Posted by: Ophelia | June 9, 2008

The hose knows

Are panty hose professional? Moreover, can you mandate their use in the workplace? Well obviously you can–enter Jim Holt of Mid American Credit Union.

This is the issue that lately has occupied the mind of Jim Holt, president of Mid American Credit Union, a small financial institution in Wichita, Kan. Mr. Holt is 58 and a three-decade member of the U.S. Army Reserves. He joined Mid American, which has 50 employees, four years ago, inheriting a dress code that prohibited, for women, such things as boots and mules, or backless shoes. The company required “hose” at all times — even under pants. (Wall Street Journal)

Apparently he didn’t get the memo that panty hose are optional professional attire that have gone the way of ties wherein few workers wear them religiously.

Mid American’s newly loosened dress code, allowing bare legs, will be announced to employees in coming weeks in a series of meetings. Women at the credit union would be well-advised to listen closely. Mr. Holt says that when evaluating employees’ performance in dress, as well as workmanship, he’ll make a distinction between “who is meeting the minimum standards and who is exceeding them.” In other words, hose will be optional but advised.

I’m honestly not sure what kind of modesty panty hose offer, they’re basically see through, though slightly tinged in flesh tones to give a uniform appearance to the leg. If you don’t need that, hose just adds a nice itchy dimension to already uncomfortable business gear. Additionally, I consider panty hose a type of underwear and is anyone else uncomfortable with a male boss mandating the use of particular underwear for female employees? Ew.

Despite the research of his female human resources director, Holt seems to believe that panty hose are the very paragon of female professional attire. Methinks someone just has a thing for panty hose. Notably, ties aren’t mandatory–what a shock.



  1. I hate hose and refuse to wear it. It’s uncomfortable, and it doesn’t seem to do much of anything; it doesn’t even keep you warm in winter. Plus, if you don’t shave your legs, it just matts all the hair.

    Fortunately, I have yet to have a job that requires one. Even in my new, full-time office job, all the women have bare legs. Then again, there is only ONE man in the entire department. The executive director and research director are both women — they’re the two most senior members of the department, and if they’re not gonna wear hose, they’re probably not going to make the underlings wear it, either.

  2. I went to Catholic school for elementary and high school and we had to wear panty hose. In the winter they said it was because it was warmer but everyone knows that thin fabric with holes in it isn’t going to put up much wind resistance or impart any additional warmth. I want to know what’s so modest about panty hose, I must know. There must be an article out there.

  3. There’s a problem if he’s spending that much time looking at women’s legs when they’re talking to him to determine that they are wearing pantyhose.

  4. This sort of ‘dress your gender’ thing should be illegal. Really, this seems to boil down to trying to force women workers into being more feminine in the workplace – hose are part of the 1970’s idea of lady-like dress.
    This isn’t to say that people shouldn’t have to dress professionally, but the dress code shouldn’t be gendered. Slacks and flat-soled shoes should be an option open to everyone.

  5. I positively hate panty hose. They are over priced and I can never make it through the day without getting a run in them. I think he just likes the site of womens legs wrapped in hose. This is about his gaze and certainly not about the comfort or professionalism of his staff. Who running a business really has time to spend the day staring at womens legs and get anything solid accomplished. By threatening their performance reports he is enforcing his male and economic privilege on these women. It is inappropriate and I hope that he gets sued.

  6. My mom thinks it’s weird that I don’t wear any and I think it’s weird she does. I find them uncomfortable and I think my own legs are sexier than a fake beige sheen, anyway.

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