Ok. I guess this isn’t the most inspiring photo to launch this discussion. Maybe I should have picked this one:
Now do you feel better about the idea of wearing pantyhose stockings?
Sigh. When I first raised the issue of nylons vs. bare legs for a special occasion, it was doing the chilly months of winter. And I was seriously interested. Did anyone else besides me feel a tad awkward about going out into weather cold enough to require my thick-thermal coat, yet leaving my own legs naked and shivering and-I-might-add, never looking more pale and unsexy?
Well the results to my post have been astonishing. That one little post continues to bring in hits from all over the world, and remains one of my most popular posts ever. Just yesterday, I had a visitor from Rome, Italy. Several from France. And one from Switzerland. And here we are, already into the warm weather month of May.
Is Kate Middleton changing your view of nude-colored pantyhose?
This past month, these are some of the most common Google searches that landed folks on my blog:
- bare legs in winter?
- kate middleton in nylons
- ice cold legs in winter
- bare legged in winter
- Jennifer Aniston’s legs
- Pippa Middleton’s legs
- ladies how do bare legs make you feel
- are nylons in fashion
Apparently, women are still interested in this topic. So today, I thought I’d do a follow-up post and share some of the feedback that I received through my emails. Believe me, this is nothing resembling a credible poll and I know very little about my respondents however, there were enough comments to form some consensus. And interestingly, the comments seemed to reflect some of the same statistics I’ve read on this subject.
What most women are thinking: Women who consider themselves fashionable and current about trends are not wearing nude colored nylons for evenings out. Black pantyhose are one exception. Women who would not wear nude colored nylons would still consider wearing black ones. This seems to support the trend reported in Forbes which stated that the sales of sheer nylons in the $6.98 billion legwear business dropped 4.4% last year.
However, the legwear industry is working hard to make pantyhose cool again.
Do you remember L’eggs? It’s the ubiquitous brand that everyone associates with women’s hosiery and they have now launched a 2012 marketing campaign aimed at the 18-34 year old crowd. They are calling it the “Lucky in L’eggs” campaign and they’ve begun running their first television ads in more than 14 years. In addition, they’re aggressively pursuing this new generation of shoppers through the L’eggs Facebook page and Twitter feed. Considering that today’s 18-year-old was just four or five years old during their L’eggs last TV campaign, it’s a necessary marketing strategy
Is it working? Are pantyhose making a comeback? Sally Kay, president of the Hosiery Association believes so, thanks to such pop culture influences like Mad Men. And they hope that the television ads now airing on national cable networks such as E!, Nick at Nite, Oxygen, SoapNet, and TV One, will help modernize the image of pantyhose for all ages.
Marketers are hoping that young shoppers will experiment with colored sheers. Doesn’t Jen look great in anything?
Age: Age does seem to matter in terms of opinions and behavior. Younger women in general have absolutely no qualms about having bare legs in winter and at special events. (I personally noted this on a snowy December evening in Utah when we flew to my husband’s Christmas party. Not one woman under the age of thirty wore pantyhose, despite the icy conditions and the winter-white legs. This California gal was shocked --and cold-- but it was a clear message about fashion).
Some of my older readers simply felt uncomfortable with bare legs and heels, especially at special events. Going with bare legs to a dressy affair seemed too casual and somehow, wrong.
And self perception matters. If a woman believed her legs looked good, she was more willing to shun nylons, regardless of her age. However, the women who felt self-conscious going without stockings, often made observations about other women, especially those women in their fifties who went with bare legs. One email asked, “don’t they know what their legs look like without stockings?”
What men like: Sorry I only got a few male responses. And these two comments reflected other anecdotal comments I’ve read and heard from men. Men think sheer stockings are sexy. What about your husband, do you know what he thinks?
I wonder. Will astute marketers be able to create a new image for pantyhose that entices our daughters?
It remains to be seen, but look what happened to the old girdle. Today, Sara Blakeley’s Spanx have reached sales upward of $5 million each year. (Forbes,November 2011) And this is one accessory that I don’t hear women complain about, what about you?
And what about those women who work in conventional offices, where going with bare legs is simply not viewed as professional? What are they wearing and how are they feeling?
Looks like this topic is still open for discussion. To be continued….
sources for this post:
I hoped you enjoyed today’s post. And I’d love to hear your opinion on this topic….
What about you? When you’re heading out to an evening event, a formal wedding or a fancy restaurant…do you ever struggle with the nylons vs. bare legs question?