It's just too hot. I have given up wearing pantyhose. Is that okay?
As the summer approaches, I am often asked that question. More businesses have embraced casual dress policies, and many women have stopped wearing hose.
The answer is complicated. Hosiery provides a more finished look, and you wouldn’t wear a conservative business suit without hose. Yet in today’s business casual environment, wearing pantyhose is not always necessary.
Women need to understand the importance of projecting a professional image, and then determine what’s suitable for them and their workplace. Here are five items to consider:
• If you are wearing pants or a pantsuit to the office, your legs are not exposed and the question of whether or not to wear hose becomes moot.
• Your legs need to be in good condition to pull off not wearing hosiery. If you have blemishes, scars or varicose veins, pantyhose will diminish their appearance. Also consider the contrast between your skin color and your clothing. A stark contrast will draw attention to your legs. Pantyhose can diminish the contrast.
• Wearing pantyhose will not fix an outfit that should never be worn to the workplace. During the summer people tend to be very casual with their clothing choices. Keep belly shirts, shorts, and see-through tops at home.
• Is your skirt an appropriate length? If your skirt is very short, bare legs create a very sexy and inappropriate look for the workplace.
• Consult your company’s dress code. Your company or job may require the wearing of hosiery.
Pachter’s seminars and coaching services on business etiquette or professional presence provide additional answers about business dress. Contact Joyce at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
*This is a reposting of last year’s blog on this topic with some additions. I continue to be asked often about pantyhose in the workplace.