The text reads, in part:
"Once a garment of choice for kings and other nobles, men's pantyhose has made a comeback in recent years because of the warmth, support and circulation enhancement they provide. And the trend is even cropping up in high fashion..."
Though we would have preferred to have been included in the print edition, if we were to be relegated to the online edition only, it is refreshing to see men's legwear treated in such a positive manner by a national magazine ... and to be listed first in the photo series is also encouraging.
Here is my take on each of the crossover items mentioned in the Photo Essay: Obviously, I'm completely biased in my opinion of men's pantyhose, so I can skip right over that one. If anyone's unsure of where I stand on this one, just read any post on this blog (haha)
The next item was the 'guyliner' as it's called. It basically refers to any sort of facial makeup that men might be wearing these days. The Adam Lambert photo doesn't do anything to advance the idea of this being a masculine trend. But, in reality I believe there are quite a few guys who are making much less noticeable use of this sort of thing to subtley enhance their looks. Theses days, it's not just Hollywood that seems to place an undue emphasis on how you look, whether you're male or female. We've read a number of articles in recent years about guys using moisturizer and other similar products on their faces. If I put lotion on my face in the morning to keep from having dry skin flakes on my forehead, I guess that would put me in this group, too. The most notable examples--aside from Adam Lambert--are the rockers like Green Day, Aerosmith, et al. Of course, when it comes to musicians, nothing at all new here.
'Mandals' are apparently included in this crossover product category, but I don't see it. Men have been wearing sandals pretty consistently for millenia, so I can't see where you can label it a product that we've borrowed from the women. Yes, the ones pictured in the photo look a lot like the kind you might see on women's feet, but then again they're also pretty Roman-looking at the same time. Other types of sandals--for men and women--have been coming on the market for ages. Those Tevia ones that you see people wearing while whitewater rafting come easily to mind. There are many others, too.
Then there's the 'murse', another silly-sounding name created by adding or substituting the ubiquitous 'm' in front of the regular word for something.
The 'man purse' has been trying to emerge on the scene off and on for probably 15 years or more. It has limited success, mostly because it has some strong functional value (as men's legwear does) since we guys always like to have a place for our stuff, and sometimes our pockets just don't cut it. That's also the reason for the great popularity of cargo pants, I might add. Man purses could pretty well run the gamut from those soft-sided briefcases (i.e., messenger bags) that you see everywhere, all the way to some shiny patent leather number you'd more likely see your wife carrying. The photo in the TIME essay appears to be about halfway along that spectrum. I have an Eddie Bauer 'messenger bag' myself, so I guess I also belong to the 'man purse' category. Mostly I carry it like a briefcase, but have been known to use the shoulder strap too, when my hands are full.
The last item is what's called 'manpris'--probably the most silly-sounding name of them all--which are basically capri pants for men. Of the five items in the photo essay, this one--along with our legwear--conveyed the most positive masculine image. Of course, their choice of tennis champ Rafael Nadal in the Nike capris was a good one with which to show them in a very positive light. There's not a big difference between these and the very long shorts that men have been wearing for years now. Fortunately, the ones that are big enough to stow enough food for a 2-week expedition are finally going out of vogue. These look much better than the knee length ultra-mega-baggies we've been enduring until now.
And, yes by the way... in case any readers may have noticed the similarity between the image used for the men's pantyhose and one I use as a profile image for many of my online posts, it is me--your Fearless Blogger. We did some product photography several years ago, and this was among my favs. It was among a number of images we sent them, and the selection was completely the choice of the photo editor.