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More Career Tips for You


Do I Have to Wear Pantyhose in the Summer?

Fashion |

It’s finally spring and I can smell the summer slowly setting in. Flowers are blooming, not to mention my obsession with open toe heels and warm morning strolls to the office. It’s no wonder everyone’s mood has changed; the city’s quiet winter volume has totally transformed into a block party! And with the change in temperature, business casual for the office wardrobe gets much more interesting.

Is hosiery still deemed relevant in workplace attire? For those of us who work for corporate America, a business casual dress code is normal. People in suits, below-the-knee boat dresses, collared shirts, cardigans, flats, three-inch nude or black pumps—all popular sights in the courtyard during a lunch break. However, as spring ushers in beautiful temperatures, our wardrobe gets tricky. What to wear in the office to feel comfortable, and simultaneously, be appropriate? It’s no secret that the single most revolutionary invention during the 1930s in womenswear was the creation of seamless stockings. It created new avenues to showcase the legs.

So, while getting ready for a business meeting or a productive day at the office, is your Breakfast at Tiffany’s-inspired outfit completed with a pair of snag-less stockings? Or, dare I say it, does going bare signify modernity with women in the workplace? We asked the experts to weigh in.

Mona Lisa Jackson, Owner of Coeur Lingerie and Toy Boutique and all-around doyenne of lingerie, says:

“I believe that you are not fully dressed unless you have on stockings. Dressing down is one thing, but when you are getting fully dressed up—when you have your heels on, and you have somewhere that you need to go—it’s not appropriate to not have on stockings. If it’s a corporate setting, they should have stockings on. It’s unacceptable. Even in the summer? Absolutely! As much as you don’t want to hear that, and it’s hot as hell, it’s appropriate. Nowadays, I even see the newscasters doing their TV segments and they don’t wear stockings—you can tell, and it doesn’t look nice. I would recommend Fogal from Switzerland. I’m going to start carrying them soon…”

Jennifer Gach, Accessories Editor at ELLE Magazine, says:

“I think that hosiery in the summer is perfectly appropriate [especially in the workplace]. It’s more a matter of personal preference and comfort, but I think it’s best to stick to sheer options during the warmer months. Sheer, nude, or black can be nice with a summer dress—especially with a bit of texture, like a ladylike pointelle.”

Genail McKinley, a mid-level senior executive at PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC), says:

“I spend over three hundred dollars a year on stockings and I only wear them in the winter, fall, and spring. I don’t wear stockings in the summer—it’s too hot, and I like to wear open-toe heels. I usually go to Duane Reade or Century 21 for bargains. I go through like three pairs a week! They always rip; I should adapt to a better brand, but Duane Reade is everywhere! My co-workers don’t wear stockings in the summer either. That’s an after-thought. If I have a big meeting with clients, or a review, I usually just wear a pants! Case solved.”

So, what do you think? To hose or not to hose? Tell us in the comments!

Ask Claire Chambers, CEO and Founder of Journelle, what her opinion is on pantyhose in the summer!

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Topics

fashion women in business work attire

5 Comments

Lucy Walmsley

My work experience has always been in office or laboratory environments. I personally wear pantyhose at work all year round. However, I do accept that the temperature in the UK is lower on average than most places- however most of us travel to work in an air conditioned car and then work in an air conditioned office all day.

The question of wearing pantyhose in summer is similar to the question of wearing opaques in winter. We think nothing of wearing opaque tights to the office in winter but our cars are heated and the office is probably the same temperature in winter as it is in summer because of the heating / air con systems.

Of course if you're not office based then spending any time outdoors in summer or winter would definitely effect the hosiery choices.

I think in the US there is a more relaxed outlook in general than in UK and there are more companies that allow casual office attire. In the UK it is the norm in the colder months that hosiery would be worn. When I was in college I worked part time in a supermarket and it was a requirement to wear hosiery whilst at work.

I think probably the key question is if the individual woman likes wearing hosiery and if the hosiery fits correctly. There is nothing worse than poorly fitting hosiery where the waistband won't stay put or you're having to pull them up continually. That is a miserable day for sure.

2y

Thanks for your input, Lucy! I definitely think its a cultural thing. The US tends to be much more relaxed with office culture...

2y

I agree with Tracey - I mean, I live in Connecticut, but it can get pretty humid in the summer. I'd rather not wear pantyhose than be squirming all day long. Although, I, too, work in a more casual office setting, so maybe it wouldn't be appropriate in a more formal setting.

3y

I never liked hosiery as a kid and only wear them out of absolute necessity. In LA, hosiery - even in the corporate setting where I now work - is few and far between. It might be a locale thing (insert obligatory brag about awesome, sunny LA weather here) because when I was in NY in early spring if I didn't have pants on I definitely was wearing hosiery.

My rule of thumb is professional and comfortable. If I'm comfortable in my clothes I feel more prepared to take on whatever the day throws my way.

3y

Personally, I think in the summer it's okay not to wear pantyhose. It can make you feel constricted, hot and uncomfortable. If that's the case then your meeting is likely not going to go well.

This debate does have me thankful for a more casual office, where I definitely don't have to wear them.

3y
Melissa Henderson

Melissa Henderson studied Political Science at The George Washington University. She currently lives in Philadelphia and works in digital media. Connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter for other miscellaneous thoughts and dealings: @melspainn.