Nylons (or pantyhose, or sheers, or tights, or whatever trendy name they go by in English in various countries) are often, though not exclusively, referred to as "stockings" in Japan, and are a staple fashion item. Sure, nylons get plenty of use in the West. But here, outside of stagnant inaka, I feel like I can count on my fingers the number of women I encounter who don't sport shin-clinging fabric.

Maybe nylons feel comfortable to wear. Maybe other Japanese girls laugh at you if you don't have any on. Whatever. Regardless, this nylon obsession in Japan seemed to reach a whole new level when I learned about "air stocking."
Air Stocking, branded by Japanese company C.C.Medico, is the solution for women who want to look like they are wearing nylons but not actually wear them.

...That's right. This spray is a cop out for women who are torn between a dislike of wearing pantyhose and a desire to wear them--or at least perceived social pressure that they are better off wearing them. Meta-fashion, if you will.

Hey, let's have an Air Stocking party!
The benefits of Air Stocking are supposed to include those of regular nylon--giving your skin a uniform appearance by covering up blemishes and pores--along with the vague and possibly unsubstantiated benefits claimed of most skin creams sold to women: something along the lines of "moisturizes and protects your skin with vitamins, minerals, and this obscure plant extract." (Minerals and extracts, mind, that few of the general population can actually define but which advertisements have for years told us are good for our skin.) I'll at least buy into Air Stocking's claim of SPF 25 protection from ultraviolets.

Before on left, after on right.
As for the social benefit, yeah, it looks like Air Stocking does a good job of giving legs a uniform, sheer appearance, just like stretched fabric. But, according to actual user reports, the lighter Air Stocking pigments have limited effectiveness on darker skin tones. The deeper "terracotta" and "bronze" pigments cover blemishes more cleanly, but in turn give much more noticeable color to the legs they're applied to.

Another girl in the above-linked thread complained that while the substance doesn't rub off on clothing, it leaves skin tone marks on towels when rubbed off after a shower or bath.

I guess if you've always been wondering what it'd be like to look like you're wearing pantyhose without putting any on, Air Stocking must be worth a try. At 1700 ~ 3100 yen per bottle ($21 ~ 39 USD), it's no line drawn along the calf technique to save you money, but plenty can be said in favor of comfortable fashion. C.C.Medico exports their product to a few dozen other countries, so clearly there's a sufficient target market for this kind of product.

Experience using this stuff or spending time with someone who does? Let us know in the comments below!

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