Saturday, May 07, 2011

You should Google "bluestocking"

Here's the thing about this ad: those aren't pantyhose. Those are far more classy things, known today as thigh-highs.

Personally, I can't wear pantyhose. They say one size fits all, but it's a lie. Because I'm tall and thin, I either get a matching top or a means to smuggle things to the Vietcong. I have to do the stocking\garter-belt thing because it's the only way I can get a pair that fit.

But, for a while, pantyhose were the only thing you could get without shelling out some serious clams. Pantyhose were everywhere.

Now, before you go through this little history, let me say this.

I had to watch a lot of pantyhose videos before I was able to get this together. Even if you put in the search phrase "commercial", there's some stuff you'll find that you do NOT want to see.

Thanks, Internet!


Yeah, them's good pantyhose.

I remember this ad. I also remember the plastic egg the Leggs came in and how that was super cool. My action figures used them as escape pods for a very long time.

Now, that "erases panty line" is a little misleading. The thing about pantyhose was that you did not wear them with panties. You were already wearing pantyhose. Just think about that for a bit. We had convinced a generation of women to wear long underwear.

And then there was the Asian thing. Because silk is Oriental.

Not that Rockettes would ever be able to get away with garter-belts. That's a totally different show, there.

These ads always made me feel a little bad for ZZTop. By the same respect, I had to consider them marketing geniuses. They knew what was going to happen when the put out that song.

And then there's the pseudo-Asian version that even goes so far as to use an Asian actress and mention "Oriental silk". You have to give it to Leggs; they knew their audience.

Granted, that was back when we thought the Japanese were going to own everything.

This was a theme for at least two years.

Eventually, women entered the workforce en masse, and they needed those vaunted pantyhose. When the announcer says that women today were playing "tug of war", it's not between career and family. It's with those darn pantyhose!

Those pantyhose had to be tough enough to make it through a rough day at the office.

Look at that power-suit. She's got shoulders in separate zip-codes. She will take no crap and pantyhose that run are crap

Women were on the move! We were going to work, being active, and shopping! Oh, women and their shopping. In heels. All day.

But we could still be glamorous, and handle the kids.

We had not, however, forgotten about the Asians.


Dave G said...

I find it interesting that society demanded that women wear a stocking that made them look like they weren't wearing anything. It's an odd mixed message. I mean, why panty hose? Apparently, women have to maintain their shapely legged appearance and can't just wear socks.

Dr. Mila said...

I guess this is why we don't see pantyhose commercials these days. The pants-suit meant we only had to wear the sheer almost-to-the-knee things.

Chris Sobieniak said...

For me, I kinda miss seeing the one brand of pantyhose sold in those cute little egg-shaped plastic containers! Somehow I identified pantyhose in that manner!

Dr. Mila said...

Yep, those were Leggs, sold in eggs. Apparently, you can still get them at CVS. I don't think they come in the egg anymore.

Dr. Mila said...

Oh man... a friend just pointed out this one. I had forgotten about them.

Chris Sobieniak said...

They still sell L'eggs everywhere (kinda miss not having a CVS to go to myself, they use to be in Toledo for a few years until Rite-Aid decided to be an asshole and buy 'em all out), but yes, they gave up on the plastic egg thing out of concerns for the environment. Shame though since I kinda miss that look anyway.

Dr. Mila said...

Just had an interesting talk with my dad. He said that the silk used to come in by boat to Vancouver and then, by high speed rail (or as fast as it could go), to the mills in Eastern Canada. Those trains had priority and everything got out of their way, no matter what it was.

Also, during the war, there was a kit you could buy that had pancake makeup and a little pencil with a caliper for drawing on the seam. (There is a scene of the girls drawing the lines on their legs in the film "Faith, Hope, and Charity".) As stockings were hard to get, everyone was faking it.