever grateful to you for any info that you can share with me! You can email me at Thank you!!

  29. bethany actually

    I say, if you wanna wear pantyhose, just do it! Go for sheer black or black tights or WHATEVER MAKES YOU COMFORTABLE. If you’d be fashionable in no tights but that would make you uncomfortable, then do the unfashionable thing and be comfortable.

  30. am

    It totally depends on if you are doing it for work/interview or if you are just going out to a movie.
    Depending on the work environment, business casual can be nylons/tights – sometimes I even rock the knee highs with a skirt that goes just below the knee.
    Going to a movie, something casual, whatever, no way no how do I wear hose/tights.
    Wedding or dressy environment – nylons/tights – unless i am wearing an open toe shoe…then it’s bare.
    If all you want it for is to create a smooth line, then spanx all the way. Plus it is a fun way to spell spanks. AND THAT MEANS ITS SEXY AND DIRTY AT THE SAME TIME! WHOO!

  31. Renate

    I wear pantyhose (or actually, mostly stockings (or tights during autumn/winter)) to skirts allll the time, because if not, people would look at me and think I’m that freaky albino dude from the Da Vinci code, and that’s something I can live without. Also, Norway isn’t exactly bare-legs-friendly most of the year (which also explains the albino tendencies).
    …Because of all your other comments, I totally had to go Google spanx, and now I want some of those.

  32. Stephanie

    I live in PA so it is hella cold here. I wear pantyhose or patterned tights with every skirt in the winter. But in the summer I go nude leg. I also LOVE the Sally Hanson Airbrush legs. It goes on like a spray tan kind of, has a slight color to it and makes your legs GORGEOUS. It also covers up veins pretty well. I have veins really close to the skin, so I wear it a lot during the summer. But be warned if you are a behind the knee sweat-er in the warm times, it will come off on anything you brush it against.

  33. Elaine

    No, it wouldn’t be too much black. I’d say more than anything, it depends on the shoes! Just please do NOT wear hose with open-toed shoes.

  34. heidi

    OMG – I would never have even known to ASK if it was cool to wear pantyhose with a skirt. I would have thought “of course it is” since apparently I am living in the past. When did it become not acceptable? what else have I missed?

  35. Karen

    UMM I must be getting old myself because I don’t understand why you wouldn’t wear panthose/nylons with a skirt. As long as your not wearing sandles or flip flops with them I think it would be ok. Yes assets are great for wearing in the summer so your legs don’t rub together when wearing skirts and get chapped, and sad but true I speak from personal expierence.

  36. Amy M

    Like a couple others have said – it all kinda depends on where you’re going and what you’re doing. If cold, textured tights are cute. And black sounds like it would be fine. For pantyhose, I like the oatmeal color or off black, or black. (oatmeal is a kind of cream but prettier- HUE has a GREAT oatmeal color) Also like others said, do what’s right for you to be comfortable. And I also have to wonder if the people that are telling you NO are people that still have kick ass legs that don’t need a little help??? Cuz I cannot get away with bare legs any more at 33. I miss my early 20’s.

  37. Lyndsey

    I think it depends on the occasion. In my opinion, pantyhose are only not weird if you’re going for something formal, i.e. court, meeting, wedding, church.
    If this is a walk-about-town kind of skirt, I’d go with Spanx (LOVE) or funky tights.
    And I’m 24 by the way. I don’t know if that makes me more or less credible? 🙂

  38. Molly

    I’m embarrassed to admit that I love pantyhose and I feel much better wearing them. Am I the only one with thighs that rub together and feet that get sweaty and stick in my shoes???

  39. Heather B.

    It depends on where you are going/what you are doing.
    Yes, you should go to Target. They have Assets; tights that are like spanx. But if you need like *good* pantyhose for a professional type thing, splurge for some real spanx. Or if you find yourself near a Maidenform or a TJMaxx or Marshalls just get some shapewear. That’ll suck everything right in.

  40. Meredith

    Not my favorite, but it is respectful and proper etiquette to wear pantyhose when wearing a skirt in court. You can always tell a law student from an actual practicing lawyer. Thus, I have multiple colors for my court appearances.

  41. Adrienne

    Who the heck is anyone to tell you what you can or can not wear? Who decides this crap? No white when? No pantyhose? Sheer Vs Opaque? Right/Wrong it is all a matter of personal opinion. There is no right or wrong when it comes to your clothing choices.
    If you are more comfortable with/without none of anyone else’s business. Go with your gut and your comfort level. Just don’t go naked, there is a hard lined rule about that one.

  42. Mary

    I am overweight, and I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing tights – they make your legs look like tree stumps. Pantyhose are fine, and especially for women over 40 with lumps, bumps, and vericose veins, it’s better for the self esteem, and looks crips and professional. Sheer or ‘nude’ is just fine, or black if you’re wearing black skirts.

  43. Laura Lohr

    I concur on the “Assets” from Target. I don’t wear skirts without them anymore. In fact, my Assets were dirty tonight. I went to our tax appointment and all I could think about is my big blog belly that was trying to escape from my shirt. Ugh.
    Oh, FYI, buy your actual size (don’t try to do a size down like I did) or suffocate until you peel them off.
    Isn’t it all so fun?

  44. Di

    De-lurking to say that my head hurts.
    Also, to say that they make these pantihose that don’t have that toe seam, so you can wear then with open-toed shoes. They look really good, and you have to get really close to see that they’re there. They’re called something. Um. Something to do with feet, I think.

  45. Tammy

    I live in the frozen north. No one in their right mind goes bare-legged here, except in July. As for tights vs. pantyhose, I have no clue. None. I thought PH were normal and fine, but apparently, I am an old crazy bat with no fashion sense.

  46. Michelle

    Don’t be offended, but I think it is at least still generally acceptable for older women to wear pantyhose. (Young women are just too elitist to wear them.)

  47. Dawn Elizabeth

    Don’t do it! Pantyhose are just gross! How can a woman feel sexy when everything is being sqooshed to death by cheap material that will get a run in it?! I never wear pantyhose! Plus what if you and the hubby want a quicky? Pantyhose prohibits it completely!

  48. ajnabi

    I love that a question about pantyhose has resulted in twice as many comments as any of your five previous entries. Nothing like asking for advice to bring us out of lurkdom! LOL

  49. E

    Dude, the controversy. I had no idea.
    My philosophy is of the What The Hell variety – if I want to wear them, especially if it’s the dead of goddamn winter, then I’ll wear them. And I’m a 20-year-old college student, so you can tell them I sent you if anyone gives you crap.
    People and fashion are ridiculous. If it looks good ON YOU then you’re good to go.

  50. LPC

    Yes! Let’s bring back the p-hose. Except if you live somewhere with high humidity and then the sweat runs down the back of your knee between the p-hose and your skin – horrors….

  51. Michelle

    de lurking to say that the post from: ajnabi cracked me up. I totally agree with that sentiment. And I’m 32 and still of the what the hell variety. Go with whatever makes you sexy. I like the color of nude pantyhose, but then I’m a conservative dresser. Never really got the gumption to wear colored tights. 🙂

  52. Kait

    I’m all for hose if you want to wear it. Don’t wear them if you don’t like them.
    HOWEVER… under NO circumstances should you wear hose with a sandal, an open toed or a peep-toed shoe. You MUST wear a fully closed toe shoe with hose, otherwise you’ll look like my grandmother, and that’s not what you’re going for.

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