Ladies and gentlemen, something rather wonderful has been happening – slowly, steadily and without our noticing it. Pantyhose have become virtually extinct! At least in this part of the world. (Shh – don’t tell David Suzuki).

On Hunter’s blog the other day, I was checking out this link listing a whole bunch of things you can do with old pantyhose. I thought to myself, “Hey, these would be some cool, crafty projects to do if I were the least bit crafty.” Then I realized I didn’t have any old pantyhose. Then I realized I hadn’t  owned pantyhose for ages.

Then I started thinking back to when I might have last owned and/or worn pantyhose and I think it was in 1993 at my brother’s wedding. “Wow, that’s a long time with no pantyhose,” I thought to myself.

So then, I decided it was time to do some scientific research and see if I was an anomaly in the pantyhose world or if pantyhose were disappearing from everyone’s lives. So yesterday I spent the whole day looking carefully at people’s legs (men and women just to be safe).

I checked out the people on my bus. Then I checked out the people at work. Then I went to a meeting in Gatineau and I got to check out people from a whole other province. Then I went to lunch in Preston so I got a Little Italy pantyhose perspective. Then I went grocery shopping later in the afternoon and got yet another demographic.

In that whole day I only saw 3 people wearing what I assume to be pantyhose (they could have been stockings and garters, but I doubt it). All 3 were elderly women and only one of them was wearing pantyhose that appeared to be completely intact. Most people were wearing trousers or shorts of some sort. Some women were wearing skirts with bare legs or with leggings or tights (once known as leotards).

In the evening my daughter had a gaggle of friends over glamming up for the school dance. I realized that my daughter, at almost 16 years of age, had never worn pantyhose in her life! So, I asked the other kids if they’d ever worn pantyhose and they all more or less said, “Ewww, gross…NO!” (Except my daughter who said, “MOTHER! Oh. My. Gawd!”

Ergo, I have drawn the conclusion that these limpid, self-destructing insults to womanhood everywhere have outlived their usefulness as hosiery and are now good only for crafts. Ta-da!

I felt incredibly uplifted at this discovery. Next to brassieres and stiletto heels, pantyhose had to be the most uncomfortable, confining, ridiculous things women ever squeezed themselves into. They never fit right. Most of them didn’t make it one day without tearing and some didn’t even survive the getting-in-to-them stage. They cost money. And they’re whatever the complete opposite of sexy is.

I hope that wherever you are, pantyhose are becoming extinct, too.

We should have an international day of celebration.


38 responses to “Hose

  1. Y’know, now that you mention it, I would likely be shocked to see anybody wearing the things. My mother’s old friend who used to give me pantyhose every year for Christmas and my birthday hasn’t even done that for a long time. And I certainly haven’t worn them in an even longer time.

    I remember that in my first year of junior high, girls were still not allowed to wear to pants to school. Let’s hear it for evolution!

  2. You know, although it offends my mother’s sense of decency I rarely wear pantyhose. I was going to for a think on Tuesday but the pair that had been languishing in my drawer since 1998 had a run in them. Oh well…

    Good freaking news.

  3. oh. do i have something to say about pantihose. two stories. one of the two last times that i wore those bastard hose was 1) the day i got hitched and the second time was 2) the evening of my stag.

    So. 1) my older, much older, sister insisted that i must wear pantihose with my wedding dress and also insisted that i not wear nickers with them as they would cause panti lines??

    so, being the wee sister i agreed. fastforward to photographs of the wedding party (thankfully after the ceremony!). i landed in the river, with my new husband on top of me, veil floating down the river, dress ripped, knee split opened, bleeding everywhere and of course my 18 dollar pair of hose ruined! (my smart sister did also insist that i buy a back up pair, so i was good to go! but of course, they were at home in my handbag)

    so, i had to strip down in the middle of the park and drive home in my wedding dress, nickerless. kinda sounds kinky now that i think about it but hmmm ….

    i digress.

    2) the evening of our stag. my future husband and i were waiting at a pub, trying to get loaded quickly and waiting for the call from that sister to say ‘okay, theres at least 25 people here for the party, so come on over’.

    anyhow, as i said this was another one of those times that the older sister insisted that i wear hose and control top ones to boot !! Jesus H Christ…why do i listen to her.

    As an aside, for those of you out there that wear these bloody control tops, i ask you, where the hell does the fat and chub go? around your neck or something – man.

    anyhow, by about 9pm, i was walking to the ladies washroom, steak knife in hand to cut the waist open so that i could breath. seriously, i was in pain.

    anyhow, yes i hate hose and glad to see them on the decline. yeah. they are great for steaking up tomatoe plants though…

    heres to no hose!!

    P.S. XUP. at last. a blog that i feel i can actually comment on. no offence whatsoever XUP, but i so cant comment on politics and peelers and the sort. i know this sounds sooooo shallow, but i just need meaningless simple stuff in my life at the moment for some reason. (smile)

  4. Surprisingly, I can actually discuss this subject from the perspective of a fisherman. There’s a bait called “Catfish Charlie,” made of blood and flour [no, I’m not sure where they get the blood from, but I have ideas]. The problem is that it’s so soft, it falls off the hook after a few minutes underwater. I solved this problem by wrapping the mixture in panty hose (thanks Mom!), creating a little ball of goodness. The panty hose bait ball would then stay on the hook indefinitely, leading to an increase in fish. Good times…

  5. I have a drawer at home that is the graveyard of pantyhose. I used to wear them when I worked in retail management, but not so much through my Army years. *grins*

    All the same, I am my mother’s daughter (cheap cheap cheap) and I’ve held on to them anyhow.

    I wear them on occasion now (well, specifically, stockings) when I dance. They save me from blisters in my ballroom shoes and serve to hide the fact that I mostly can’t be bothered with shaving my legs.

  6. oh man i have not worn hose in years. i think since high school. i hate them i will wear pants or a skirt with no hose. i dont care.

    also, last week i thought of you. i was at first choice getting our haircuts and i am looking around and what do i see….. clear rain bonnets.. FOR SALE! lol. i chuckled all by myself.

    then not even 5 mins later, an older woman comes out from getting her perm done and it looks like rain. so she digs thru her purse to pull out what? that is right.. the bonnet.

    it was great

  7. I had just read something about this a week or so ago but it was someone lamenting over the demise of pantyhose and it was a woman! Because it is so warm here, women started lobbying against the pantyhose rule in the 80’s or so. But it seems to me that if you live in a cold climate and wear a lot of dresses to work, you would still need pantyhose. I beleieve my last time was an April Michigan funeral. I suppose I could have worn tights but as a former dancer who wore a lot of tights, I don’t see a big difference in pantyhose and tights except for the color. I suppose if I have to attend another funeral in the winter I would wear them then but I do not own any at this time. As long as people keep dying in the summer, I’m good to go.

  8. Good call!

    I did have a thought about it a couple of months a go when I was cleaning out my drawers. I noticed I didn’t have any. Last time I remember wearing actually panty hose was grade 10.

    My mother-in-law wears enough for five people though. I have even caught her wearing them with *gasp* shorts!

  9. I am soooo oooold that when I first started dating, the young lady blessed with my attention was wearing nylons. Garter belt and nylons. Panty hose were just coming into fashion and I can tell you there was considerable difficulty when the switch was made.
    Since I am at heart a disgusting letch I can only say that the demise of these chastity belt hose, warms the cockles of my heart. Even if it is too late to be much benefit to me any more.

  10. I tried to remember the last time I wore pantyhose, and I can’t. It was years ago. I think I still have some curled up in a ball somewhere in the back of a drawer. Thanks for reminding me, I’m going to throw them out.

    There was something sort of sexy about stockings and garter belts, but pantyhouse always made me feel as if I were trying to stuff myself into a sausage.

    Can you imagine back in the Victorian and Edwardian days when women had to wear corsets and tons of petticoats? And then in the 1920s when they bound their breasts to look flat? *shudder*

  11. XUP, we are indeed kindred spirits: I like checking out people’s legs, too.

    Remember the old trick about how to tell if someone is wearing pantyhose? When they fart, their ankles swell.

    In the bank robbery business, pantyhose has, I suppose, been replaced by the hoodie (which we used to call kangaroo sweaters or simply a roo) or the ever-popular balaclava.

    Thanks, you’ve been a great audience. I’m here all week. Try the veal. Be good to your server. I have cassettes on sale in the lobby. Drive carefully on the way home, and if you have one for the road, may you have a cop for a chaser.

  12. Violetsky – Someone used to give you pantyhose as a Christmas gift? Holy catfish! What does she give you now? Sanitary napkins? Corn plasters? Disposable razors? What a crazy gift.

    Nat – Yay for the liberation. Funny how we haven’t heard a lot about this, isn’t it? They just kind of faded away. I wonder if they’ll make a comeback like everything else.

    Raino – I think your wedding deserves a post all its own. I’d be curious to know how you ended up in the river. And, really most of my posts are superficial and mindless. PS: I have a younger sister, too and I just want to say – har-dee-har-har

    Brad – You’re such a Renaissance guy. Hillbilly pantyhose fisherman one day, political pundit the next. Thanks for the tip. I know many of my readers are grateful.

    Susan – You’re full of surprises. You were/are a ballroom dancer? Don’t throw those pantyhose out yet — check out the list of strange and wonderful things you can do with them through the link above.

    Jobthingy – Aw, that’s sweet! You were thinking of me. Just what I’ve always wanted to be associated with. Could be worse, I suppose.

    Geewits – See, one of the problems with pantyhose is that they provide no warmth whatsoever. They’re too freakin’ hot in warm weather, as you mention and if you want to wear a dress in cold weather, you’re better off with tights or leggings that offer a bit of protection from the elements. When we were kids and not allowed to wear trousers to school we’d wear pants under our skirts.

    Helen – O.M.G – pantyhose with shorts? I always thought it was insane when women wore them with pants, but shorts? That’s just not right.

    Bandobras – I’m so old that pantyhose were actually not around when I first had to stop wearing leotards under my dresses for church and such. I also had a garter belt and stockings. Man, I hated those things, too. The belt would stretch and stretch until the stockings were wrinkled pools around the bottom of my legs. I was some sexy 12-year-old…

    Jo – Any footwear that extends beyond my ankles I find confining. I like my clothing to be specific for certain body parts. I never liked those jumpsuits or body suits either. That’s the worst thing about pantyhose – they cover your butt, your legs AND your feet.

    Bob – Now wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute — I never admitted to a kinky leg fetish here — it was just a one-off scientific experiment to see if pantyhose still existed…not a regular thing with me. But I’ll fully support your right in your leg viewing endevours. And I did wonder what bank robbers were going to do now that the hose are out of fashion. Tights wouldn’t be as effective… well they’d hide the face, for sure, but they’re hard to see through.

  13. Praise the Lord!! Pantyhose was (were?) one of the most torturous devices ever invented! Especially the control-top variety.

    Next we’ve got to work on getting rid of the stupid stiletto heels. I think those will be more of a battle. The men probably like the stiletto heels more than they ever liked pantyhose.

  14. In our office, during the winter I still see pantyhose. I wear tights, as they are just barely marginally more comfortable…

    I remember trying to explain the nastiness that are pantyhose to a male friend, and told him that basically it’s like wearing a condom from your waist to the tips of your toes.

    I stand by that comparison.

  15. YEAH!! Let’s have a burning party! I haven’t worn them for years either, something to do with the open toe sandals and dress shoes I wear.

    I hate the hose!!

  16. Hose are making a BIG come back… Click on the link, and read.


    I don’t know what all the hate with wearing Pantyhose. I wear them everyday no matter what the weather is Hot or cold. Pantyhose have come a long way since the 60, 70, and even 80’s they are much more comfortable to wear. Think of hose as make-up for the legs. If you take a 10 – 30 minutes in the morning to makeup your face and do your hair, and pick an outfit, then why not take an extra 5 minutes to makeup your legs.
    I know I get lots of compliments from men, and from some woman on how nice my legs look.
    To prove my point I went to the local mall with my husband (who loves to see me and other lady in hose) and walked thru with shorts and bare legs, and not one person made a remark or gave me a second look. The next day we went back to the same mall, and this time I had Tan color silky hose on, and a SNORK skirt, (I wear shorts with hose as well) and my husband walked a few steps back, and men kept doing double takes my husband told me. One guy turned to get another look at me, and the girl he was with smacked him. When we went to the food court, 2 different guys came up and asked for my name and phone #. Now you tell me ladies, what was the reason for the 2 different reactions? ANSWER- Men like to see ladies made up, and they love to see hose on them. Most men are afraid to tell there girlfriends or wives about this. So I say find a brand of hose you like the feel and fit, and start showing your legs in hose. Hollywood is starting to wear hose again, and they are showing up on runways as well.

  17. Heidilou- I don’t think the lord had anything to do with it, but we really ought to have some sort of commemorative event to celebrate — a big open air concert (that seems to work for everything else). Or — A “Run” –ha ha ha

    Lebowski – Very good. You’re the only one so far who seems to have noticed this.

    Jazz – Excellent comparison. I’m not too fond of tights either — you have to have a liner in your skirt or wear a slip or your skirt adheres to your tights and ends up twisted and bunched up around your crotch (not a good look). And going for a pee involves hiking UP the skirt whilst pulling DOWN the tights. It’s way too complicated. I usually only wear a dress/skirt if it’s warm enough for bare legs. Otherwise it’s pants.

    Grandy – Down with hose! Heidilou and I are organizing a “Run” for the Hose…are you in??

    Donna – You’re scaring me a little here, but I see by your link you run some kind of professional hose kink website. Who knew? But hey, if you and your members are loving the hose that much, by all means wear them all day and all night if you want to. I’m not here to stamp out hose, just to note that they’re disappearing all on their own. Whether men like the hose or not is irrelevant to me. Men like to see women braless and in mini skirts with no panties too but, that doesn’t mean I have to dress like that. At some point in their lives most women decide they don’t want to dress for men anymore and just dress for themselves. Thanks for visiting my blog, Donna Queen of the Hose, and for giving us a different perspective on the subject. I hope you’ll come back and comment again even when we’re not talking about hose!

  18. DH and I are ballroom dancers. Fledgling in ability, but lifers none the less. We’ve been dancing together for 3-4 years but only since we moved to Ottawa did we begin to take it seriously and begin training for competition.

    The dance studio is one place where hose will never die. I finally asked our teacher one day why all the female teachers wore hose… was it a competition regulation? I thought it must have been; I’d really not seen that much nylon since I attended my Grandma’s church teas. But no… she said it was simply preference.

    I get it now; it does help with blisters, but I kinda resent having to struggle into them some days and settle for a raft of band-aids instead.

  19. I said BUH-BYE to panty hose years ago!! The idea of the “nude” pantyhose was always so comical to me. Nude? I am the whitest girl on the planet. Those aren’t nude on me – they’re BROWN. And now in the day of self tanner to even out skin tones and to make legs feel less naked…there is just little reason for their existence any more.

    And Newsguy Bob? You’re killing me.

    Sorry for coming late to the party…I’ve gotten behind over the past few days!

  20. Sorry, lesleykim, I don’t mean no harm.

    And tell me, XUP and heidilou, what happens if someone shows up at your run wearing pantyhose in their running shoes, and under their spandex shorts? Do we get to attack them and rip the evil things off their legs? If so, I’m in — not for the run, just the pantyhose attacks.

  21. Hunter – Thanks dude

    Susan – What fun. I’ve only ever known one other person who was a competitive ballroom dancer. From what I hear it’s a pretty intense and fiercely competitive sport? activity?

    Woody – I guess if they’re fishnet hose attached to some sort of nylon panty thing then yes. (technically panty + hose = pantyhose). If they’re fishnet hose attached to a garter belt then you’re technically a sex kitten.

    Donna – You go, girl!

    Lesley – Ya, in California I don’t see why anyone EVER wore hose in the first place. Do you sometimes draw a black line down the back of your legs, too? To look like seamed stockings? Or criss-crosses to make it look like you’re wearing fishnets?

    Bob – Down boy. No one is going to show up at a No Hose Run/No Run Hose in pantyhose. You can be the guy who makes sure of that by frisking people at the gate.

    Lesley – You’re such a Bob fan. Do you ever visit his blog? You should go and torment him there as well.

  22. OK. I have to ask (I’m Scottish, humour me). What’s the difference between “tights” and “pantyhose”? We don’t use the word pantyhose over here, so everything you wear that is in one piece and you wear it under skirts gets called tights. So I am intrigued to know the difference (before I decide whether to ‘fess up to wearing pantyhose!)

  23. Loth – Panyhose are those sheer hose that replaced silk/nylons stockings & garter belts and they run (ladder) the second you put them on. Tights are thicker (like little kids used to wear); they’re opaque, warm, as indestructible as socks, but more easily found after washing.

  24. I don’t think I’ve worn pantyhose for 20 years. Thank god. However, there is one place that they are alive and well. Dog shows. Women are supposed to show dogs while wearing skirts, pantyhose and ugly-ass flat shoes. Gracie’s poor handler has to wear them no matter how hot it is. There is nothing worse than sweating in your pantyhose, surrounded by swirling dog fur.

  25. I’m in the minority. I don’t mind pantyhose at all. I like tights too, especially the patterned ones. And I wear stay ups too except in the middle of winter. In fact, I bought a few pairs at The Bay on Saturday (25% off). They had beautiful patterned tights but at $22 a pop (not on sale) I’ll wait for a while.

    I wear a lot of skirts even though I walk to work a lot, I’m lucky the trek to work is no longer than 1/2 hour.

    However, I don’t wear any kind of hose, or socks from May to end of September, today I wore sandals it was too warm. There’s no way I’m going to wear hose when it’s hot and humid, ditto for pants, I’m in skirts or capris most of the summer.

  26. I still see old ladies in them, with open toe shoes, too. As if the hose weren’t bad enough.

    But, the reason they’re becoming extinct is because of all the new developments that outperform them. Spanx are phenomenal for support and smoothing out the bod. Also, a lot of women use self tanning lotion to camouflage spider veins and, obviously, to make their legs look not-so-pasty.

    Viva Spanx!

  27. Mo – Now there’s something I never would have thought of in a million years — mandatory hose for dog shows! Wow and Eww.

    UA – Stay-ups are kind of sexy, but I always worry about them cutting off my circulation and giving me thrombosis or something. I’m with you on the hot weather gear and my hat goes off to you for actually liking hose and tights.

    DP – People beat you for not liking hose? What kind of world you live in?

    X – Spanx? I’ve never heard of it, but I looked it up and by jove it might deserve a blog post of its own!!

  28. I never wear any nylons during the warm weather, but I do wear stockings and garter belt during the Winter to give myself the illusion that I am keeping my legs warmer. I hate full pantyhose. Hate, hate, hate. They never fit right and the crotch always slips down. Nope, stockings and garter belt. Besides, those are just plain sexy.

  29. xup, DIM makes the best stay ups. All others are crap and not worth the money. I like garter belt too but again, you’ve got to get the real hooks, not plastic, it doesn’t work.

    Trust me, I know… 🙂

  30. UA – I should have consulted you before this post! It’s cool that you’re something of a subject matter expert on hose!!

    Grumpus – Yes, everything I say embarasses her. It’s one of the small joys I get out of life these days