Libby Coleman reports that the market for pantyhose apparently has bottomed out, so to speak:
For the last 15 years, sales have been going down, down, down, the victim of leg tanner, open-toed shoes, more casual dress codes, and the general fickleness of fashion. But in recent months, pantyhose makers have sighted just the faintest glimmer of hope. If hosiery sales were previously “hemorrhaging,” in the blunt words of independent retail analyst Marshal Cohen, now they have “kind of stabilized.” Buoyed by the news, the hosiery giant L’eggs has launched its first TV ad in nearly 15 years. The new ad first ran in the spring and is now back as part of an even bigger campaign for autumn, traditionally an important season for hosiery.
Here’s that new ad. Award points for originality or desperation as you wish:
The industry argues that there are good reasons to expect something of a market rebound:
[S]ome news outlets have argued that Kate Middleton, an avid wearer of hose, is helping revive the category by looking so damn good in them. Angela Hawkins, the director and general manager of hosiery at Hanesbrands Inc., which owns L’eggs, told me that pantyhose are coming back because “we are in a very feminine fashion cycle” dominated by dresses and skirts.
Contrariwise, there is the example of the First Lady:
“I stopped wearing pantyhose a long time ago because it was painful,” she said on The View… “Put ‘em on, rip ‘em — it’s inconvenient.”
Gossamer garments in general don’t have much of a lifespan, especially if there’s someone around who wants to remove them from you in a hurry.
I take no official position on this matter, though I’ll admit to a certain willingness to examine whatever evidence is made available.