Category Archives: Fran Drescher in pantyhose
Readers of this blog have come to know and appreciate my column, Credit ‘wear’ Credit is Due, in which I heap loads of praise on some worthy celebrities for their devotion to wearing pantyhose.
And we’ve had some great ones, haven’t we? Ann Curry, Fran Drescher, The T-Mobile Girl (Carly Foulkes), Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Middleton, and Carrie Ann Inaba (for doing a complete 180 and finally wearing pantyhose on every episode of the game show “1 vs. 100,” which she hosted recently.)
Minus that headline, I’ve also glorified some other devoted pantyhose wearers, such as Anne Hathaway, Julianna Margulies, Milla Jovovich, Meredith Vieira, Katy Perry, Parker Posey, Linda Fiorentino, Kim Basinger, Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock. And there are many, many more who deserve such recognition.
Then, a couple of months ago, I introduced a whole different column. This one shines the spotlight on those celebs who completely miss the boat, just don’t get it, lack the finest sense of true femininity, and always miss opportunites to show some real professionalism, elegance or class.
So, for only the second time, I am handing out the coveted (NOT) ActSensuous Grizzly Award.
And this time, the hardware goes to one Stacy London.
That’s right, the co-host of TV’s “What Not to Wear,” a reality makeover show, in which London and her wonder boy sidekick, Clinton Kelly, use their superior brains and good taste (yes, I’m being sarcastic here) to completely trash the wardrobe of their guests and reinvent them in their own fashionwise images.
And, as many normal people have written in comments to online postings by or about these two “fashion experts,” they often do it in a completely arrogant and insulting manner.
As readers of this blog know, I despise so-called “fashion experts” who make universal rules and tell everyone what they can and cannot wear, as if their likes or dislikes about fashion trends are somehow more appropriate and obviously more sound than what anyone else on the planet thinks. It’s “fashion experts” like these two who’ve come up with the “rule” that one can never wear pantyhose with open-toe high heel dress shoes — a rule that, incidentally, is almost never followed by anyone with half a brain, and one that is standing up less and less to scrutiny everywhere.
So Stacy London, possibly the queen of all “fashion experts,” gets the second Grizzly Award (after Sarah Jessica Parker for obvious reasons)? But it’s not just because she’s a “fashion expert.” Rather, it’s because she’s on record as stating that she likes bare legs for all seasons. That, and she’s using her credentials and influence to further her own agenda — a personal dislike and distaste for pantyhose as a fashion accessory.
Here’s are a couple of excerpts from a 2008 segment of TODAY.com where London is a style contributor, answering readers’ questions about fashion:
Q: I was watching “What Not to Wear” when you appeared horrified by the idea of wearing hose. I know it’s not really the style now to wear nylons, but I have terrible spider veins on my white legs. What do I do now that skirts are knee-length and those veins are so obvious? Any advice?
A: First of all, the only hose I really hate are the semi-sheer ones in suntan or black. They look dated and remind me of a time when women would walk to work in their suits, those hose, white sweat socks and white leather aerobic sneakers. Blech. Might as well throw in a whole can of hairspray, too. Too ’80s! Stay away from anything that has a mid-range denier number that indicates the sheerness of the hose (10 is very sheer, 30 is semi-sheer and 50 is opaque).
I recommend a good self-tanner for the pale-leg situation, but also realize that won’t help with spider veins. Look for opaque tights and try them in a subtle color, like a burgundy or deep purple, when wearing a neutral-color knee-length skirt or suit. They will hide your legs and add a visual punch to your outfits!
Q: You indicated that pantyhose were no longer proper attire. You stated that in summer, go with bare legs and in winter, wear tights. I enjoy wearing pantyhose and want to know if I am old-fashioned if I wear them?
A: I did not mean to indicate in my last segment that pantyhose are no longer appropriate attire. My feeling is that those that are considered day sheer or mid-denier don’t look modern, but a bit dated. The denier number on hose shows you how sheer the stocking will be. The lower the number, the more sheer they are.
For example, a denier of 10 will be supersheer. These are great for evening, especially with a little shine or a back seam, as they look natural and simply enhance the legs for evening. A denier of 30, is what I have most trouble with; it’s neither here nor there. It’s not sheer. It’s not opaque. You know? It’s like a relationship: Either you’re in or you’re out. This wishy-washy sheerness dates an outfit to the ’70s or ’80s, when this style was most popular. But when you get to a denier of 50 or above, and the stocking is clearly opaque, I think this becomes a more modern and relevant look. A shiny tight like this can be used for day or evening.
OK, first, the country’s leading fashion expert comes out and blatantly tells women to go with bare legs in the summer? She also tells women to use self-tanner for pale legs? Seriously? Second, she recommends opague tights in a subtle color, “like burgundy or deep purple?” (Those colors are subtle?)
Hey, look, I respect others’ opinions, and the fact that London is considered a fashion expert, if that’s her best advice about leg coverings, then too bad for her and anyone who listens to her. While I completely disagree with London about everything she says about pantyhose, I’ve got no problem with her actually saying it. She’s entitled to say what she wants. Where I have a problem with her is on her point about denier ratings.
She specifically says that it’s pantyhose with a denier rating of 30 that she finds objectionable. She even cautions “If they come in an egg, you don’t want to wear them,” referring to the L’Eggs brand (owned by Hanes) of the 1970s and 80s. But she’s wrong. L’Eggs and their competitors (the most widely-known one being No Nonsense) made their pantyhose in a 20 denier rating.
As she said, denier rating determines how sheer the nylon fabric is. The lower the number, the more sheer the pantyhose. When I created ActSensuous in 2001, I looked into the 10 denier rating she referred to, and yes, they are super sheer, but the fabric is coarse and not very natural looking. They are not soft or silky at all, and while there may be a market for them, it’s not a very big one. You almost never see anyone wearing pantyhose like these. And, yes, denier ratings as high as 50 are available, but they are tights that are thick and, in my view, not suitable in some venues, such as a formal dinner engagement, nor for proper business attire.
No, my problem with London’s remarks are about the pantyhose of the 1970s and 80s being so awful. I loved pantyhose in the 70s and 80s, and I’ve never known of a 30 denier rating. But what do I know? The pantyhose of those decades were made almost entirely of 100 percent nylon fabric in a 20 denier, which is exactly why I made ActSensuous in a 20 denier. I think those are precisely the kind of pantyhose that true pantyhose lovers love. Those are the style, the look and the feel that we all miss. Maybe London meant to say a 20 denier rating is what is so awful.
By the way, ActSensuous has hundreds and hundreds of customers from all over the world, literally from Atlanta to Bangkok, from California to Denmark, from New York to New Zealand. We’re big in England, France and Australia. We have customers from China, Korea and Japan. I don’t think there is a country in which we don’t have customers. And they all tell us ActSensuous are the softest, sheerest and sexiest pantyhose they’ve worn. But, really, what do we all know? We’re not “fashion experts” like Stacy London and Boy Wonder.
In doing the research for this post, I ran across this forum on the Internet:
To the question: “What’s your honest opinion of Stacy London and Clinton Kelly of What Not to Wear? Do you like this Show …?, most answers were negative, but even some of the supportive ones came out against their obvious negative slant against pantyhose.
I particularly love this response:
… Why is (Clinton Kelly) telling me what all men find sexually alluring on women?
A lot of gay men know a lot about fashion, but to get such advice on that subject, I would like a 2nd & 3rd & straight opinion.
… These two complete followers of Brittany and Sarah Jessica Parker have agreed that they do not like pantyhose, (fine), however, they dictate to their audience and columns that, “No one likes them.” “Everyone looks bad in them.” Etc…
I think my legs are my best feature and every boyfriend I have ever had have all confessed to me, after that shyness period passed, that they were all ‘ga ga’ for me (girls in general) when wearing sheer silky pantyhose (hence my nickname, given to me by my current boyfriend sitting kind of to the side here & still a little shy) and tights, but mostly the sheer nude/tan/beige hues.
Lastly, the show was/is not only incorrect on so many levels, but caters to and from their mindset only. Falling into this show would have you most likely ending up as a follower. Be a trendsetter, not a follower. Be stylish. Be sexy. Be yourself. Not what they insist on.
Let me tell you something: this LindsaySheers gets it. Good for her.
You know, I want to like Stacy London.
She’s a beautiful and charismatic woman, she’s very intelligent, and she has accomplished great things in her life.
Before co-hosting “What Not to Wear,” she started her career as an editor at Vogue magazine, then, became a stylist for celebrities and designers, then, a fashion contributor on many Today show formats.
She is or has been a spokeswoman for several brands, including Revlon, Pantene, Woolite and Dr. Scholl’s® For Her Comfort Insoles.
Along with Kelly, she’s written a book, “Dress Your Best: The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That’s Right for Your Body.”
I actually felt a little bad when I named Sarah Jessica Parker the first recipient of the ActSensuous Grizzly Awards because, when researching her for the piece, I actually found several pictures of her wearing pantyhose. That’s right, the one celeb universally “credited” with creating the bare legs culture with her “Sex and the City” TV series and movies, actually wears pantyhose fairly regularly. It was more symbolic that SJP had to get the first Grizzly Award.
But I don’t have any reluctance about bestowing upon Stacy London the second Grizzly Award. I can’t find a single photo of her wearing pantyhose. Granted, some of the pics of her on the Internet are of low resolution and too small a file to really be able to tell if she’s wearing or not. But based on everything London says and stands for, I am pretty sure she is not wearing pantyhose in any of the pics on the Internet. Certainly, she comes across as if she hates pantyhose, thinks they are old-fashioned and irrelevant today.
I liked “What Not to Wear” when it debuted in 2002.
I watched quite a few episodes and I remember longing to see London wearing pantyhose with those beautiful dresses and high heels she always wore. But it never happened.
I thought that was such a missed opportunity on her part — a chance for her to show professionalism, class and elegance in the role she held. But, to her, it wasn’t a missed opportunity at all.
This lady just doesn’t believe in pantyhose … period.
Like LindsaySheers, I too was upset and offended when I saw a video of London and Boy Wonder “explaining how to wear pantyhose,” especially when they admitted the video was made only because they were getting so many inquiries from consumers about why they never talked about pantyhose. Then, when they said that nobody looks good in suntan pantyhose and no one should ever wear them, I realized that there is probably no one more deserving of the second ActSensuous Grizzly Award than Stacy London.
Here’s that video:
So, what do you think? Could there be a more worthy recipient of the ActSensuous Grizzly Awards than Stacy London?
UPDATE – Wednesday June 22:
Apparently, the joke’s on me. Neither during last week’s pilot, nor in tonight’s second episode of the new comedy, “Happily Divorced,” has Fran Drescher worn pantyhose – or even a dress for that matter.
I will say that I like the show. It is upbeat and funny, and the cast includes veteran comedic actors who deliver every line, expression and gesture with impeccable timing.
When I wrote this post last week before watching the pilot, I didn’t realize that Fran’s husband/ex-husband is played by John Michael Higgins, who is very funny. I really liked him as the psychiatrist in Ally McBeal.
So far, “I’m not (head tilt) comfortable …” with Fran or whomever is dressing her for “Happily Divorced.”
I don’t understand how the costume designer for this show can miss the mark on selling what Fran is famous for. If this person is going to continue to dress her in slacks and jeans, or maybe worse, dresses and skirts without pantyhose, I will stop watching.
Nevertheless, I think Fran still deserves credit “wear” credit is due for being such an ambassador for pantyhose during the early years of her career, and that ‘s really what this post is about.
What do you think? Does this change anything? Please take the poll at the end of this post.
Now, here’s what I wrote last Wednesday:
Tonight marks the debut of actress Fran Drescher’s latest TV project, Happily Divorced, premiering at 10:30 p.m. EST on TV Land (channel 304 on DirecTV), with a second showing directly afterward at 11 p.m.
The storyline features Drescher as Los Angeles florist Fran (naturally) adjusting to the world of dating after learning that her realtor husband of 18 years, Peter, is gay. The comedy is set around Fran juggling new relationships, while still living under the same roof as her ex-husband.
Apparently, Fran is told by Peter in the opening scene that he has finally realized that he is gay. Then, we fast forward six months and find that, while Fran and Peter are divorced, out of financial necessity, they are forced to continue sharing a house together.
I decided to write this post tonight before the show airs. I’m doing this for two reasons: First, I’m not a film critic, and that’s not what this blog is about; second, I don’t care if the show is any good or not. I like Fran Drescher because she’s funny, she’s beautiful, and more than anything else because she has always been a true pantyhose ambasador.
Now, perhaps, the 53-year-old film and television actress, comedian, screenwriter, director, producer, author, singer, talk show host, political lobbyist and health activist wouldn’t claim “pantyhose ambassador” among her credits, but I’ll bet that readers of this blog who are Fran Drescher fans definitely think of her as one of those who fight the good fight for pantyhose.
Drescher got her start with a small part as a dancer in the 1977 blockbuster movie, Saturday Night Fever, then had roles in other movies during the 1980s. But it was her role as Fran Fine on the TV sitcom, The Nanny, (1993-1999) that catapulted Drescher into stardom.
Created by Drescher and her then-husband (1978-1999) Peter Marc Jacobson, The Nanny, featured Fran as a whiny, nasal-voiced woman from Flushing, New York, who has just been fired from her job and abandoned by her boyfriend.
She ends up selling cosmetics in Manhattan until making a sales call at the home of a rich, widowed English Broadway producer. Fran is mistaken to be applying for the job of nanny to the widower’s three children and is hired for that purpose, but of course, the story is centered around the budding romance between Fran and the man.
Drescher was nominated for two Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress in a Comedy Television Series for her work in The Nanny.
I never watched the The Nanny, but I was aware of Drescher in that role, mostly for her beautiful short dresses, high heels and sheer pantyhose.
Among Drescher’s many other TV credits are appearances on Fame (1982), 9 to 5 (1983), Who’s the Boss (1985-1986), and Night Court (1986). More recently, she starred in (and produced) Living with Fran (2005-2007), and last year, was host (and producer) of the talk show, The Fran Drescher Show.
Far from just an entertainer, Drescher – a cancer survivor – is known as a healthcare advocate and is recognized for her work as a Public Diplomacy Envoy for Women’s Health Issues for the U.S. State Department.
She’s also an author, having written one book about her early struggles in Hollywood and subsequent rise to glory, and another about overcoming cancer.
Drescher is the recipient of the John Wayne Institute’s Woman of Achievement Award, the Gilda Award, The Hebrew University Humanitarian Award, and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Spirit of Achievment Award.
Most recently, she was honored with the City of Hope Spiritof Life Award, which was presented to her by U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton.
And on April 10, 2010, she was guest of honor at the “Dancer against Cancer” charity ball held at the Imperial Palace in Vienna, Austria, where she received the first “My Aid Award” for her accomplishments in support of cancer prevention and rehabilitation.
I like Fran Drescher because she created herself in a unique and entertaining fashion that endeared herself to millions of fans. Like many professional entertainers, she’s endured great hardships along the way, yet, she has always carried herself with grace and dignity.
Most of all, I respect and appreciate Fran Drescher for her devotion to dressing femininely, including always wearing dresses, high heels and sheer pantyhose.
I don’t know if she will continue that tradition in her new show, Happily Divorced.
I’m always afraid that those you can count on most to always do the right thing will all of a sudden change gears, meaning in this case, lose the pantyhose in favor of today’s popular “bear” legs movement.
But I seriously doubt that will be the case on Happily Divorced. Fran Drescher is much too classy for that to happen.
I wish Fran Drescher good luck and success with her new TV show.
Either way, I will always be a fan because of her dedication to always setting such a great example for dressing beautifully, especially during a time when so many women seem to want to look less feminine.
Hollywood has always blessed us with glamorous actresses who set the beauty standards of the day.
From the late 1960s through the mid-1990s, nylons were as much a staple in Hollywood as makeup. So while it wasn’t unusual (until now) to see a TV or movie star wearing nylons on screen, a few actresses actually distinquished themselves as what I am calling Pantyhose Goddesses.
Julie Newmar appeared on Broadway in the 1950s, and had many starring roles in television and movies during the 1960s, possibly none more auspicious than her role as Catwoman on the Batman TV series.
At 5’11, 135 pounds and with 37-inch legs, it wasn’t hard to notice Newmar, but she was more than just a Hollywood glam-girl. She did one thing that will link her to pantyhose forever – she designed her own, actually winning a patent for her design in the mid 1970s. She called the pantyhose “Nudemar” and marketed them during the 70s and 80s.
She said she invented them out of necessity:
“I have two drawers of pantyhose, but I don’t like what they do for my backside.
“It’s a simple improvement. I just gathered the back seam, but it gives a woman the firm fanny of a 12-year-old.”
I like the fact that she had two drawers full of pantyhose.
In the 1970s, Catherine Bach played the character, Daisy Duke on the Dukes of Hazzard TV series, wearing short, tight cut-off jean shorts, which would become known as “Daisy Dukes.” Apparently, network censors believed that the cut-offs were so short, that the the producers could get them on air only if Bach wore sheer-to-waist pantyhose with them, to ensure that the shorts didn’t reveal more of her than intended.
Bach certainly created a pantyhose identity for herself, if not an entire fashion trend.
But, perhaps, no actress aligned herself with pantyhose more than Joyce DeWitt during the 1970s TV series, Three’s Company. On its Web site, Central New York Promotions states:
“Being an avid pantyhose wearer, DeWitt is famous for refusing to do any scenes bare-legged. When shooting Three’s Company (1977), she always wore either pantyhose or tights, and refused to work bare-legged. Though this caused conflict between her and the show’s producers, it endeared her to hosiery manufacturers, and she became the spokeswoman for L’eggs pantyhose in the late 70s.”
That kind of professionalism, commitment to femininity and just plain good taste is very rare today. I liked Joyce DeWitt’s style back then, but having learned her story, I’m even more impressed with her now.
I wonder: What other actresses could or should have become Pantyhose Goddesses back in the day?
Again, during the 70s, 80, and 90s, pantyhose were the standard of class, elegance and glamour, so actresses wearing them on screen wasn’t at all unusual. Still, some stars just stood out from the crowd, and in the process, pantyhose gained cult-level status.
During the 80s and 90s, I have to say that my favorite stars who could have earned the title of Pantyhose Goddess were Kim Basinger, Michelle Pfeiffer, Linda Fiorentino and Geena Davis.
And then, there was Markie Post, Goldie Hawn, Shelly Long and Christina Applegate — all truly lovely and classy pantyhose babes.
Honorable mention could go to Jennifer Tilly, who was almost always seen in pantyhose and looked awesome in them; Fran Drescher, who really did align herself with pantyhose; and one Parker Posey, who actually was known as “Miss Pantyhose.” This was never more evident than in the role she played as a vampire in the third installment of Wesley Snipes’ Trinity trilogy.
Today more than ever, we need a Pantyhose Goddess in Hollywood – someone whose beauty, class and grace is so awe-inspiring that, when she permanently aligns herself with the wearing of pantyhose, it would make for an irresistable combination that would once again propel pantyhose to cult-type status.
She’s always been so classy, and, until I saw The Proposal, I didn’t think I’d ever see her not wearing pantyhose. She kinda let me down on this one, especially because her role in this movie was a corporate executive.
Even though she is beautiful and classy, I don’t really see Sandra in the Pantyhose Goddess role. I think deep down, she’s sees herself as kind of a tomboy.
I believe she’ll usually choose to wear pantyhose for the proper occasion, but I don’t think it would be for any reason other than just good sense.
I don’t know if she’s been around long enough, is sought-after enough or revered enough, but I would love to see Nicole take this title.
Lately, I never see her on screen not wearing pantyhose, and it would be hard to find someone who looks better in them than her.
I’ve always liked Nicole, and I think she’s got the class and grace to be the one.
The more I see her, the more I love her. She is beautiful, but she’s also powerful and edgy. And she’s here and now.
I love her in the Resident Evil movies, and I’ve seen her in many public appearances where she almost always is wearing pantyhose. Not only that, but she also is a professional model who more often than not is shot in sheer pantyhose.
Milla is classy and cool, and I think she deserves to be considered a true Pantyhose Goddess.
Catherine always carries herself with class and grace, and I never see her not wearing pantyhose.
There’s just something very captivating about her.
She has the beauty and the charisma to be the next Pantyhose Goddess, but also, she’s got the credibility and the relevance that it would take.
That’s right, Anna, the head alien visitor on the TV series, V.
If an evil overgrown lizard who’s out to take over Earth can look that incredible in pantyhose (and she is never not wearing them on the show) she gets my vote for Hollywood Pantyhose Goddess.
Update 2013: OK, I had based that opinion when this was written in 2010 only on what I saw of her in V, having never heard of her before that show. Since then, I’ve seen her on many a late night talk show where she wears beautiful dresses and heels, but no pantyhose … ever! And I’ve seen many photos of her during publicity appearances, also mostly “bear”-legged.
Just goes to show that at the end of the day, you really can’t trust an alien visitor trying to take over the world. Too bad because Baccarin certainly looks amazing in pantyhose. Yet, “The truth is out there:” She doesn’t look good at all “bear”-legged.
She might already have this title, and that would suit me just fine. As The Good Wife, she always dresses professionally and looks great in pantyhose. Better still, she most-often makes public appearances and guest spots on late night talk shows dressed the same way.
It really bothers me when the big stars, even when they wear pantyhose for their roles on screen, think they’re somehow obligated to follow the “trend” and go bare-legged out in public, especially, if it’s a talk show with a younger host who caters to a younger audience.
But that’s not the case with Julianna. She always dresses beautifully and does the right thing by wearing pantyhose. Maybe she should be the Hollywood Pantyhose Goddess. Maybe she already is.
Update 2013: All that might have been true when this was written in 2010, but it seems Margulies has allowed herself to be brainwashed by the masses, as I’ve seen her “bear”-legged a few times during public appearances. That seems to indicate that it’s the professionalism, class and good taste strictly of the costume designer and producers of The Good Wife and NOT Margulies herself who deserves the credit for her wearing pantyhose on the show.
Meredith already is a Pantyhose Goddess. Here’s why: Not only does she always wear pantyhose on TV shows and in public appearances, she actually has gone on record saying she “likes wearing pantyhose,” even admitting that she doesn’t wear anything underneath.
Meredith definitely deserves consideration for Pantyhose Goddess. The question is: Is she relevant enough today?
Obviously, Anne Hathaway and Zooey Deschanel deserve consideration for Hollywood Pantyhose Goddess. Of the two, Zooey is the more devoted and consistent wearer for all occasion and venues. I didn’t feature Anne and Zooey here only because I think they’re too obvious, and both already might be Hollywood Pantyhose Goddesses.
Finally, I’ve got to say that I like what I see from Megan Fox, Kate Moss, Jessica Alba and Kate Beckinsale. And, thankfully, there are many other young actresses out there who seem to understand the allure of pantyhose. Are they ready to become Hollywood’s next Pantyhose Goddesses? Perhaps.
OK, who’d I leave out? I know you have your favorites, and I’d like to hear who they are and what you have to say about them.