11 hours ago
The Exfoliator: Tights for men
May 24th 2012
Our resident man on the good, the bad and the downright repellent from the world of male grooming. This week: Mantyhose isn't the sexiest word, but is there something in it?
First there were Man Spanx, body-shaping undershirts designed to compress one’s unsightly man gut – and presumably a couple of vital organs – into non-existence. Now there’s Mantyhose, technical hosiery (Bro-siery) for the modern gentleman.
While one brand’s marketing department cites male historical figures who lived in tights, he-ggings would be considered a sartorial faux pas in today’s society - even in Camden. Star-patterned nylon-and-cotton blend leggings are charming on a six-year-old girl; on a grown man, however, they reek of "offender behaviour".
Mantyhose are a peculiar innovation for a small start-up. Not because one has to wonder if there is enough
demand to merit their mass production but because one can’t help feeling a little shortchanged. After all, what use is a pair of man tights without a massive Shakespearean codpiece? That’s like Christmas without Santa, like coffee without cream.
I should confess that I have worn tights before. In winter I pound London’s pavements in compression tights to keep out the cold (though I have the decency to layer with a pair of long shorts). I often wear them under my jeans on long-haul flights to keep my circulation going. Male horseback riders wear them to prevent saddle sores.
Crucially, none of the above are a fashion statement of any sort; they fall under the heading of "technical wear" and provide function over form. What’s more, they they’ve all been – ahem – reinforced in certain areas.
Fashion-conscious bro-isery, on the other hand, doesn’t just look like it has a tendency to squish vital bits, it also looks worryingly fragile (a man with a ladder in his tights. Imagine!). Thankfully, one retailer has had the foresight to put together a visual guide to donning Mantyhose:http://e-mancipate.net/guide-how-to-put-on-the-mantyhose
Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that men’s tights come with a fly. Though, in fairness, we’d presume that the kind of guy that invests in Mantyhose probably sits down to pee anyway.
Related GTG features
February 21st 2017
February 20th 2017
February 20th 2017
February 18th 2017
February 17th 2017