Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Case Against Neutral Hose

I've been watching the Canadian tour of the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge with great interest, much more than I should, given the other events of the world.  In the spirit of frivolity, I shall thus in this post not tackle the issue of the U.S. debt ceiling (for which I am to say the least not qualified to comment upon) but rather the state of Catherine's legs. 

Those pins are extremely enviable, of course, a debt to her mother Carole's genes as well as endless hours in the gym.  So why in God's name cover them up with what my friend Karen referred to twenty years ago as "The Dreaded Neutral Hose"?  We were living in Toronto at the time (where she still resides) so the cold was no defence.  Black opaque hose were the rule, until proper spring came.  No pretending it was otherwise.  This was in the day before self-tanners, which would have mitigated the situation for those sufficiently intrepid to brave the wind.  But those awful beige things were what our grandmothers wore to church.  And now not only Kate--bound, I am aware, by Royal protocol--wears them, but also her hottie sister, Pippa. 

A further argument in opposition arrived when I was shackled to pantyhose during my early years in the workplace.  A man whom I admired and at one point adored told me that they were "the most sexless item ever invented."  At some point Pippa will momentarily take leave of the titled sort and go on a last hurrah in the States.  Some guy in LA will have a look at her control-tops (not that men differentiate between those and the sheer to the waist things) and say, I'm going to see what Liz Hurley's got going on tonight.  She might have a couple of decades on you, but she remembers how badly people dressed in 1987 and keeps upping her game. As Pippa is known for attributes other than her legs, perhaps she'll get a pass on this one.  But one day she'll be forty, and she won't want to wear things that make her look like Camilla.

Later in life I got my first law firm gig, in Texas.  There was a rule about hose in the office.  This was strictly enforced for staff but flouted by female lawyers.  I was not a secretary, but management-level staff.  And yet the day I tried to cheat and wore a long black skirt with no hose (and brown ankles) I was busted by the HR director.  She thought I might go home and change.  I stared her down and said I'd try to remember the(stupid) rule in the future.  This admonition came from a woman who was a poster child for What Not to Wear. 

In earlier weeks my then 7 year-old daughter watched me struggle into a pair of pantyhose and pronounced them "terrible." And she was right.  It was a hundred bloody degrees outside and my behind was sweating as though I'd chosen leather trousers for the office. When next taken to task by the HR director, I told her to discuss it with the managing partner if she had a problem with me. Never did hear back about that.

So Catherine, you are clearly on good terms with HRH Elizabeth. After you've provided a male heir, you can tackle this. Surely the fate of the Commonwealth does not hinge upon the matter, and you can be trusted to do everything sartorial with good taste.  As for Pippa, she should know that other brave women have gone before her in this fight. She has a choice, and no need for the control top.

No comments:

Post a Comment