Sweating Etiquette – Shoeper Shoe Challenge #8 of 105


Geppetto Shoes 1960s suede slingbacks. Micromesh tights by http://www.stockingshq.com

My maternal grandmother who gave me these Geppetto shoes (full story here) was often horrified by my manners.

One night during the summer that I stayed with her I had a dinner date with a guy, a bartender and musician.  He booked a table for dinner at Chez Josephine in Hells Kitchen. Apparently this was a bigger deal than I realised.  She supervised my outfit preparations. “There’s no point wearing that top” she said “he’ll realise that you have no breasts“.   I felt like pointing out that getting lucky had less to do with having boobs than say having a vagina (or not as the case may be) but I kept schtum.  As I left the house she gave me a steely look and said –

Do one thing for me“.

Um yes sure” I said, expecting some uncomfortable contraceptive conversation.

Don’t lick your plate after you’ve finished eating dinner, it’s a nice place“.

Chez Josephine. Copyright Huffington Post 2010

It was a nice place. It is still a nice place. I found another blogger who has visited and photographed it recently.

I forgot to mention that my dinner date took place in August on a swelteringly hot summer night, that I was wearing tights and that I didn’t get lucky that night or in fact any other night with this chap.

Did I mention that I was wearing tights?

My friend Nomes hates tights. She also hates hold ups. Unlike me, however, she has very long legs. By operation of some strange trompe-l’œil law, girls with very long legs can get away with wearing stockings and mini skirts. Since I have little legs with heels my minis appear to be shorter than they actually are.  In a nutshell this means that unless I am going out to a tarts and vicars party it is a very bad idea for me to wear stockings and short skirts.

So here I am, covering up my dignity.

The problem with being dignified is that it invariably involves being sweaty.  Want to wear a chiffon diaphonous frock in summer? Sure, just match it with flesh coloured undies and or a slip. This then takes away the joy of soft fabric on bare skin but you won’t offend anyone.

Rachel Bilson. Image copyright Just Jared

But the thing is that causing offence is a multi-sensory experience. It is not enough to cover one’s bits up, one also has to be careful not to do other things like sweating on a client’s boardroom table.

Our clients are setting up a sports related social media site. It is going to be a site used by a lot of people who like to see sweaty men running around on football pitches in Australia. My boss and I have spent the last two months drafting all their legal bits and pieces.  Yesterday I got a call from the client.

I don’t know where to put these legal bits and pieces that you have drafted for me, can you come down here and show me please?”

Being polite, I agreed.

Being polite when I got to the client’s place, a warehouse space full of long tables, mountain bikes, cameras and computers I decided to mirror the client’s body language.

He stood on his chair and promptly sat on the boardroom table. It was a big boardroom table that I couldn’t quite reach across.

I’ll join you” I said and clambered up onto the boardroom table with him.

Phew” I thought to myself “thank goodness I decided to wear tights because I would not be able to sit on a client’s boardroom table wearing stockings. That would be INAPPROPRIATE“.

We both peered at a computer screeen, a note pad and a few pages of the carefully drafted legal documents that the boss and I had prepared.  Ten minutes later everything was in the right place and my client got back off the table again. At which point I got back off the table.

What I did not expect was to leave a perfect condensation print of my sweaty bum on the client’s boardroom table.

They were quite good about it really.

How do you get round the sweaty bum vs leg decency in summer dilemma – do you go barelegged or do you opt for tights/stockings/hold ups or other options?

11 thoughts on “Sweating Etiquette – Shoeper Shoe Challenge #8 of 105

  1. Ooh, this is my area of expertise, now that I am living in Darwin temporarily again.

    Wear matching underwear to the clothing and as little else as is legally possible. Dress cool, feel cool and look cool. You can own anything if you aren’t sweating like a pig.

  2. I loved this. I could just hear Helen saying that. How come I never knew about all this back then? Apart from the falling out.

  3. Does Stanley St footy social mean anything to you?? If so, I was in their offices a few weeks ago – and I left a sweaty bum patch on the red leather lounge they’ve got upstairs! And had to wipe it off!

  4. Sweat happens and from my experience, men are the last ones on the planet that should complain about it. I have three boys – ages 23, 17 and 8 – and since my daughter moved out 😦 I am surrounded by only testosterone-filled humans. And they can stink. Even my 8-year old can get an unbelievable body odor. The other day my 17-year old was working out in the house and the whole end of the house where he was smelled. I kept thinking why is there this odor and then realized it was him!

    So gals…these guys have nothing to complain about.

    Being a SAHM I spend the summer in either shorts or jeans and sandals. Frankly, I wish I had some events to wear my dresses to…I have bought some cute dresses the last couple of years and then haven’t had a chance to wear them (for instance, two years ago I bought a dress and all the trimmings to wear to my 30-year high school reunion and then the kids and I got swine flu and I didn’t get to go).

    As far as what to wear with a dress, it depends on the dress. Most work wear would need to be worn with pantyhose. I think “tights” are too thick and I only wear them in the winter but maybe we’re not talking about the same thing?

    Actually, I think there is a little of a language issue here for me because you talk of “tights,” “stockings,” and “hold-ups” and I’m not sure what you are referring to in each instance.

    For a fun night out I would probably go bare-legged.

    One last thing, I would like you to know that you inspired my daughter and I to have more respect and affinity for tights and stockings than we have had in the past. I like wearing sexy underthings in any case so I am trying to include the hosiery in that category.

    • Hi Anne

      Tights = pantyhose or to-the-waist stockings.

      Stockings = hose

      Hold ups/stay ups = stockings that have an elastic band across the top that is supposed to preclude the need for a garter or suspender belt.

      • Thanks for the clarification. I love the idea of garters and hose because they seem so sexy…haven’t gotten around to getting any and maybe the comfort level would make them a lot less sexy than they seem? I did buy some Hanes pantyhose with lace trimming on the panty that look oh-so-sexy but again, have had no opportunity to wear them…unless I want to go to my evening college class especially dressed-up and make myself all the more noticable…I’m already in the position of being old enough to be my fellow students’ mother!

        Living in Florida all my life I know all about the sweat factor. For the first few years of my marriage we had no A/C in our tiny little house and getting ready for church on Sundays was a joke. I would get out of the shower and immediately start sweating. Trying to put on make-up while you’re sweating is quite an art. And then to try to put on pantyhose while the sweat continues to pour off…it was horrible. No wonder I was in such a bad mood those mornings!

    • That’s a great tip Fiona for keeping stay ups up, they are easier to wear under short skirts if long enough to reach up to the tops of the legs. (I roll my stockings on with damp hands to stop them running.)

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