Monday, November 14, 2011

I'm Wearing Beyonce's Pantyhose

ROSEMARY HARRIS: Okay, don't get excited - they're not her OWN pantyhose but they are the same brand. Wolford's Neon 40. I know. This is the first time I've ever bought pantyhose that had a name and a model number, like a car. Before this there was just Control Top.But recently no fewer than three magazines I read had a mention of the Neon 40s. Beyonce wore them. Katy Perry loved them. Shut up!

Maybe it was an accident. Maybe I intentionally took the long way home walking up Madison Avenue conveniently past the Wolford Store. What harm could it do to look? I walked in. Generally I tend to avoid shops where the help is all at least six feet tall, razor-thin and with necks like giraffes. A bored Ukranian beauty asked "Ken I hep you?" I uttered the magic words - Neon 40. She didn't exactly smile, that would have required her to move her facial muscles, but there was a flicker of acknowledgement. Maybe I wasn't as clueless as I looked.

She produced the package. Talk about sticker shock - 45 bucks? I wasn't going to turn around and walk out, I'd made the mental commitment to these things, but as she placed the magic hose in a box, then a bag and tied the handles with a slip of ribbon I did find myself calculating how many pairs of another brand I could have bought at Strawberry or TJ Maxx.

I wore them to the Philharmonic with a short sequined dress. My husband said "Wow." I wore them again to a charity event with an ivory lace dress and a black jacket. Were the pantyhose inspiring me to dress more adventurously? People sought me out to say hello. Was it the pantyhose?

Sad to say taking them off they snagged on a bracelet or ring. Who knows. I will keep them and wear them with boots so the tiny speck doesn't show. But I will go back to the vacuous Oksana and go through the the ritual again.

Best $45 I've spent in a long time.Have you ever had a relatively minor article of clothing really change the way you look or feel?

RHYS BOWEN: 45 bucks for a pair of pantyhose? I think I would have passed out on the spot when I saw the sticker. But I'm so glad they made you feel like a million bucks. I'm normally Ms Sensible when it comes to clothes. Good brands but wait for end of season specials.

But one splurge I can remember was a Kate Spade purse. I was at a charity event and a woman who was clearly a mover and shaker, dripping in jewels, said to me. "Hey, we have the same purse." I didn't wipe the smile off my face all evening. And I feel so shallow repeating this!

JAN BROGAN: I have to know: What exactly did the $45 panty hose do for you? I pretty much hate all panty hose. But I've experienced let's call it a limited-euphoria from a pair of boots. Is that minor enough of a clothes article? And remember that Nailtique stuff they made for your nails? All her life my mother wanted long nails, and it actually worked. That product brought her so much happiness. We're all pretty shallow, Rhys!

DEBORAH CROMBIE: I want those pantyhose! (In England they call them "tights" which sounds much more flattering.) I have a really short (probably not age appropriate) sequined dress that I've been wearing as a tunic with leggings, but if Beyonce's pantyhose are miraculous, maybe I could get away with wearing it as a dress.As for personal experience, can we categorically exclude Spanx here? They do work, but they are SO ugly!

So if I have to stick to one article of clothing, and I don't want to veer too far down the underwear lane, I think I'd say a pair of NYDJs (Not Your Daughter's Jeans.) They really do wonders for your, uh, bum.

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Is it bad that I thought Beyonce's pantyhose meant they had extra room in the derriere? For me, the "small item, big payout" has to be a bag.

I am definitely a bag hag (as opposed to a shoe floo) and am willing to pay sometimes silly amounts of money for just the right one. I've been stopped in the street and asked about my Coach bags (I own the earlier, classic ones and avoid the modern mall- design versions like the plague.) I've been complimented by cognoscenti on my Angela Adams purses (made right here in Maine.) They don't have to be pricy - I have some hand-tooled Mexican tourist specials I picked up at the thrift store that make me smile whenever I wear them. Oh, and Deb? You have great legs. Keep rocking that short sequined dress.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Fine, fine, you know what's coming and Hallie is going to kill me, but I admit--I don't wear any other kind of tights but Wolford. (RO:YAY!!) They are INDESTRUCTIBLE. I used to wear L'Eggs, 3.95 or whatever, they lasted two days per pair. I moved up to Donna Karan, 20 bucks per, they got runs in ONE SECOND. Adios, Donna. Back to L'Eggs.

Then I found Oroblu. Life-changing, wonderful, but suddenly hard to find.

A pal said: Wolford. I said--not a chance on this planet I'm paying that much! Then I did. I'll never go back. I can assure you, cost-wise they are much cheaper than running through all the those L'eggs.(And remember, because of my job, I wear them every day.)

ROSEMARY: Thank heavens! I'm redeemed!!

JAN: So now, Ro and Hank, even though I have almost no use for panty hose in my daily life I'm still intrigued -- is it just that they are indestructible?? Or do they somehow make your legs look better?

LUCY BURDETTE: Okay, I'm with Jan here--absolutely no use for pantyhose. I probably still have a couple pair from fifteen years ago--I'd offer to pass them along, but they're most certainly L'Eggs. No fancy purses either, except for a little pearl beaded vintage number that's sadly starting to come unraveled. NYDJeans--I love those Debs! they fit, they come in petite, and I'm absolutely willing to splurge...phew. I was having trouble coming up with anything!

HALLIE EPHRON: Forty-five dollars for PANTYHOSE?? You couldn't pay me $45 to WEAR pantyhose! I might, just for the record, pay $45 a pound for really good ham. But that's not the question here, is it? I'm with Jan on great boots. When it's cold and nasty, it's the one part of me I can still see, and it's so nice when they're lovely to look at and keeping me warm. And I just splurged on my third pair of Christopher Blue jeans -- soft and shapely -- but I confess, I get them from their web site on sale.

ROSEMARY: Will look into those jeans...I buy any pair that TJ Maxx is selling as long as they make me look slim. I don't care whose name is on the pocket. And Hallie - how do you get the ham to stick to your legs? ;-) Shoe floo and bag hag - that's a whole post in and of itself. I'm a little of both but only on sale or at outlets.

The famous pantyhose - apparently even the ones that come in nude (or whatever the cooler version of that color is) make your legs look phenomenal. Sleek, dancer-like...I swear I could have gone on point in those babies. My posture was different. I was TALLER. Who knows...maybe I just don't get out much.

DEBS: Ro, you sold me, even though I haven't worn actual pantyhose (as opposed to black tights in the winter with boots) in about fifteen years. Santa, are you listening?


  1. Sometimes we need to buy something expensive in order to feel better. I don't know if it is the quality of the product or the image of it but I see it has great impact on you and this is the most important thing!

  2. I was at a consignment store and saw a Prada purse for only $45 once. I was about to buy it when my sensible side kicked in and said "This purse is ugly. Why would you want something ugly because it says Prada?" So I put it back.
    But I agree on boots. They make legs look fabulous.

  3. But if you amortize the investment... I think Crime Bake this weekend was the first time I've worn pantyhose in a year (also first time in a dress for that same year). At that rate, one pair of those pantyhose will last me the rest of my life.

    But every time I wear boots (well, not the rubber ones) I feel like I'm channeling my inner Mrs. Peel.

  4. Ooooh, I would have been a lot happier if they were 9.95...but I get your point.

    Lest anyone think I'm a budding Kardashian I wore a brocade coat over the dress - Thrift Shop in Mystic, CT.The coat cost less than the pantyhose.

  5. Ro, that's that's supposed to be the secret to being stylish (as opposed to merely fashionable.) Rocking your one expensive article with your TJ Maxx finds.

    Do any of you know Vermont writer Sarah Stewart Taylor? She invested in a pair of green Frye boots. I nearly passed out when she told me what they cost - something like $400. But she wore them everywhere, and they made every outfit, even jeans and flannel shirts, look like she was in a designer original.

  6. Julia, I love Sarah Stewart Taylor, and she would look fantastic in anything. But yes, the Frye boots would be very cool.

    I invested in a pair of Ralph Lauren riding boots this fall (at DSW price) and will wear them with everything until they fall apart.

  7. Hmmm, I want a pair of those green Frye boots--were they short or long?

  8. Do you remember that Friends episode when Monica buys the $400 boots and then they hurt her so much she can't walk? But she keeps wearing them because they cost so much.

    I've been through that stage and passed it and now something has to feel wonderful as well as look wonderful.

  9. I admit. I went to the Wolford website, even though I suspected they don't have a Reubensesque line.

    About 15 years and 50 pounds ago, I found a pair of black suede lace-up Manolo Blahnik boots for $250 at Century 21. They fit, looked great, and I was thrilled with my find.

    But you can take the girl out of farm country but not the farm country out of the girl.

    Buyer's Remorse hit me like a piano heaved from a 12-story window. I returned those lovely boots within 45 minutes of purchase. The clerk said something to the effect of, "Are you nuts?"

    Now I would have kept them. Talk about remorse. :)

  10. Not so sure about panyhose, but I'd pay good money for excellent tights (American use of the word)--love the winter tights!

    Yesterday, I had my mad materialistic moment. Anyone know and love Hobo wallets? LOVE THEM. They're indestructible, and the best thing about them is that they're roomy enough for my phone, a lipstick, a pen, and copious paper bits. It's my purse.

    Yesterday I saw one in my favorite color, teal -- aaaahhh, harps from heaven -- and I had to have it. Had. To. Have. It.

    128 bucks of having to have it for a wallet? Yep indeedy.

  11. Love the description Rhonda--like a piano heaved from a 12-story window:).

    Sheila, your dress was lovely by the way.

    Lisa, don't know Hobo wallets--will have to take a look...

    Rhys, I'm with you--whatever it is has to be comfortable!!!!!

  12. I rarely splurge on things for myself, either, but I did have a momentary lapse and bought a Dooney Burke handbag on sale! Only problem is, it was so pricey I hate to use it, so now it sits in my closet while I use $25 purses I buy at Ross or Marshall's. But we need to treat ourselves once in a while, ladies!

  13. NO, Anna--look into my eyes. USE IT USE IT USE IT!!! The only bad thing about buying something expensive that you love--is NOT using it. It's only good--if you use it.

    Promise me. xo

  14. Anna, my mother used to do that, especially with beautiful gifts. "Oh, no. I can't use that. I'm saving it." But she'd never get around to using them. They languished in a drawer or a closet.

  15. I'm generally a cheap person. Doesn't mean that I don't spend money where it's due or that I skimp on a few dollars 'cause I know a friend or whomever is good for it. If something is worth the price, I'm going for it, but I have a tendency to avoid big brand names or what have you. I just find that a lot of the time the quality isn't worth the price. After all, it's just a name of some wealthy person that you're wearing on your person. What's the point?
    Prestige costs a lot. It doesn't make you more adventurous or daring, it's your own thought process that gives said object that power.

  16. YES HANK...use it or lose it! That's why i've moved the nice china to the front of the cabinet and the "good" shoes to the front of the closet. Don"t postpone joy!

  17. I love that line--"Don't postpone joy!" Makes a great motto for life.

    I'm with Rhys, though. It's got to be comfortable or I won't buy it. I'm the one woman I know who hates to go shopping for clothes & accessories. (A bookstore or stationery store provokes a different attitude, though.)