Entertainment industry can make or break pantyhose


Robin Maryland, President, ActSensuous

Is what’s considered fashionable a case of art imitating life, or life imitating art?  Everyone knows that fashion was influenced more by the golden era of Hollywood than anything else, and I am sure it’s every bit the case today.    

Life Imitating Art

By now you know that Sarah Jessica Parker is “credited” with creating the “bare legs movement” with her “Sex and the City” TV show and movies.  When everyday women saw the show’s high-profile characters strutting around New York City – fashion capital of the world – all dressed up minus the pantyhose, they completely lost their minds, adopted the idea, and from the mid-1990s to present, pantyhose practically disappeared as a fashion staple.   

Art Imitating Life

As the bare legs culture grew in popularity among non-celebrities, naturally, more and more actresses and entertainers jumped on the bandwagon, too.  It was almost as if celebs felt obligated to sport the new fashion look since they are expected to be the trendsetters in such things, and it had become clear that anti-pantyhose fever already was firmly established among the general population.

 Coming full circle

While pantyhose were disappearing in society, even in the workplace, the entertainment industry’s role in it was evolving from instigator in creating the bare legs culture, to one of jumping onto the bandwagon, to now becoming the one place where pantyhose most likely are seen and appreciated today.

 There’s one thing you can depend on about fashion – no fad lasts very long.  What’s “in” eventually becomes what’s “not in,” and you can be sure that as soon as what’s not in takes off and everyone gets enough mileage out of it, ultimately, it will become what’s in again.  

Geena Davis

Today, entertainers appear to be split on the wearing of pantyhose.  Thankfully, some truly professional stars, such as Geena Davis, Julianna Margulies, Linda Fiorentino, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Fran Drescher, Holly Hunter, Goldie Hawn, Shelley Long, Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman to name a few, never bought into the bare legs thing and, as long as the role or the scene they played didn’t preclude it, they always wore pantyhose.  And there are some bright new stars today who are contributing to bringing pantyhose back into popularity, among them the likes of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, and for the most part, Katie Holmes, Kate Moss, Megan Fox, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Alba, Milla Jovovich and Olivia Munn.

 Pantyhose on display

Already this year, stars wearing pantyhose has been a frequent scene in many TV programs, movies and entertainment venues. 

Paula Abdul jokes with host Craig Ferguson during an appearance on The Late Late Show Jan. 12, 2011.

I have to give props to Paula Abdul, who always wears pantyhose as host of her new show, “Live to Dance,” and always wears when she makes appearances on the late night talk shows.  To me, that shows that she is professional and classy.  Good for you, Paula.

 So, it seems that the best we can hope for these days is this pantyhose love-hate relationship in the entertainment industry.  Last week, I saw Gwyneth Paltrow on Jimmy Fallon.  She wore a short dress and very sheer nude pantyhose.  Sadly though, lovely little Sandra Oh appeared on Jimmy Kimmel, wearing a slacks outfit. 

Those who have seen Sandra only on “Grey’s Anatomy,” might be surprised to learn that she has gorgeous legs (and feet), and she’s shown them off in pantyhose in several movies.   Sadly, she mostly does the bare legs thing during red carpet or publicity events.  I just don’t get that.  She doesn’t seem like the follow-what-everyone-else-is-doing type to me.   She is one celeb I really wish would glam it up a lot more because she can do it so well, and it would show a totally different side of her.  Oh well.  I still love her. 

Maggie Q stars on TV's 'Nikita.'

Also last week, I couldn’t wait to see Maggie Q on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno just to see if I would win the bet I made with myself that she would wear a short dress and high heels but no pantyhose. 

Sometimes, I just hate being right.  Then again, with someone like Maggie Q and her perfect Asian skin, whether she’s wearing in this picture or not can be difficult to tell. 

She really looked good on Leno.  Here’s a small pic I found of Maggie on the Internet.  Is she wearing?  Could be.  I doubt it, but I want to believe that she is.

 This weekend, I re-watched the movie, “Get Smart,” with Steve Carell, who did a great job as Maxwell Smart.  

When the movie first came out a few years ago, and when I saw it again on Saturday, I was so disappointed in Anne Hathaway for not wearing pantyhose in her role as Agent 99.  (She “Missed it by THAT much!”)

UPDATE (See the Reader Comments on this post.   Looks like I was wrong about Anne Hathaway.  One reader provides compelling evidence that, at least in one scene, Agent 99 indeed was wearing.  “Sorry about that, Chief!”)

 And speaking of spy shows, another celeb I am disappointed in is Piper Perabo, who stars in TV’s “Covert Affairs.”  She’s really lovely, but she did the bare legs thing on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last week.  Sorry, I just think that shows a lack of class, and I had a different image of her than that. 

 I have written before about my disappointment in the way she often doesn’t wear pantyhose with her otherwise professional attire on “Covert Affairs,”  despite that advertising spots almost always show her in pantyhose. 

Again, I don’t know who’s at fault – Perabo or the show’s costume designer – for Perabo’s character not wearing pantyhose on “Covert Affairs.”   I wonder how much say Perabo has about the matter, and which way she’d lean if she did have a say. 

It’s interesting, as one reader commented, that advertisers don’t miss the opportunity to show off Perabo in pantyhose during promotions for the show.

 Check out this site: http://www.emrahyucel.com/tr/entry/category/all/company/5/customer/0/page/8

and scroll down to the bottom of the page.   You’re looking for page 16.

<< ÖNCEKİ 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | … 94 | SONRAKİ >>

On page 16, the “Covert Affairs” set is about halfway down the page.  These are some beautiful publicity photos, and hopefully, a sign of the outfits to come on this show. 

And it’s not just on TV and in movies that pantyhose are finding their legs again.  One of this blog’s devoted followers, Peter A., pointed out earlier this month that everywhere he looked, he saw the professional models and visitors wearing pantyhose during the Jan. 18 Detroit Auto Show.  I love that.  Thanks for the photo, Pete.

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About ActSensuous

I am a business executive, a former journalist, and a martial artist. I have always loved pantyhose. I founded ActSensuous in 2001. I write the ActSensuous blog because I want to be the voice of hope and reason for pantyhose lovers throughout the world. I want to carry the torch for the return of pantyhose to favor in all areas — fashion, entertainment, business, and as a major element of pop culture.

Posted on January 30, 2011, in Agent 99 in pantyhose, Anne Hathaway and pantyhose, Asian women in pantyhose, Catherine Zeta-Jones in pantyhose, Celebrities in pantyhose, Covert Affairs and pantyhose?, Geena Davis in pantyhose, Goldie Hawn in pantyhose, Hollywood celebrities in pantyhose, Julianna Margulies and pantyhose, Katy Perry and pantyhose, Lady Gaga pantyhose, Linda Fiorentino and pantyhose, Milla Jovovich and pantyhose, Nicole Kidman and pantyhose, Piper Perabo in pantyhose, Professional performers wearing pantyhose, Sandra Bullock and pantyhose, Sandra Oh in pantyhose, Shelley Long and pantyhose, Stars in pantyhose and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 41 Comments.

  1. Robin, I’m not sure if you or the readers have seen these pantyhose commercials (attached) from the 70’s and 80’s. I remember a few, but know you and most readers are way too young. I forgot what a large market existed of all the various brands just here in the US alone- Leggs, Hanes, Burlington, No Nonsense, Isotoner, JC Penney, Jockey for Her, Today’s Girl, and Supp Hose. There are a few foreign ones too. That really was a golden age, when it seemed every woman wore, and pantyhose were the standard, having all but replaced stockings and garter belts. Though the latter has recently made a comeback due to a sexiness or nostalgia/ vintage standpoint. Some of the videos show age, but are now fascinating to watch, given there are no television commercials aired today. I think in the 80’s one of the NASCAR drivers had Legg’s as a sponsor as the sport gained women fans in the 80’s. Enjoy!

  2. Great post! It does seem like the mid 90’s were the end of women casually wearing and enjoying pantyhose. The trend became bare legs. (unfortunately). A women has power when she wears pantyhose. Like you have said, they do not realize this.

    The trend that led to bare legs came from women reading the opinions of other women, (magazine articles?TV trends?) of why not to wear pantyhose. And honestly, this seemed to be centered around feminism, in my opinion.

    Much of the arguments for women promoting bare legs, seemed to be centered around being “forced” to wear pantyhose, as in a work dress code. But this is like a catch 22…A well dressed woman in pantyhose, is much more empowered and respected, than a bare legged women. coming from a male perspective.

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  5. I wish J. Louise Larson would shut up! Opinions like her’s are very dangerous to would be young lady pantyhose wearers. What a bag of wind. Very nasty write-up.

    http://j-louise-larson.wrytestuff.com/swa344847.htm

    • Hey Mike,

      Don’t worry, people like her and those who blindly follow along, can hate pantyhose all they want. Based on that mug shot of her’s, she is most definitely someone I wouldn’t want to see in a dress or skirt anyway, much less pantyhose. People like her and her followers have zero concept of femininity, professionalism, class and elegance.

      Whether this person and her minions want to admit it or not, pantyhose are not dead and never will be. Those who understand the values of beauty and elegance will always embrace pantyhose, especially since men all over the world love them. This person and her fellow trolls probably have no men and no prospects for men in their lives … ever!

      • I know you’re right in every sense. It just irritates me when we put forth so much effort to encourage pantyhose wear and you have idiots like that trying to make the typical American girl even more ugly. By the way, you know I’m not a writer by any sense of the imagination, but, I get an education from you when you move in for the “kill” on so called “writers” that stake their experience. Yeah, like for instance “over twenty years”. You expounded on the word “over” as meaning space. I didn’t know that and now I do! I love it when you tear down their credibility! So much for their anti-pantyhose rhetoric!

        • Yes, I’m like a tiger defending her young when someone writes something negative about pantyhose. When someone does that, he or she had better at least use proper sentence structure, grammar and spelling, or I’ll make him or her look silly.

          Grrrrrrrrrr!

          • Go check out my reply to her article. Oddly enough I gave it one star and it seemed to show up as four. Anyhow I thought it was a terrible article.

            • Hi, Mike T

              To clarify for our readers, I think your comment is in response to this comment from Video Mike:

              “I wish J. Louise Larson would shut up! Opinions like her’s are very dangerous to would-be young lady pantyhose wearers. What a bag of wind. Very nasty writeup.”

              http://j-louise-larson.wrytestuff.com/swa344847.htm

              If I’m wrong, Mike T, please clarify what your comment is about. Thanks.

            • Yes you’re right on Robin this was in reference to the comment from video Mike.

      • Hi Robin, I agree with you 100%. Pantyhose has never really died to begin with. If J. Louise Larson and other pantyhose haters want to hate, then that’s on them. Pantyhose always has and always will be the standard to being/looking beautiful and classy. R.M.

  6. I was at a Canadian movie awards show called the Genies (the Canadian equivalent of the Oscars, though it is not as glitzy nor glamourous and was more low key) here in Ottawa, Canada back in March. The weather was very cold, chilly and snowy after we had a huge snowstorm the night before. I was awaiting the arrival of our Canadian female celebs at the red carpet hoping to see them wear pantyhose with their gorgeous outfits, given the colder climate here, and the class and elegance Canadian celebrities have than Americans.

    But instead, most of them were bare legged which had me wondering how the heck did they brave the cold and snowy climate to attend the awards show bare legged. They must either have followed the advice from those American fashion experts and designers about wearing pantyhose at these events especially with open toe shoes, which we all know is never a fashion no-no. Not surprisingly, most of the celebrities spend most of their time living and working in the U.S. shooting movies and TV shows, and attend various events such as movie premieres, award shows, and parties bare legged, regardless of the weather….mirroring Sex and the City, no surprise there.

    Fortunately, the women that wore hosiery at the awards show were mostly members of the general public, politicians, and the wives of politicians including Laureen Harper, the wife of our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, and the wife of U.S. Ambassador to Canada, whose name I am unaware of. Great to see them showing class wearing hose at these events. As for our celebrities, they need to forget about the influence from those American fashion experts, designers, and media, and start wearing hosiery to attend these type of award shows, especially in the colder weather.

  7. http://forums.superiorpics.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/3320920/amdnv#Post3320920

    I agreed with you over the Get Smart issue and Agent 99, but a forum member at Superior Pics called me on calling him out. You will se that she was, in fact, hosed for part of the scene. The people in continuity must have missed it.

    Consider this one of your “pleasant surprises”

    Hoseaddict on Superior Pics

    • Hi Hoseaddict,

      First, welcome to my blog and thank you for your comment.

      Second, I sooooo like being proved wrong here, and yes, this is a pleasant surprise. Wow, I am much happier about Anne Hathaway now. Still a bit perplexed though as to why the costume designer would have her in pantyhose for this scene, yet, not in any others, especially the ballroom dance scene, where pantyhose would have been most appropriate.

      It makes sense, and I actually wondered about this, why Anne would be wearing pantyhose for the scene in which she’s crawling on the slick floor. Just for comfort, if for no other reason, I would have thought she’d be wearing, so it’s nice to see that she indeed was. While I like that, it kinda disappoints me even more that someone still made the decision that she’d be without pantyhose for the entire rest of the movie.

      In any case, you’ve made my day today, so thanks again. And let’s hear from you many more times.

      • My feeling on this is…. In the scene she would be under close scrutiny plus exposing quite a lot with that short dress on…
        The pantyhose would give flawless looking skin in the close up shots….

        Maybe i am totally wrong..

        Carl…

  8. I have so often read that pantyhose were not making a comeback or women are not wearing pantyhose. I couldn’t disagree more. On television everywhere I look, from major stars to unknown reality “celebrities” pantyhose are being worn. And the women are choosing to wear the ultra sheer to waist NYLON pantyhose and not fishnets (so not pretty) or patterned hose or thick tights. Women are really starting to understand and grasp fully just how spectacularly attractive sheer nylon pantyhose make a woman’s legs appear. It is undeniable.

    There are so many men that are finally overcoming their embarrassment and vocalizing their attraction and appreciation of pantyhose clad women. Think about it, if you were a woman and you noticed that if you went out in public with bare legs one day and the next day you went out wearing sheer black pantyhose and the amount of appreciation and attention you received when wearing the nylons compared to when you were bare legged was so much more, that has to have a major impact on a person’s confidence. I know that when I am in the presence of a pantyhose wearing woman compared to a bare legged woman there is just no comparison to which girl I would rather spend time with. Very superficial maybe but there is no comparison if a person is going to be honest about it. Once again this displays the power of pantyhose.

    And regarding Piper Perabo on Covert Affairs. To be fair, I believe it was the pilot episode where she is being shot at and she is wearing sheer black pantyhose and the director (God bless his soul) actually had the fantastic idea of showing Piper’s world class shapely legs up close and even her pantyhose covered feet! I was in heaven! I thought that this would be the trend and that the show would show Piper wearing hose in every episode. NOT! I think that may have been the only episode with Piper wearing pantyhose because for the next several shows she wasn’t shown wearing any nylons. That was enough for me. I stopped watching. I felt so betrayed and misled…and it really was incredibly deceiving if you think about it (I mean come on, what kind of program intentionally shows the major star of the show’s legs and feet in black pantyhose during a prolonged scene. It wasn’t just a quick shot of her legs, it was a beautiful drawn out scene with her legs and feet being shot at different angles). And then, for the rest of the season I’m guessing, not show her EVER again wearing pantyhose?? Bizarre and so incredibly odd.

    But I hope that all the fans of this website and pantyhose will boycott all programs that engage in this type of behavior. Simply stop watching the shows and when the ratings go down and therefore the shows profits go down, maybe someone will get the message we are sending. On the flip side of that coin, support shows that have the stars wearing pantyhose like The Good Wife starring Julianna Marguiles. A pantyhose bonanza although I wish they would show more closeups and also shots of her gorgeous feet. They could use any excuse to have these scenes incorporated into the show. Oh, I have a run in my nylons. Look at the run on my leg. It goes down to my foot. I need to change my pantyhose. You know, actual real life things that occur.

    But I really am quite pleased that overall, pantyhose are back in a huge way and there are always going to be women that are aching for attention and when they come to realize that they receive a lot more attention when wearing sheer pantyhose they of course are going to be down for wearing them.

    • Wow, what a great comment, Vincent. Welcome to the ActSensuous blog, and thanks for that detailed, well-thought-out comment.

      I agree that pantyhose aren’t exactly on their “last leg” but pantyhose manufacturing and retail associations continue to report a huge drop in sales volume. Seriously, the numbers are staggeringly lower than during any time in history. The losses are in the multi-millions of dollars.
      Nevertheless, like you, I see pantyhose gaining in acceptance and popularity among the younger set, and holding steady and in some cases rebounding among the more mature group.

      Either way, I love that some truly professional and classy celebs, such as Julianna Magulies, Nicole Kidman, Kyra Sedgwick, and for the most part, Sandra Bullock, and many others, never jumped on that “bare legs” bandwagon, and in fact, have continued to carry the torch for dressing professionally and femininely all this time. I am equally thrilled that younger celebs, such as Anne Hathaway, and to some extent, Olivia Munn, Katie Holmes, Megan Fox, Jessica Alba, and Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, have embraced pantyhose. And, I am slightly disappointed in the likes of Lucy Liu, Piper Perabo, Maggie Q., Jennifer Garner, and so many others who just don’t care enough to do what’s right when it comes to how they look.

      Most blog comments you read about pantyhose involve how much women hate them. There’s no excuse for bare legs in the office, but sadly, that’s the place these women are trying to get to. I can’t read those things because they just make me so angry. I hate that women try so hard not to look professional, feminine and glamorous. Still, I like your positive outlook, Vincent. You see the signs that pantyhose are back, and I like that about you.

      Thanks again for finding my blog and making a great comment.

      Robin

  9. Two I would love to see them wearing while singing would be Carrie Underwood and Reba. I would pay just to see them both clad in pantyhose and showing them legs for everyone to see. They both have sexy legs and seeing them clad in pantyhose would be super special to me.

  10. Here is a link to Getty Images where the singer (in pink) is wearing pantyhose. You can only tell in the images with her shoes off. The hose if very sheer and the perfect color.

    http://www.gettyimages.com/Search/Search.aspx?EventId=113723481&EditorialProduct=Entertainment

  11. Now here is a cause truly worth championing! I have visited a few times and thought I should finally check in to show my support.

    Nothing snaps my head off its rollers more than the sight of a classy woman wearing a skirt with her legs covered. Bare legs just don’t look good to me, no matter how shapely or toned they are. Luckily, my wife understands this and wears often. Phew!

    Thanks for the great blog and please keep it up. Best wishes!

  12. I don’t know about the West but we don’t wear panties with pantyhose; the garment is meant to be the two garments in one.

    Maybe women are frightened of becoming sweaty? If so, they are probably wearing too much underwear, yes? Or not?

  13. Interesting theory, Robin! I hope you are right, because I’m going to offer a different theory, and one, that less easily offers a way to reverse the bare legs trend compared to your theory, unfortunately. My theory, based on personal observation is comprised of two parts and is about 180 degrees from yours. First, the relaxation of workplace dress codes started the bare legs trend, followed by the popularity of flip-flops. As to the first point, my guess is that women started thinking, “well, if I don’t have to wear pantyhose to work, why wear them at all?” Hollywood women then followed suit, so to speak, reflecting what they were seeing in the general populace. This is based on observations from my corner of the world (Florida), which I hope are more unique to our climate rather than reflecting the nationwide pulse. Bare legs are very prevalent here, and I’d put the percentage of business women “professionally dressed” wearing pantyhose at somewhere around 10% perhaps pushing 20% on a “cold” day. This stands out especially because I see women who are otherwise very nicely dressed, but with legs that are more pale than a full moon! Secondly, flip flops are the shoe du decade, at least here. As long as they are as popular as they are, PH wearing women will be too far and few between. A couple more anectodal snippets to further bolster that my theory, unfortunately, has not been disproved. December and January were unusually cold, and at least more women were wearing pantyhose and tights – it may have approached 20% of the general populace on a weekend nite out. That gave me some hope that maybe this bare legs trend was indeed turning around. Alas, over the last two weeks, as temps have returned to normal, so has the wearing of flip flops and bare legs likewise have returned, en masse. Also, even amongst the senior citizen performance-going (e.g. live theatre)demographic, which I see weekly, and from what I hear wore pantyhose much more frequently than younger women do, I see less than 50% and more like probably 30% of the senior women wearing PH. And this is to events where they are otherwise typically dressed to the nines. That says to me that they are likewise following the general populace. So Robin, I hope my observations do not reflect Actsensuous trends of the past several years, that my observations simply reflect that I live in a more casual than average part of the country, thus invalidating my theory as it applies to the rest o’ the nation. Also, if there is an uptick in Hollywood women wearing PH, that they indeed influence the general populace in this respect. I sure don’t see it, but I’d love to be proven wrong and see a strong reversal of the bare legs trend! I don’t watch enough TV/movies to say I’ve noticed a trend in less bare legs over the past couple of years, but I appreciate the women who are bucking the bare legs on some of the shows I do watch, such as “The Office” and even on the Weather Channel!
    Regards,
    AJ

  14. Reading your part about”Life Imitating Art” reminds me of clip from a film called NETWORK…

    It is quite an old film now but things are as true to day as they where when it was first made…

    Listen for the part when he says “Dress like the tube”… How true it is…

    Here is the link to the clip…

    Take Care

    Carl

  15. Robin
    Another outstanding posting from you.. Again your words speak volumes..

    “Yes” The entertainment industry can make or break pantyhose… It is a very very powerful medium..
    It can influence people very easily without them knowing it.. As i have said previously “Monkey see Monkey do”..

    After looking at all to reasons why people do and do not wear pantyhose..
    I also feel that something more is going on…
    The word is “Blurring of Genders”.. Society is turning very slowly more and more androgynous..
    Keeping to pantyhose.. I feel that one reason that less women wear pantyhose but there are who still do… Plus more and more men are wearing and want to wear pantyhose…

    I would like to add.. “Pantyhose and weddings”
    How bad it looks when the Bride, Family and guests all have bare legs…

    Finally not forgetting your truly outstanding Actsensuous pantyhose… There is nothing on planet earth like them…

    Take Care

    Carl

  16. As for the autoshow I would say that if a model was in a skirt it was 100% hosiery on their legs. Not one exception. Why this stands out is that the Motor City Autoshow (even last year) was devoid of any type of sexuality where presentation models were concerned and it was noted in many papers that the girls seemed to have more sex appeal this year. Wonder what it was? For those of you wanting equal time there were a few Kens to every 10 Barbie’s but rest assured PANTYHOSE was a feature and does work. Why? The Euro influence. Fiat owns Chrysler. They do regardless of what the Obama Admin and the rest of the politicos state. Ford is a global company and GM is coming out of their coma albeit very slowly and realizing that the rest of world promotes men and women in distinct ways. Everyone else got it a long time ago.

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