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Helpful Pantyhose Advice

September 4, 2012

In the 1980’s, when I was young, women wore pantyhose all the time.  These days, in the 2010’s, few women ever wear pantyhose.  However, one thing has remained constant.  Women have always insulted pantyhose and complained about them.  It seems that pantyhose have lived a universally negative existence.  I have heard very few women say that they like to wear them.  …but then, who talks about such things?

In this post, I will try to make suggestions to help address complaints people have about pantyhose.  You can still hate them, but I hope you will not have a horrible experience wearing pantyhose.

Shave Your Legs:
I believe the number one reason pantyhose itch is because they irritate hairs on the legs, feet, or abdomen.  Pantyhose, just like any stretchy garment, will irritate body hair if the garment slides around a lot over the hair.  If you shave your whole leg, including the parts under your skirt or pants that no one will see, I predict you will not complain about your pantyhose itching as much.  If you have a special occasion planned and you do not want to itch, I recommend shaving your legs the day before the event and then shave them again the day of the event.  Also, I have found that my pantyhose stay in place better on freshly shaved legs.

Wear The Right Size:
 If you do not wear the right size of pantyhose, they will not fit you well.  Let’s be honest with one another, some ladies refuse to buy “Queen” sized pantyhose because they are emotionally resistant to being queen-sized.  Therefore, they choose to be uncomfortable.  Some people need to buy larger sized pantyhose because of their height but not because of their body weight.  When you wear pantyhose that are too short for you, the legs are stretched like a slingshot that’s prepared to shoot the crotch toward your shoes.  Your waistband means well, but it cannot defeat such a foe!  On the other hand, if your pantyhose have longer legs than you do, expect the pantyhose to be bunched up around your ankles at the end of the day.  Wearing looser pantyhose because they feel more comfortable has the negative consequence of not staying put.

I have tried a few brands/styles of plus sized pantyhose.  I have found that Hanes Silk Reflections and Leggs Sheer Energy plus sizes hose are taller than I am.  I am over six feet tall (slightly less than two meters).  These plus sized brands are prone to “relaxing” and sliding down my legs.  The tops of these pantyhose stay in their place.  However, at the end of the day, I need to pull up the legs to evenly distribute the fabric.  I have heard this effect referred to as “puddling,” in reference to how water puddles at the bottom of a hill.

Buy Pantyhose With Spandex:
 The only reason your pantyhose are going to stay in place is because they are holding on to you.  As you move throughout the day, your pantyhose will become more loose on your body.   If your pantyhose do not have spandex (or Lycra), only the waistband will be helping to hold them up.  Spandex will help your pantyhose hold their shape and it will help them hold on to you from top to bottom.  I think the spandex makes the pantyhose feel silky and elegant as well.  I tend to wear hose with some degree of support in order to get additional spandex.  Some pantyhose have more spandex in the panty for shaping reasons, but less spandex in the legs.  This eliminates the slingshot effect.

Consider Control Top:
I considered titling this, “Avoid Sheer To Waist”.  I have found that if I wear sheer-to-waist pantyhose, they will not stay up as well as when I wear “regular panty” or control top pantyhose.  Normally, I do not wear control top (although I am starting to need to!!), but the “regular panty” version of my hose holds on to my body well.  The legs of my hose will start to sag around 3:00 PM, but the top stays in place.  I conducted an experiment recently where I bought some sheer-to-waist and used hand cream on my legs like usual.  The hose did not fall down terribly, but they felt like they were sagging from a half inch to one inch most of the day.  I had to pull them up before lunch time, and normally I do not have to pull my hose up at all.

Do Not Stretch Them Out:
If your pantyhose get stretched out, they will not hold on to you as well and they are more prone to sliding down.  I have found that my pantyhose do not fit the same after I have pulled them down in order to go to the restroom.  I have tried to come up with techniques to stretch them as little as possible in the restroom with some success.  However, I have found that prevention is better.  Sometimes, when I do not want to risk stretching out my pantyhose, I try to pee before getting dressed and then drink sparsely afterward.  Another possible solution that I have not tried is to bring a second pair of pantyhose and change into them half way through the day.  What I do know is that putting on pantyhose in a restroom stall is not easy!

Wear Clean Pantyhose:
This basically means do not put on stretched out pantyhose.  If you take off your pantyhose and put them on after your shower at the gym or the next day, etc.  They are not going to stay in place nearly as well as they did before you took them off.  Wash your pantyhose and they will return to a non-stretched-out state.  Always wearing a clean pair of pantyhose and will help ensure that they stay in place on your body.

Use Lotion:
Anyone who has ever put on their pantyhose right after their shower knows that damp legs make putting on pantyhose very difficult.  In the same way, putting lotion on your legs make the pantyhose stick to you.  It will make them more difficult to put on, but it also helps to keep them in place.  I have tried hand cream, but I have not proven to myself that it works any better than hand lotion, although it seems like it should.  I heard a woman say that she sometimes puts a thin layer of lotion on her legs after she put on her pantyhose.  I have not tried her approach.  Also, consider putting lotion on your upper legs after using the restroom before you pull your pantyhose back up.

I have tried a nerdy experiment with this where I put lotion on my right leg but not on my left.  Throughout the day, the left leg of my pantyhose sagged down more than the right.  In fact, the right leg appeared to stay in place all day.  (I was wearing a rather new pair (perhaps this was the fourth wearing) of Leggs Sheer Energy Active Support with a regular top (not control top)).

Wear New Pantyhose:
Pantyhose never fit as well nor feel as elegant as they do when they are brand new.  If you have a special event, do not bother with an old pair.  Wear a brand new pair and make the evening better.

Pick A Favorite Brand:
I am amazed at how some women will go to the store and just buy the cheapest pantyhose they see.  I have my favorite toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, instant oatmeal, etc.  Why would I not also have a favorite brand of pantyhose?  When your grandmother went pantyhose shopping, she saw some of the same brands you see today.  You can pick a favorite and it will likely be there for you later.  I have tried different brands/styles of pantyhose over the years and have grown to prefer L’eggs Sheer Energy Active Support.  Sometimes I feel like they are too thick, or do not come in enough colors, or are not tall enough for me.  However, every time I try something else, I feel like they are not as nice to wear as my favorites.  Try some variety and find your favorite!  If you wear them and they stay put, remember what brand they were — and tell the Internet!

Dry Pantyhose Inside Out:
I came up with a clever trick.  When I wash my pantyhose by hand, I turn them inside-out while washing them.  Hopefully that removes any skin cells, foot odor, etc.  Then, I hang them up to dry inside-out.  Later, when they are dry, I slide my arm into the leg and gently wipe them off before turning them right-side-out.  This technique helps me get any body hairs that might have been trapped inside of the pantyhose out before I put them on.   Because, I’ll be honest, I do not always shave my legs before I wear pantyhose.

Warning:
When I wash my pantyhose, I wash them with whatever bar of soap is in the shower.  Recently, I made an unfortunate discovery.  When I washed my pantyhose with some “Irish Spring” brand soap, the fabric became brittle and tore.  The first time it happened, I was wearing some hose that I had worn at least ten times over the previous year.  I suddenly got five tears/runs in one day.  Then it happened to the next pair I wore.  Then it happened to a new pair that had only been washed once.  Each time, I ended up with NUMEROUS runs in one wearing.  I do not know if Irish Spring soap is the problem or if it is a coincidence, but I offer this as a warning to the world.  I believe that I have washed my pantyhose, without incident, with “Zest” and “Lever 2000”.  I told my wife about this and she recommended that I wash my pantyhose with shampoo.  I have not tried that yet.  (I sure am glad I was wearing pants over my hose in these incidents and not under a skirt!!)

 I have struck out the previous paragraph because I have retried this experiment and had different results.  I do not know what happened to that pair that blew all apart, but Irish Spring Soap did not cause a later pair to become brittle.

Apologies:
I am sorry, but I do not know how to make the waistband stop rolling.  I have not found a consistent reason why mine rolls.  Some days it does, some days it does not.  I have a theory that the spandex in the waistband is failing as they age.  Some products claim to help avoid rolling.  Some low-rise pantyhose might not roll.  I have not tried them.  Probably the ultimate secret is to craft your body such that it only gets more narrow as you go up from your hips… but I have not tried that either.

Happy wearing!

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4 Comments
  1. mar permalink

    never, never wear panties under the pantyhose wich will for sure make them slide down. if you must wear panties, wear them on top wich actuly help hold them in place, however, then you again have to deal with pantielines. a little lotion on the bum and the right size will do the trick!

  2. Sheer Mike permalink

    Great helpful hints and insightful. I have had 2 knee replacement surgeries. After the second surgery I had been diagnosed with edema in my right leg as my entire leg swells. My doctor said I needed to wear full leg compression hosiery meaning thigh high stockings and/ or compression pantyhose. I was not too thrilled, but my wife an RN not only supported it but also encouraged me to wear, backing up the doctor. This was almost 5 months ago. I will also tell you I used to sneak and pull out used stockings of my mother’s when I was 10 and her used pantyhose when I was 13. I loved the feel. Though I felt like there was something wrong with me. I never wore on any regular basis, and went on to do sports and serve on the military. Would occasionally sneak in my wife’s drawer when alone and try wearing hers, but they were not a fit since she is 5-4 and I am 6-0.

    So now having to wear compression pantyhose while at first being awkward to wear on a regular basis, then to me became a blessing in disguise. While compression pantyhose are more difficult to put on and tighter than regular pantyhose, many made today are not the old rubber type hose our grannies wore of yesteryear. I do have 3pairs of opaque pantyhose but also wear Medicine Soft and Sheer pantyhose and have 3 pairs. They do help with the gradient compression and feel good. I also have bought about 4 pairs of regular pantyhose- 2 pairs of Hanes and another 2 of Actsensuous, an online retailer that sells only sheer to waist and are 100% nylon. Marketed to women to feel soft delicate and feminine. I have bought pairs for my wife too. I wear also a couple of pairs of Med Soft and Sheer Thigh Highs as well. I did start shaving my legs 3 months ago and love it. It looks like I will have to wear compression hosiery the rest of my life. I certainly don’t mind it. I now live the dream of wearing pantyhose and stockings daily. So happy having my wife’s support too. There is no turning back. I’m hooked and would be a wearer for life even if my medical issue went away. Thank you for your blog and yes I am happy wearing.

  3. You could have also titled this entry “Things I know because I am a cross dresser”. Yes, it is hard if not impossible to put pantyhose on wet legs. Yes, sheer to the waist often do not have adequate spandex or lycra to hold on.

    I wear pantyhose alll day and all night every day unless it is too hot and sticky or if I expect to be at a doctor’s office or changing in a public place such as a locker room. For many years I have bought most of my pantyhose from http://www.Silkies.com. This is a mail order service that sends supplies on a regular basis.

    For a long time I wore my panties outside my pantyhose since they would help keep the pantyhose up and in place. I found that pantyhose without adequate lycra or spandex would slide down my nylon panties. Now I make sure that my pantyhose have 15-25% lycra or spandex in the panty area and they do stay in place over nylon panties.

    I shower mostly in the evenings. Long ago I developed the practice of simply placing my pantyhose and panties on the floor of the shower or tub and then I would just soap up and shampoo as normal. Towards the end of the shower I would pick up my hose and hand squeeze them dry a few times before shutting the water. This always gets them clean and I just hang them from a chair or hanger to dry overnight. Since we have been empty nesters I have been wearing pantyhose all night long with a nightgown.

    It is nice to share my practices with a fellow traveler.

    Pat

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  1. Use Hand Lotion to Help Pantyhose Stay in Place | joeypress

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