Well, this turned out to be a topic that generated some chatter and certainly some votes in our poll, more than 5000!
The most interesting thing in the poll for me is the number of voters willing to give pantyhose a try, I did not expect that. What have we learned other than personal preferences on the issue? A few things, especially that we use different names for what Kate wears:
- What are called nylons or pantyhose or hose in the US (primarily) are in many locales referred to as “tights,” particularly in the UK. As a rule in the US (I think), tights are what we wore to ballet, thicker, heavier, opaque (frequently colored) hose.
- Many readers seem to feel that if one is required to wear them, then whatever style/brand Kate is wearing looks pretty darn good
- Some readers hadn’t realized early in the tour Kate was wearing any hose, that’s how good the color and fit were
- the most offensive trait associated with ‘bad pantyhose of the 1980s’ is wearing them in colors significantly darker than the rest of your skin
- many pointed out that hose can help prevent blisters and other ailments associated with going barefoot in heels
As one might expect, the comments left by readers closely echoed the poll voting, providing an outstanding snapshot of how people feel about the topic in general.
Geography determines many local customs, including what is considered appropriate in this regard, as pointed out by Olga in her comment:
“Wow! When Mrs. Obama visited my country (Czech Republic, Europe) recently, everybody here was shocked that she DIDN’T wear stockings. There is a different dress code here, ladies have to wear stockings at formal occasions.”
Mina points out the custom in her part of the US:
“I would never wear skirts or dresses again if I had to wear pantyhose! I live in WA where they are not required or expected at all.”
The quality of stockings available may also depend on where you are located, our friends at Pigtown Design share something I had long suspected:
“…having lived in the usa and the uk, i think that they uk does tights/stockings WAY better than the usa. i found nude stockings over there that were miles better than here.”
Lee expressed a common sentiment:
“Love the look, can’t stand the feel. I will never willingly wear them again!”
Charlotte asked a good question in her comment:
“But the fashion industry have made those of us who choose feel like pariahs. Why?”
There were also a few comments making the point we could have used an additional category or two in the poll, including:
- “wear hose when necessary but prefer to go barelegged” from CKS
- “it really does depend on the occasion!” from Kristen
I wish I had thought to add those when constructing the pol, they are very goodl!
‘ImKindaCharlotte’ made an excellent comparison and contrast
“They called Diana, Princess of Wales, ‘modern’ because she didn’t wear hose for her first tour in Australia. They call Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, ‘old-fashioned’ because she wore hose for her first tour in North American. Since both women are considered stylish ladies then to wear or not to wear hose is really a personal preference.”
Jennifer also made a good point:
“But as Cecil Beaton said, “The truly fashionable are beyond fashion.” And as we witnessed these past two weeks, Kate Middleton wears more than clothes, she wears the air of confidence!!
Perhaps the most commonly shared belief is that regardless of whether one personally does/doesn’t wear them, the Duchess of Cambridge looked about as good as a human can look when wearing hose.
- “I haven’t worn hose since the 80s, but I love the way they look on Kate.” ‘Liz’
- “…she made the best of the situation and wore pairs that were sheer and comfortable.”
- “I think hers look great and will be wearing some the next time I wear a dress.” ‘Jo Anne’
- “Go Kate! Rock the hosiery!” Emily
Thank you to everyone who voted, and for all of the wonderful comments, it is a terrific topic, one I imagine we shall be discussing for some time to come.