Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Are You Wearing Pantyhose?

As a makeup artist, October is always a busy month for me, and this one has been no exception. One thing that has made this October different, however, is freestyle fashion.

I decided to embrace freestyle fashion and evolve my style in March. The decision came on the heels of deciding to try to get more into shape and get my weight under control, something I have struggled with all of my life. I lost a good amount of weight over the year, and with that has come an increased feeling of confidence in myself, so it seemed like the perfect time to venture into a new style. Over the months I've gotten very accustomed to wearing skirts and dresses as everyday attire.

My year round work is home-based, however in October I take up a seasonal position doing makeup for a local haunt. As such, I've had to spent the majority of this month in shorts & capris (with one dreadful night in jeans - I simply don't find them comfortable at all anymore!). This led me to a bit of a shocking revelation, I no longer feel right wearing shorts! I found myself longing for my days off if only to be allowed the freedom of wearing a skirt, or even better, a dress. 

While I did not wear skirts or dresses to work, I did wear sheer tights most days along with a comfortable pair of mary janes. These items have become so mundane and commonplace to me now that I underestimated the reaction I would receive wearing them openly around so many people. So I thought it might be interesting to share some of the reactions & comments I received over the month.

  • Overall, people that made comments (good & bad) seemed to focus more on the tights than the shoes. I feel I should mention that most of the time I wore either navy or black sheer tights (as our dress code was to wear all black / dark colors), so the tights were probably a bigger shock to the eye than the shoes. 
  • The most common question was: "Are you wearing stockings / nylons / pantyhose?" I always find this question odd because as I said above I was usually wearing black, which is in no way stealth. However, that question was usually just a lead in to the second most common question: "Why are you wearing stockings / nylons / pantyhose?" My response of choice: "Why not?" This usually ended the conversation, even though that was never my intention. Perhaps I should have responded by saying that I just find them comfortable and like the way they look, but truth be told I was usually caught a bit off guard with the question just because it's become such a non-issue to me.
  • Several girls commented that they thought it would be difficult for a man to use the restroom in pantyhose. Personally, I thought it a bit odd that their minds went there, but whatever. In case you are wondering, it isn't.
  • When the weather was a bit warmer, quite a few girls would point at my legs and ask, "Aren't those hot?" I don't usually have issues with sheer tights in the heat (except on the most dreadful summer days here in Florida), but I also wear higher quality, 10-15 denier sheer to waist tights rather than run of the mill drugstore control tops.
  • I received a few compliments from girls (which was great!), but I was shocked by the amount of positive feedback I heard from guys. I'm not talking about a "That's hot!" kind of way (as that would make me a bit uncomfortable, honestly), but rather in a "You're wearing tights? Cool!" way. 
  • It wasn't all good, however, as there were a few people who either scowled at me, made a weird face at me, or outright burst into laughter at me. This seemed to usually be over the mary janes. I'm pretty thick-skinned but I'd be lying if I said it didn't bother me a little. Oh well. 
  • A co-worker of mine informed me that some of the women were talking negatively about my tights & shoes behind my back, and have avoided my makeup chair because of it. People are entitled to their opinions (it falls under my "haters gonna hate" category), but I have to admit that I do find it a little disappointing. Despite the freestyle fashion, I really am pretty much just your average guy, albeit your average nerd guy. It disappoints me that some people can't see past their own preconceived prejudices. 
  • Thus far, I've had two women (besides my wife) tell me that my tights are sexy. I love to be complimented, so that was great.
  • The most interesting comment from a girl that I got: "Yay, I'm glad you are wearing tights today! It's really weird when you don't. I like it." I thought this comment was interesting because I've actually reached a point now where I've worn them so often that I do feel weird when I don't. The fact that she found a man in tights to be normal enough for it to be weird when he wasn't wearing tights was pretty awesome too. 
Overall, October has been an interesting month for me with regards to freestyle fashion. Spending a whole month basically trapped in shorts & pants has definitely made me appreciate the feeling of wearing skirts and dresses even more. Being around so many people in the social environment of work was also interesting as a bit of a social experiment in freestyle fashion as well. I think the most important thing to take away from all of it, though, is that I was able to go out and be myself without any real issues. At the end of the day, it's really all about confidence, and if what they say is true and the clothes do make the man, then I say that real men wear pantyhose!

9 comments:

  1. The courage that you have to wearyour attire in public is awesome. I too feel out of sorts without at least my pantyhose on. I always buy Spanx brand as I find they fit the best for a body of my size. They are super comfortable also and very fashionable. Next is to wear my heels more and more in public.

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    1. Thank you! Get out there and rock the heels! Don't be afraid to be unique!

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  2. I've been wearing (mostly sheer) pantyhose with shorts for about 13 or 14 years now, here in mostly nonconfrontational Northern California. I have gotten very very few negative comments over the years. I find when I wear dark, obvious colors, I get more compliments, especially when I put care into the assemblage of the whole outfit. Several times now, because I am so often in shorts and hose all year round, I've heard "it's odd to see you without your tights."

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    1. Glad to hear you are out there rockin' your style! Being as I live in Florida, the most often thing I hear from women my age is the, "Aren't you hot? / How can you wear those?" comments. I think a lot of girls my age don't have much experience with hosiery. I find that a nice, light denier can actually feel quite nice & cooling in the breeze.

      Anyhow, thank you for taking the time to comment on the blog. I appreciate it!

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  3. I don't like to wear pantyhose underneath my jeans, because of the way they sag down.. I know, I should put on a pair of underpants over them, but somehow for me that defeats the purpose.

    I usually wear kneehigh nylons, which also lessen the way the fabric of my jeans scratches my legs. especially in the cold weather we have been having here, that is a relief.. I would very much like for my wife to be as supportive as MrsSpookshow is to you.

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    1. Yeah, I'm not a fan of sheer tights under pants either. If I'm not wearing a skirt or dress with them, it's always shorts for me.

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  4. Interesting to read about the reactions you get. I have similar experiences. Yeah there are a few people that just can't wrap their head around it and will be snide, but for the most part, I get lots of good energy and compliments from people - men and women (and actually, probably a bit more from men, not in a flirting way, but in a "wow, that's awesome" way). I've created a tradition of not wearing pants on the weekend - and my friends have come to expect that of me. If I show up somewhere not wearing a skirt / pantyhose / heels on a fri or sat night, the girls always say they think I should have worn them. When you are confident in what you are doing, people tend to either get out of your way, or get behind you and follow.

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    1. Confidence is definitely key here, for sure. I was so very shocked by the comments from men during the time of this article, as I usually expect them to be the harshest (and perhaps most dangerous) critics I could have. It seems that less people are truly ingrained with gender stereotypes in my circles than I expected. Compliments from women, however, pretty much tend to make my day.

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  5. I love wearing pantyhose under my shorts. have so for at least 2 yrs. No one seems to notice or care! Only one time did I get a negative reaction. It was quite hilarious. An older lady noticed me and ran up to the store counter yelling "Theirs a man wearing pantyhose". Everyone looked at her like she was crazy! Keep Rokin !

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