Style Advice Q & A

Do Pantyhose Make You Look Old?

Hi  Deborah,

Don't wear hose with sandles
Pantyhose with sandals looks dated.

I’d love to know what you think about the tights/pantyhose/knee-high dilemma. When is a woman too old to wear tights, as in black, opaque tights, or colored opaque tights?  If she is too old for tights, do you recommend pantyhose? 

Also, what about knee highs with pants?  If a woman feels that she needs them is it best to go with more of a “trouser sock” in black or color, or to wear nude knee highs? Thanks, Michele

Hi Michele,

This is such a highly debated topic and it is really a very personal thing, but let’s face it. For many women, bare legs just do not look good. Whether your legs are pasty, red or veiny or scarred, or bare legs you may need a hose.

I do feel pantyhose can be aging but let’s be real, they are often necessary! The key to pulling them off is to wear an ultrasheer that is a nude shade that closely matches the color of your skin. Donna Karan makes some excellent sheer nude shades. If you are in-between shades, choose the darker, but really nude should look “nude”.

A nude-colored fishnet is another possibility. Wolford makes a great one.

One final point, never wear pantyhose with a strappy sandal or mule!

As for when is a woman too old to wear tights, I’d say never. Black or dark brown tights look great in the fall and winter, but come to Spring I would suggest switching to no hose or nude hose.

My thoughts on knee highs with pants?  Don’t do it is my first reaction. However, I hate to say the word “never”…so here’s what I suggest. It all really depends on the shoe and pants and how dressy you want to be.

If you are wearing:

  • jeans and flats –  avoid socks or hose
  • jeans and heels or sandals – no socks or hose
  • jeans and a loafer.  Thin dress socks are good but in a dark color. (no white ones)  Barefoot O.K. Do not wear knee-highs.
  • Khakis. (same rules as for jeans…however, do not wear heels or dress shoes with khakis) Never hose with khakis.
  • Dress Pants.- If wearing closed-toed pumps or flats, you can wear knee highs or hose or go barefoot. If wearing “peep-toed” heels or flats no hose. If wearing any type of sandal or mule, no hose.

Hope this helps. Remember these are not rules, just guidelines. In the end, you do what feels good for you and makes you feel confident!

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120 thoughts on “Do Pantyhose Make You Look Old?

  1. Obviously, these are my opinions, but this is my take:
    Pantyhose, tights, and stockings can work with any outfit and occasion but should be required when wearing skirts for business or formal occasions.
    Business slacks, pants, suits, and khakis should be paired with an appropriately colored sock or nylon, Especially if paired with a close-toed shoe.
    Pantyhose with appropriate sandals should not be the fashion faux pas many people think. It can look great if done with care. Thong sandals, I agree, would make it look tacky.
    Although this is a hosiery discussion, I’m not a fan of peep toe shoes, and I think they should be avoided for most occasions, except some styles look OK with formal dresses.

  2. Fabulous 40, I’m 3 score & 10
    25 years ago I started having issues with loss of feeling in my feet due to poor circulation, also a few painful, ugly varicose veins, and nerve damage around bad scarring. I decided to try out women’s pantyhose of suitable thickness under my shorts as I intensely dislike long trou over my knees. When pantyhose for men came on the scene, made in China, cheap, in different thicknesses, colors, etc, I was in heaven. When they made them with a fly, half of a man’s problems were over, and now they also make them with a sleeve for the old fellow to sit in, they’re even more comfortable. The man is well catered for these days. In warmer weather, I wear 80D, and in winter climes 200D. I wear them with shorts all year round, even to church. Sometimes with flip-flops depending on how my bone spurs feel, but always with soft footwear. I have reached the stage where I don’t feel properly dressed without my hosiery on. The only time I don’t wear them is when I have to do heavy manual grueling work, and by the end of that time, I’m back in them. Some years ago, it became unfashionable for women to wear pantyhose, and it was about then that pantyhose for men took off. I have heard it said that that particular fashion craze saved many in the hosiery industry and forced them to start thinking outside the square and start producing what PEOPLE want, not just women, who were turning off the same old bland styles of hose. Nobody bats an eyelid at me now, my legs are warmer, in better health, and the ugly scars and veins are out of sight. I also think women, in general, look nicer wearing a skirt and hosiery. Some of the bare legs one sees, good gracious, need to be hidden from view. Viva La Hose.
    Happily Married.

  3. If I’m wearing heels, then I am wearing stockings. That is all there is to it. I stay up to date with a glossy nail pedicure and still get plenty of glances when wearing open-toed strappy heeled sandals with my nylons. Our feminine allure is strictly based on what we want to highlight to look our best. Someone selling leg foundations and concealers will disagree every time. A proper fit and a little primping goes a long way in anything I put on my body. Proud to be over 40 and still loving my style.

  4. Dear Fabulous After 40,
    Although it can be difficult to wear pantyhose in summer, most places turn their air conditioning up to almost too cold. We are old-fashioned, I guess. Our dress code includes pantyhose and a skirt or dress. I’m over 40, and I look and feel more confident in a complete outfit.

    1. I find it unnecessary to ask whether it’s ok to wear panties, tights, or knee highs. I noticed no one asked about the lace top stockings… I wear what I not only feel comfortable wearing but also what makes me feel feminine. Why base your style on what someone else believes is in fashion?

      Fashion: the latest trend, you know like pet rocks

      Style: It’s about who YOU are, what you’re comfortable wearing, etc. Remember, if you know you’re a good person and someone doesn’t like you – you have no time to solve their problems. If they don’t like you, they don’t know what they’re missing.

      For the comment below, I’m not 85, and had my mother survived, she would not be 85 either.

    1. No. Sorry. Women of class and grace wear pantyhose and if you want to land a man you have a better chance of doing it if you adorn your legs in nylons. That’s a fact. My wife wears them almost every day of the year because she wants to look her best for me. If nothing else that makes for a great marriage. and she’s FARRRR from 85 years old.

      1. I wear pantyhose nearly everyday. It’s 2021 wear what you want and I’m only 35.. what this lovely man said about his wife!!!

    2. Lots of people are still wearing pantyhose, not because of the dress code. It depends where you live. In European countries, young generation women are wearing pantyhose all the time, and the same in Asian countries. Here in the US, they don’t wear them as much as they used to. More women prefer tights. And more men have discovered the benefits of pantyhose and sheer tights. My wife works at a clothing store (hosiery department), and she tells me many men purchase pantyhose and tights all the time. Just the other day, I saw a guy in his thirties standing in line in front of me in the store, wearing sheer suntan pantyhose with shorts and the woman with him had bare legs!

    3. Guess again Ettamae. My wife wears them all the time and not only do they rev me up at home, I see men looking at her nylon-clad legs all the time. Most men love women wearing nylons. I have complimented women on the way they are dressed from time to time. If I see a woman who has put herself together with care and consideration, I might tell her that her dress is pretty or something like that. Yes, a stranger and without even the slightest bit of creepiness’.

  5. All women should still wear sheer pantyhose. Thumb your nose at the disconnected elitist “cultural authorities” and wear hose…..

    1. Thank you, Bob. Clothing and accessories protect and accentuate the body. My 71 year old legs ruin a look unless they are dressed roo!

  6. I work in a law firm where dressing “sharp” is a must. The young attorneys sport bare legs with their stilettos but keep a pair of hose handy for court. Judges won’t tolerate trousers or bare legs! I always wear the sheerest hose I can find with dresses. I wear knee highs with trousers and heels but seldom with flats. For me, it’s more about keeping my feet a little warmer in our sub-zero office! Tights are fine but fishnets would never do in our firm…we have to wear “the uniform”!

    1. I agree Laura. The most professional and authoritative look is with hose. You just have to find hose that are ultrasheer and look nude. I personally love Donna KARAN nudes. They look like you are wearing nothing but your legs look really good.

  7. Hi There! I’ve recently started reading your blog and really enjoy your posts! I have a question that kind of goes with this post about bare legs and pantyhose. I’m wondering about socks. I live where it is cold – I mean really, really cold in the winter. We’re talking below zero and lots of wind and snow. During the winter how can you wear warm socks (I prefer wool ones) with booties and leggings or skinny jeans to keep warm yet still look stylish. I’ve seen a couple pins on Pinterest showing rolled jean cuffs and printed socks showing a little bit above the top of the bootie. Any other ideas about this? I pretty much don’t wear flats in the winter at all because of the sock issue – just boots and booties. Thank you!

    1. Hi Kristine,
      I can totally understand you wanting to wear warm socks with your jeans and booties and there are a couple of ways to do it. You can tuck skinny jeans that are tapered at the ankle into your booties and wear longer socks scrunched up past the top of your booties over your jeans a few inches. The other option is to wear socks scrunched inbetween the top of the bootie and the cuff. To get the look right, be sure to avoid fine, thin dress socks and go for heavier wool socks for a more rugged, casual look. Don’t make your cuff too wide or too high. It will just shorten your legs, expose too much sock and make it look like you are wearing floods. Just a small cuff about an inch or so at the top of the curve of your ankle looks good. I would also go for subtle socks in darker colors like black, gray to look classy, instead of busy colorful, printed socks which can look juvenille. Stay warm and look classy! Cheers, Deb

  8. Best said and summed up here:

    “Seeing a woman wear pantyhose symbolizes five words: grace, class, elegance, professionalism, and femininity. Those are the words that women should remember when they wear hosiery.”
    Well said and that’s what I like in a woman. Young or old, it tells me she is all of that. Knows how to tie the outfit together from head to toe, proper. How refreshing to encounter a woman like that in today’s gym-bag slob society!

    Similar argument can be had about a man in a suit without the tie, ick.

    1. I don’t think it is “old”, I think is it about comfort, the additional expense of hose and being lazy. I accept the fact that others disagree. Mawmaw said ladies do not whistle and they don’t wear heels without hoses. A casual summer dress is one thing, but a dress or suit should always be accompanied by a hose. It’s the difference between being polished and it is noticed. Another tip for ya: never leave the house without earrings. Maybe I’m old-fashioned.

  9. E iccHello
    I just read your post and I have to say that I love pantyhose and tights when its cold. I love pantyhose all year round. You n3ver know how cold it is going to be at work or in the bars I go dancing at. Not to mention the fact that pantyhose can help prevent issues with your legs when you get older. I personally don’t. Like knee highs with pant. Id rather put on a pair of pantyhose . They allow the fabric to glide more smoothly across. Your legs. If you ever look at peoples legs that hatepantyhose they usually. Look bad in a dress or skirt.

  10. Hello. I recently discovered your site and find it fun and affirming. My pantyhose dilemma is truly vexing. Thanks to multiple vascular surgeries, I am forced to wear medical compression hose (15-20 mmhg). The problem is finding a brand that offers fashionable colors, a “nude” or “beige” that does not have an orange cast. I have invested a small fortune in ordering different brands and colors online only to be repeatedly disappointed. Have you ladies ever researched the topic? I would appreciate your guidance/recommendations. Many thanks.

  11. Bare legs for women in dresses/shirts is, without doubt, the most ridiculous fashion trend I have ever seen. I still cannot believe that women slavishly bought into this look. Thank God Kate Middleton had the good sense to start sporting pantyhose! I teach college and even very young girls, unless they are tanned or are women of color, look incredibly unpolished sans hose in dresses/skirts. The look is too just too stark. Sheer nude hose on women over forty generally does not work, either. Age spots. spider veins, varicose veins? Seriously…

    1. Amen Sister! I’m all for comfort but, come on! Bare legs are great if you’re heading to a beach party- but anything slightly formal… do us ALL a favor.

    2. I totally agree. Bare legs with a dressy dress looks, well, unfinished and as if, ladies over 40 are trying to act like girls in their 20s!

    3. I’m a 44 year old male that can appreciate a woman who finishes her look with pantyhose…it shows that a woman is conscious of her appearance without being arrogant. If anything, that woman would capture attn of both males and females. In my opinion, age doesn’t determine whether hosiery should be worn should complement a woman’s appearance. If the 20 & 30-year-olds would understand the enhancement of pantyhose, their opinions would be a thing of the past.

    4. Very much agree with Gail. When women are wearing dresses or a skirt outfit, the bare leg look does not fit at all. Almost like the wearer couldn’t be bothered to complete their outfit. Women simply look more impressive wearing pantyhose/stockings. Not only do the legs look more feminine and attractive, but they also convey classiness. As a male, it always feels as if your companion has taken extra care when going out to dinner or events when wearing hosiery. It is a nice feeling knowing a female wishes to look their best in your company.

      1. Hi John, I hear you, and I think most men agree, and many women too. I would love stockings to come back into style, as I believe you are right. They add that extra elegance.

  12. This whole discussion is ridiculous! First of all, trend setters are nuts, because you are just being a follower instead of dressing how you want. I am not out to pleae anyone. I am out to feel comfortable in what I wear. I want to celebrate my own person, not some trend setter’s. I will wear what I want, when I want, and where I want. Bottom line…dress should be a personal thing, not a fashion.

    1. Notice the comments from the men who have posted in response to this question. They are right, of course.

        1. This days lots of men wearing pantyhose and tights as well. My wife show me all the new brands on the Amazon and different sites What Hosiery manufacturers marketing just for men. My first wife recommended for me over thirty years ago to wear tights under my jeans and warmer days pantyhose. I have to admit She was right. Some days when is way to hot wearing them I can tell the difference by end off the day having tired legs. Even I don’t getting the medical grades support pantyhose. My wife buying me Sheer to waist ladies tights and some also sheer to waist pantyhose for warmer days to wear under my jeans. Evan I been wearing nylons over thirty years almost on daily basis I don’t think I have the courage to wear them with shorts. Although I have ride bicycle with my wife in the city park having my tights on with shorts more than once but for me it’s not a fashion statement. I like it for comfort and light support on my legs and lower body. The ones being marketed for men I have never tried. What my wife buying in stores or online for me are all ladies tights and pantyhose and I didn’t have problems with not fitting good. I would recommend to anyone who sit all day or stand for a long period time and both of my wife and my ex admitted they love the look of the pantyhose and sheer tights on me at home when we just lodge around the house in our privacy.

        2. Pantyhose and tights are unisex undergarments. Men’s been wearing them for decades. I’m in my fifties and wearing both opaque and sheer tights and pantyhose as well since I can remember. When I was a kid n the sixties most of my friends and friends’ older brothers and some of our dads wear pantyhose or ladies’ tights in winter months as a base layer on a daily bases. After fifty years I’m still wearing my tights and pantyhose all the time.

  13. Classy women don’t walk around with bare legs and bare faces. Thats why God invented Silken Mist and Mary K.

  14. Well let me say this. First, Deb, you say most woman over 40 cannot go bare legged? I do not know what part of the country you live but where I live, Central Florida, MANY women in there 40’s and even 50’s who stay in shape go bare legged in very slinky dress and look amazing.

    Now onto the nylons. From a guy who is a “leg” man I can tell you that nylons are sexy and feminine and they also mix up the look for a woman who can go one night in nylons and the next without.

    RE heels with them. Thonged Sandals, NEVER. Closed toe pumps..YES, Peep-toe pumps absolutely but of course have a good pedicure. Finally high heel sandals…that is touchy but it can be pulled off. Also all shades are sexy. Nude, grey, shear black. Very nice.

    One thing ladies. A woman’s visual stimulus is like a drug to a man. It fires off all kinds of sexual chemicals in his head. Like any drug, no matter how good it is, if it’s always the same “strain” so to speak then he will go numb to it. Changing up your looks, even just subtly, can do wonders to the guy whos attention you are commanding.

    :) Take care

  15. No hose or pantyhose is so “teenage”. Why the fashion industry pushes toward the very young is beyond me. An elegant, classy line requires pantyhose. They preserve your shoes and prevent blisters. They complete a look. And, sorry, I don’t agree that light or natural color hose give a polished look to a dark dress…..somehow, it looks like you forgot something and the fashion line just does not flow. The classic look is always the best look.

  16. In the northern states in the winter we wear some kind of socks with our shoes or boots! Shoes and no sock, no way. Yesterday it was 15 degrees out & heavens only knows what it was with the wind chill. I like the knee socks I wear with jeans to be colorful with dress pants, black, dark grey or navy. Some fashion depends on where you live.

  17. I am late forties and will be attending an evening event late october. dress is black sleevless slip/sheath with overlay dress of lace look teal with silver threading and short sleeves (fringe at bottom of dress). It is about tea length with slit to knee on one side. I definitely need hose for my legs – not an option to not wear them.
    1. what color hose? nude? sheer black?
    2. what color and what type of shoes?
    do I need to get closed toe pumps? can i do black sandals (without the toe split – just a strap across foot and at ankle with a closed heel?) should I get peep toe?

    1. I thinik.pantyhose make woman look younger and sexy.and i like a pretty woman over 40 in pantyhose. Ive been out with women over 50. That are straight up Stunning in sheer tan .beige and nude with open toe heels . and i notice that a pretty older woman becomes mire in tune with her sexiness. When they are dresssed to kill and wearing tan or nude pantyhose. And seem to really enjoy it when i show them off. A pretty woman in pantyhose commands my attention

      1. My sentiments exactly…a pretty woman in pantyhose commands my attention. You don’t have to be a runway model to look good. Curvy or full-figured women are equally as sexy when they were a nice dress with sheer pantyhose. Women, be proud to show off your legs with hosiery!!!

    2. My recommendation would be sheer black, although nude could work as well. And your sandals would probably work fine. I’m personally a fan of the pantyhose and sandals look, despite some of the other comments. If you decide otherwise, I will go with closed toe instead of peep toe.

  18. I believe hose will never go out of style. To me, I feel more attractive and sexy with a nice pair of thin sheer hose. As we age, our legs do not look they way they did when we were in our twenties, and hose makes our legs look sexy. Most men that I have spoken to will agree a women looks sexier when they are wearing hose. As for wearing hose with a peep toe shoe, there is nothing wrong with that as long as you’re not wearing hose with a reinforced toe. If that’s all you have then pull that part under your foot. I honestly don’t know who makes up these style rules, but panty hose are are forever…as for the knee highs, personally I will continue to wear them under my slacks when I wear pumps or flats. The key about style is, if it makes you feel good, feel sexy, and feel attractive, then go for it. Just remember, just because something has a designers name on it, doesn’t mean it’s stylish. Donna Karan hose are awesome, however it makes you feel like you’re stuffing yourself in a sausage. Control top hose should be outlawed.

  19. Im going to a very formal wedding in October and will be wearing a black cocktail dress and found the most beautiful black peep to pumps. October is kind of cool in the evening and am not sure what to wear on my legs. should I go with sheer black or nude pantyhose? No reinforced toe of course.

    1. Hi Deborah,
      Your first choice should be the nude hose. Kate Middleton has made the nude hose popular again and we are so happy for that! Nothing like a nude hose to even out the legs! Just make sure to get a shade that is as close to your skin tone as possible, so they really look nude! Have fun!

    2. No nonsense now has a new color called
      HONEY. and. The color is captivating
      You will have every mans attention. And some women too im sure. The honey is sheer and close to a tan but hotter they almost look like wet glass

  20. My son is getting married in Sept. I have a champagne knee length dress with bolero jacket. Champagne peep toes pumps. Age 54. Nylons? What kind?

  21. Agree that most women over 40 can’t do bare legs (maybe some can, but I haven’t seen many. In fact, I’ve seen a lot of under 40 bare legs that would have looked better covered! And sorry, the fake tans do not provide enough coverage for older women (You think your spider veins are hidden by fake tans? Not likely). One alternative I’ve found is the nude micromesh fishnets -they provide good coverage but have a subtle texture that looks more modern than nude hose, and I think they look chic even with smallish peeptoes (though I would not wear them with sandals or peeptoes that expose a lot). End result, I don’t wear sandals anymore unless I’m also wearing pants.

  22. I use a light tan spray bronzer on my very fair legs in the summer when I wear a skirt or shorts. It covers spots and makes my legs look leaner. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Carrie,
      We love that idea… Deborah has fair skin and resorts to spray tan when she is going to bare her legs all the time. Thanks for mentioning spray tan as a viable option!

  23. In Spring and Fall when it’s too early to wear black tights, I do wear an ultrasheer hose or my new favorite- nude fishnets. When nude fishnets were first suggested to me, I wasn’t sure, but really they are fabulous. They give your leg nice coverage and they are actually very subtle (unlike black fishnets!).

    Did you really just say NUDE FISHNETS? Picture please.

  24. I have found toeless pantyhose to be lovely with open toe sandals. They are thong style exposing the toes, with a closed heel. Of course they don’t work with the barest of sandals, but with many sandal styles they are great. I have found them at Nordstrom and on Amazon. (just type “toeless pantyhose” into search) I also use Dermablend leg cover when I go to evening affairs and don’t wish to wear pantyhose. Gives my legs a very evened out look and covers spider veins.

  25. I can not believe what I have just read. Since when is there an age limit on black tights?! Women’s legs NEED to have Pantyhose or Tights AT ALL TIMEs and AT ALL AGES with ALL OUTFITS. Bare legs are an AWFUL look. Please, If you are going to wear clothing at all you need to be in Pantyhose. And they are finally coming into fashion for MEN also. Its about time that men be wearing tights and pantyhose, We all have legs and they should all have Hose.

    1. Erin well said! People didn’t realize how different make having pantyhose or tights on every day. Even with the smallest compression in any pantyhose or tights, the blood circulation is increasing in the legs. People who sit all day or stand for a long period of daily have blood clouds and other leg issues when not wearing a hose. Just like flight attendants wearing support pantyhose not only for dress code but for health protection as well. And if anyone wonders most of the pilots have support pantyhose on under the uniform. But that is something Alfa males don’t want to admit.

  26. Deborah, What do you think about the hose with peep toes? I have bad scars from melanoma removal and need “something” to diffuse them. Otherwise great leg shape and length. Winter = tights of course. What to do in warmer weather or dressy events when a dress is called for? I like the peep toe shoes to be trendy, can the hose be forgiven with great shoes? I feel like I need a sign “medical excuse for hose.” Have also tried spray tan for some coverage of scars.

    1. Hi Jo,
      Go ahead and wear hose!
      The peep toe ones are fine with a hose too… probably no need to wear the open toed hose…. we are on the fence on those and think you should just keep it full hose or no hose!

  27. I drove by my old school..girls were wearing tights..maybe 5% of them..but I noticed.

    Yes they are out of fashion but if you are single…men will notice and be turned on because it is unusual now. In Chicago you see dark tights on Lasalle and Wells. My advice is wear them and make a fuss…make people notice
    wear a shorter skirt…be sexy

  28. Women look better in hose but except for tights in the winter thay are out of style.

    My advice wear dark tights in the winter. Otherwise ask yourself, do you get more positive attention wearing them or looks like you are out of style?

    If you look sexy and nice, go for it…

    Guys love the way you look in tights and pantyhose or if your dare thigh highs..

    Just an opinion

  29. Bare legs unless you’re 20 looks cheap and bad. Pumps always look great with sheer black pantyhose or knee highs if you don’t see the top. Opaque tights look great with peep toes and even opaques with shorts look great. if You don’t have shapely legs over 40, tights and pantyhose will shape them up and make them look nice. Wrinkled knees, spider veins and bumpy skin is out!

  30. Women look better in hose or stockings. It is so much more sexy. If you want to attract the guys wear tights, hose or stockings. I don’t know who comes up with these stupid trends. The stupid boots with the toes cut out look like crap too!

  31. Guess what–The bare leg look is “out” (except for the most casual summer dress) and pantyhose with peep toes or sandals is back “in”. Wear the hose–it looks great! If you don’t believe me–google a fashion thread and you will see that the celebrities and models are wearing nylons again…with open-toe shoes! Thank goodness!

  32. This is not a rhetorical question: if they can’t be worn with sandals, why are there “sandalfoot” hose – ??

    And what, exactly, is the definition of a “sandal”? Is it any shoe that bares the toes? I mean … there is a huge difference between Birkenstock “sandals” and the shoe you have pictured (which, by the way, I don’t think looks that bad with hose … so, shoot me!)

    I don’t find pantyhose to be uncomfortable at all, no matter what the weather or temperature, and I wear them often. I also wear thigh-highs sometimes, because they are even more comfortable if it’s really hot, and the modern ones with silicon bands actually stay up quite well.

    I agree with whoever said that many/most of the women running around with bare legs are fooling themselves as to how they look. I know I was … I am 55, and for the past few years fell for the “bare legs” trend, and thought I actually looked good (and I DO actually have pretty nice legs). Then, I saw a candid photo of myself and had to admit “Eh, not so much … ” I look much MUCH better wearing sheer hosiery the same color as my skin – which is pretty fair. I hate hate HATE self-tanners or leg makeup with a passion; it means you can never wear anything white, and I love to wear white.

    Just my two cents’ worth.

    1. I was wondering when someone was going to mention thigh highs. So much more comfortable than pantyhose and easier to get on. I am just baffled by the bare leg fashion.

  33. Hello, I wanted to tell you all how I love women wearing pantyhose, it is a dying fad, but I wish more women would wear them. I love wearing them myself. Creepy huh. It’s my thing


  34. Hi Patricia,
    Since your event is in Northern CA, you should definitely go with a nude sheer hose or nude fishnet. Black will look too somber for a wedding!

    Hope this is helpful! Have a wonderful time!

  35. I have been searching for several months on what is appropriate/in style for me to wear with my black knee length dress to my granddaughter’s wedding, which is at the end of this month. It is an outdoor affair in a coastal town in northern California. I have not worn a dress in ages…always black pants for cocktail or evening wear. I am in my mid 60’s and although I am very petite (size 2), my legs do not look their best ‘bare’, even though I do use a self-tanner. I will be wearing closed toe black heels. Please tell me what my options are. Can I wear sheer nude or sheer black pantyhose? Thanks!

  36. We’ll have to just agree to disagree. I’ll continue to wear suntan hose, because I know they look good. I recommend that everybody follow the trends that work for them, and the others discard. Some people like the skinny jeans, some do not. Some people like the low rise, some don’t. I like panty hose, so I’ll continue to wear them.

  37. I don’t understand the bare-legged look. Why would any woman want to go without hose when we all look better with them on. I wear suntan hose myself. What will we see next, the no-makeup look? Who thinks up these ideas?

    1. Hi Sally,
      If you wear very sheer hose that matches your skin tone so that it looks like you don’t have them on, is highly recommended, if you are going to wear hose. If you wear suntan hose, and they are darker than your arms, then it can be aging!

  38. Hogwash, “Pantyhose can and should be worn with anything listed here,bare legs or feet do not look good and pantyhose should be worn no matter what the age.

    1. Hi Dane,
      Thanks for your opinion. I agree that hose might be the only option for those women who have saggy skin or lots of veins. However, for those women who still have the option to wear or not wear hose, no hose would be my preference, especially when it come to wearing hose with sandals. That look can really age you!

  39. I’m 59…I have varicose veins also the skin is starting to look saggy. I feel I need all the help I can get…I see most of you feel that if you’re going to wear hose invest in the better ones. When I wear a longer flowing skirt I don’t wear hose…I tend to wear cute sandals with these…But!, I have a couple of sun dresses and a skirt that are more form fitting and come to mid-knee. My legs look really yucky with these…not sure what to do about these?? I think the hose with a sundress ruins the effect..Any comments? Naturally, I wear sandals with these…I’ve tried going without hose but legs look bad. I do tan in the summer…Also the skirt I have defintely demands hose…I’ve been wearing cork sandals with it which looks cute but obviously I wear the hose. Do you think I should wear a different shoe??? I haven’t tried the fishnet hose, nor am I familar with the toeless (I looked these up online and got poor reviews.) Any advice you have would be welcomed.

    1. Hi Terri,
      You have a very good question. If it is true that your legs have a lot of veins and is saggy, I would suggest that you wear longer dresses and skirts if you are not going to wear hose.
      If you are going to wear hose, then I wouldn’t suggest wearing a sandal. Hose look best with closed toed shoes. (except in the winter with the dark opaque hose, you can be more flexible)
      That being said, since short casual dresses do not look good with hose, I’d suggest you try to stick with a lightweight pant or longer shorts.

      Also, spray tan can make the legs look nice as well. Hope this helps!

  40. Even though I’m an olive-skinned Gen-Xer, I still find it looks really unprofessional to wear a suit without pantyhose. Sorry, but I think a lot of women are kidding themselves with the bare leg look. Regardless if women are older or younger, there’s not much attractive (or sexy!) about pasty legs and even tanned legs sometimes have unsightly bumps, veins etc. The only women I’ve seen who look halfway decent without pantyhose are Asian women because they often seem to have really smooth, flawless skin. I usually wear silk hose in taupe – that looks polished to me. Granted, I’ve never been one to follow trends unless I find them appealing. By the way, good to see the guys’ opinions.

  41. I just turned 60. I have always thought myself to be a young free spirit style. I find myself at my new age reflecting on whether or not i should continue this style… We need a style helper, to let us click on what we wear most, and what to wear with those pieces to look age appropriate.

  42. Have any of you ladies tried Sally Hansen airbrush for legs. I haven’t tried it but have heard good things. It’s like a fake tan but actually washes off, so more like a foundation for legs. Thanks

  43. I like very sheer stockings in either off-black or taupe. And they must be good, as one guy pointed out above. I’m 56, not 26 with smooth, glowing skin, so find that these are for me age appropriate. Several years ago I saw a well-dressed woman, in winter, wearing black skirt with black pumps and bare legs. She was in her late 40s. To me, the bare legs did not look good: pale, veiney, flakey. She appeared to be catering to a youthful fad vs. adopting something (hose) what would have been far more flattering. I never forgot it, as at the time I was in the fence about the whole issue.

    In summer, if the dress is light and I am wearing sandals (always heels), I will go without but select a lotion that will give some sheen. I don’t tan, but don’t feel I need to.

  44. I’m still a proponent that beautiful legs are beautiful legs with or without hosiery.

    However, aging, scaly, white, pasty, sun damaged, veined and bumpy legs, like many own, are best ensconced with nylon. If a young woman has psoriasis on her legs, for instance, she has to feel unattractive and unfashioanble because she wants to wear a dress and hosiery would help hide it, but because of the dictates of “fashion” she will feel unattractive. (Isn’t the point to HELP people feel attractive?)

    Even leg make up or self tanner won’t fix or hide many problems.

    We know it hasn’t been the trend, and hasn’t been fashionable for awhile. That doesn’t mean it isn’t still attractive to many, (including me).

    A woman has a dress for her son’s wedding, she’s 60 with thick calves and sun spots. The dress is to the knee, it’s winter. She loves the dress and nude is the best option… should she feel unattractive with pressure to not wear hosiery because “it’s old ladyish?” It’s difficult enough this darn wedding, but now she’s less confident because her new daughter in law to be would be aghast if she wore nude stockings!

    That’s my rant. But then again, I love hosiery. I love legs in hosiery. Always have. Every color every type (o.k. except white). I see colored and patterned hosiery with sandals frequently in fashion spreads, so I imagine the day shall return when sandalfoot hosiery will be acceptable with (what, they’re called sandalfoot?) sandals. :)

  45. I found a really nice pair of lightweight pantyhose by HUE in Natural. They are very sheer, you can not even feel yourself wearing them, you can barely see them on and they make your legs look very smooth. I have also worn them with a small peep toe sling back and sometimes during warmer months, you have to make sure the seam is hidden. I am very pale and only wear hose with certain skirts and dresses (conservative type). I believe that if it is done right with the right clothes it is not aging. I should know… I’m 41 and people think that I am at least 10 years younger. Normally my feet are bare during the warm months with my open toe sandals and pants/skirts and in cooler months I wear a lot of closed shoes and boots. I have yet to understand the open toe boot, lol.

  46. If you ask a guy’s opinion, Legs look much better in a good pair of Pantyhose.
    An informal poll with the men in our NYC office provides a pretty unanimous opinion.

    So if you are trying to impress the guys, here is our take. (Before anyone jumps on us, keep in mind, us guys dress to the office somewhat to look good for the opposite sex. We dont think we’re so venus and mars when it comes to this. It certainly is no double standard by any means.)

    Here is the wrap-up.
    1) The cheap discount beige ones for sure make you look, granny. Spend on the quality pair. We guys can tell the difference.
    2) Pantyhose gives you a polished look. Pollsters in the office say your appeal factor goes up.
    3) Darker colors had a higher rating.
    4) You have to have really nice legs to pull off skin tones.
    5) Bare legs, OK if you are working in a sporty environment, but once you change from running shoes, go for the polished look. Guys notice.

  47. The bare leg and uncovered toes have gone too far most just do not look good at all and need some nylon stockings or pantyhose to help hide those white veiny exposed feet and legs, and of course no they do not make you look old or time-stamped they hide all those imperfections and bring out your best looks. I’ve been to many formal and informal occasions to see a very sharp-looking woman with gorgeous hair, makeup, and a striking dress with lovely heels, and then look at her neglected legs and feet without the benefit of nylon hosiery I’m afraid it really does detract from her looks.

  48. I don’t see how anybody could wear sandals with pantyhoses, don’t their feet slip down in the shoe? The picture you posted is a perfect example of someone wearing the wrong type of hosiery with their shoes. I mean, if you have to wear sheer hoses, at least get the toeless kind they have them in control top and they are only like $6 to $12 dollars. If someone is wearing sandals with pants they can get the footless hose.

    1. I hope all this debate about pantyhose is making the pantyhose industry stand up and listen. If someone could come out with a comfortable, attractive super sheer, super light, and barely their leg covering for us gals who do need a little something, they’d make a fortune. There must be a way to update pantyhose to something more modern.

  49. I hate sheer beige pantyhose they itch me and I think wearing them with open-toe shoes is a major no-no in my book (unless you have to wear them for circulation or other medical reasons). I like fashionable colored tights for the cooler months but that is where it ends for me. Dislike pantyhose, love tights.

    1. Hi Budget Chic! I like hearing your take on things…many women over 40 think no hose is not an option and I want to make sure they know it is totally fine! Glad to hear you can back me up on this point!
      Cheers! Deb

  50. I really think self tanner is the way to go. It’s amazing what it can do for you. Self tanner hides the blue veins somewhat. You can build up and get a little darker over time

  51. Hi Melinda,
    I say do what you feel comfortable doing. There is no one right answer for everyone. I simply give suggestions and advice and you get to pick out what you like and apply what you want. Thanks for asking for clarification on that!!!

  52. So, are you saying it’s perfectly okay to self-tan blue-veined legs in the summer and go out in a dress without hosiery?

  53. Thank you for this! I was just pouting because of a “fashion” article making fun of self-tanners and I thought – if I’m too old-ladyish (at 43) wearing hose with skirts/dresses but now I can’t dress my pale, blue-veined (yet shapely) legs with something resembling a healthy color, am I doomed to jeans and khakis all summer?? Will give my hosiery a good looking-at and clean out now to make sure I’ve got some appropriate items. After a long New England winter, I’m yearning to get back into skirts and dresses again without looking “old.”

  54. Okay, it makes sense to gauge the thickness of your sock/hosiery and the footwear by the texture of your slacks. I can see that. Thanks for taking the trouble to define that.

    And I now see that the stylishness of socks is just a subjective one. Here’s how I understand it, after reading your thoughts: If you feel that socks are unstylish, you will feel unstylish when you wear them. If you don’t care, and if you assess your outfit appropriately, it won’t matter.

    What do you think?

  55. Hi Mom. Hubert,
    I’m happy to clarify! This is really a great topic to discuss because there are SO many variations on what is in style these days and what can be aging. Obviously, climate, season, and the color of your legs (and veins) all play a role in this, so the answer is a long and complicated one. Moreover, I wanted to mention that the heavier the fabric of the pants, the heavier the “sock” and shoe should be. In other words, if you have heavy wool pants, you shouldn’t wear sheer hose with your shoe.
    Better to wear a trouser sock or even sock and boot or loafer.

    If you are wearing lightweight pants, a sheer hose and delicate shoes will work together for a harmonious look.

    A regular sock isn’t stylish enough. So when it is cold stick with boots or a high-cut “boot” type shoe, that you can wear socks with and no one will know! When you go skiing you can live in thick socks and boots!

  56. I totally agree with the many wise women who still believe in pantyhose (tights for UK sisters). The hose is even more important as we age and our skin tone and the color are not that of a tan-sprayed runway model. I cringe when I see any leg with blue veining on pale skin. I love hose and I believe it distinguishes me as a professional; not a trend follower. I wouldn’t wear a hose with sandals, but I might wear a sheer seamless nude-toed hose with small peeked-toed shoes. Bare legs and feet are for the backyard and the beach. AND, if you don’t take care of your feet, please don’t wear sandals.

  57. Deborah– In response to your response to my questions: I don’t wear pantyhose, or knee-highs, myself, but I wanted to know the “why” behind your rules. I also realize you did not outlaw socks, but I’ve noticed that pretty much no one who is stylish wears the kinds of shoes you need socks with. I would just like to know why it’s considered unstylish to wear socks. (Trouser socks are not “socks,” they are hosiery.) In wintertime in Nebraska, in a house heated by a wood stove, it makes much sense to wear sensible shoes or boots with warm socks. I guess if that’s unstylish, then so be it. So sad.

  58. I have pretty bad varicose veins around my ankles. I can wear sandals with jeans okay, but after a while my legs ache. Summer weather always means parties where there are other women who have great legs, wearing dresses with pretty sandals. Then there’s me in jeans. If I wear a dress, it’s ALWAYS with a hose. I think it looks horrible otherwise. I’m 50.

  59. I posted a question about this on Twitter last week: Do professional women need to wear hosiery? I think not. Living in the mid-West, I think nude pantyhose in the winter with closed-toe (and heel) shoes is a must. But when you want to wear open-toe shoes, mules, or sling-back shoes, it’s time to shed the hose. If a company allows the casualness of open toes and heels, I would be surprised if they would require hosiery. As much as we want to, we can’t have it all. To me, hosiery – closed shoes like pumps. Don’t buy spring/summer shoes that make your feet sweat, stick to your foot, or are difficult to wear without hosiery. Or go to for help in this area. Looking trashy has nothing to do with a trailer park. It’s about wearing clothing that isn’t flattering is ripped, wrinkled or dirty. Think you need to wear hosiery to look polished, just wear the proper shoe. Oh, and I can’t think of a situation where I would recommend black hosiery in the summer.

  60. As a tight lover, I feel anyone can pull off tights, leggings, and stockings, in whatever color, as long as you are confident in what you’re wearing.

    Tights have pushed their way forward and can now be seen in crazy designs and colors on runways, people walking down the street, and on various movies/television shows. for a wide variety of affordable tights, check Welovecolors , They also have blogs on how to wear certain tights with different outfits!

  61. I work in a law firm and have to wear a hose as Director of HR. Also in my 50s and believe me my legs look better in nude hose. Living in a hot climate, great shoes become miserable when it’s 100 degrees and your feet get hot, blisters appear where none before. Another advantage of pantyhose is the “mild” shapewear advantage. Believe me it’s a lot more comfortable to wear an average control top pantyhose than a Spanx.

  62. Pantyhose are not aging! Mature legs look infinitely better with pantyhose. Women dressed up without them look classless. “Fashion” is getting to a point where too many women look like trailor park trash.

    1. Pantyhose are aging when you don’t get the right shade ( IE: too golden) and everyone knows you are wearing them. They look like a throwback to the past.

      I (Deborah) am the first to say I do wear pantyhose. I’m very fair and don’t tan, so my legs are quite pasty. My skin is also pretty translucent so you do see some veins and not-so-pretty things. I need coverage to smooth things out. In the dead of summer, I’ll use a fake tanner and go bare-legged wearing sundresses for a few short weeks, but that’s about the only time. In the winter I favor black tights. In Spring and Fall when it’s too early to wear black tights, I do wear an ultrasheer hose or my new favorite- nude fishnets. When nude fishnets were first suggested to me, I wasn’t sure, but really they are fabulous. They give your leg nice coverage and they are actually very subtle (unlike black fishnets!).

  63. Well if you have to wear a little hose footlet to be comfortable, the biggest thing is the fit of the foolet and the shoe. If it shows at all…even the tiniest bit, that should give you a RED FLAG not to wear them.

    Better to just wear a hose. However, for the record, I propose going without them, if you can.

  64. OK, would you address the PROBLEM not wearing hose creates – with hot feet sweating in shoes?? Wearing a hose makes it so easy to slip shoes off and on because they don’t ‘stick’ to your feet. Much more comfortable, too. Do you recommend some little hose foot that doesn’t show?

  65. Hi Jackie,
    Glad you brought that up! We forget sometimes that we have a global audience!!!
    Here are the North American definitions:

    Pantyhose~ sheer stockings that you can sort of see your leg through.

    Tights~ opaque leg covering similar to a pantyhose, but thicker and does not run as easily. Ballet dancers wear them too!

    And to follow up on your legging question: Yes, you can wear legging with a long top or sweater. Just make sure it is at least mid-thigh, any shorter and it will look like you forgot to put your pants on!

  66. Hi Mom.Huebert,
    Notice I didn’t say no to all socks. Thin dress socks are o.k. with the right type of shoe. (e.g. a loafer). If you wear a hose with your loafer, you will look old.
    I promise.

    As far as the knee-high with slacks…OK, I say you’re right, who will know.

    As far as the cute Khaki slacks go… we would have to see a picture. If you are talking Gap khakis absolutely not. If you are talking about a nice pair of lovely fabric khaki-colored pants, sure. Casual Khaki are ment to be worn with a cute sandal, wedge, or flat, not a heel.

    1. Ohmigosh. Style is ever-changing and super fun! Khakis or slacks with a stiletto sandal or even a high heeled mule are so sexy and polished, no matter the age! Loosely tuck in a white, collared button-down (bonus points for satin) and you will be walking out of a French fashion magazine! Tres chic. As with pairing anything in style, you need a bit of an eye, but rules like I am reading here are so sad. I was a legal secretary who wore high heels and elegant nude or black nylons every day (i enjoyed it) and now I am a mechanic, yes really, who loves to still be feminine after work and wear my hose and heels.

      Awhile back I heard that Gen Z and everyone else had denounced pantyhose…I mildly panicked. But I love them, and find them sexy, especially thigh highs and garters. So I panicked for a minute, checked on Reddit, and realized that most men, of all ages, still very much appreciate a lady in hose, including my husband.

      Just select an elegant sheer hose with a natural match to your skin tone and be confident. Ladies, I am serious. Don’t listen to the nylon naysayers. Or don’t wear any if that makes you feel confident, but please don’t be scared off by new fashion “rules”.

      Also, I firmly believe sheer hose with peep toe shoes are a great match. Just place the seam below your toes. Pinups actually used to wear them together..I’m pretty sure hose will NEVER go out of style.

  67. Hi, just interested to understand the US definition of “pantyhose” as opposed to “tights”? (Here in the UK we never use the term “pantyhose” at all…just “tights”.. for thin or thick dernier)

    Also, it’s great to hear you think leggings are good at any age… so are you thinking they go best with dresses / long tunics? I’d love to try this…

    Jac (thinking she needs to think about her legwear strategy!)

  68. Okay. I’ve got it that women are never supposed to wear socks– But why not? Is there something inherently un-feminine about socks? What about in winter?

    Secondly, why no knee-highs with slacks? Who’s going to know?

    Thirdly, do you mean I can’t wear my cute high-heeled sandals with my khaki slacks? I haven’t done it yet, but I was planning to. I thought it looked cute. Why doesn’t it?

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