Where do flight attendants buy their tights?

Satin Touch 20 pantyhose on the airplaneJust recently I returned from my trip to US and I wanted to write about two conversations I had with flight attendants on the way there and back about pantyhose. I was curious to hear whether why they choose not to wear compression hosiery even though it is fully covered by their work benefits and where they buy their regular ones.

On my way to JFK one of the flight attendants was very friendly to me and I asked her, out of professional interest, what hosiery she wears. She said that she actually buys her tights at the dollar store! Somehow whether she buys it for $2 or for $15 from the department store, she still ends up getting snags in them the first time she wears. Thus, she figured, why spend more.

When I asked about compression, she said that she has one pair that she got through the company. It helps her legs and she really should wear it, but it’s too much hassle. Compression hosiery needs to be put on wearing latex gloves and it has to be washed in a specific soap solution.

My suggestion to her was to buy a few more of those compression tights and alternate them, so she can wash them all at once. I also gave her my card and offered to give her some free Fiore hosiery to try out and review. There are moderately priced options out there that don’t have as high of a mark up as the ones at the department store.

On my flight back I asked another flight attendant about her tights and the story was almost the same. She buys her regular hosiery from Aldo shoes. Exactly like the lady before her, she also owns one pair of compression hosiery that she was specifically measured for. However, she lost weight and her compression tights no longer fit her properly.

For all the flights I wore pantyhose myself, it’s doesn’t look credible to ask someone a personal question, claiming you are from the hosiery industry, if you don’t look the part. On my flight to JFK I wore Wolford tights and on the way back out of Boston I wore a pair of thicker Taiwanese ones that were a gift from a friend. Fiore tights make up the majority of my personal collection, but I also like to try on different brands in order to be able to compare and give people good feedback in terms of benchmark brands.

7 thoughts on “Where do flight attendants buy their tights?

  1. I think Anatoly Borodin, the photographer you interviewed, was right. Most women don’t put any thought into their hosiery. They look at cost, convenience, and what is required. The first flight attendant is cost focused. Doesn’t care how they look or perform, just as long as they are cheap. The second flight attendant is convenience focused. She probably bought a pair of pantyhose at Aldo while buying a pair of shoes. The hose were good enough, no need to look anywhere else. Go with what you know.

    People don’t like making decisions and hosiery forces them to do that. Too many styles, colours, brands, size charts, etc. That’s why some women end up with ill fitting, bad colour shade, and wrong style for the purpose, because they are overwhelmed with options and buy the first pair they see. And then when the pair they bought suck, they complain how pantyhose/tights are awful, uncomfortable and ugly, and curse having to wear them and a dress or skirt in the first place, and then proceed to wear yoga pants everywhere. I’m generallizing of course, but it seems to be more accurate than not.

    • This is so true. I had pantyhose as a teen that my mom gave me, they were falling off and they were not comfortable. If I would make up my mind at that point and not explore further, maybe I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

  2. Actually nice to kind of see them going with non-compression hose. 100% nylon hose feel much nicer and non-confining. In my opinion, it is much sexier to look and feel natural than to strangle yourself with those “control top” and compression hose. Dollar store hose are clearly not the greatest, but there are other 100% nylon hose that are super nice and comfortable (i.e. Wolford Naked 8 & Wolford Transparency 10 tights).

  3. I’ve also noticed that in North America, the majority of airline staff both on ground and in the air tend to wear more dark, semi-opaque, higher denier tights, 30d and higher. This is probably due to the thicker denier tights being more durable, therefore lasting longer, and require less frequent replacement. Also, if they have some support factor to them, they tend to look a little less “old lady like” as the nude colour high support tights tend to look. European and Asian airlines tend to wear more nude shaded hosiery, and even when they are a darker shade, the pantyhose/tights are still on the sheer side of the denier scale.

    Several flight attendants have vlogs on YouTube and the topic of hosiery pops up once in a while. One that I follow, Fly With Stella, flies with American Airlines. She has said that she only wears Spanx tights with her uniform. In her latest vlog she actually shows that she has a hole in her upper thigh with a slight run in them. Given the location, I would suspect it was from pulling them on, rather than catching them on something.

    Airlines seem to be one of the last industries that still demand that their staff wear pantyhose or tights with their uniforms. I think this is clearly because they value the polished, elegant look that it gives their ladies with their uniforms.

  4. When I travel by air I always wear pantyhoses with some sort of compression. I also do that when I will do a long drive with the car. My legs feels much better when I do that than wearing a pair of cheap everyday pantyhoses.

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