In earlier days, around 1920s, it was expected that women cover their legs in public including their ankles, main exemption being sports and entertainment. So, a woman would start dressing up by squeezing into a girdle or slipping on a garter belt. Dressing up, for a party or just going to the market, would mean wearing such uncomfortable articles of clothing.
Allen Gant Sr., owner of textile company Glen Raven Mills, once asked his wife “How about we made a pair of panties and fastened the stockings to it”? The wife stitched some crude garments together, tried them on, and handed them over to her husband. Allen, then with the help of his colleagues Arthur Rogers, J.O. Austin, and Irvin Combs, developed what they called the “Panti-Legs”. Their product, the world’s first pantyhose, began being sold in department stores in 1959. But not so surprisingly the pantyhose didn’t start to sell off the rack immediately. Though the idea was novel and the product convenient, it actually started selling once women started wearing the miniskirt, that is, in the mid-1960s. Called by various names in different states, for example, “sheer tights” in England, or “tights” or “leggings” in America, the pantyhose proved to be one versatile garment.
The pantyhose got popular as the skirts got shorter, and it is a great fit for the modern woman. And, when iconic models like Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy
donned their mini-skirts with the pantyhose, the demand for pantyhose just exploded. Made of nylon or other fibers blended with nylon, the pantyhose is designed to be attractive, hide physical imperfections such as blemishes, scars, or varicose veins. Also, its quite effective in hiding visible pantylines and ease chafing of the feet because of footwear
or between the thighs. It is worn as a part of formal attire and for fashion as well. Pantyhose is sometimes used in educational institutes as part of their uniform to be worn with skirts.
In modern days, pantyhose is made of nylon and mixture of spandex which provides elasticity. It can also be made of silk, cotton or even wool. There are variations, such as, the fishnet pantyhose. A new variation called the control top pantyhose boosts a slimmer figure. You can wear one with dresses, shorts and skirts. To flaunt the pantyhose, make sure the dress is not too short or too revealing in the neck. Pair a pale pantyhose with a neutral colored skirt and a simple top or blazer or cardigan.
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