In my region today, the temperature is slated to hit 100. Degrees. Fahrenheit. That’s, like, steel-mill hot. That’s cereal-for-dinner hot. That’s I’d-rather-die-than-wear-pantyhose hot.
I’m working from home today as I count down to the birth of my child later this week. But if I were heading into the office, I’ll tell you what I wouldn’t be wearing: pantyhose. What sane person would willingly don nylon sheaths on their legs in this kind of temp? Then again, I wouldn’t wear hose in any weather, for any circumstance. I don’t in fact own any nylons, and likely never will again.
Recently I wrote in the magazine about what (not) to wear at the office. One of my sources, Barbara Pachter, who earns up to six gees a day advising corporations on business etiquette, told me: nylons are a must. I totally, emphatically disagree. Last week Pachter, author of NewRules@Work: 79 Etiquette Tips, Tools, and Techniques to Get Ahead and Stay Ahead, sent me some counter-arguments. Here’s what she says you should consider when deciding whether or not to wear hose for business:
1. Remember you are dressing for work. The real question is not: Stockings or no stockings? The real question is: Is my clothing appropriate for my workplace? Wearing stockings will not fix an outfit that is too tight, too big, too revealing, too short, too casual, too anything!
2. Are you wearing pants or a skirt? More and more women are wearing pants or pantsuits to the office. As a result, their legs are not exposed and the question of whether to wear stockings or not becomes moot. When a woman wears a very short skirt, which is not recommended, and then wears that skirt without stockings, she makes a sexy look, even sexier.
3. What is the condition of your legs? Legs need to be in good conditions to pull off not wearing stockings. If your legs have a lot of moles, scars or veracious veins, stockings will diminish their appearance. And by all means women need to remember to shave their legs!
4. The hue/tone/color of your skin. Will the contrast between the color of your skin and the color of your clothing draw a lot of attention to your legs? Is that where you want people to look? Stockings can minimize the contrast.
5. The type of shoe. Stockings should not be worn with sandals, but wearing sandals can be sexy and displaying one’s toes can be unsightly! This brings us to flip-flops. But why are women wearing flip-flops to the office? It’s work, not the beach!
Pantyhose at work: yea or nay?