It’s a delicate topic for FLOTUS.  

Jill Biden, 69, knocked observers’ socks off when she strutted off Govt One at Andrews Air Power Base in Maryland final week sporting a pair of black patterned fishnet pantyhose. 

Whereas some took to social media to rejoice her trendy stockings, others annihilated the president’s spouse for rocking the head-turning nylons. 

However she’s not the primary first girl whose fashion-forward legs have sparked sheer chaos

“Excessive-power ladies and hosiery has been a hot-button problem for years,” lingerie knowledgeable Cora Harrington instructed The Submit. 

Michelle Obama, Melania Trump and Meghan Markle have all come below fireplace for flexing their gams nevertheless they noticed match. 

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Former first girl Michelle Obama proudly proscribed pantyhose, deeming the delicate undergarments an “inconvenience.”

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US First Lady Michelle Obama (R) and Emi

A tights-free Obama with Emily Okay. Rafferty of the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork in 2009.

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President Obama And Michelle Obama Return From Dallas, TX

First girl Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama leaving Marine One in DC in 2016.

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Obama, now 57, practically despatched the nation right into a state of emergency when she publicly denounced pantyhose throughout an off-the-cuff chat on “The View” in 2008. She slammed the sheers for being “inconvenient” and “at all times ripping,” angering traditionalists who deemed stockings important dressing for highly effective ladies. 

A decade later, Trump, now 50, wasn’t immune from controversy when she sported a pair of barely there, flesh-colored leggings beneath an upper-thigh-length jacket when she deplaned at Andrews in 2018. 

Melania Trump donned tan leggings that almost resembled her skin tone at Joint Base Andrews in 2018.
Melania Trump donned tan leggings that nearly resembled her pores and skin tone at Joint Base Andrews in 2018.
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“There appears to be a warped, unstated expectation of wives and spouses of highly effective political leaders,” mentioned Harrington, whose guide on the evolution of lingerie, “In Intimate Element,” got here out in 2018. “That they need to be demur or sedate, nearly invisible. And so they shouldn’t do or put on something that will get any consideration.”

The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, 39, is commonly praised for following royal wardrobe protocols by sporting nude pantyhose each time she’s in public — particularly whereas within the presence of the queen.

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh And Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge Visit Leicester

Kate Middleton minds her royal manners by usually sliding into her sheers, particularly when out with the queen.

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Middleton in 2005, adhering to the unofficial royal rule of legwear properly earlier than she and Prince William married in 2011.

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Queen Elizabeth II, Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall And Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge Visit Fortnum & Mason Store

Kate Middleton minds her royal manners by usually sliding into her sheers, particularly when out with the queen.

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Nonetheless, Markle, 39, boldly boasts her naked legs each time she likes. 

Her alternative to go hose-free in her engagement footage in 2017 and whereas attending a charity efficiency of “Hamilton” at London’s Victoria Palace Theatre in 2018, practically induced a fortress coup. 

“You by no means see a royal with out their nude stockings,” royals knowledgeable Victoria Arbiter instructed the press on the time. “I might say that’s actually the one exhausting, steadfast rule when it comes to what the queen requires.”

Announcement Of Prince Harry's Engagement To Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle did not put on stockings for her 2017 engagement pictures with Prince Harry.

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The Duke & Duchess Of Sussex Pose With Their Newborn Son

The previous Duchess of Sussex additionally went naked legged for child Archie’s debut in 2019.

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The Duke & Duchess Of Sussex Visit Sussex

A hosiery-free Markle alongside Prince Harry at a go to to the Joff Youth Centre in Sussex in 2018.

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Why is everybody so uptight about girls’ tights — or lack thereof?

All through a lot of the 20th century, stockings have been synonymous with femininity and required for any polished look.

Pantyhose created from silk or rayon had been first popularized within the 1920s, together with shorter hemlines. DuPont first launched nylon hosiery on the 1939 World’s Honest in New York; four million pairs had been bought in 4 days after they went to market the next 12 months.

Racier fishnets — with diamond-shaped patterns tending to intensify curves and draw consideration to the leg — had been favored by the pin-up fashions of the 1950s.

Political spouses apart, the must-have pantyhose mentality began getting the previous heave-ho within the late 1990s. 

“Society has seen motion away from pantyhose as a vogue accent because the flip of the century,” Harrington mentioned. 

“The top of that development is tied to the elevated casualization of costume code in America,” she mentioned, noting the nation’s current embrace of athleisure. “Ladies within the office and in society are not anticipated to cowl up their shins and calves with tights, however they’re completely free to take action if they need. And that’s nice, having that alternative is nice.”

Jill Biden wearing fishnet stockings at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland Thursday caused a digital debate over hosiery.
Jill Biden sporting fishnet stockings at Andrews Air Power Base in Maryland final week induced a digital debate over hosiery.
POOL/AFP through Getty Pictures

And whereas Biden’s avant-garde option to outfit herself in fishnets induced a web based uproar, it additionally opened up a much-needed dialogue about enjoyable, femininity and vogue for girls of all ages and lessons. 

“Now, extra folks will take a look at [Biden’s] outfit and consider ways in which they’ll specific themselves via garments with out concern of criticism,” mentioned Harrington. “[They’ll think,] ‘If the primary girl can put on no matter makes her really feel assured and empowered, face some judgment, however nonetheless stroll round along with her head held excessive, so can I.’ ”