Childhood Memories Friday: Panty Hose

white hose 1980s

Childhood Memories FridayRecently, probably on Facebook, I saw a drawing of a pair of pantyhose with wording to the effect that they were a torture device for women.

Seriously? I thought. I know that pantyhose are not currently “in,” but after many decades of wearing them, I’d hardly consider them the stuff of torture.

This did lead me to think of memories of pantyhose.

I saw another photo lately of a woman in the ’90s wearing white hose. No, she was not a nurse. And yes, “regular people” did wear white hose back then. It was a fashion “thing,” in fact. In the first photo, you’ll see me with my 2 sisters. Two of us are wearing white hose. Even Princess Diana did it (if you’re on Pinterest, you’ll be able to see an example here).

In those days, pantyhose weren’t just skin-colored or white, either. I remember wearing pantyhose that were blue and even red. Here’s Princess Diana wearing blue pantyhose.

Somewhere in the past couple of decades, pantyhose fell out of fashion. I’m not sure why; while admittedly they’re a bit of a pain (who hasn’t experienced putting one leg on with a twist which threatens to cut off circulation at the top of your thigh? and then there are the runs and snags), I have to say that I find it hard to adjust to bare legs — at least on myself. Maybe teens and those in their 20s can get away with it, but the sight of my legs with a dress and no pantyhose is not a good one. They’re just too … white. They need the air-brush effect that pantyhose give.

I’m glad that Kate Middleton is bringing back pantyhose. They give the leg a nice finish, and let’s face it: bare legs are cold in the winter!

Do you have any pantyhose-related memories? (I know — this could be good!) Share them in the comments!


Kate Middleton: Making Modesty Fashionable

8 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Panty Hose

  1. I remember in your early marriage or maybe before, Mike and you came to celebrate Oktoberfest with me. At night we went to Oktoberfest and listened to some musical rendition, sitting on bleachers. Mike was quite offended by cigarette smoke wafting in the night breezes about us. I must have worn knee high hose with poor elastic. As we were walking back either to a car or home, crossing Tipton Street by the hospital I had this awful feeling that at least on one leg, the old hose had surrendered and were sort of reposing on my feet. I was horrified that Mike might look down and notice my plight but truthfully I doubt he knew a thing about it.

  2. I do remember panty hose, but they are a whole different ball game in Florida, esp. in the summer! Not to mention growing up without air conditioning. Sweating profusely makes everything “fun” when you are getting ready for church. Hair wilts, make up melts, slips cling, ironed things spontaneously wrinkle, and panty hose stick and refuse to glide over the leg, instead clumping, twisting and snagging when tugged. And they are hot. Really, really hot. Still, on the rare occasions that I got them on smoothly and correctly, I did think they looked really nice! Still, I think I prefer longer skirts, bare legs and sandals.

  3. Awww, yes! When panty hose first arrived, I thought that they were a wonderful invention, but after wearing them for many years as a teacher (when most of us still wore dresses) I changed my mind.
    Pantyhose were a big improvement over wearing pairs of separate legs with seams down the back, like Betty Grable wore in the 1940s movies. I wore those for a while as a beginner to hose, but I could NEVER keep the seams straight, plus I hated wearing garter belts! Luckily, I was still skinny enough to not need girdles for several more years. And, yes, it was definitely torture to wear girdles with the old-fashioned single hose. Most of your readers won’ t remember those trying times when the hose were then held up by little button things of elastic straps, which were attached to the bottom of the girdle in 2 or 3 places for each leg. UGH!

    After teachers could wear slacks to school, I mostly wore anklets or knee high socks that were more like the boot socks worn today. Such a big relief, so once I retired from teaching I never wore panty hose ever again, except for a few occasions like my grandchildren’s weddings. Now I never wear dresses to church or anywhere, and if I do it is a long dress that does not require panty hose. You modern girls don’t know what you missed, and I am very happy that you have enjoyed the freedom of bare legs or modern day pantyhose. Take your pick, it is OK with me. My biggest shock still is to see flip-flops with no socks at all in freezing winter weather. How do they do that?

  4. I not only remember wearing modern-type pantyhose but the girdles with hose held up with those little button things of elastic straps! I was fairly thin but still wore a girdle!! When I think back to those days, I am just amazed. And yes, I wore the crinolines under dresses and skirts back in the 1950s. Dumbest thing ever.

    On a side note, Susan, I love the dresses you and your sisters are wearing. If only the fashion designers would bring back some styles similar to those you are wearing. I detest the dress and tops styles available now. Horrible. So I don’t buy them. I sure could use some new clothes though.

  5. Well, I don’t think pantyhose are a form of torture as some have said. However, add the fact that you’re told to wear support pantyhose, and that adds an entirely new dimension. They are very difficult to ge on.

  6. I used to wear pantyhose all the time. I only wear them now in the dead of winter to keep me warmer. I love seeing all these old pictures! And the blue tights?!

  7. I was discussing panty hose with my daughter on Monday. She had to have them for a Girl Scout ceremony and they are super hard to find nowadays.

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