Monday, March 29, 2010

Mantyhose: What It's NOT--What It IS...

Men's Legwear in Real LifeI posted a comment on an article on "Men In Tights" on (a blog about stuff guys like) today. With all the buzz going on these days about the topic of men's legwear, I thought my comments might be useful to repost here on The Nylon Gene. They may prove useful in helping those who read superficial treatments of the men's legwear trend get past some of the misconceptions out there...

We generally fear, or mock, that which we don't understand. So let's take a look at what 'mantyhose' IS and what it's NOT (generally speaking):

This is NOT what we mean by 'mantyhose'In general, it's NOT what's pictured on the guy standing in front of the Eiffel Tower, pictured at right. That's definitely something that's pretty far out there on the fringe of things. It doesn't represent what the vast majority of guys who wear legwear want to wear.

It's also NOT a gay thing. From what I've read on a variety of blogs and forums, gay men for the most part feel about the same way about pantyhose as the stereotypical woman does. They don't like them and don't want to wear them.

It's NOT an attempt to revert back to fashions of the 1700s. If it's sometimes pointed out that men were the ones who wore the tights in the Middle Ages, it's only to illustrate that they're NOT exclusively a female garment.

It's NOT a secret desire to cross dress, either. Guys who are wearing the male hosiery on the market today (which does come with a fly, BTW) aren't typically combining it with other female items to start dressing as a woman.

It IS a recognition that men are as likely as women to have tired, achy legs due to poor circulation, and that support hosiery provides relief if worn consistently. Sometimes they're worn under jeans or other pants--sometimes they're worn with shorts. Sometimes they're in virtually invisible colors that closely matches skintone--sometimes they're worn in more visible colors like black or dark grey.

It IS a way to attain added warmth beneath outer clothing without the added bulk of long johns or sweatpants. Some guys can live with long johns, others prefer the thin fabric that moves with them.

It IS a way for athletes (especially runners and cyclists) to keep the chill off the legs when they first go outside--yet avoid overheating after their body temperature rises with exercise.

It IS also a way for those athletes to enhance stamina somewhat with the moderate muscle compression provided by support styles of hosiery.

It IS a garment worn for fashion in some cases, in that guys are recognizing they can successfully add them to a masculine outfit if properly coordinated (i.e., not as shown in the photo above, by the Eiffel Tower).

Steve Newman/Legwear AdvocateHowever, for the most part, it IS something generally worn for more functional purposes. For my part, I initially started wearing tights or sheer hose for leg support. But after a few years I recognized I didn't want to give up wearing shorts for good, just because I needed to wear support-style hosiery to keep my legs from aching. I've been wearing them openly among friends and colleages for years now, and nobody questions my manhood because of it.

If you're a basically masculine guy in the first place, wearing legwear doesn't detract from it. Yet, if you're an effeminate guy it doesn't matter if you wear a Rambo outfit--you'll STILL look like a girly-man. (anybody here old enough to remember Michael Dukakis wearing the tank commander helmet during the 1988 presidential campaign?)

As with most everything, there are no absolutes. The foregoing statements represent the bulk of men who wear legwear today. Yes, there will be a few who will wear ostentacious patterns and colors out in public with shorts. Yes, there are gay men who wear pantyhose and like them. Yes, there are certainly cross dressers who wear pantyhose with their outfits, too. But, by and large those are NOT representative of the majority of men wearing nylon legwear--and on behalf of them I hope to shed a bit of light on the subject. Hopefully, this will cause more writers to stop and take a more reasoned approach to the "mantyhose question".


  1. Im a gay man and have had a thing for nylon since I was a really little kid so its natural Id like to wear nylon and sheer socks. It was a standard in the 60s and 70s for men to wear nylon/sheer socks w/ or w/out garters...and never considered feminine or I wouldnt have been attracted to it. Functionally sheer nylon pantyhose (w/ the fly!) are very practical for me because I live where its very cold and it does keep me warm under all the other layers required. Ive definately got the nylon gene--and sure many do--gay/straight or mixed....youre either gonna wear pantyhose and like them on yourself (and on others) or youre not; I dont think anyone will really convince you. :-) Jack

  2. I don't like it negative women. They thinks every things for women.
    Whereas women have everything...

  3. I love Comfilon. "Nylons for men" Great idea. Steve Katz & Steve Newman GOD bless you. Thank you very very much.

  4. Great job Steve, Keep the nylongene going.

  5. Thanks, Goth! It's always good to hear a good word from my readers. I plan to be here for the long haul, so don't worry...

  6. Steve,

    I was referred here from a forum in malaysia, I thought of your effort of bringing man's legwear to mainstream is a pretty noble one, I remembered not that long ago, when pant wearing ladies were mocked about the same way in and out of the media and public. Even though now I know you are working for the company that sells the man style hosiery. (came across that name sometime ago)

    Being a lady (late 20s) myself, having it as part of my daily wardrobe, I usually wear skin colored hose, I even encountered same kind of mocking as being "old lady style" when trying to buy them, just because I am not into those fancy style hosiery that only serves as fashion industry passing trend, does not mean that I am going to stop wearing them the moment is not on. I strongly believed those that despised hose probably has not even a single pair in their closet, or even know how to put it on properly, or kept getting those cheaply made cosmetic hose that let them down again and again.

    Wearing hose in tropic region is even more of challenge and many ladies shied away from wearing them, while in the forum,I noticed a number of man has even better knowledge on pantyhose than ladies like me inside the forum.

    I posted a rather long winding entry about how I made my hose wearing experience better..

    Keep up the great job ..

  7. be a man, pantyhose are for women.

  8. You need to spend some time reading the rest of this blog. If you did, it would be apparent to you that, in fact, real men DO wear hose. They're definitely not just for women, as there are many practical, legit benefits for the guys that wear them.

    Why don't you give them a try before you knock it. What are you afraid of?

  9. You guys who wear hosery are NOT real men! Now, wearing long johns are cool but under the clothes! And when you can't tell the dif between a man and a woman's closet your messing with the nature of things ! Now if your gay you want to show off your legs like women. You want to look like women! Period!

  10. Your short's color is really attractive and you look fabulous in these shorts.Looks impressive.

  11. I say wear if you want not hurting anyone men use to wear long ago and to say men who wear are not men would be like saying women who wear pants are not women


/* Google Analytics Code Snippet */