Should I wear Pantyhose? Frequently Asked Fashion Questions



I’m continuing Fashion Questions and Condundrums Week (I said it again. Co – nun- drum), because, frankly, last week got away from me and questions kept pouring in. Okay, maybe not pouring. More like trickling. But still, I got questions. And some of them I get over and over again. So this week I am going to answer some of the frequently asked fashion questions, the ones that keep you up at night. For example:

“How is that you claim to be in your 40s but look 19?”

Okay, no one has actually ever asked me this question, but plenty of people have thought it. I’m sure. Plenty. And just a couple of weeks ago, when I jokingly told a friend of a friend that I was 21, she believed me. She still thinks I’m 21. It pretty much made my week, so I stopped writing and taking the kids to school and stuff, and decided to just lay around and be, you know, 21.

“How can I be as pretty as you are when I grow up?”

Technically, the only people who ask me this question are my daughters, and while they haven’t used those exact words, per se, they have alluded to it. I’m pretty sure Lola thinks I’m the prettiest person ever. After Selena Gomez. So, basically, the second prettiest person.

Well, that was fun. Now, for the question du jour:

Should I wear pantyhose with this outfit?

No. I don’t even need to see the outfit. The short answer is always no.

When in doubt, which should be always, do not wear hose. I’m feeling inspired to break out into a Seussical rhyme.

Do not wear them with a dress. Do not wear them with your Sunday best. Do not wear them here or there. Do not wear them anywhere.

Wear pantyhose ONLY if they add something to the outfit and make a strong style statement. Examples of this include opaque tights in black or cool colors, black hose with patterns like polka dots or stripes, and very fine fishnets. That about covers it. There are no other acceptable forms of hosiery.

Pantyhose in any color other than black are pretty much unacceptable.

In every case, your bare leg is going to look younger, fresher and more contemporary than your pantyhosed leg. If you fee your bare skin is too pale, apply a little bit of bronzing cream (Jergens makes a great one) or spray (Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs) to your legs for a little color. The contemporary look is, and has been for years, to go hose-free. Plus, pantyhose are uncomfortable and get runs. Who needs that?

The other answers are: No, never, and, and this one’s important: Don’t make me come over there. Questions are below.

Can I wear pantyhose with peep toe shoes or sandals? No. Never. For clarification, see above.

Can I wear knee highs with a skirt? Answer: Don’t make me come over there. Nobody needs to see the top of a knee high. Ever.

I’m telling you this because I love you.

Note: If you absolutely feel the need for sheer leg coverage, or if you need to wear them due to a dress code, professional norms or some other setting, then find the sheerest, lightest pantyhose you can find in a color that exactly matches your skin, and pick the toeless version if you plan to wear them with open shoes. Buy the best quality you can afford (Donna Karan, Wolford), not the drugstore kind. And again, if you have the option to skip them, do.

To recap:


Hello 60th polka dot pantyhose

Hello 60th Medium Polka Dot hose, $10.99, Amazon.                       Note: Do not wear these with hot pants.

Polly Diamond Dots hose, $18, Amazon

Pretty Polly Diamond Dots hose, $18, Amazon

Calvin Klein Fine Line Back Seamed Detail Pantyhose, $16, Nordstrom

Calvin Klein Fine Line Back Seamed Detail Pantyhose, $16, Nordstrom

Hanes Silk Reflections BlackOut Tights, $12, Amazon

Hanes Silk Reflections BlackOut Tights, $12, Amazon




Never wear knee highs.

Never wear knee highs.

In case I’ve been ambiguous on the subject, let me sum it up: Skip the pantyhose pretty much all the time.


  1. kristy wagner pattaras says

    Hi Nada! Love Beauty Mommy! Thank you for all your wonderful advice! I always enjoy your writing and have truly benefitted! You’re really great at what you do!
    Hope you and your family are enjoying the spring 🙂 Kristy

  2. Aja says

    I can’t tell you the number of pairs of hose I have left over from my days at Stetson. Unopened packs since I left my job about a year earlier than I expected to (hyperemesis pregnant w/Holder). I guess I figure sometimes I’ll wear them to church? Which I never do, so I don’t know why I hang on to them!

  3. James Mason says

    You couldn’t be more wrong about wearing pantyhose. They add a total touch of class to any outfit and are a must. Pantyhose are making a comeback. Deal with it.

  4. Linda Tripp says

    I cannot, or rather should not wear panty hose due to a chronic bladder conditions (too much pressure on the belly)…however, I do wear hose. My hose of choice if thigh high hose. I think woman to do not wear hose because “fashion” dictates it is wrong, are foolish. Going out in bare legs in mid winter looks stupid. Then pair that with a sleeveless dress. Yup you’re stylish!! Until you have to replace those garment in your closet because next year long sleeves will be trending.

    I’m almost 70. I do not want to look 20, 30 or 40. I want, and do, look classy, classic and elegant…all the time. Some of these young ladies ought to look up Coco Chanel. Timeless, and she wore hose every day, and so do her models on the runway.

  5. says

    Thanks for the comment, Linda! I still stand behind my proclamation that hose-free is best, but in the winter, I am a big fan of tights. 🙂

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