Yesterday it was sunny but rather chilly in Calgary (about 15°C). At my bus stop from downtown I noticed most women were dressed very summery, in short skirts, sandals, skimpy tops and... goosebumps. Why would they be cold when a pair a nylons could help? Why have nylons become the new pariah in street fashion?


The following are my observations inspired by an exchange with @PrettyInNylon that ensued the initial comment above.

I grew up under the premise that an elegant lady always wears nylons. The second premise is that I'm chilly or fresh until the thermometer reaches 32°C. I start melting at 37°C. I don't like air conditioning unless it's 35°C or more.

Back in 2008 I was at a women entrepreneur training in Los Angeles. The organizer, a very known name in that circle, was praising how her life changed when she moved from New York to California, especially how free she felt that never again she had to wear nylons to work.

At the time I took it as a sign of freedom from corporate life and suits as, in her own words, she's unemployable (hence starting her own business). Also, it's true that in Los Angeles most of the time it's quite hot and yes, you don't need nylons if you are out and about. Or formal corporate clothes.

A couple years later I became an image consultant/cool hunter and I started paying a lot more attention to women's clothes and how we dress.

I started following streetstyle photographers. Check out any photo of a Winter's Fashion week attendant anywhere and you will see them freezing with sandals and no nylons.

Then I remember trips to New York, in Winter and Fall, and noticing women not wearing nylons but wearing snow boots with their skirts.

Credit: StrathconaStockings.com
Fast forward a couple years from then and my visits to Calgary while dating my husband. Back in New York let's say it was about 5-10°C when I noticed they were not wearing nylons. Here in Calgary it was -5°C and girls were walking Stephen Ave in Summer dresses, no nylons, and sandals!

It was so shocking to me that it became my ice breaker when I meet Calgarian women.

Most of the time I wonder if people are fueled on vodka in this city or if I'm just a big pansy. Maybe a combination of both. I get that inside offices it's hot even in the worst of Winter, but surely they leave the office at some point, right? And not all of them go from a heated garage to a heated garage... like the women I saw yesterday waiting for the bus with me and freezing their butts off.

Are nylons the new "burning bras" from the 70s? Why are they a symbol of women's "liberation"? What is so wrong about wearing nylons? Have so many women changed their thermostat that they don't need nylons any more?

Yet on the other hand, we have Canadian companies like Strathcona Stockings making it big in fashion and on the "cosmopolitan redneck" side of the spectrum, we have the love affair with leggings that have taken the suburbs (and schools, according to my stepkids) by assault.

In the deep south we have climate concerns about nylons (as in, it's freaking hot) but we still love to wear them in chilly days.

So what's the big deal with nylons ladies? Is it a North American thing?

Opinions are welcome.