Should You Wear Pantyhose to Job Interviews or Work?

When Legwear Is Appropriate and What to Wear With Them

Portrait of a young woman at home getting dressed and preparing for a work with pantyhose on
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Whether or not to wear pantyhose remains a contested issue among female employees and job seekers. Changes in fashion and workplace dress codes have caused some women to forgo pantyhose for bare legs, while other women claim pantyhose are still essential. Who is right?

Dress Codes and Culture

Wearing pantyhose to job interviews or work depends on a number of factors, starting with the company. If you know the company allows business casual dress, you should feel fine not wearing pantyhose, but if business dress (a pantsuit or a suit with a blouse) is preferred, pantyhose would be more appropriate.

If you are unsure about the company's dress policies, ask. If you have an interview coming up, you can call the front desk and ask. If you know someone who works for the company, you can ask them for advice as well.

Many people believe wearing pantyhose is a generational preference and that today's work professionals don't need to do so. Pantyhose may be less essential today than they were a generation ago, but regardless of age, job seekers always should think about the company's culture before deciding to skip the legwear.

When in doubt about whether or not to wear pantyhose, always err on the side of caution, especially in an interview. It’s always better to be slightly overdressed in an interview than to be underdressed.

Choosing the Right Pantyhose

If you decide to wear pantyhose, stick to either nude or black (opaque) tights, especially when interviewing. Colored and patterned tights have become trendy recently, but they do not always convey professionalism.

Once you are hired by a company and have a better feel for its culture, you can decide whether more playful types of pantyhose and tights are acceptable.

What to Wear With Pantyhose

You can wear pantyhose with a dress or a skirt. If you wear a dress, you might choose a neutral color like black, gray, beige, or navy blue. You can pair the dress with a matching blazer or a cardigan.

However, you might also try wearing a statement dress, or a dress in an interesting color, such as a muted turquoise or maroon. With this kind of dress, you do not need to wear any other accessories (such as a necklace), because the bold dress speaks for itself. Any other elements of your outfit — such as your shoes or jacket — should be muted in pattern and color. You also want to make sure the neckline and hemline are appropriate. The dress should not be too short, and you do not want a revealing décolletage.

Instead of a dress, you might wear a skirt with pantyhose. Like a dress, you can wear a neutral-colored skirt, or pair a statement skirt with a simple top. You can pair a skirt with a blazer, a button-down, a blouse, a cardigan, or sweater. Make sure the skirt is not too short or too tight.

Alternative Work Wear

If you simply hate wearing pantyhose, consider wearing a professional outfit other than a skirt or dress. If the company prefers business dress, consider wearing a business suit, dress pants with a sweater, blouse, cardigan, or a button-down shirt.

If you wear dress pants, pick a neutral color, like black, gray, beige, or navy blue. You can add a pop of color with your blouse.