To wear pantyhose, or not to wear pantyhose, that is the question. Women the world over are torn between sporting the itchy, easily-torn accessories or going out bare-legged. While pantyhose may not be the most comfortable part of an outfit, they do bring an element of sophistication to an otherwise semi-formal ensemble. While most young women agree that pantyhose are outdated, there are certain occasions -- mostly conservative -- when wearing pantyhose can be appropriate.
While it's generally considered appropriate to be bare-legged in many work places, it's still a good idea to wear pantyhose for the interview. This is because you want to make a good first impression and the person interviewing you may be much older. Because pantyhose are generally considered old-fashioned, if you are bare legged your interviewer may unintentionally misjudge you based on what she considers to be your inappropriate attire.
When attending church or temple, it's always a good rule of thumb to be as conservative as possible. While it's usually completely acceptable to wear formal slacks to church, you can also wear skirts with pantyhose. Pantyhose aren't necessarily required, but they do add an element of formality that lacks in skirts without pantyhose. You should especially consider wearing pantyhose when attending church with people you are less familiar with -- such as your in-laws or your friends' family.
Whether it be an award ceremony put on by your co-workers, a first communion, a wedding or a funeral, pantyhose are the way to go. Again, pantyhose takes a dress to a level of conservatism that can't otherwise be achieved by a skirt alone. During highly formal ceremonies, it's always safer to be overdressed than underdressed.
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It's appropriate to wear pantyhose, even to semi-formal events, in cold weather. Many women find it uncomfortable being in very cold weather with nothing on their legs. For this reason, it's a good idea to wear stockings with skirts, even if you're simply going out to a semi-formal dinner with your partner or family.
Pantyhose Faux Pas
Not every event calls for pantyhose, but when you wear them, you should wear them well. Never wear pantyhose with open-toed heels. If you plan on wearing open-toed heels, go bare legged. Never choose a shade that clashes with your skin color. This includes nude shades that happen to be a shade or two different than your natural skin color. Try to get it exactly right or go for a black shade to match a black dress. If you are wearing a black dress, it's a good idea to choose a low denier (more sheer and less opaque) black pantyhose. If you're wearing a different colored dress, choose a higher denier black pantyhose.
Thomas McNish has been writing since 2005, contributing to Salon.com and other online publications. He is working toward his Associate of Science in computer information technology from Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla.