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No Hose With Sandals, Please--You Don't Have the Right to Bare Legs

FASHION POLICE

July 02, 1999|JEANNINE STEIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

There's a growing file here at Fashion Police Central on the subject of sandals and pantyhose; specifically, can they be worn together? But this volatile debate doesn't stop there. If they can't be worn with hose, you ask, why not? Why do stores sell sandals in the winter if they're supposed to be worn with bare legs? And if a woman isn't pleased with the way her legs look, what's wrong with wearing pantyhose to camouflage the imperfections?

All pressing, important questions. Although we have touched on this subject in the past, either you have short memories or you were absent that day.

We'll go over it one more time, so pay attention.

Our personal preference is for sandals to be worn au naturel--no pantyhose, however bare and sheer. It defeats the purpose of the sandal, which is to allow you to wear shoes without the bother of pantyhose.

But, you write, why would stores sell sandal-foot pantyhose (sheer to the toes) if they're not meant to be worn with sandals? Hmmmm?

Undoubtedly some women do wear them with sandals. But that still doesn't make it right. If a lot of people suddenly decided to wear their jackets underneath their shirts, would that make it right?

Even the barest of the barest bare hose can be detected. Most women don't naturally have a sheen on their legs. Besides, it just looks odd. Like wearing a tie with a T-shirt. Incongruity usually doesn't make for good fashion.

There are those of you who like wearing sandals for evening, when there's often a chill in the air. What to do then? Risk having legs that feel like icicles?

How about this solution: Wear stockings with closed-toe shoes! Sandals are meant for warm weather, and if it's too cold for exposed flesh, it's too cold for sandals. Why stores sell sandals in the dead of winter is beyond us. Maybe they cater to people who actually have ice water running through their veins.

Some women insist on wearing pantyhose because they don't like the way their legs look bare. If it's an issue of being pale and pasty, those self-tanning lotions work wonders and can give your legs a glow as if they'd spent a week in Bermuda.

And if you just hate your legs hose-less, again, go for a closed-toe shoe, such as a pump, and wear all the pantyhose you want.

We realize that many of you will continue to openly defy our counsel and scoff at our suggestions. That's OK. Our self-esteem can take it. But remember, we're only doing this for your own good.

From the Fashion Police Blotter: This is for all you sewers, costumers, quilters, Civil War reenactors and fabric-holics out there. We recently discovered a Montana-based company called Patchworks, which sells reproduction cotton fabrics from 1775 through the 1950s. Fabrics are divided into specific time periods (i.e. 1865-1900, 1900-1930), and then subdivided into categories. For example, under fabrics in the 1775-1825 era, there are "turkey reds," the "DAR Museum Collection" and "Jane Austen Revisited."

Their catalog includes a few fabric samples and descriptions, but their Web site (listed below) will truly make your head explode. Pre-Civil War dress prints to romantic Victorian florals, vintage '40s patterns, funky '50s prints, American folk art designs and shirtings are just a few examples of what's available. Patchworks also offers reproduction indigo patterns from the 19th and 20th centuries. Fabric prices range from about $5 to $8.50 a yard, and swatches are available.

Also check out their solid fabrics, quilt kits, books and fabric packets.

For a catalog, send $5 to Patchworks, 6676 Amsterdam Road, Amsterdam, MT 59741, call (888) 728-2495, or see them on the Web at http://www.reproductionfabrics.com.

School Daze: We know you don't even want to think about back-to-school shopping yet--your swimsuit probably doesn't even have a permanent chlorine smell to it--but we're going to make you think about it anyway.

We want you to tell us the horrors and the triumphs of back-to-school shopping. We want to hear from kids about what you like and don't like about buying school clothes. And be honest--remember, we don't print names, so feel free to be brutally honest.

We want to hear from parents too--do you dread the annual ritual, or have you found ways to make it tolerable? Also, tell us what you remember from your childhood about shopping for back-to-school and if this has colored the way you shop with your children today.

We need your comments by Aug. 2, but don't procrastinate. You can turn your papers over and start writing when we say, "Begin." Ready? Begin.

Write to Fashion Police, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053, fax to (213) 237-4888, or send e-mail to socalliving@latimes.com.

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