Manolo the Columnist: Kula from Diane von Furstenberg

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

Thanks to the onrush of time, I’ve decided, Hillary-like, that henceforth I must begin to cover my legs. Unlike Hillary, however, I have decided that the maxi-dress, not the pantsuit, is to be my concealer of choice. I’ve found one I really like from J. Crew, a sort of draped, Grecian number in a color they call “abyss blue”. Please suggest some fantastic sandals to go with it.

Laura

Manolo says, whenever one of the Posse Manolo announces that she will henceforth, forever and the day, be covering her legs, the Manolo has two thoughts.

The first is that the Manolo wishes more middle-aged men would cover their legs, not middle-aged women.

Every spring the sudden appearance of the knobby man knees below the khaki shorts makes the Manolo pine for the fashions of Victorian England. (And this is before considering the toe-based destruction wrought by those in “mandals”.)

Secondly, the Manolo laments the demise of the pantyhose. Yes, it is wonderful we live in the age of freedom and inappropriate casualness, where everyone is able to wander about in sweat pants and tube tops.

Sadly, however, it is the ladies of the certain age who have paid the price for these relaxed standards. When your grandmother discovered she had the spider veins and the tiny belly bulge, she simply changed her hosiery color from “nude” to “opaque”, and cinched up her girdle one more notch. Problem solved just in time for canasta!

Look! Here is the Kula from Diane von Furstenberg, the golden Greek sandal that will leave you looking like Aphrodite.

Kula from Diane von Furstenberg

17 Responses to “Manolo the Columnist: Kula from Diane von Furstenberg”

  1. The gold digger April 23, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    Pantyhose have demised? But how do non-pantyhose-wearing women keep their feet from sweating and making the shoe stinky in the summer? How do they keep their legs warm in the winter? How do they get away with not shaving their legs every day?

    Why am I always the last person to get the memo?

  2. cassandra April 23, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    I too, now that I am a “woman of a certain age”, bemoan the demise of pantyhose. I wouldn’t be caught dead in a skirt and heels without hosiery, especially in the office. Don’t even get me started on the so-called “dressy flip-flop”!

  3. klee April 23, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    Hail Hail Manolo, regarding man-legs. Unless you play for the All-Blacks, think about a nice linen pant, and leave the khaki short to your underage son.

  4. Lisa April 23, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    Sorry, you folks are on your own on lamenting pantyhose as far as I am concerned. I have no idea where you get the idea that they absorb anything because unless we are talking tights, pantyhose are made out of nonabsorbtive material and made you even warmer. Pantyhose deserved to die, period. To some degree, fashion is about tradition, I’m with you, and standards, but it’s also a marketplace like just about any other part of material life. And I repeat pantyhose deserved to die. Baking hot in summer, too cold for winter wear. Pantyhose manufacturers seemed to assumed four inches of clearance between the crotch and the waist, so for long-waisted women like me, they were brutally uncomfortable up top and rolled down. If I got them long enough up top, they were too long in the leg and wrinkled around my ankles. I could have gone with stockings, I suppose, but they are no better on multiple fronts. They ran if you looked at them funny, which meant embarrassing runs and constantly spending on them because you couldn’t expect them to last more than three wears, especially given the long-waist problem.

    Beyond that, I don’t think they add anything to a look. Tights do. Pantyhose just make you look like you are wearing pantyhose.

    I also am not sure the standards have relaxed. I think now the achievement of great-looking legs is expected to come with your body–through volumes of exercise. Certainly all the starlet wannabes I see running around southern California have great legs, along with some women of certain age who still have great legs. We’ve shifted the expectation about achieving beautiful legs from things like pantyhose to having a great body in general.

    Since I have neither the banging body nor any desire to shave my legs, I wear pants.

  5. Astra April 23, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    “Pantyhose have demised? But how do non-pantyhose-wearing women keep their feet from sweating and making the shoe stinky in the summer? How do they keep their legs warm in the winter? How do they get away with not shaving their legs every day? ”

    Black tights in the winter, bare legs in the summer. Haven’t noticed my summer shoes to be particularly more stinky than the winter ones, frankly.

  6. Lori April 23, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    You can look good in sandals and bare legs with tanned legs, reasonably good skin, frequent shaving, callous removal, toenail polish with frequest touch-ups, and blister care as needed. Or you can put on close-toed, close-heeled shoes and stockings and have done with it.

    The current fashion of low-slung jeans and skin-tight camisoles even in 100-degree weather makes the cry of “pantyhose are so uncomfortable!” a bit dubious.

  7. La Petite Acadienne April 23, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    They will pry my pantyhose out of my cold, dead hands. My legs are very shapely (from the knee down, anyway), but I have inherited my mother’s tendency towards spider veins. Plus, I am pasty. But I love skirts.

    Obviously I’m not going to wear pantyhose with a casual sundress. At that point I just slap on some shimmer lotion and hope for the best.

    But for work? I am not going to subject my coworkers to my pasty, veiny legs. But nor am I going to eschew skirts. So pantyhose it is. Plus, I do think that hosiery looks a lot more professional than bare legs.

  8. Patti April 23, 2010 at 12:32 pm #

    Ah, the contempt for women of porcelain complexions! We’re expected to lament our ‘pasty’ skins. I don’t tan – can’t tan – and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. At 27 years of age (and two skin cancer removals) I was done with trying.
    So I don’t cover my pale legs.

  9. Genevieve April 23, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    Patti–Amen. I’m half Italian, half Polish, so I get dark, but my cousin is half Irish, half Polish, and I wish I had her complexion. She has black hair, and that lovely, perfectly clear, extremely pale Irish complexion. I like being olive skinned, really, I do, but she definitely shows why pale skin is not something to eschew!

  10. Dee April 23, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    There are many things that have fallen out of fashion, but you will never get me to miss pantyhose. Uncomfortable to the point of punishing, especially in Southern climes.

  11. Victor April 23, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    I think those are fantastic sandals!

  12. wildflower April 23, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    Why can’t we consider hose to be optional? You like them? Wear them! You don’t? Don’t! Problem solved!

  13. Manolo the Shoeblogger April 23, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    The Manolo has just recalled that there is one young(ish) celebrity who still regularly wears hosiery….

    http://shoeblogs.com/2009/07/22/whose-shoes-wednesday-109/

  14. NDC April 23, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    Being a personage of the female persuasion, a member of a learned profession, and of an age that is past adolescence and not-knowing-better, I am firmly IN the pantyhose camp for a variety of reasons both personal and more general.

    First, I have quite non-robust skin on my feet and blister very easily. Wearing regular shoes/heels without stockings guarantees that I will have blisters and open wounds. Stockings save my skin, literally.

    Second, I have really, really good legs, but they are pale, and I am far from a sun-worshiper. All the damage from decades’ past tanning teaches a lesson that cannot be eradicated. So, the legs don’t get tanned intentionally. Leg makeup beyond moisturizer is, to my mind, silly unless there is a genuine blemish to be concealed. Moreover, it is the rare woman past the collagen-filled bliss of teenagery that has really firm and uniform skin tone and color from toes to the tops of her thighs. Thus, pantyhose provide necessary color and a uniform appearance to my stems.

    Third, while I have a pretty good figure, I appreciate, and have for years, the trimming/slimming effect of my control-top pantyhose. I don’t need Spanx; Hanes Control Top works just fine.

    Fourth, stockings help to keep the legs warm in the cool and cold seasons and in the air-conditioned environs that can produce a crop of goose-pimples.

    Finally, I am a member of a conservative profession that has long been less than welcoming to women. I entered it decades ago when a female would be almost automatically assumed to be support personel rather than the professional. Dressing to and for the job, including the suits, the stockings and the professional footwear, was and still is the way to encourage clients and counterparts to take and treat one as a peer. That’s just the way of it, and I don’t mind it as I’ve come to accept it.

    Thus, I’m in the pantyhose camp to keep my feet from injury, to look polished and professional. Indeed, I’ll be on a Hanes run this Saturday.

  15. Lisa April 23, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    @ Lori. Well, given that I don’t wear low slung jeans (also embarrassing for long-waisted women, for the same reason as pantyhose) or skin-tight camisoles, I can’t be accused of inconsistency in logic.

  16. beatrix April 24, 2010 at 7:20 am #

    Wildflower has it right. Pantyhose are only dead to those who want them to be. Personally, I dislike the way they feel, and when it’s warm I’ll happily wear sandals with a “tea-length” skirt or capris to work without worrying about a few inches of skin. However, in the colder months, out come the Hanes or the tights, depending on the outfit. I love mixing up pants on some days with skirts and dresses on other days, but I work in a profession like NDC’s where a professional look matters and bare legs under an office-y outfit would be distracting in all the wrong ways. At least, MY bare legs would be — they are well-shaped, but the spider veins and uneven skin tone that come with maturity don’t need to be advertised.

    Tanning is a poor idea as a pantyhose substitute. The smooth-skinned young ladies who use that approach (as I once did) will inevitably find themselves needing to cover up their prematurely-aged skin in a few years and wishing they’d protected it better.

  17. girlbuffalo1 April 27, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    Pale is the new tan! I wear sun lotion every day and love skirts without tights/pantyhose! No need to sun-worship! It’s funny that back in the olden days to have a tan was bad as it meant you spent your time outside doing hard labor and then it was considered chic as it meant you could vacation in Monaco or whatever.