Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Adventures in hosiery. As I think I have whinged here before - and let's not forget, whingeing keeps you warm in winter - I am constantly on the lookout for innovations in hosiery in order to prevent Mid-Section Issues. You see, when it comes to all kinds of mid-section clothing, from underpants to jeans to tights, women are faced with a cruel paradox:

Garments that fit properly don't sit properly.

That is, a woman with any amount of fat around her mid-section has to choose between creating a sleek silhouette and avoiding the dreaded 'muffin top', and having clothes that sit comfortably and don't require constant tugging and adjustment. You can only have one or the other. Because of the angle of the hips, if the clothes fit well enough to sit sleekly on the hips, then they'll soon slip down and have to be tugged up again. Whereas if they are worn too small, then the layer of fat around the mid-section keeps them in place, and perversely, the woman feels more comfortable. It's geometry, people!

I have pondered this a lot, usually while struggling with conventional tights, which bisect me cruelly at the waist, and 'hipster' tights, which refuse to sit on the hips and roll down to the groin in a tight uncomfortable roll. I have tried wearing the tights super-high, covering the ribs, which avoids that doughy waist but looks really, really daggy, and wearing them just below the waist, which in accordance with the Mid-Section Paradox, creates a muffin top but is more comfortable in the long run.

I pondered suspender belts, but as they strap on around the waist, they are also subject to the Mid-Section Paradox. After some successful experimentation with stay-up stockings, last weekend I decided to give these a go.

Advertised as being "for those of us who have a love-hate relationship with pantihose", these are stockings that hook directly onto special underpants. They look quite jaunty on, and the undies are very nice to wear. But as these wise women on the Vogue Forums pointed out, they need another hook for the back of the stockings, because when the stockings fall down, so do the underpants!

It is very disconcerting to be walking along and feeling your undies being insistently tugged down.

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