Hosiery

How this header amuses me in a blog devoted to styles that attract men. Women hardly know what to call what department stores have labelled hosiery (Is it the primary school ‘tights’; the wartime ‘nylon’, the retro ‘stocking’ or that old standby ‘pantyhose’?).  It’s like haberdashery. Great word, but who uses it?

And if women struggle with what to call hosiery, could men possibly care?

Possibly.

Men love a great set of pins, so how we highlight them matters (See high heels, first and foremost). And here, women have a range of possibilities from the predatory to the pragmatic to the playful.

Starting with the good, a woman looking to attract a man cannot go wrong with fetish favourites like fishnets (careful – this can look slutty if you don’t stick to a narrow weave and black or nude); you’ll also succeed with hose that have a seam up the back. And for the ultimate home run, wear garters.

Garters?

Wait – it’s time for more vocabulary. Oh it’s difficult for Americans and Brits. What Yanks call garters are what Brits call suspenders, and what Americans call suspenders, the British call braces. (Then we have the American braces that you wear on your teeth, which are to the British a singular brace. This just gets exhausting!)

Tomato, to-mah-to – doesn’t matter – a garter/suspender makes men go mad. But since those are often not for public display, I’m assuming you’ve already got your coat, love, and pulled. If instead you’re on the prowl, you could try those stockings that have suspenders printed on them (a Rihanna favourite). I think men get the cheek of it, but not sure they’re sold on the execution. At any rate, you’re implying you’ve got the real thing in a drawer at home, and they’re at least black, so give it a try.

Next on the list, the practical. Listen, I live on a cold island; it’s not even rare to see tights in summer. I advise keeping it streamlined with the black opaque classic, darker colours and minimal patterns. Pair any of these with boots and you’re firmly in men’s good books (Boots are among the easiest of wins, mind, but that post is coming in Autumn… she writes, hopefully, in a cold, rainy London April.)

If Spring ever should come, fashion pages promote brightly coloured and kaleidoscopically patterned tights, which only seem to work on Kourtney Kardashian mostly because even in pregnancy, she is miniscule. To this look, I say no. Resolutely.

Here’s why. First, you know how I feel about patterns. Second, while I admit I see the occasional woman with great legs and a flair for fashion work these hose with the right clothing, the high street is crowded with failures. Women, who look like girls, appear thick-legged, infantile, silly – or just plain over-eager to jump on a trend.  None of these are good looks.

Style should not be, as Joe Pesci feared, ‘funny like a clown.’ We are women. We deserve to be taken seriously, whether in a relationship, in a career or in the bars, streets or shops of the places we live.

Enough of Scorsese, let’s get Biblical (thank you, Corinthians):  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I wore the tights of a child. But when I became a woman, I put away childish things.

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  1. #1 by jennamilly on April 23, 2012 - 8:33 am

    When I was a child, I wanted to grow up and use words like haberdashery, but soho, you beat me to it! Anyone with a vocab comme ca is fabulous dans mon livre!

  2. #2 by Jocelyn @ Peace.Love.Nutrition on April 23, 2012 - 1:01 pm

    Being sexy is all about your attitude. Looking like a smart successful woman is all about confidence baby!

  3. #3 by A.M. on April 24, 2012 - 7:44 pm

    “Men love a great set of pins” made me laugh! Henceforth using “pins” instead of “legs” in my daily lexicon.

  4. #4 by gravitasbaby on April 26, 2012 - 9:52 pm

    What a great shot! Sexy, casual, honest. As a man, I may not agree with every one of your assertions (like the one about male preferences for stocking seams; in my opinion it falls more into the category of nostalgia), but as long as there’s a female leg inside, my objection is mild and not worth arguing about.

    • #5 by sohospeaks on April 27, 2012 - 7:10 am

      But I appreciate it nonetheless!

  1. Hosiery « Soho Speaks | Pantyhose Nylons Tights
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