Saturday, June 27, 2009

e-MANcipate Photo Shoot Planned

compliments of

Chan Kraemer of is planning a major photo shoot using the new Emilio Cavallini line of unisex tights, and is seeking financial backing for this major venture. You can read about his plans at the e-MANcipate special page. Based in Europe--working in the U.K. and Budapest--Chan has done some very good work in the past, as can be seen [here]. His work has been very influential in the effort to bring men's legwear directly into the mainstream.

We at ACTIVSKIN have made arrangements to accept donations on behalf of e-MANcipate and Chan Kraemer's photographic work. If you wish to make a donation to support this effort, you can use your PayPal account to send money to the ACTIVSIN account at and make sure to earmark it for the e-MANcipate photo project. We will then forward all donations to him to help offset his costs.

As can be seen in the link to what he refers to as "Nylon Friday" his photography was prominently featured in several European newspapers with readership of more than 1.6 million. Many readers of 'The Nylon Gene' have seen his work, whether you recognize it by name or not. Since last year, many of the articles on men's legwear running in various parts of the U.S. have also made use of his photography.

I would like to add my personal wish for Chan's success in reaching his goals, and I hope readers of 'The Nylon Gene' who are favorably disposed to advancing the men's legwear trend will consider contacting him and making some sort of donation. Good luck to you, Chan!
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Which Colors Look More Masculine?

Black Legwear for Men, on the StreetThe thought occasionally occurs, or comes up in conversation among us at ACTIVSKIN, "Which colors of legwear give of the most 'masculine' impression on others who see it?" Since part of our mission is to serve as an advocacy for men's legwear, we consider this a fruitful question for discussion. I encourage my readers to join in this discussion with the same gusto as we saw on the issue of what to call men's legwear...

So, what are our options here? First, you have your basic black sheer legwear, as you can see in the first photo. It's completely obvious to anyone within a quarter mile that you're wearing legwear (pantyhose, mantyhose, hosiery, whatever they may call it...). On the 'plus' side, people are likely to perceive that the wearer must be quite confident (a masculine trait) to be wearing something as bold as that. Also, black tends to be associated in many people's mind with masculine when it comes to clothing. I have seen posts from women on several legwear-related discussion boards that if men are going to wear pantyhose, they should try to avoid the appearance that they're 'sneaking around' while doing so.

On the other hand, being this obvious with your legwear choice open the wearer up to the possibility of negative reactions along with the positive. As an aside, I can share that I have gone to a number of large gatherings--or traveled around in general--dressed as in this photo and have yet to receive any overt negative reactions. I can't speak for what's inside people's heads but if it were negative it was not manifested outwardly.

Black Opaque Men's TightsLumped into the same category with sheer black hosiery are opaque tights. They have the same characteristic of immediate visibility that sheer legwear does, but may have a slightly different perception when first seen by someone who hasn't yet been introduced to the concept of men's legwear.

For some reason, the opaque material seems to have a somewhat more masculine aspect to it than does the sheer. We've seen men wearing opaque tights with shorts in popular culture in recent memory, so it may have more masculine connotation built up as a result. I'm thinking of the 'Seattle grunge rock' movement of the 1990s. Guys were wearing tights under shorts or ripped jeans with some regularity, even though the movement itself was countercultural by definition. There was a film, starring Matt Dillon, in which he played a character who wore black opaque tights with shorts in several scenes. I don't remember the title.

So, even though worn with everyday attire, black tights seem to have a built-in advantage when it comes to masculine perceptions. This is the route many men seem to take when introducing themselves to the idea of wearing legwear more publicly. However, it does have the disadvantage of being hotter to wear than sheer legwear. If, like myself, other men are wearing them for the leg support benefits, they need them just as much in the summertime as the other three seasons. I would predict that as men's legwear becomes more widely accepted in the mainstream, this idiosyncratic linkage between opaque material/more masculine will gradually fade, until there's little difference in perception of sheer versus opaque tights on men.

Tan Legwear for MenNext, we have tan or beige, which somewhat closely resembles the skin color of Caucasians such as myself. I suppose we would substitute dark brown or similar colors into this paragraph for our African-American brothers. For our purposes here, I'll lump all of the above under the name, 'skintone'. As you can see at right, it is not obvious at first glance that I am wearing legwear in the photograph. Yes, there is an extra sheen visible, but that may not always be the case, depending on the style you are wearing. Some might prefer to nothing but 'skintone' legwear because they are not yet confident enough that they won't be teased or ridiculed by their friends or acquaintenances.

This is a natural enough concern since, after all, men's legwear as a trend is still fairly new and only now beginning to really spread significantly. The majority of men wearing our products still seem to be doing so exclusively under long pants. They want to see more men wearing them with shorts before they will 'take the plunge' and do so as well. Of course, the obvious shortcoming is that if no one is willing to go first, nothing ever happens. By the way, dear readers, that's one of the reasons for our mission of legwear advocacy at ACTIVSKIN: someone's gotta do it.

In any case, as I mentioned above, I've read comments posted on discussion boards that suggest that at least some women who do manage to observe that a guy is wearing skintone hosiery may equate that with 'sneaking around' wearing pantyhose and perceive it in a negative light. This could imply the opposite of the perception noted above with the black legwear. That is, that the wearer is bold and/or confident, which reads 'masculine'. Important caveat here: this is by no means a statistically valid observation. It's simply something I've picked up here and there along the way.

And, it begs the question: Does that mean that if someone goes somewhere wearing skintone legwear with shorts, they are automatically perceived as unconfident, sneaky, ashamed, etc., etc.? I believe the answer is, "No." When I go places, I'm about as likely to wear tan legwear as to wear black. In fact, now that it's summertime here in the States, I'm not that likely to wear black at all. Why? Because black is hotter than lighter colors because it absorbs the sunlight. And, while I'm not at all shy about people seeing that I'm wearing legwear, I have to admit I'm less likely to be wearing black in summer so as to avoid having people ask themselves, "Man, isn't he hot wearing black like that in the summer? What's the matter with him?" I know, pretty silly to be concerned over something like that--we all have our mental quirks. :-)

As it happens, the skintone styles that I typically wear are not that difficult to discern, especially when out in bright light or sunshine. And, no one would infer from my demeanor that I'm in the least bit reticent about anyone noticing whether I'm wearing skintone legwear. So, at least in my case, that aspect of the masculine perception of this color would not be an issue.

Off-Black Legwear for MenAfter black and skintone, we have the other, less frequently worn, colors that legwear can be found in. There's off-black sheer legwear, which some would call grey. ACTIVSKIN no longer carries any styles in this color. We formerly offered several styles in off-black, but discontinued them due to limited demand. Therefore, unless we bring them back by popular demand, off-black legwear would be available only from one of the overseas companies selling men's legwear, or in women's hosiery (unless you've managed to hold on to a few pair of our discontinued styles). Because of this, off-black doesn't bear much discussion under this topic. Personally, I always thought it was a good option when black would not go very well with your outfit--but that must be a minority opinion...

Dark Brown Legwear for Men at the OfficeFinally, there's dark brown--which, as I said above might be considered 'skintone' for African-Americans. For the sake of discussion here, I'm referring to lighter-skinned men wearing dark brown. This color would fall somewhere between the beige/tan colors that can easily escape notice by others, and the completely noticable black hosiery. When I'm wearing dark brown legwear with shorts, there's very little chance of someone not realizing what I'm wearing. So, the positive aspects of boldness/confidence are probably associated with this color. On the other hand, it may lack the positive aspect that associates the color black with menswear.

There's a lot of psychology tied up in all of this, of course. Without getting into too much arcane discussion of irrelevant details, I'd like to hear what readers think of all this. Men who currently wear legwear with shorts in your daily activities: What are your thoughts on all of this? Have you had feedback from others regarding what you were wearing, and what was it? How about the people who have only recently been introduced to the concept of men wearing legwear (women as well as men): What are/would be your perceptions to seeing a guy wearing any of these options I've discussed above? Is there any truth to what I've noted about when a guy is wearing skintone hosiery that is only noticed after some time has passed? Have you had this experience, and what were your thoughts upon realizing the person was wearing hosiery? I'd like to have an in-depth discussion on this, with many participants, as the feedback is very valuable to our efforts here at The Nylon Gene.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How to Temporarily Stop a Run in Your Mantyhose or Tights |

ripped hoseFollow link to [Shared via AddThis]

While the above linked blog post was written mainly to an audience of women--who are probably mostly already aware of this technique--I thought it might be a useful item to share with the guys here on The Nylon Gene, especially if you're new to wearing hosiery. You may not have the slightest idea what to do if/when this happens to you.

If you're wearing ACTIVSKIN legwear with shorts--despite how durable we try to make it--some time you'll look down and see a 'run' (Europeans call them 'ladders') starting to go up or down your leg. Just do what's described in the linked article and you can (hopefully) stop it from becoming too noticeable. Just don't waste any time getting to it. A lot of times, once runs start they can get worse pretty quickly. It doesn't hurt to have some clear nailpolish handy somewhere.

Oh yeah... and if your hose look like the photo above, better just give up on 'em.


Monday, June 22, 2009

ActivSkin Legwear on NBC-TV, June 22, 2009 (2nd Time)

Steve Newman/Gail Hogan and ActivSkin Legwear for Men[THE VIDEO'S HERE... SEE BELOW] The second in the series of appearances featuring ACTIVSKIN took place this morning, where I was a guest on "Daytime Columbus" again (the local NBC affiliate, WCMH-TV). The segment, which aired live, went smoothly and I discussed occupational aspects of men's legwear with Ms. Gail Hogan, the host of the show. The following paragraphs provide some more in-depth backgroun discussion on the issues that I discussed on-air with Gail.

As readers of this blog should already know, there are many occupations that contribute to problems with leg health, and men are every bit as affected by it as women. Therefore, ACTIVSKIN support legwear can provide relief of discomfort associated with extended periods of uninterrupted standing, as well as problems presented with sedentary professions that keep people seated motionless for hours on end. Some examples of the former are: surgeons, cooks/chefs, retail clerks, and many more.

Similary, truck drivers, pilots, and office clerical staff are among the many who sit for hours on end without relief. We've received mail noting many other professions that can benefit from our full support hosiery. Just recently, it was brought to our attention how many hours symphony musicians spend sitting while they practice their art.

Video From ActivSkin TV Appearance

In either of these situations, blood tends to pool in the lower legs because leg muscles are mostly inactive. In the absence of other venous problems in the legs, periodic contraction of leg muscles during movement helps force blood upwards through the legs as it returns to the heart. So, even though men (and women) in these professions may not initially have venous insufficiency or varicose veins, the constant pooling of the blood in the lower legs places added strain on the blood vessel walls and the one-way valves.

Eventually, this added strain causes weakening of the walls and valves and backflow begins to occur and leads to further problems with leg circulation. Use of support hosiery helps to counteract the pooling and backflow, especially if employed before problems worsen to the stage where more invasive treatment methods are the only option. We at ACTIVSKIN want to promote a more open-minded approach to men's legwear, so that those who are most at-risk because of their occupation can wear it with confidence.

Formerly, men avoided use of support hosiery because the only non-medical grade products on the market were made for women. Some have tried using medical grade compression hosiery, only to have them sit unused in a drawer because they are too hot and difficult to put on. Unless specifically prescribed by a physician, something less constrictive than medical compression hosiery can generally provide relief at a much lower cost with much more comfort. If you missed the broadcast in the Columbus viewing area, or live outside Channel Four's signal range, you can go to the following web address to watch the online video: (scroll down the list of video segments on the "NBC4i Video" list).

AN UPDATE FROM 6/08/09: Feedback from the first appearance has been very positive. I'm told that our video segment for that week was by far the most viewed on the NBC4 website. Normally, Daytime Columbus show segments get about 60 views per week, while the ACTIVSKIN segment received over 1200 hits for the week (it received 572 hits on the first day). This is in addition to the 600 or so views per week of the YouTube version that I posted as well, plus those who viewed the video through The Nylon Gene.

Stay tuned, for next month's appearance on July 23rd...


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Annual Father's Day Bike Ride 2009I hope our readers had a happy Father's Day. I went on a 57-mile bike ride with two of my sons. Whoaa! I finished it, but definitely saw the value of training beforehand. I was wearing ACTIVSKIN A677 (support style) hose, and that could've been the difference between me being able to finish or not.

The three of us rode 17 miles on the local Rails to Trails path, and then we dropped Connor, my 13-year old off at home before Sean (my 15-year old) and I continued for the remainder of the day. Last year, I had been riding my bike a lot, and he was a year younger, so I was the one setting the pace.
A lot can change in a year's time, though! This year, I've not been out on my bike hardly at all and I'm yet another year older. He, too is another year older, but somehow it seems to be working for him :-).

Anyways, he set the pace this year and I was lagging. After lunch, when the food kicked in, I got back up to speed. But by the time we were on the return leg, I was hoping I had it in me to finish. My leg cramped up only one time over the duration, and I credit the compression provided by the ACTIVSKIN to keeping me from much worse occurrences. I feel certain I wouldn't have been able to pull this off without any real training or preparation.

The aftermathDon't try this at home, Dads. If you're going to do something like this, make sure and build up to it. I hope someone who loves you bought you some ACTIVSKIN this year!


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Emilio Cavallini Selling Unisex Tights

Emilio Cavellini BoutiqueNormally I wouldn't want to encourage potential customers to be aware of goings on at another company, but I thought it noteworthy to share the news that Emilio Cavallini Hosiery has launched a unisex line of tights...

Besides, it appears from their website that these are not available in the U.S. anyways. I find it noteworthy however, that another seller of women's hosiery is entering the market for men's legwear. Yet another distinct sign that men's tights, pantyhose, legwear, hose... whatever we want to call it--is most definitely becoming a truly unisex garment.

Emilio Cavellini Unisex TightsOf course, we here at ACTIVSKIN have known this all along, and we hope to remain the industry leader when it comes to men's legwear, regardless of how many others intend to get into the market. Nonetheless, we consider it to be a positive indicator of the growth of this 'emerging' market. I use quotes around 'emerging' because the more time goes by and we see all of the positive developments in the marketplace, it won't be long before it will no longer be fitting to refer to the men's legwear market as 'emerging'.

I believe we'll soon all realize that, ... it's emerged!

(Bravo, Emilo Cavillini... we welcome the competition)


Friday, June 19, 2009

Using LinkedIn - Building Your Network

Steve Newman attending LinkedIn workshop, June 17... in ActivSkin hosieryI've maintained a profile on LinkedIn for several months, now--ever since a colleague of mine sent me an invitation to 'join his professional network'. Although I signed on and created the profile, I have only gradually begun to learn how best to use this latest version of the social media networks that are sweeping the online landscape lately. This past Wednesday that changed when I attended a workshop to learn, "The Essentials You Need to Use LinkedIn"...

The workshop, sponsored by the local (Hilliard, OH) Chamber of Commerce and led by Sandy Blanquera of Social Boomerang, was very informative. It was held in a technical institute training site, with computers available for all participants, so we could modify our profiles as we listened to Ms. Blanquera's recommendations. I brought my laptop, as you can see above. And no, I wasn't the only male in the room. It just looks that way from the perspective of the photo above. As you can see from the other one, there were other men in attendance.

Steve Newman at LinkedIn workshopAs a result of what I learned, I've updated my profile to better represent what I currently do or specialize in. I've also been working diligently on expanding my network of connections. One of the important things about that is that it enables members to respond to one another's needs for infomation, etc. The more you offer to help someone in your network, the more likely they are to remember this some day when you are searching for infomation, or someone who can help you with what you are trying to achieve.

For me, since the success of ActivSkin rests a great deal on spreading the word about the benefits of this new trend in men's wear, and publicizing the fact that so many men are beginning to embrace it, this sort of networking is very helpful in getting the word out to various media representatives looking for content for their newspapers, magazines, TV shows and blogs. LinkedIn can be used in conjunction with Twitter to make a wider number of people aware of the existence of The Nylon Gene blog. The more people who are aware of it, the more who have the opportunity to receive unadulterated information--uncluttered by some of the baggage that obscures relevant conversation about men's legwear. In the absence of thoughtful, in-depth information, media attention can instead turn in the direction of superficial and inane. The best way to prevent this is to make our information as widely available as possible.

Yesterday's post talks about the Bit.Ly URL shortener for use in conjunction with Twitter, and encourages my readers to engage in frequent conversations on Twitter about our topics. I've also added a toolbar at the upper righthand corner of the page with a link to my LinkedIn profile. I would encourage you to visit it, and don't be bashful about sending me a request to join your network. It doesn't matter that we've not met personally, just mention in the accompanying message that you know me from The Nylon Gene.

Steve Newman: LinkedIn workshop, wearing Black ActivSkin A677 HosierySee you on LinkedIn!...

P.S., You'll notice from the photos that I wore black sheer hose to the workshop (ActivSkin Style A677). Those who are still concerned over what people may think when they notice you're wearing nylon hosiery should take note of this. I make it a fairly regular practice to attend outside business meetings dressed similarly to this (maybe a dressier shirt in some cases), and I never encounter negative reactions or feedback. I do this primarily to raise awareness of the emerging men's legwear trend, but those who wear skintone legwear, or only under long pants, should take heart that they need not worry about unfavorable reactions from others--even if the do happen to notice (which most do not).

The lady to my left in the last picture can be seen looking at my legs. Some men who are not confident in themselves may become uncomfortable with this. But you should keep in mind that any time someone wears an out-of-the-ordinary style, people will look. Looking is not equivalent to disapproval. Think about how you react when you see something out of the ordinary. You tend to look a little longer, to check it out. Then you move on. The same is to be expected when someone wears dark colored legwear. However, I've become accustomed to the fact that it is generally just curiosity, and use the opportunity to engage them in conversation if possible.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Within 12 Hours of Being on Oprah!

This happened back in January of this year, and I've made passing reference to this, but I thought readers might find the story interesting. I posted this on a personal blog page at Oprah's website (Steve Newman's Blog) and it's copied here...

I'd like to think this opportunity will one day repeat itself, but I am afraid it may remain, 'the one that got away.' This past January, Oprah was planning to do a show segment on a Friday on the subject of men's pantyhose (+yes, you read that correctly+), and I was scheduled to be a guest, to participate in some sort of panel discussion. I had been working with a producer (who may no longer be here, not sure) who called me on Thursday afternoon to inform me the show would not take place the next morning. Unfortunately, the scheduled date was the day AFTER Captain Skully did such a magnificent job of laning his plane in the Hudson River, and needless to say, that event pre-empted the plans. The producer said he didn't know if it would get rescheduled or not--Ms. Winfrey was interested in the show idea, but sometimes TV has a way of moving on, etc...

I know Ms. Winfrey has personally tried ActivSkin, because following the president's inauguration in January, she was quoted in the media as saying she was keeping her legs and feet warm because "she was wearing something called men's pantyhose". I know she is always interested to learn more about new, emerging concepts and products, so I am hoping for the opportunity to one day present the concept behind the product to her.

Anyways, a bit of background is in order: at the time I was simply a customer of ActivSkin Legwear for Men, and was willing to go on national TV and talk about men's pantyhose--why men wear them when women are abandoning them, etc, etc. However, since that time I was part of large staff cutbacks at my engineering firm, and found myself without a job, and a family of six to support. Unlike the stereotypical engineer who might go busily about replacing his engineering job with another just like it (in an unstable market for engineers), I approached the owner of ActivSkin ( about working for him. I had done some pro bono publicity work for him in years past, and we had become friends. Long story--short: I immediately transitioned from a career in civil engineering (of which the job market in Ohio is in the pits right now) to the marketing director for this small, but growing, company. We sell more than 30 styles of MEN'S pantyhose and tights, and we've been increasing sales consistently for more than a year and a half. That's not something too many companies can say in this economic climate, let alone a small, sole-proprietorship selling a decidedly unusual product like this!

Our target group is men in their 30s and beyond, who are starting to suffer the effects of poor leg circulation and want to arrest it's progression while it is still manageable. We also target men engaged in athletics (running, cycling) that can benefit from some form of leg muscle compression to improve stamina, as well as outdoorsmen who need some added warmth without bulk, such as hunters, fishermen, horseback riders (anti-chafing), motorcycle riders, etc.

Part of my publicity efforts to spread the word that ActivSkin is a MAN'S product and sheer hose and opaque tights are now becoming a truly unisex garment revolves around my primarly blog, called The Nylon Gene ( This blog provides a reasoned approach to explaining the various benefits of men's legwear. It's intended to be used by potential customers as well as media contacts who need background information while preparing pieces for publication. I've recently done an appearance on a local Columbus TV show on June 8th to talk about the men's legwear trend. The show is called 'Daytime Columbus' on the local NBC affiliate and you can see video online at:

(this was a live appearance, by the way). Also, I am scheduled for another appearance next Monday, June 22nd. The NBC website will have the video online for one week afterward at:

Following that, I plan to post it on YouTube and on The Nylon Gene.

If Ms. Winfrey is still interested in the men's pantyhose phenomena that continues to grow, here in the U.S. and abroad, I would like to see her resurrect the idea that was set aside in January. There are several viewpoints that would hold interest for her viewers, in conjunction with the sheer (no pun intended ) novelty of men taking up nylon legwear in such a big way. The leg health aspect is an important component of how we present our legwear to the public. Also, there is the human interest aspect of an engineer making a quite unusual career transition--prompted by the circumstances so many are finding themselves in these days. And, there's a small company that's steadily making a success story despite the severe economic conditions.

Steve Newman


The Nylon Gene: Tweet this...

Twitter Micro-BloggingTesting new functionality... Hey! It works!... All you Twitter users can not post conversation about what you read here on The Nylon Gene, without leaving the website. See below for how to go about it...

[NOTE: Steve Newman can be followed on Twitter under the username 'newmansa'] It was a bit of trial and error, and eventually solved for me by a blogger on the Bit.Ly forum, but I've added some interesting new functionality to The Nylon Gene that any Twitter users ought to find very useful. Now you can use Bit.Ly URL Shortener to post directly from the blog to Twitter. Those of you who are still trying to figure out what to do with Twitter (as I've been doing lately) will hopefully make use of it eventually.

Basically, each post on the blog will have a little line at the bottom that says, "Share with Bit.Ly Sidebar". If you click on this a sidebar will slide out from the right and give you the option of posting some conversation about what you're reading to Twitter, along with a shortened URL that will link to the blog post in question. As many of you may know, Twitter is a micro-blog that limits posts to 140 characters. Thus, most URLs are too long to fit into that limit and allow any commentary to go with it. A number of utilities have popped up to create shortened URLs that somehow allow a 19 character code represent any URL you can type--giving the user a remaining 121 characters in which to formulate a message to "Tweet", as Twitter messages are called.

It's a good way to initiate wider conversations on the web about topics of interest. For instance, when I use Bit.Ly to 'Tweet' something, within minutes I can see how many hits appear on the page in question as a result of the Twitter posting. A side benefit of Bit.Ly is that you can go look at your links and it gives information on how many hits have come to that page as a result of your posting to Twitter. It's kind of neat to see that immediate feedback on what sort of impact you are having to the online conversations going on about something... in this case, men's legwear.

So, if you see something here that interests you, try out this new feature. Click on the link and when the sidebar pops out, you'll see the shortened URL, along with four options to post it to: Email, Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter. For Twitter, click on the link and a new window will open, with the shortened URL already in the message box. Just add whatever commentary you want to include (within the 140 character limit) and hit 'Update' to send it out into Tweetland.

Of course, if you don't already have a Twitter account you need to set that up first. And, the Bit.Ly sidebar has the added benefit of being usable in email applications for Facebook, too. You don't have to worry about email links getting broken if you use it to email a friend the link to something you want them to see.

I'm finally beginning to see how Twitter can be used in our efforts to continue building the 'buzz' surrounding the men's legwear trend. I'm going to start posting 'Tweets' each time I post a new item here on The Nylon Gene.

If you see something--a posting, a comment or reply, whatever--that you think is interesting, chances are others will too. Put it out there on Twitter so those who are following you will also see it. If a lot of people do this, the blog traffic will grow even faster than it has so far, and more people will become aware of the growing popularity of men's hosiery.

It's been our experience at ACTIVSKIN that the primary obstacle holding more men back from trying it isn't that they don't actually like the legwear or find it doesn't help them. It's because they don't realize just how many average, ordinary guys are already wearing our legwear and they're reluctant to be the first guy on their block to try them out. They don't see it much with their own eyes, either because many men are still wearing it only under long pants, or because even the growing number who wear them with shorts is still a rather small overall percentage of any given population.

But, as the conversations about men's legwear proliferate on venues such as Twitter, etc. it will begin to bolster the confidence of the men already wearing ActivSkin legwear to learn they are far from alone.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Poll Results: What Should We Call 'Legwear'?

Nylon Gene Poll Results

The poll on the question of what generic term should be used to refer to men's legwear has closed, and the results are posted below. Thanks to the 304 readers who shared their opinion with us. Just in case you missed the original discussion on this, you can read it at the following link:

Surprisingly, the top response by our readers was simply, "pantyhose". Presumably, this means referring to men's legwear as "men's pantyhose". This was preferred by 29% of respondents. "Legwear" was the Number Two response, with 20% of the voting, and "sheer/opaque tights" rounded out the top answers with 16% of the votes.

None of the other potential responses gathered even 10% of the votes. From this, we could infer that they have little potential for catching on as a generic 'catchword' for men's legwear. Of note is the fact that 'mantyhose' came in fifth place with only 5% of respondents preferring this oddball word. Ironically, off all the responses, it seems to be one of the most commonly used by media when writing about men's legwear. Although I don't really much care for the term, I too find myself using it with some regularity.

Does this mean that--like it or not--this made up word that came in fifth place in a poll on legwear terminology could 'get legs' and become the de facto name for men's hosiery? Who knows? Stranger things have happened in the annals of product marketing and trend development.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Things Are Looking Up for Men's Legwear in the UK, too!

Gerbe Men's Hosiery, available from ActivSkin.comLast week, I was reading the latest post at "Legwear4Men" (Legwear4Men/Have We Turned The Corner?), and was pleased to see that the favorable response to the growing men's legwear trend is reflected on both sides of the Atlantic. The initial feedback on the appearance on local daytime TV here in Columbus has also have been very positive--coming from all quarters.

The Legwear4Men post notes that one of the biggest indicators they've observed is the growing number of women purchasing legwear for their men. We at ActivSkin believe that men's spouses and girlfriends are one of the keys to continued growth in the legwear trend. We know from our sales data, and letters/emails we receive, that there are a great number of men who see a potential need that our legwear can meet in their lives. We've also seen how those who have--albeit tentatively--tried them out have come to appreciate the comfort they provide. However, judging from posts on various forums, such as Legwear As Unisex Fashion (LAUF) the one thing that often stands in the way of these same guys becoming regular legwear wearers are the misgivings of the women in their lives.

Judging from the many blog posts I've read from women where the topic of 'mantyhose' has come up, a great many do not have a major objection to the idea of men's legwear--in the theoretical sense. (Being under the influence of the misguided notion that all hosiery is hot and uncomfortable, they may question why men would want to wear legwear, but don't have any philosophical objections to the fact that men are wearing it.) Yet, when it comes to their man wearing nylon hosiery, they can get somewhat skittish about it.

The reason seems tied to the issue of how they expect other women (i.e, friends and acquaintances) will react to the knowledge that their guy wears tights. This, of course, is an issue that could bear some more in-depth discussion, which I hope to do in an upcoming article here on The Nylon Gene.

Suffice it to say, we too view increased orders placed by women, for their men, as a positive development in the evolution of the men's legwear trend. There are certainly ample numbers of men who are confident enough in their own masculinity to be one of the 'early adopters' and try out sheer or opaque tights for one of the reasons we've discussed elsewhere on the blog. But, without the support of the lady in their life--or possibly even her outright opposition--there is less liklihood they will feel bold enough to 'push the envelope' when it comes to others being aware of what they are wearing. Since nylon legwear is still a relatively new trend, men who wear theirs out in the open need to project a sense of confidence in themselves in order to convey a positive image to those they encounter. Negative feedback from wives and girlfriends can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We believe that as more and more women warm to the concept of men's legwear--not only in the theoretical sense, but in the real sense of their own husband or boyfriend--it will become apparent that the fear of 'what others will think' was an imagined one. They will find that if their guy was well-liked and respected in the first place, he will be so after his choice of legwear becomes known, too.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Here's the Video: ActivSkin on Daytime Columbus

Since the video link at will only be active for one week following our appearance on Daytime Columbus, I'm posting it here as well, so it can be available for anyone who wants to see it.

WCMH-TV/NBC4 - Columbus, OH - June 8, 2009

(BTW, for those who like using YouTube, I've also got it posted there. Just search for Steve Newman and ActivSkin, or use this link: )


ActivSkin on TV

Steve Newman with Gail Hogan: ActivSkin on Daytime Columbus, NBCActivSkin's debut on the talk show circuit went very well today! I was the final guest of Gail Hogan, the host of Daytime Columbus. Produced locally by the NBC affilliate, WCMH-TV, the show takes a lighter look at events of the day and the entertaining side of the Central Ohio community. Gail does an excellent job of preparing her guests and providing engaging interview questions. It was a very friendly and comfortable experience.

You can watch the video on the NBC4 website at: When you go to the website, scroll down through the 'NBC4i Video' until you see, "Leg Relief for Men" which you can click to view the segment on ActivSkin. This should be available for one week, after which they will move it to another section of their website for the next 3 weeks (go to Also, don't forget that we are scheduled for two more appearances on Daytime Columbus: June 22nd and July 23rd at 11:00 am EDT.

Steve Newman, in the Green Room at NBCAs I said above, the discussion was very engaging. Gail made the point that despite the fact that there are very few options available to men who have problems with leg circulation, they are just about as likely to suffer from it as women. We talked about how men can wear ActivSkin legwear with shorts if they so choose, it is certainly not necessary that they do. Since I'm somewhat of the 'Poster Boy' for men's legwear, I can be seen just about everywhere wearing dark colored legwear. But if men aren't yet comfortable with the concept of this being a men's product, they can just wear them under their long pants.

Gail wasn't just blowing smoke when she said she didn't know I had them on until I said something about it. When I arrived at the studio and was talking with one of the producers about arranging the product packages, she commented that she had been told to leave the coffee table out, because I would be wearing the legwear, "but she could see that I wasn't" so she was going to leave it in--until I tugged at the material on my knee and demonstrated that I was wearing ActivSkin right then. I think next time I may go with black, just to shake things up a bit.

Getting prepped on the set (ActivSkin TV appearance)Here's a thought for my non-legwear, or newly-initiated-to-legwear, readers: I'm open to suggestions as to the content of the upcoming appearances. What would you, the person who's just been initiated to the men's legwear concept--and doesn't quite know what to make of it, like to see discussed in one of the upcoming appearances on the show? I'm not saying we'll definitely act on suggestions received here, but I am interested to hear what you would like to hear about? Any constructive criticism is welcome also.

We'll probably tend to repeat some of the information on subsequent appearances, as there will be many people who did not see the first one. But, I'm giving thought right now as to what would be good to cover the next time, too. Of course, we only have about five minutes or so--so we have to keep it somewhat simple.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Men's Hosiery and Business Attire

ActivSkin Men's Legwear - for the officeReaders have brought it to my attention that while I've been featuring mostly photos depicting men's hosiery worn with shorts, I've ignored examples of legwear worn with dress clothes and business attire. So, I will attempt to rectify that oversight here...

Admittedly, it's more difficult to find images that adequately show men's hosiery paired with business attire. The reason, of course, is that long pants mostly cover the hosiery in question unless the wearer is seated such that a trouser leg rides up to reveal sheer legwear underneath--and if he does not make any moves to conceal it. More on that aspect below.

Steve, at the office with ActivSkin legwearThose photos can be found, but they are a little more difficult to come up with. I have a few of myself--taken over the past several years--which I've posted here for the benefit of The Nylon Gene readers. In addition, I've included a few random photos found on the web of men in the business world who appear to be wearing sheer legwear with business attire. These could be sheer dress socks or full-length support hose; it's impossible to tell, but it's sheer legwear nonetheless.

Men who wear ActivSkin full-length legwear soon discover that it can take the place of socks and underwear, making both them redundant. This is a beneficial feature when wearing it in an office setting, with a suit and tie. The complaints we typically hear from women about pantyhose are that they're too hot. While this doesn't seem to be so much of an issue in an air-conditioned office environment, the addition of socks and underwear certainly constitute an unneeded layer of insulation in the warmer months of the year.

Steve, in a meeting, wearing off-black ActivSkin legwearThe most likely reason for wearing ActivSkin legwear to the office is a desire to alleviate leg cramping and achiness, or prevent advancement of varicose veins. Many office workers spend untold hours sitting at their desk in front of a computer. Working in such a sedentary environment contributes to leg circulation troubles, and support legwear can ease some of the resultant discomfort. Therefore, if you must wear a suit and tie, it does not follow automatically that your legwear must be too hot. A few minor variables can make a big difference in how they feel under your suit. Sheer legwear is cooler than opaque. In fact, I would submit that sheer legwear is no hotter to wear than the socks and underwear they replace.

As an aside, I'm going to risk provoking the ire of my female readers here, but I have something to say on the issue of pantyhose being 'too hot'. Since I've regularly worn hose to the office and I've worn a suit and tie, I can objectively speak on which of them is the most uncomfortable. I say: the necktie wins hands down. If women were required to wear a necktie on a daily basis, and were then given the opportunity to stop wearing it on the condition they never complain about their pantyhose again, I would wager we would never again hear a word about it. You want to talk about hot? The dress shirt and necktie combo takes the cake. And, that applies whether you're in the typical air conditioned office environment or if you have to go on-site and it's hot out. Admittedly, having hose on beneath dress pants while out in the sun and heat is pretty uncomfortable, but no more so than the necktie. I could go on some more about this issue, but I think I'll save it for a separate post.

Misc. men's legwear--from the webThe question of men wearing sheer support legwear beneath a business suit--and foregoing socks--brings up the issue of, "what will other people say?" For the most part, no one will know the difference, since long pants conceal what you're wearing on your legs, especially dress pants, which are usually tailored a little longer. However, there will be those inevitable instances where you're seated in a room with others and cross your legs and reveal that you're wearing some sort of sheer legwear. I say, "some sort", because it should be remembered that there are such things as sheer men's socks on the market. These have been worn for many years. They were more popular several decades ago, but have never gone completely out of style. In fact, if one were to notice sheer legwear on your ankle, it would be as likely that they think you're wearing sheer dress socks as full-length support hosiery. For this reason, even those men who are somewhat self-conscious about their peers knowing they are wearing 'mantyhose', are not averse to wearing sheer legwear with business attire.

During the time I've spent working in an office environment, wearing a shirt and tie on a daily basis, I also wore sheer support legwear every day, except in the coldest months. Then, I switched to opaque tights. The sheer and opaque tights took the place of socks for me. While opaque tights are indistinguishable from regular socks, there must have been many instances where co-workers, subordinates or superiors took note of the sheer legwear on my ankles. I made no bones about covering it up, because I've always been very confident in my decision to wear legwear, and would've gladly explained to anyone who asked, why I was wearing sheer hosiery. However, it never came up in conversation, and it wouldn't be the sort of thing I would bring up myself. ("Hey, Jim. Whaddya think of these pantyhose I have on?"... huh uhh...)

Steve, opting for the more noticable 'tan' ActivSkin legwear at the officeSo, either my co-workers didn't pay enough attention to notice (unlikely on the days I wore tan legwear, as in this photo, at right), or they thought I was wearing sheer dress socks, or they figured out I was wearing 'mantyhose' but didn't think anything of it and went on about their business. Had there been anything else--such as gossip about, "How come Steve wears pantyhose?"--it would certainly have made the rounds and gotten back to me eventually. But it never did.

I had one or two conversations surrounding my wearing men's hose over the years, and these came about not because anyone made mention of seeing sheer nylon fabric on my ankles, but because the person knew about my association with ActivSkin in some way. Even before my current capacity, I have been a periodic contributer of publicity pieces, or an interview subject for media articles, for G. Lieberman & Sons over the years. So, from these activities a number of people were aware of my legwear advocacy.

Misc. men's legwear--from the webThe bottom line is that wearing sheer legwear with business attire will not cause men who do so to be ostracized by their co-workers, shut out by their bosses, or disrespected by their subordinates. Men who are confident in themselves will succeed in the working world regardless. If wearing legwear solves a problem for you, but you wish to be as cool as possible while at the office, follow my advice above and wear sheer styles and forego the socks. Instead of fearing, "what will people say?", be more concerned over how much that lack of self-confidence itself could limit your career opportunities.


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