Socks, Cold Feet, and Professional Shoes

Feet in the snow, originally uploaded to Flickr by BuzzFarmers.What shoes look professional and can be worn with socks? I keep getting questions about this, so let’s discuss. (Pictured.) First, reader J wondered:

I was wondering if you have ever covered where to find great workplace-appropriate shoes that you can wear with socks (that aren’t tall boots). The weather where I live is often cloudy and rainy so wearing shoes without socks leaves my feet cold, but I don’t want to wear boots all the time. Any suggestions? It seems like all I can find are very casual shoes or something that looks like it belongs in the men’s department.

Then, Reader L asked:

I’ve been searching your blog and others for advice about what shoes to wear to work when you have to wear socks. I mean real socks, not trouser socks. Did you already do a post about this? If not, would you consider it?

Great questions! I’m one of those people who constantly suffers from freezing feet, so here are the solutions that I’ve found in the past:

- Wear medium-height boots. Whether they’re flat-footed, wedge-heeled, or high-heeled, there are a ton of great options out there. We just did a roundup of knee-high boots, but in the past my go-to boot with pants has been the medium boot (above the ankle but below the calf) — I find the medium boot to be much more comfortable and less restrictive than the knee-high boot.  [Read more...]

What’s Off Limits in the Winter?

Up to my ankles in snow, originally uploaded to Flickr by Lollyman.Reader A wonders if and when it’s appropriate to have bare legs in the winter…

With the crazy weather in DC and other east coast cities this winter – windy and 35 degrees one day, 65 degrees and sunny another, and raining yet another, how do you suggest approaching the issue of tights or pantyhose? I work in a fairly conservative office, with a dress or skirt and blouse dresscode for women with no casual days and no jeans, ever. In February, is it ok to go to work sans tights or pantyhose if its particularly warm or very muggy? Is there a temperature guideline that you or others follow?

I’m curious to see what others say here. For my $.02: even though I don’t have a problem with bare legs from spring to fall (know your office, though!), something about bare legs in winter — even if it is 60 degrees — bugs me. Are tights or pantyhose really that “heavy” that you can’t wear them with a lighter-weight jacket? The problem with looking “out of season” is that it is a judgment call — as in, if someone thinks your outfit looks weird, they may think your judgment is out of whack, which may affect how you’re perceived at work.  It kind of reminds me of stories I’ve heard about little kids who refuse to dress seasonally, refusing to wear anything but shorts in the wintertime or corduroy pants in the summertime.  (Pictured: Up to my ankles in snow, originally uploaded to Flickr by Lollyman.)

[Read more...]

Sponsored Post: A Curated Pantyhose Collection, from Hoseanna

Corporate-RookieIt’s easy to find a cheap pair of pantyhose on the fly, for those situations where it’s an hour before the big meeting and you realize you’ve got a run.  But quality hosiery usually requires a trip to a department store, which just may not be in the cards when you’re slammed with work — part of the reason I started this blog was because I was always working when stores were open!  Hoseanna, a new site, is launching today, and it aims to help working women everywhere get the pantyhose, nylons, and tights you need, on your schedule.  Because you can make a one-time purchase or sign up for a subscription (every month, every two months or every three months), you can even put pantyhose on “autopilot” — it’ll show up when you need it, and you can cross it off your already massive to-do list.  Their curated collection includes some brands that are new to me, including b.ella, Foot Traffic, Pretty Polly, and Boottights, as well as brands that everyone would be familiar with, such as Hue, DKNY, and Silk Reflections.  Also, note that the first 250 women to register on the site will receive 25% off all purchases throughout the year + 1 month free shipping. And, through a fun giveaway going on now, 4 people can win a full year-long subscription to Hoseanna and a style makeover (details below!)

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Hoseanna’s founders, Tracey and Katrina.  I loved both women (they’ve been friends for years and have walked in our shoes, ladies — both of them had successful corporate careers before they went into business together!) but I also loved the idea behind the site:  that while yes, sometimes women like to browse, a lot of times you just want CONVENIENCE when you’re shopping.  Especially for busy, working women, you don’t want to have to spend your one free hour of the week to run to the department store to pick up a few new pair of hose. [Read more...]

The Care and Feeding of Tights

Reader S wonders about tights…

I seem to be having a spell of terrible luck with tights this year – I wear a pair two or three times and then find a hole or a run. I’m willing to pay more for tights that last longer, but I’m afraid I’ll just continue to have the same bad luck with a higher pricetag unless I get some guidance. Suggestions?

I think proper tight care could be part of your problem, but it may also be which tights you’re buying.  As those of you who follow my Twitter feed know, I attended a press event earlier this week where Jenny Altman, the style adviser to Bare Necessities, sang the praises of Commando tights as being the only truly opaque, non-digging tights, as well as the praises of Wolford tights.  Personally, I’ve always been a fan of Spanx tights, as I mentioned earlier — they’re pricey but worth it! (Pictured: Commando 70 Denier Matte Tights Panty Hose, available at Bare Necessities for $34.)

That said — I’ve still had $8 tights that have lasted me years, so let’s investigate further… [Read more...]

Coffee Break: Plush Tights

Plush Fleece Lined TightsSuddenly, it has turned bitterly cold in New York, making me regret losing my favorite black cable-knit tights a few years ago.  I’ve recently heard of these fleece-lined tights from Plush, though, and am intrigued — but finding them is a bit of a challenge.  I can’t wait to try them, though!  They’re generally $35 at:   ShopBop (black, navy, charcoal, limited sizes only), Bare Necessities (black and charcoal, limited sizes), Revolve (black size M only), and Singer 22 (black size S only).
(Disclosures)

Tights or Pantyhose? Sponsored Post from FreshPair

Two-Timin Tights with Tummy ControlThis post is sponsored by FreshPair, but written by your friendly resident blogger, Kat Griffin.

I’ve noticed that “pantyhose” seems to be a popular search term here on the site, so I thought it’d be a great time to talk pantyhose, tights, and more. For older commentary, check out some of our previous posts on point here

High-Waisted Body-Shaping Tight-End TightsTo be honest, I’m normally a tights girl for work — they’re more durable than pantyhose, and here in NYC they’re completely acceptable. I’ve recently started splurging on Spanx tights — they stay up, don’t get saggy, and are truly comfortable. I’m drooling over this pair of high-waisted body shaping tights, which would help a multitude of, er, sins. They’re available in black and “bittersweet” brown for $38:
High-Waisted Body-Shaping Tight-End Tights
. Another great option: reversible tights (pictured at top), which give you two colors for $34. Two-Timin Tights with Tummy Control
Sueded Opaque Tight with Control TopIf Spanx are too expensive, FreshPair has a great sale on Hue tights — they’re 25% off until 11/21. (And FWIW, I definitely prefer control-top tights over non-control top tights — even when I was a size 2 and didn’t need the “control.” They just stay up better!) This pair was $12.50, now $9.38 (with free shipping). Sueded Opaque Tight with Control Top
Herringbone Mesh Control Top Love these herringbone mesh tights from Hue as well — they’re less opaque than proper tights, but just as durable and as comfortable. If you’ve always thought you needed to wear pantyhose instead of tights, this pair (or any “patterned” tight) can be a great “in between” compromise. This pair was $8, now $6 with the sale. Herringbone Mesh Control Top
Perfect Pantyhose High WaistWhen actual pantyhose are required, I look for them to have a control top and a reinforced toe — maybe it’s just me, but if my pedicure is less than perfect (which, um, it often is) then regular, non-reinforced pantyhose just tear in seconds. Yes, the choice of shoe is a bit more limited by having a reinforced toe (unless it’s an invisible reinforcement, like these Hue pantyhose: So Silky Control Top with Invisible Reinforced Toe), but hey — I’m wearing *pantyhose,* so my shoe and outfit options were already pretty limited. The pictured pair is $15. Perfect Pantyhose High Waist

Readers, do you wear tights or pantyhose? Which are your favorite brands, styles, etc?