Emily starts teaching this year & sent in the following question:
I want to wear skirts – I think they’re more professional looking for this level of my career, plus winter with it’s pants-mandatory weather will be here soon enough. But while I can’t imagine wearing skirts without hose would be a good move, I dread pulling on the nylon for such hot weather… Any ideas?
Congrats on your new job, Emily! And I do understand the fear of trying to put on hosiery in hot weather. But don’t let that stop you! Of course I have some tips on dealing with hosiery in hot weather.
Here’s part one, A Slip Of A Girl’s Ultimate Guide To Putting On Hose — which does deal with trying to get hosiery on over hot sticky legs.
First, you need to do all the proper grooming.
For legs, this means sloughing dead skin cells (a good old fashioned wet washcloth in a warm — not hot — shower or bath does the trick wonderfully without damaging your skin), and shaving (may I recommend the Schick® Quattro for Women®?)
For feet — and no, you can’t ignore them; too many pairs of hose have been ruined due to foul feet — the same removal of dead & rough skin is required. If a wet washcloth works for you, great; if not, a pumice stone is effective and long lasting. Also, you must take care of your toenails. This means they should be trimmed and the edges filed, so that they are smoooooth. Run your fingertips over, under and all around the nails to make sure there are no possible points for the nylon to snag on or uneven spots which will grind holes into the hose toes (reinforced or not, it can happen). And don’t forget to deal with those cuticles (make sure they are cute-icles!)
For hands, all of the same nail and cuticle issues apply. Remove all jewelry too. And, especially if you have long nails, hosiery gloves may be a good idea.
Next we address the 3 steps to help ease sliding stockings and pantyhose on. These steps, by the way, are also the proper way to layer fragrance to assure a longer lasting, prettier scent.
After you shower — before you slather on that body lotion you love so much — spritz or dab-on your favorite fragrance. This ensures that the fragrance is on your warm & receptive skin, not thwarted by the wax, oils etc, of the lotion.
Then you apply your body lotion (preferably in the same scent). Placing the lotion over your fragrance helps to seal it to your skin — but you’re not done yet!
Next you take your dusting powder puff, dip it into your body powder dish, and apply body powder to your lotion-covered skin. Just as your facial powder sets your makeup, the body powder sets the lotion. Ideally the body powder is the same scent at your perfume & body lotion; but if that’s not possible, then an unscented powder will do nearly as well. (You can also find finely milled, facial quality body powder in shades to match your skin tone too.)
Don’t worry, the three layers of scent will not have you reeking like the proverbial stinky French whore — just the opposite. Such layers ensure soft, slowly released, come-hither wafts of scent… Like a heavenly courtesan! (All of this, of course, applies to real fragrance, not icky cologne “body sprays” which are mostly alcohol & have scents which are harsh & short lived anyway.)
As for what this does for putting on stockings and pantyhose, well, as you can imagine, the powder not only sets the lotion, but any other moisture, allowing you to quickly and pleasurably, slide the hose over your silky smooth legs.
(In fact, your legs will feel so wonderful, you may hate to cover them up! Don’t worry, the powder sets the lotion, so your legs will be delightful whenever the hose is removed!)
If you are putting on thigh-highs (stockings which stay up with glue &/or elastic fibers at or near the welt, fold the tops down, with the elastic inside portion outside, away from the rest of the stocking, so that the elastic won’t drag against your leg or snag against the stocking as you’re putting it on.
Gather the nylon gently, rolling & “scooting” it in your fingers to sort of roll the leg down to the foot of the stocking until your thumbs reach the heel pocket, creating a shallow opening. Point your toes, and slide them into the opening. Adjust the hose so that the toes & heel are properly encased in the nylon foot.
If you are putting on pantyhose, repeat with other side before moving on.
Holding the remaining hose against your leg with your thumb inside and the pads of your fingertips on the outside, slowly inch the stocking back up your leg, pulling the hose snugly as you go — and, especially if they have seams, trying to keep them straight. (If putting on pantyhose, alternate legs to keep both sides relatively even.)
Once you get them all the way up, you may have to go back over the hose to make minor adjustments, gently pulling small sections at a time to get the nylon stocking and seams to lay properly against your leg. If you’re putting on thigh-high “stay-ups” hose, you now fold the elastic &/or glued side to your thigh. If you are putting on stockings, repeat the process on the other leg.
One other thing worth mentioning, when applying the body powder, dust it on evenly with the powder puff. Do not apply it from a shaker into your hand and then pat or smooth it onto your damp skin — you’ll end up with a very uneven application, with blotches of damp skin and cakes of powder. Ugh.
Also, especially if wearing black hosiery, be sure to run your hands along your legs before putting on the hose — just to be certain there are no cakes of powder which may leave white splotches on the nylon. (Besides, you’ll just enjoy the hell out of doing it.)
Should you find yourself with white powder marks on your hose, gently lift the nylon away from the skin and let it snap back — that should disengage it easily.
While I’ve written this for help with the summer heat issues of hosiery in mind, please note that this works equally wonderfully in all seasons. Everyone is damp after bathing, and can have the difficulty of putting on stockings or pantyhose. But also, when it is colder and more arid, the layering of powder over lotion helps seal the lotion to your skin, keeping the moisture in your skin alleviating dry skin issues.
So now there’s really no reason not to wear stockings!
Next I’ll discuss selecting the right hose for the season. Stay tunned!
Images from Sabrina Stockings.
UPDATE: Part two, on selecting hose, is here.