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.


  1. It is interesting the increase in sales is happening during the warmer weather in the northern hemisphere. I would have expected the increase to occur for cold weather (despite summer weather here in the UK!), which is when wearing various kinds of tights or leggings by both sexes would be expected to increase.
    My own reading on this subject where women have contributed leads to the conclusion that women have fewer objections to men quietly wearing in winter for warmth, but find the mindless fanatasies of some men who write in the Internet on this and which are often clearly untrue to be tremendously offputting. I find this offputting myself, as I do not want to be identified at all with the effeminate section of wearers, to the extent of considering abandonning tights for something else in winter. The fear of 'what others may think' if you have had much experience of the oddball wearers is very real.
    But accepted unisex alternatives are not easy to find!

  2. Dennis, I don't think what you're seeing here is a seasonal increase. The original blog article says they've sold more product in the past 8 months than in the previous 2 years. That would put the increase starting around the beginning of October in 2008.

    If their sales are like ours, they still do have a seasonal fluctuation, but the lows this year are higher than last year's, as are the peaks higher than years past as well. That doesn't mean that sales won't still taper off a bit during the wamer months, though.

  3. As to your second point, Dennis, I agree. I identify with the segment of the male population who want to keep legwear in a masculine context. Many men who might otherwise benefit from many of the positive characteristics of support hosiery and tights are put off by it when they see what they perceive to be a 'feminization' of men. And, as you said, some of the things that are posted out there tend to detract from our efforts to present men's legwear in a positive light.

    From your posts, I think you are well aware that we at ActivSkin aren't subscribing to any element who wish to advance men's legwear as part of an effort to feminize men. However, I believe that those who wish to do so are a minority among the men who are wearing legwear on a regular basis. We see legwear for men fulfilling several important uses that should be available to those who need it, regardless of whether they're male or female.

    It's been said many times, "both men and women have legs". And, both have a need for leg support for their health, job situation or athletic pursuits--as well as the added warmth they provide w/o added bulk. If, after the passage of time, men begin to wear legwear with shorts and they become part of the overall wardrobe (i.e., taking on somewhat more of a fashion aspect), that's not a bad thing of itself either.

    If you look at some of the photos that are available here on The Nylon Gene of men wearing the more obvious shades (myself included) I think most would agree that it doesn't follow that legwear equals feminine look.


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