Faux Pas: It's Time to Declare a Cease Fire

Mar 31, 2010

Last week, the lovely Ms. Spinach wrote an article for Express Night Out examining some of the fashion faux pas that are prevalent in the District.  On her list of atrocious fashion sins was women who wear panty hose with their open toed shoes.  Amen, sister.

Stylists have tried for years to convince American women that wearing hose with open toed shoes is a miscarriage of fashion, but no matter how hard they try, some women just refuse to change.  In fact, some hose wearers believe that it is not only right, but proper to flash their toe seams:

“I agree with all you say … except no pantyhose with open-toed shoes. Sorry, if I am wearing a nice dress or skirt and blouse ensemble, I am going to wear hose. I will not feel “dressed” otherwise.”–Kay Minton

It’s amazing to me that anyone thinks that this looks good, but every day, I see women walking around the Hill in open toed shoes and hose.  And of all the non-wedding related topics covered on this blog, the discussion of whether to wear hose and what shoes to wear them with has easily resulted in the most vitriol.  Between the nasty comments and the angry e-mails, it’s pretty clear that D.C. is divided into two camps: The Hose Wearers and The Nylon Deniers.  

Hose Wearers insist that pantyhose are the only way to hide your flaws and make your legs look lovely.  They chastise any woman who leaves the house without lacquer on her thighs, as if we are breaking some kind of unwritten rule of womanhood.  As my Nana says, “Well honey, ladies always wear stockings.”

Conversely, we Nylon Deniers believe that pantyhose are an antiquated relic of a bygone era like corsets or girdles.  We don’t understand how any woman could wear hose in the humid summer months.  And we believe that wearing hose with open toed shoes is like wearing a plaid shirt under a pinstriped suit with a hot pink polka-dotted belt.  

And every time that I mention pantyhose on this site, the Nylon Deniers and the Hose Wearers grab their pitchforks and light their torches for a rumble in the comments section.  But what if we could all just get along?

Thanks to Berkshire Legwear and their “Hose Without Toes” maybe we these warring factions can finally declare peace, or at least sign some kind of cease fire agreement.  The Hose Wearers can don their nylons (and stop sending me angry e-mails about how my Mother didn’t raise me right), but I will no longer have to look at sandaled feet encased in nylon prophylactics.  It’s a win-win situation.

Frankly, ending the war between the Wearers and the Deniers is the most significant move towards world peace since Yalta.  Now, where the hell is my Nobel Prize?

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  1. ashley says:

    i think neutral tones look funny with open toed shoes, but tights in solid colors with open toed shoes is definitely appropriate. especially for young girls, i think its a cute statement.

  2. Jessica says:

    While not a fan of hose, especially nude colored hose, if someone feels compelled to wear them to ‘cover their flaws’ or whatever, that is fine. But why can’t those people wear closed toes shoes with their hose? Nude hose under a cute pump are not quite as bad. Still bad, but not as bad.

  3. KLo says:

    I’ve worn open-toed hose like that for a job where I was forced to wear pantyhose (that’s right, we’d have meetings with a female boss every few months to remind us even). Those hose are great, but you cannot wear them with shoes that show toe cleavage as they do ride up your foot. That said, if I ever get another job that forces hose, I might just wear pants every day for the rest of my life.

  4. AJ says:

    Hi Belle

    To start out I totally agree about hose and open toed shoes. Big no no. But I want to get your thoughts on bare legs that aren’t so nice anymore. I am in my 40s now and my legs are definitely losing their hotness. They are starting to sag a little around the knees and have just overall lost their elasticity plus some light varicose veins from pregnancy. So…do you think it is better to wear a non detectable hose (with close shoes of course) or just go bare legged flaws and all. I do wear a light gradual tanner but it doesn’t help a whole lot in the knee area.

  5. Fasshonaburu says:

    sheer pantyhose, particularly nude, and open toed shoes are a no for me, but I love opaque tights and peep toes!

  6. I also feel compelled to weigh in here because I am irked to no end by sheer stockings and open toed shoes. I wouldn’t say that I am an outright "Denier" because I while I hate wearing sheer hose, there are situations where it is appropriate, like say…a conservative work interview or a religious ceremony.

    But here’s my bottom line – If you don’t feel comfortable with bare legs, then you don’t get to wear open toed shoes. Plain and simple. It’s a trade off, people. Deal with it.

    (this comment excludes tights, which are a whole other ball of wax.)

  7. Belle says:

    As always Barbie, I agree completely. But some people just won’t stop, and I can’t see one more punched up, nylon condom covered foot or I will lose it. So, if we must have hose, we should have Hose Without Toes.

    And I am not necessarily against hose with closed toed shoes, but again, I’m not yet 30. So my thoughts may change as the age spots set in and the scars darken. Just make sure they are sheer hose, please.

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