JoGeek, Have I Got Some Nylons for You

The other day, JoGeek wrote a post about how plus-size shopping bitch sessions inevitably involve the short people complaining that everything’s too long, the tall people explaining that everything’s too short, the pear-shaped complaining about gapping waists, the apple-shaped complaining about saggy butts, etc. Bottom line, it sucks for everyone. Except perhaps plus-size fit models, but I suspect even they have their gripes.

Having said all that, I went to Walgreen’s last night to buy some nude colored nylons to wear with the Igigi dress I finally got altered to fit me. I bought two pairs of L’Eggs Silken Mist, in Q and Q+, because the size chart said the former would fit someone 5’2″ and up to 190 lbs., the latter someone 5’2″ and… a little over 200, I think. Since I hover right around 190 and have Thighs of Doom, I grabbed both, figuring one would have to fit.

Here’s what I didn’t anticipate (please forgive shitty webcam photo):

That’s right, folks. THE PANTYHOSE COME UP TO MY FACE. (I accidentally held them about 2 inches off the ground in that shot, but while touching the floor, they still come up to my mouth.) When I took them out of the package, I actually screamed, “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?” out loud, and demanded that Al stop peeing and come out of the bathroom immediately to see the ridiculousness. I did not even bother trying them on, and instead, as you can see, just went with a pair of black hose I already had.

This? Is the kind of thing that makes short chicks say, “Do they think we’re all amazons?!?” I mean, I know tall women have problems with lots of other brands only coming up to their knees, so I’m not claiming this as an exclusive Short Fatty Problem. But seriously, for fuck’s sake. Says right there on the package that this will fit a 5’2″ woman. NOT SO FREAKIN’ MUCH, L’EGGS.

JoGeek, if you’re going to be in Chicago any time soon and want an unworn pair of nude hose, I can totally hook you up.

(Oh, and Al took a couple pics of me to show off the newly altered dress–you can at least see the new length above. If they’re any good, I’ll post them.)

96 thoughts on “JoGeek, Have I Got Some Nylons for You”

  1. Um, Kate? Just playing devil’s advocate here, but they come up to the face of someone whose legs are about four inches in diameter! Hose are knit, so they stretch, and when the stretch they’ll lose in length what they gain in width. Yeah, these look pretty silly now, and they may still look pretty silly when you put them on, but then again they may not. I say try ’em on just to see what happens.

    Still, super cool dress. :-)

  2. Hose are knit, so they stretch, and when the stretch they’ll lose in length what they gain in width.

    I actually have worn hose before, O.C. ;) The ones that come up to my armpits can fit without being too long. Usually. These? No.

    Also, having Thighs of Doom, let me tell you–they don’t just keep expanding in width.

  3. Clearly there was a translation error on the package. They mean that the NYLONS are 5’2″.

  4. Yeah, I’m on the other end of the spectrum and feel the same pain — at six feet tall and about 320 lbs, with THIGHS OF DOOM, hose simply do not fit. Ever. I’ve taken to wearing stockings with garters, because at least then I have a shot at wearing them without having to claw at them all night in a desperate attempt to keep the crotch from being somewhere near my mid-thigh. I’ve actually found that thigh-highs with garters are shockingly comfortable, compared to hose — however, stay-up thigh highs dig into thighs and hurt like hell. Garters are a way better choice if your thighs are squishy.

  5. They’re not defective. They’re just a brand that runs long. Other brands run short. Lane Bryant tights actually give ME crotch sag, and Land’s End tights fit like they were made for me–which means they probably wouldn’t fit someone much taller. Eddie Bauer tights run long. Etc.

    As for drugstore nylongs, you pays your money, you takes your chances. I just wish they ruled out short chicks on the package, as many brands’ size ranges do.

  6. Jeanette, I feel your pain. I’m 5’9, 330 and have thighs so thunderous they should be classified as weapons of mass destruction. I avoid pantyhose like the plague and wear knee his and thigh highs. Luckily some catalogs do offer pantyhose in extended sizes so I can guarantee that I’m able to find some to fit me if I ever have to wear them.

  7. And this is why I never wear hose or tights, cotton lycra leggins sometimes. It is also why I will never work in a formal dress environment, unless you mean formal dresses since those can go tot he floor and never show my legs.

  8. Can I just bitch about nylons in general? I’ve actually never had a problem finding ones that fit, but I still loathe them. They slip down, they twist around, and most of all, they TEAR. It takes something very formal combined with chilly weather to get me into them, since odds are there’ll be a rip within 30 minutes.

  9. I’ve always hated pantyhose, but never got to the thousand-burning-suns level until a brand new pair exploded into a cloud of filaments as I put them on – and I was thin at the time. How on earth these things are categorized as actual clothing I’ll never know.

  10. Sizing is absurd. Just, in general. Of everything.
    I laughed my ass off at that picture though.

    I skate on a roller derby league so I wear tights all the time (to prevent friction burns when I fall, and also because it keeps me cooler– sweat dissipates and evaporates better through nylon than on bare skin, in my experience). I won’t wear cheap pantyhose anymore, not because it upsets me when my kneepad Velcro shreds them, but more because it slows me down when my knees won’t unbend because the Velcro on the backs is all filled with nylon shreds.

    But even cute, substantial tights, I will only wear with shorts over them, so they don’t fall down. The shorts were originally so my ass wouldn’t show, but I’ve come to appreciate how useful they are at keeping the crotch of tights up near my actual crotch. (Bike shorts, or boy-short underpants, or hot pants, usually under a short skirt, are more or less a uniform.)

    I second the comment of someone above who was talking about garters. A really good garterbelt is worth solid money, yo, just for the aggravation it saves. The kind with real metal garter clips?
    Strap that sucker on and clip your stockings on and bingo! Comfortable as all get-out. I don’t know why women abandoned that fashion. Then again, I still think steel-boned corsets are a great idea, so I may be in the minority. (Seriously! So comfy!)

    Hint, though– wear your underpants (or hot pants, if you’re roller-derby-fashion-brainwashed, like me– I cannot wear a skirt without automatically assuming that it’s going to go up at some point) OVER the whole shebang, so you can go pee without unhooking your stockings.

  11. How on earth these things are categorized as actual clothing I’ll never know.

    Or why on earth these things, prone to explosions into clouds of filaments, are considered polished and modest, such that my bare legs would be such a shock!

  12. A comment and a question:

    I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to make plus-sized pantyhose really long. Long pantyhose legs are MUCH more prone to getting twisted around your leg. I found a pair of tights a few months ago where the legs looked quite short coming out of the package, but the material was thick and REALLY stretchy, so they fit like a dream (I’m 5’8″).

    To those of you who wear thigh-highs w/ garters: how do you avoid inner-thigh chafing?

  13. Pantyhose are the devil’s undergarment. I too have thighs of doom – seriously, most of my friends have waists of the same circumference of my thighs – and all pantyhose seemed designed to torture them. I’m also blessed with very short legs on a long torso (I’m 5’7″ but my legs are those of a woman about 5’2″) so it’s a fun game to decipher the charts. I tried garter//thigh highs but the chafing was UNBEARABLE. So, my solution is naked legs and I use Body Glide anti chafe (my marathon-er sister recommended it) and it works like a charm. Or, you know, I suffer. I think thinner women have trouble with them too though. Fun for all. ;-)

  14. Yeah, I’m around 5’2″ and almost without fail if I buy more than one pkg. of tights of the same size and brand one of them will be that tall and one of them will not pull up past my upper thighs giving the worst sagging crotch a person could have. wtf is up with that grading?

  15. The REAL subversive refuses to wear them, ever. A bottle of self-tan is cheaper! One day I realized the trick to slingbacks staying on my heel was NEVER to wear them with pantyhose, so I started going barelegged and on day thought, HEY. Screw ’em. I only wear them in “emergencies.” Like funerals.

    Besides, if anyone complains you can say that it’s very “New York,” and that you’re just “hip.” New Yorkers do NOT wear pantyhose, even to work!


    I bought some panty hose, they were guaranteed to please,
    But the waist came to my elbows and the toes came to my knees,

    One size fits all,
    But it don’t fit me,
    ‘Cause I’m not bigger than Godzilla,
    Or smaller than E.T.

    Two and two are four, four and four are eight,
    If I don’t get out of this underwear, my hips’ll strangulate,
    Ons size fits all, etc.

    One and one are two, two and four are six,
    My socks are made for ankles the circumference of sticks,
    One size fits all,

    Three and three are six, six and four are ten,
    I’d like to find some women’s clothes that weren’t designed by men,
    One size fits all, etc.

  17. I don’t wear hose often. I have 2 pair of high end hose, one is a very fine diamond pattern, the other that are a few years old and have stained feet from getting caught in the rain with dark leather shoes. Both fit just fine and hopefully the newer pair will live to be as old as the older pair (at least 4 years old, maybe older).

    Unfortunately I haven’t had such luck with tights. It seems that 5’4″ 200 lbs with thunder thighs is not what tights manufacturers were planning on wearing their product.

    Until this winter when I found tights (DKNY in the plus petite size) that don’t pinch my toes, don’t go less-than-opaque across the thighs, don’t ride down at the crotch and don’t come all the way up to my armpits (which I wouldn’t mind so much if they didn’t always fall down to my waist the first time I sit down).

  18. Hm….I wear thigh-highs and garters, and I’ve never chafed in them. I’m not sure why, so I sadly cannot offer solutions.

    I started wearing thigh highs and knee highs after a wreck I was in during my senior year of high school. My now ex-boyfriend and I were coming back from his best friend’s wedding, and a car t-boned us as we were pulling out into an intersection. The force of the impact was enough to jerk me around in my seat, causing the seat belt to rake across my pantyhose, which gave me a nasty 1st (almost 2nd) degree burn across my lower abdomen. I also received a lovely smiley face bruise in the same area, and my sternum was strained (and to this day the cartilage in it will pop).

    So as you can see, I have a pretty strong aversion to pantyhose…..

  19. My legs are short enough that thigh highs come almost all the way to my I don’t get any chafing…it is just like panty hose but no panty.

    One thing we did in high school for band was to put deodorant between our legs to help prevent friction…you can always try that…

  20. “which gave me a nasty 1st (almost 2nd) degree burn across my lower abdomen”

    This is getting into Highly Unlikely Scenario Land, but I read that you shouldn’t wear pantyhose if you wanted to increase your chances of surviving a plane crash, because they’re made of about the most flammable material out there, and would just melt into your skin. Carry on…

  21. Screw pantyhose! I am a 5’10, 285-pound apple (I’d sweep every county fair that I entered, hah!), and the measurements of my waist change so much between standing and sitting that I just got sick of dealing with it. Also, crotch droop is a terrible affliction. Mostly, if I’m not wearing dressy shoes, I go au naturel with my abundant but blonde leg hair.

    I have ONE pair of super-pale opaque tights that I use when I must have that totally clean-leg look for burlesque (and I inherited those, and the person cut off the tag, so I don’t even know where they came from, gah!). They fit really well, but I dread the day when they get a run or split in the middle from one too many fan kicks, so I don’t wear them often.

    USUALLY I go for the stockings with garter belt. Must get a new belt soon, but I’ve been wearing stockings all the time, most of ’em cut from “plus-size” tights that would otherwise give me sausage waist, and not in a tasty way. Yay for stockings! It helps that I rock the visible garters full out. Also, I recently cut off the legs of a old pair of long-johns, stitched up the inseam to make them fit more closely, and voila! thermal stockings! Heh. So much Boston-winter ridiculous. Next winter I am adding contrasting plaid flannel trim along the top edge, and handcrafting a plaid flannel garter belt. I’m thinking of doing a burlesque number to the Monty Python “I’m a Lumberjack” song. or “Baby It’s Cold Out”

    Chub rub? I slather on some baby ointment, keeps the rub at bay.

    Yay for stockings! Oh, wait, I said that already.

  22. I concur, yay for stockings! I too am short enough that the thigh-high kind with the little rubbery strips inside come up to my hips, and voila, no rub and no yanking of crotch! And I’m not sure how good their size range is, but I was thrilled to discover that Hue actually has opaque black thigh-highs that do a lovely job of staying up, as opaque black tights have always been one of my staples.

    Bigmovesbabe, I love the thermal stockings idea!

  23. I just have to say that you are all hilarious. “The NYLONS are 5’2” “; “Pantyhose are the devil’s undergarment.” Hahahahahaha. They are the devil’s undergarments, though. Last year for the first time I actually went out and bought a dress for my husband’s company Christmas party. I even got my hair done (people tend to go a little overboard for this party so I thought I’d go along with it this one time and I was kind of looking forward to it). I bought some nice new nylons too, and left them in the package. I open them up the night of the party and go to put them on, and there is a huge run and gaping hole in them, which I swear had to be there even before I opened them because I was super-careful. There’s, I don’t know, 10 bucks I’ll never see again. And they would probably have been one or more of saggy, uncomfortable, chafing, rolling down at the waist, or snagged even if they hadn’t been ruined out of the package. When you spend a ridiculous $30 or more on a bra, at least it performs a function and you can expect to get more than one wearing out of it.

    When I wear nylons or tights to church in the summer, my mother-in-law will invariably ask “Aren’t you burning up in those?” But I am actually more miserable with bare legs. If it’s not the chafing, it’s the sweating. I can make Bodyglide work to stave off chafing when I run in skorts in the summer, but the sweating is still an issue and while OK during a workout, just makes me absolutely miserable on an occasion when I would rather not be sweating. (Note to self: next time you feel like you can’t get warm and are considering blaming it on the still-cold weather, try to be grateful because you really hate summer and you’ll be bitching about that in no time.)

    Thigh-highs always roll down on me (I did try the non-stay-up ones and they did too… maybe it was just the brand I bought but I ended up throwing them across the room in frustration) so I don’t wear them. Also the suggestion I am about to make would be getting possibly into the realm of a ridiculous number of garments for those of you who do. However, I recommend these particular shorts by Hanes for going bare-legged (I think they’re these… I got mine at Target but they are “nude” colored; unfortunately they are called a “thigh slimmer,” gag, and only go up to XXL, tho sized fairly generously IME) and maybe they’d work with garters and stockings also. They are cool, breathable, slippery (so non-chafing) and really comfortable. If you have tried Spanx and hated them, like I did (those fuckers were just expensive hemmed pantyhose and were sooo uncomfortable and binding–YMMV of course)

  24. Whoops, guess I should finish… If you have tried Spanx and hated them, maybe these would be a good alternative. There. :)

  25. If you can find “low-rise” hose, they fit us shorties! Woot!

    Otherwise, thigh-highs or stockings if you don’t want hose boob.

  26. “I think thinner women have trouble with them too though. Fun for all.”

    No kidding. I’m 5’0″, wear a size 4, and can’t stand those damned things. Half the time they don’t fit. The height-weight chart indicates that they should fit the range of 4’10″/90 lbs up to 5’4″/130 lbs. I should be smack dab in the middle, right? Yeah, not so much. I’ve got tights that have so much excess that they bag around my ankles, and nylons where there’s not enough length in the leg to put the crotch where it belongs. I’m 5-frigging-feet tall! I should not have to worry about crotch sag!

    So then the ones that fit in the legs: they always make me itch. Also, if I was unlucky and not paying close attention, inevitably I will have purchased the control top style. Thus my lower abdomen will be compressed in what feels like sausage casing and the displaced abdominal fat creates a new spare tire around the waist, which is almost always visible under my intended clothing. And as I’m trying to get the leg fabric evenly stretched so there aren’t any darker/lighter patches, I’ve got a 50/50 chance of putting my index finger through the fabric and starting a new hole. Evil torture devices, they are. They must be a product of the patriarchy.

  27. Hilarious picture!

    So I’m 6 feet and weigh about 360: which size should I order from here? There seems to be major disconnect in the flow of heights and weights across that chart!

    They’d probably end up taller than me anyhow.

  28. Oh, the joys of nylons. Stumbled upon your blog and had to giggle. This is exactly why I avoid wearing them. I hate it when the crotch slides down to my knees. UGH… Thanks for the :D

  29. Hilarious picture!

    And I just realized I forgot to mention I’m wearing heels in that shot.

    Don’t know what to tell you about the JMS tights, Ydnic. Any tall women out there have suggestions?

  30. I very rarely wear pantyhose, but I wear lots of tights in the winter because I’ve given up on finding dress pants that fit and are flattering, which means skirts, tights and boots in the winter. And I hate them more every day. Either they’re too small and pull down at the crotch, or too big and end up sliding off all day. And there’s no sizing constistency! I bought two pairs of X-Large tights from the same brand, and one I couldn’t even pull on, and the other fell off my waist as soon as I put them on… aaah! SO frustrating.

  31. Oh, and Spacedcowgirl, we don’t have Target here but I will look for those at walmart! I’ve been looking for something to help me with chafing in the summer.

  32. Maggie’s Organics – – they make socks and tights in the softest organic cotton. Worth every penny. I found mine at Whole Foods but they’re also online:

    As for the thigh high stockings – – yay! If you don’t like the binding on the stay-up kind you’re actually lucky because the traditional garter stockings are cheaper.

    They’re perfect hose for us cheapskates – – one gets a run and you still have the other one, hah! Buy a bunch of the same color and you’re in business.

    Still, bare legs are the way to go.

  33. Put me down as another in the “doesn’t wear pantyhose” crowd. Most of the time, I don’t wear skirts (jeans or trousers all the way for me, much more practical and much more likely to have pockets), and the shoes I wear are slip-ons in summer, and in winter they’re boots – usually ankle boots. So in summer, I don’t need to wear anything other than the shoes. In winter, I’m wearing socks under my boots. If it gets *really* cold in winter, I’ll put on a pair of tights (I have a few pairs, all black, all opaque) or a pair of leggings under my jeans/trousers (plus, of course, the boots and socks).

    If I really, desperately have to wear a skirt (aargh, washing day, for example) and I have to wear something below it, I’ll wear black knee-high stockings (or some of my black knee-high socks). I can get away with that because I’m 5’2″, and most of my skirts are apparently designed for people who are a good 6″ taller than I.

  34. We seriously need a message board. I keep coming into stuff in my life that I want to chat about and think the people here would be perfect chat-a-tiers (I have no idea where that word came from) but there’s no relevant post at the moment or whatever.

    And how am I supposed to live my life without the constant analysis and dissection by you lot?

    And on the topic of nylons – wear pants. Pants that you can get away with wearing dress socks under. Because socks are nice. Nylons are evil. They are like the yin and yang of cloth foot coverings.

  35. Becky, I did see what looked like an “updated” version on so hopefully you’ll have luck. I hope they didn’t make them too squeezy or otherwise uncomfortable if the design has changed. Anyway, I think they’re worth a shot. I probably would have killed someone if I hadn’t had those when we went to Disney World last July. >:-{

  36. And on the topic of nylons – wear pants. Pants that you can get away with wearing dress socks under. Because socks are nice. Nylons are evil. They are like the yin and yang of cloth foot coverings.

    I just want to make this clear that this is my philosophy, and not something I would force on someone it didn’t work for.

  37. God that sounded mean…
    it was a compliment! I swear!!

    Geeze, Joy, you’re such a jerk! See if we let you ’round these parts again!


  38. and not something I would force on someone it didn’t work for

    Or even force on someone it did work for, because forcing things is mean.

    And now I’ve triple commented! Do I get a prize?

  39. Gah!

    I so would wear trousers if I could, but sadly my entire shape apparently does not exist, or at least should not exist, on the face of the planet. I am 5 ft 2, ummm… big (I do not weigh myself any more, but last time I was about 11 and a half stone), with short yet extremely muscular legs, up to about mid-thigh where it is allll jiggly, a large arse and a weird curve to my spine that means my stomach curves around and under a ways, and my rear end sticks out. I’ve gone to a clothing shop, picked up 2-3 sizes around my usual size, and not a single one has fit. The one pair of jeans and one pair of smart trousers I own must be worn with braces.

    Also, too many skirts these days are so long that I have to hike them up around my armpits. I generally wear dresses, since then all I have to worry about is getting them to fit my chest and upper arms, and then I can sort out everything on the lower half somehow, either by taking it out if by some miracle it actually fits the bust, or by liberal use of belts and other items. But, this does mean that tights are a necessity- I love stockings but despite my stumpiness they still rarely come up high enough to avoid chafing.

    Oh yeah, and my tights solutions i very similar to my trouser solution. Find a pair that fit in terms of leg length, regardless of waist, then use braces.

  40. i don’t wear nylons and haven’t for years, but the one good thing about them was that i could wear heels without getting blisters. i don’t really wear torture heels anymore either, mostly knee high boots in the winter and sandals or wedges in the summer, but last fall i wore heels as a bridesmaid and ended up wearing hose too because i knew i would die if i didn’t. i’ve tried lotion-ing my feet but that just makes it worse because my feet sweat more like that. any ideas? not like this comes up a whole lot because i’ve had enough evenings of mangled feet to make me realize it’s not worth it, but i’m wondering if anyone has a solution, for future reference if i ever decide a pair of cute shoes are more important than comfort.

  41. hotsauce, Dr. Scholl’s moleskin. It’s like the fabric part of a bandaid in big sheets, so you can cut it to the size and shape of the shoes, stick it on your feet. (The instructions say on the inside of the shoe, but it’s better to stick it on your skin instead) and you can wear crazy shoes with no blisters. I used to go through a lot of it breaking in my Doc Martens.

    I still haven’t found anything that keeps the balls of your feet from getting sore in heels, though.

  42. emmy, have you tried Party Feet? I might be wrong about the name, but they’re gel pad things that you put in your shoes that apparently keep the balls of your feet from getting sore. I’ve never used them (fun fact: all-night dancing in high-heeled boots were torture on the balls of my feet. Even though I was pissed, walking to find a taxi felt like sandpaper against a really bad sunburn) but my sister swears by them.

    Also, add me to the list of people who DO wear pantyhose, even though I have a lot of trouble finding a pair that fit. I’m 5’8″ and around 125 pounds, but it seems nearly all the pantyhose I buy end up with the crotch hanging somewhere by my mid-thighs, even when I check against the height/weight table on the back of the packet. This is particularly bad since I have recently purchased The Shortest Skirt In The World That Happens To Look Fabulous On Me. It’s hard to wear it because I have to keep worrying about whether the crotch of my ‘hose is visible. It doesn’t take much droop for it to be visible, especially from the back, but since the ‘hose and the skirt are both black it’s not as bad as it could be.

  43. for the Brits, could someone explain the difference between hose and tights? It’s all the same to us. Are hose thin and tights thick?

    I cordially hate tights more because of the sausage casing effect than the crotch sag/non-fit issue. Oh, and because they cost a fortune and get holes in the toes after two seconds. I wear trousers most of the time to avoid the issue, but I do also wear skirts. In the summer I wear something similar to the thigh slimmer thing someone linked to to avoid chafing (and also cos I have an odd shaped butt and the thigh slimmer things evens out the shape somewhat), but even those tend to lead to the sausage casing effect. What I’ve done in the past is cut the waistband out. But then sometimes they fall down. I try and buy them sizes too big for me so that they don’t dig in at the waist. I have big hips/butt and a comparatively speaking nice curvy waist, and it bugs me to no end that I put on tights/undershorts etc to avoid the chafing and I end up cut in two with all of a sudden a roll of fat on my abdomen. If anyone has a solution for that I think I’ll come to wherever you are and kiss your feet in gratitude!

    (Oh, and while we’re on the subject, I’m 10 weeks pregnant, about to head into summer, and wondering what on earth I’ll be able to use to avoid thigh chafing when my belly makes things like thigh slimmers a thing of the past!)

  44. “Because socks are nice. Nylons are evil. They are like the yin and yang of cloth foot coverings.”

    I don’t like anything. I have some sort of hippie aversion to foot coverings. If I could run barefoot all year I would be a VERY happy woman! BUT since frostbite would be very likely here in Boston area MA I will not have that pleasure anytime soon.

    That said, I’ve fallen in LOVE with knee socks with fun patterns on them lately. All the suggestions about thigh highs with gater belts sound fun so I’ll have to try cause I loved the stay-on ones I had until they began to roll down my leg….

    Pantyhose always make me feel like I’m trying to perform delicate brain surgery to get them on…with rock-coated gloves! O.o Ugg. Then like many of you have mentionned, there seems to be no happy medium between desperate crotch sag (the kind where you walk with your thighs pressed CLOSER together in a futile yet hopeful attempt to keep the sag at bay) and the twisting almost sheer look of those with legs not long ENOUGH to fit properly.

    All of that combined with the wonderful rolling down around your hips of the upper section and I am reminded WHY I love to be barefooted! :D

    Oh, but I have found that if you can get something similar to PEDS (like nylon anklets) they are pretty nice to use….

  45. I don’t ever wear skirts anymore, but I’ve come to love the brand of “trouser socks” sold at Catherine’s. They’re the only ones that don’t sag down into a little bunch around my ankles after a few minutes, and the band isn’t so tight as to cut off circulation below my knees.
    I am intrigued by the kudos given to stocking/garter combos. Where do you all buy them? I can’t think of any stores around my area that sell them, and the only online store I can think of that might is Frederick’s. :)

  46. Holy crap on a cracker! I’m tall, but I seriously doubt your chin is only as high as my waist! That’s hilarious. I think that would supply at least a dozen bank robbers with identity-concealing cliche-ness.

    I generally wear tights instead of nylons, as I’ve only once in my life had a pair of nylons last more than one wearing. I’m really rough on clothes. Even tights are generally only good for 3-5 rounds before I manage to rip them on something. What I don’t get is how the skin on my legs isn’t in constant bloody tatters considering how easily I rip hose.

  47. I love the dress – the color is gorgeous on you, and the new length is great. Did you also have the sleeves shortened?

    Thanks for the tip about Lands End versus Lane Bryant. At 5′ and 185 lbs, I’ve always had trouble with tights.

    Oh, my other pet peeve (not that you asked) about LE is the “show fit” model in my size can’t wear a regular size 18. It says something like this item isn’t compatible with your model, do you wish to change it? If you click “yes”, you get to see how it fits the size 4 model. Um, yeah.

    **Please delete it posted twice – I had a wordpress error.

  48. for the Brits, could someone explain the difference between hose and tights? It’s all the same to us. Are hose thin and tights thick?

    Generally, yes. Because of that hose also tend to be transparent (even the black ones are somewhat sheer) and tights are always opaque. Tights can also have cotton content, whereas hose are always nylon.

    I think.

  49. For years I waited tables and had to wear pantyhose. I’m short too, and the waistband would always come right up under my boobs. Maybe there were some more expensive brands out there that fit a short girl better, but I went through them too quickly to be able to afford anything but the cheap ones. So it was the Queen sized L’eggs hiked up under my bra for me. I never wear hose now that I don’t have to.

  50. I think that would supply at least a dozen bank robbers with identity-concealing cliche-ness.


    Did you also have the sleeves shortened?

    Yep, shortened and taken in a bit. Which made the alterations more expensive than I’d hoped, but it fits brilliantly now.

    Deborah M, Car’s got it on the difference between tights and hose (in more detail than I could have come up with). Tights=opaque; hose=sheer.

  51. the JoGeek link doesn’t link to JoGeek

    Oh, wow, can’t believe I didn’t notice that for a whole day–and almost missed the comment. Thanks, Joy. Fixed.


    When I took them out of the package, I actually screamed, “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?” out loud, and demanded that Al stop peeing and come out of the bathroom immediately to see the ridiculousness.

    Clearly there was a translation error on the package. They mean that the NYLONS are 5′2″

    LOL!!!! I will be cracking up over these all day! Sorry for your frustration, Kate, (I’m 5’2″ so I know just how you feel) but the laughs did me a lot of good on this craptastic day.

    Love the dress!

  53. Fuck a bunch of pantyhose. I didn’t pay in cash and blood for the tattoo on my leg just to cover it up in uncomfortable one-size-fits-none nylon! Bare legs for life!

    (I do love knee socks a little bit, though. Whatever. If Walt Whitman is allowed to contradict himself, then so am I.)

  54. @ hotsauce: I also recommend … I think Dr. Scholl`s pads against sore feet. They are of a sorf of foam rubber, and you can wash them by hand, and they have a little band to put over your second toe so the pad doesn’t change position. For open-toed shoes I use Party Feet, but they sometimes slip out, which can be very annoying.
    Against chafing of the thighs I sometimes wore panyhose that I cut off. But for that to work, it has to be cold enough so you can wear pantyhose under your skirt or dress, so you might just as well wear the whole thing.

    And I have chime in and say that thigh highs rock. Cause wearing a corset with a panyhose does …erm… not work. And yeah, it is so annoying to ruin a panyhose with one fingernail too long, so it is very nice that with thighs you at least can keep one half.

  55. I’ve been boycotting nylons for the past fifteen years or so. I hate them with a passion and my lifestyle doesn’t require them (and if it did I think I might rethink that lifestyle.) And I wear skirts exclusively. In winter, I wear leggings under them. For dress-up or not so cold weather I wear knee-highs. In warm weather, nothing. My thighs touch very generously, and I don’t usually chafe, except when walking a lot in humid, hot weather, in which case I try to remember to wear bike short type things. I suspect that wearing skirts with nothing between my thighs for years has made them tough.

    I do, though, love knee-high socks, and have the same trouble with fitting with those. I wear a size 9.5 shoe, so up on the larger end. And yet the socks that are supposed to fit that range (6-10) inevitably have the heel sitting on my achilles tendon. At the same time, they are usually too tight around my calf, and too long so that they bunch up around my knee (I’m an entirely average height at 5’6″, and I don’t have proportionately short legs.) All I can conclude is that regardless of what the tag says, they are designed to fit 5’11” size 4 models.

    I do once in a great while find decent socks, and then I buy a bunch of them. But it’s rare.

  56. “for the Brits, could someone explain the difference between hose and tights? It’s all the same to us. Are hose thin and tights thick?”

    Basically? I’ve never seen an item in the UK called a hose, except in the gardening aisle. ;) (absolutely awful attempt at humour; writer’s own)

  57. Ummm… wow, Car, now I’m all confused… I’ve lived here (Blimey) all my life and haven’t come across pantyhose anywhere… but I have to admit to being pretty good at missing entire chunks of human existence. Where did you get those definitions from?

    I always grew up seeing tights as the kind of leg covering that goes up to the waist, stockings as the leg bits, hold-ups as the leg bits with sticky patches and anything that is REALLY thick is a legging.

  58. I’m a constant trouser wearer, but when I got married a while back, I just couldn’t get my brain around the idea of knee-highs, even though it was a long dress. I happened to be at Avenue and picked up a pair of white hose. A week or so later when I tried them on, I was delighted to find that they fit 5’8″, 300+ pound me wonderfully well! No creep, no cutting off chest circulation, no second crotch, and comfortable enough that I wore ’em all day with no problems.

    As far as the chafing thing goes – bloomers! I know, it’s hysterical, but I bought a pair of ’em years ago, and I wear ’em under sundresses and dressy dresses (and now my wedding dress, too). They’re light, but still give a little extra modesty.

  59. I always grew up seeing tights as the kind of leg covering that goes up to the waist, stockings as the leg bits, hold-ups as the leg bits with sticky patches and anything that is REALLY thick is a legging.

    Ah. U.S. translation…

    Tights=mostly opaque but not exactly thick, with toe-to-waist coverage.

    Pantyhose=same style, but sheer. (You can see leg stubble through hose but not through tights. At least not dark-colored tights.) Also known as “nylons,” but that can apply to knee-highs and thigh-highs as well.

    Stockings=”thigh highs” =sheer, thigh-high stockings, worn with or without garters.

    Leggings=footless and totally opaque, would be plain old cotton knit pants except that the fit is skintight.

  60. I never thought about the thriftiness angle of thigh-highs. That makes them suddenly seem worth trying again. Hmm… very intriguing.

    car, I got my thigh-highs at Lane Bryant. You might have to get some weird Valentine-y garter belt (I’m not sure they sell plain ones) but maybe some of those are on clearance right now. On the other hand, the LB thigh-highs were the ones I got totally frustrated with because they rolled down on me, so caveat emptor. On the other other hand, the fabric was nice and I have tried them on a few times now without running them despite the fact that they are very sheer, so that seems worth mentioning in case I just have stupid thighs and maybe they would stay up on you. And they did come two pairs to a pack.

    Deborah M., congratulations! What about something like these or these (they are out of stock but maybe you could email and ask) or this? Or maybe just some women’s (e.g. Junonia) or men’s biker shorts or knee-length running tights in a size that would normally be too big for you. I’m sure that solution wouldn’t be the cutest, but it might be reasonably comfortable. Likewise this is not exactly cute, but the loose fit may mean that they would fit more easily during pregnancy. I think I have seen something like this at JCPenney’s before, too.

    Oh, and here is a page that actually has multiple styles. The size selection looks unpromising but the page encourages you to call (and you’d really have to, the page is kind of a mess), so perhaps your size could be ordered. And finally here is one that is actually available up to 22-24 (though of course that would still leave out plenty of us), holy crap! Apparently fat ladies do get pregnant! That site does have some other intriguing options though… take a look here (not all maternity but some that might be adaptable for this purpose). The “chafe shield” (scroll down after clicking on that link) looks totally bizarre but may work.

    Of course as I mentioned, I traditionally hate Spanx, but the maternity kind claim to have “expandable” knit fabric so just maybe they are not quite as binding as the regular kind. I’ve never been pregnant but I have had a big belly, and based on that limited parallel I can see where the support from something like the Spanx might actually be comfortable, in addition to the shorts hopefully reducing thigh chafing. Naturally most of what I found was only in “regular” sizes, though… super.

    OT–while poking around for this type of garment I found this:… not a huge selection, but there is some cute plus-size maternity stuff there and some of the prices seem good. Just FYI in case anyone was looking and hadn’t seen this place before.

  61. Note, I put a [/sarcasm] tag after the “fat ladies do get pregnant” comment but WordPress helpfully edited it out for me. :) Rest assured that comment was directed at maternity-wear manufacturers and their apparent cluelessness as to the fact that plus-size maternity wear is needed. I didn’t mean to sound in any way horrified or surprised that we get pregnant, duh.

  62. Aaaaand just to triple-post, shoutz’s bloomers idea is great and reminds me that if you search around for “modest” online clothing retailers, though on the minus side you may be creeped out by some of them, on the plus side you may find longline undergarments, swimwear, etc. that could end up working nicely against chafing if you don’t like wearing hose.

  63. thanks for the tips on anti-blister stuff. if this stuff works for me i don’t know how i’m going to be able to contain myself. shoes for everyone!!!

    oh, and kate, i totally forgot to say this because my attention span flitted from “OMG DRESS!” after reading the link to your original dress post, to my own blisters in the time it took me to read the comments, so i will take this time now to say that dress is fucking amazing. really, it’s my dream dress that i have yet to find, the color, cut, everything. i’m not a plus size and have little right to complain about a lack of shopping options, but f’n’a i wish they made that in my size.

  64. On the genesis of tights and pantyhose (in answer to a question far, far upthread):

    Women wore stockings/garters until the 1960s, with a brief excursion into paint-on stockings during WWII when all the nylon and silk were going towards military uses. In the 60s, delightful inventions such as the hot pant and the micro mini became popular. Garters would have shown, since the skirts/short hems were so high on the thigh. Thus the invention of tights/hose with a waist instead.

    Even in the middle ages, when men popularly wore hose as their leg coverings of choice, each leg was separate and tied onto a waistband or directly onto whatever top they wore. The crotch was left open, thus the invention of the codpiece. Check it out on google images if you would like a laugh… women don’t have the market cornered on padding various portions of the anatomy.

    Thanks for following this excursion into pedantry and now back to your regular broadcast…

  65. hotsauce: “so i will take this time now to say that dress is fucking amazing. really, it’s my dream dress that i have yet to find, the color, cut, everything. i’m not a plus size and have little right to complain about a lack of shopping options, but f’n’a i wish they made that in my size.”

    Yeah, no kidding. I nearly cried when I saw the first photo of Kate-in-amazing-dress-that-looks-amazing-on-her and then found out that said dress doesn’t come anywhere near my size. All of the wrap dresses that do come in my size are cut for women with B- or small C-cups. I could go up several sizes so that a dress would properly fit my Rack of Doom, but I’d be swimming in the rest of the dress.

    I need to learn to sew. That’s all there is for it.

  66. Ummm… wow, Car, now I’m all confused… I’ve lived here (Blimey) all my life and haven’t come across pantyhose anywhere… but I have to admit to being pretty good at missing entire chunks of human existence. Where did you get those definitions from?

    Out of my ass, basically. :) That’s just how I’ve always understood those terms.

  67. The bizarre thing is that NO size seems to fit ANYONE when it comes to hose – tall, short, fat, thin, doesn’t matter! I’m thin-ish and and don’t have trouble finding most clothes (for which I’m very thankful), but damned if I don’t fall DIRECTLY between the two possible sizes for me – one’s JUST short enough that I know they’ll roll down at work, and the other’s JUST long enough that it comes up almost to my boobs and feels like a corset. There is literally a FOOT of difference in height between the two sizes. Ugh!

    Thankfully I don’t have to wear ’em much in my new job. Reason 295239749123 that I’m happy to be out of the law firm………..

  68. The Rotund, in her LiveJournal Interview, pointed out this awesome web site called that I played with quite a bit this afternoon. It’s in the UK, and I’m not sure of the quality, and of course it doesn’t make that breathtaking Igigi dress possible for those of us that can’t wear their clothes for whatever reason, but the concept of something that can be cut to fit you exactly is really compelling. (i-geek, you can select a wrap top option when you’re “designing” your dress, and you enter your bust measurement, so if all went to plan it seems like it would fit you, but in real life I don’t know how well it would work. For one thing the wrap looks pretty low-cut on the model, and for those of us who can’t go braless, that can be a real bummer. At least it’s a step in the right direction IMO).

  69. Oh, that styleshake site looks like fun! Pricey, but for a special occasion you could have a dress made just for you. Thanks, spacedcowgirl, I need to bookmark this.

  70. Yeah, I guess the low dollar doesn’t help any either, but it would be mighty tempting to save up for a special occasion.

  71. as I look at it further… something like a casual wedding dress, even! If you were in the UK it would even be a pretty decent deal, especially considering the inflated prices of mass-produced wedding dresses. They offer silk fabrics and do alterations for free. That would be really tempting.

  72. I’m a wrap dress addict; I swear I have about ten if not more. I also have enormous pontoons so I just wear a thin sleeveless T-shirt underneath. Boobage Problem solved! I also wear them over pants so I don’t have to wear hose, haha.

  73. Car:
    Here is a site where I buy most of my garter belts:

    I’m sorry I don’t know anything about the plus sizes in regards to fit, etc.

    I don’t wear pantyhose, only stockings. I can’t wear the ones that stay up because the rubbery stuff around the tops of them irritate my skin. Not to mention the fact that my mother scared me away from pantyhose by telling me “pantyhose will give you the crotchrot!”

    I wear dresses almost exclusively because I can’t find pants to fit me except in the children’s department and they are always too short. I’m cheap and refuse to pay out the ass for jeans that fit me. ($60-$100 is too rich for my blood!)

    Sorry if the garter belts that I linked to are “too old fashioned” but I wear a lot of vintage or vintage style dresses and they seem more appropriate. Considering.

  74. Neat, madicated! So, the garter belt goes below the big tummy, yes? :) I am so poorly versed in the ways of girly undergarments…

  75. I cannot, for the life of me, find a formal skirt (like the kind that usually goes with a suit jacket, or the black skirt it’s appropriate to wear in a high-business wear situation) that makes me look good, so I have not worn hose in over a year. (I have short legs, wide hips, and narrowish ankles, so skirts that aren’t VERY A-line and no longer than knee length make me look short and sort of diamond-shaped.)

    However, I do have a not-quite-knee-length pleated plaid kilt-style skirt and, you know, a boyfriend, so the garters & stockings sound interesting . . . :)

  76. The majority of garter belts that I wear are “to the waist” AKA highboys as my mom called them. (punny, I know!) But, I wear some of the “thinner” (?) ones on my hips and they work great that way too.

    I was sterilized and my scar just below my belly button is still very tender, so I wear everything either way above my scar or below it.

    They also have these things called “lace leg garters”, but I have no experience with them. I do plan on ordering them. Even if they don’t work well IRL, at least they’ll be nice for “playtime”!

    Here’s the link for them:

  77. pantyhose=evil.. that is why i knit. in the winter, i wear hand knit thigh high socks, that i know will fit me because i made them. in the summer, people can just deal with my hairy legs. or else i wear knee high socks. i haven’t worn pantyhose in… years. and if i have my way, it’ll never happen again.

  78. @ Jeanette: I hear you on the thighs of doom, and thigh-highs with garters being more comfy (esp. if you supplement with a skin-care product that minimizes chub-rub, in my case). Plus, you have the added benefit of going around all day knowing that you’re wearing REALLY SEXY LINGERIE! It’s like a happy little secret, all day long!

  79. @Deborah M: Other people have defined hose vs. tights quite nicely, but I thought I’d chime in with my $.02: to me, if you’d wear them in warm weather, and can see your leg hairs through them, they’re hose; if you’d wear them in cold weather, or to obscure the fact that you haven’t shaved (or don’t shave), they’re tights. Not only is there an opacity domain in my semantic differentiation between the two, there is also a thickness domain (sorry for the domain talk; I’m a linguist, which means I’ll never be able to view language like a regular human being again!).

  80. thanks for all the clarifications of hose/tights, folk, and spacedcowgirl, thank you so much for all those links! i couldn’t help but laugh at that extremely bizarre chafe shield thing, but the culotte slips could work very well – i’d prefer cotton since i live in a very hot climate (yes, i’m british, but i live in israel) and that would be a very comfortable way to prevent chafe. not sure about when the belly gets big, but when it isn’t, at least. and maternity spanx could be interesting – i also don’t love spanx, but if i buy maternity ones in a big size (i’m not plus size currently so their sizes should be ok for me) maybe they won’t cause the dreaded sausage bulge abdomen.

    and thank you also for the congrats :-) it’s not actually even public news yet; only close family and close friends IRL know – another 2 weeks and i’ll be into the second trimester and more comfortable about telling. right now i’m just hoping that the twice-a-day vomit parade and the 24/7-feeling-horribly-nauseated thing will end soon – i’ve already had a month of it and that’s quite enough for me!

  81. I have completely given up on them. I have three options: 1) wear pants; 2) sport bare legs (obviously not viable in all climates) with boxer briefs or Spanx to keep my thighs from rubbing together and chafing (although Spanx just move the muffin top higher); and 3) wear long underwear with longer skirts and boots (not an option in warm weather or for dressy occasions). So far the pants option is winning, although I’m heading to LA this weekend, so I may have to break out the Spanx. My bare legs require a reasonable sun tan too, whether natural or sunless, so there is more maintenance required than just shaving or waxing. And what is with those Spanx sizes? They must be for the post-partum Gywneth Paltrows of this world. I bought the largest size possible (several sizes larger than their chart suggested), and they still give me huge rolls at the top! I can barely stand to wear them after a few hours, and eating is definitely uncomfortable (remember the pressure components of chemistry gas laws?). Maybe they are a diet aid in disguise. Too much work to get dressed for anything other than sleep or mowing the lawn…

  82. I have a love/hate relationship with pantyhose. Most of the probs with fit and delicate fabric have been covered, as well as the chafing issues (which I have in spades!)

    I really miss them because I don’t like the look of my bare legs and can’t get my head ’round the idea of leg makeup. Also, I have short, wide feet and nylons help with the fit of dress shoes for me.

    Guess I could go back to the stocking/garterbelt thing…

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