Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Five Great Celebrity Endorsements -

Five Great Celebrity Endorsements -

After all these years, Joe Namath's famous pantyhose commercial still holds sway. Among the five shown here, it definitely gets my vote for favorite by paving the way for the mantyhose trend. Broadway Joe probably predated ActivSkin by more than 20 years, I think. Then again, it's not hard to top the Richard Simmons and Johnny Rotten ads, and that Hulk Hogan one for Bigelow air conditioners is just plain odd. Follow the link to see the article and vote for your favorite...


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Compression Tights--How Compression Clothing Can Help Athletic Performance

Compression Tights--How Compression Clothing Can Help Athletic Performance

Someone sent me a link to this article. I looked it over and--lo and behold--that's a photo of me they've used to illustrate the concept of compression tights for athletics! Imagine my surprise. But there was nothing improper about the author's use of the photo, so no one should get the wrong idea. I've posted it online quite awhile back for the purposes of publicizing ActivSkin, and it's licensed under the Creative Commons 'share-alike' license for use by others.

As for the photo, I took it with the help of my wife (who snapped the photo of me as I was running), and modified it with PhotoShop to give the impression of movement with the blurring. It is one of my more favorite ones I did while still actively employed by ActivSkin, and I don't mind it being used elsewhere. As for the legwear, I was wearing ActivSkin A677s in black. These are full-compression, sheer hosiery with a fly opening in the front. They're very comfortable and provide good leg support.

BTW, the article linked above is a good one also.  Alexis Mabury pretty much nails the reasons/benefits of compression tights for runners, cyclists, etc.  She also includes references to scientific studies to lend credence to the discussion.  Make sure to check it out...


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Venous Disease Called Silent Killer | ScrippsNews

Venous Disease Called Silent Killer | ScrippsNews

This article was published the other day by Scripps News Service. It details much of what we've been pronouncing here at The Nylon Gene for a couple of years now, with respect to venous insufficiency and the beneficial effect of support hosiery for those who suffer from it. The article even acknowledges that men are as likely to suffer from the pain or discomfort associated with poor leg circulation, by noting that there are knee-high and full-length compression tights made for men. It also implies that ordinary support hosiery can provide benefits in alleviating the symptoms of moderate circulation problems. As more men become comfortable with the idea that nylon/spandex support legwear is as well suited for men as well as women, more will avail themselves of these benefits. That will translate into more men using support hosiery (aka, mantyhose) on a regular basis and thereby avoiding problems with varicose veins later in life. It's too bad that so many who complain of achy, tired legs at the end of the workday don't take advantage of this simple countermeasure.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spanx For Men: Mantyhose Comparison

A great article on the new "Spanx For Men" (SFM) product appeared March 23rd on the 9tailors website (9tailors: Get This - Spanx For Men). It raises a question or two, however.

To me, I see many similarities between the SFM underwear being marketed, and the emerging 'mantyhose' trend (pioneered here in the U.S. by ActivSkin) about which we read the occasional disparaging blog post here or there, or responses that are sometimes posted below articles on men's legwear.  Typically, it is obvious they are written by those who have little or no familiarity with, or understanding of, the reasons driving so many men these days to have started wearing support hosiery (aka, 'mantyhose') under their trousers in ever growing numbers. 

The 9tailors article begs the question: If ManSpanx are such a great thing, why would full-length tights or hose for men be so very bad? Let's compare the two.

Both are intended to provide some moderate degree of compression--around the midsection, and the legs. The only difference is SFM are limited only to the upper thighs. However, what about guys who have lower leg circulation problems, suffer from tired, achy legs, etc? Wouldn't ManSpanx that extended down to the lower legs also be beneficial in that situation? So, why would someone be accepting of ManSpanx and yet be so critical of mantyhose?  I would suggest it's based less on rational thinking and more on ingrained mental paradigms that only need to be shifted. 

While not all styles of mantyhose have a fly opening, those that do have a very similar design to that used for SFM.  And, those styles that don't feature a fly, typically have some sort of stretchy 'comfort panel' sewn in to avoid the problem of too much compression in 'sensitive areas'.  Not much more need be said here. 

Probably the most significant difference between ManSpanx and mantyhose is whether they have feet in them. Obviously, ManSpanx do not.  For some reason, this seems to be the biggest sticking point many people have with male legwear.  It can be nearly indistinguishable at a distance from women's footless tights--but if they have feet in them, some have difficulty getting past this.  For those who would draw an absolute line in the sand at wearing any sort of footed legwear, there are quite a few styles of mantyhose offered by ActivSkin, et al, that are footless.  In addition, an overlooked benefit of footed hosiery is that it can make socks unneccessary, which also helps avoid feeling too hot.  If footed legwear is worn with socks in cold weather or workplaces, they can provide supplemental warmth beyond what socks alone provide. 

Another difference is that some forms of hose for men are sheer, like the pantyhose with which many are familiar. Yet, before rejecting sheer legwear for men out of hand, consider this. Sheer fabric is much lighter weight, and therefore cooler, than the material ManSpanx--or runner's tight--are made from.  If you wear them under your pants, you'll be less likely to feel overheated throughout your day.  Some of the 'early adopters' have already come to the realization that they can also be worn with shorts in settings where short pants are appropriate.  The vast majority of people don't even notice sheer hosiery worn with shorts if a skintone-matching color is worn.  For the time being--until more men gain enough confidence that societal perceptions have changed greatly--those wearing mantyhose with shorts remain in the minority. 

So, I welcome the proliferation of Spanx For Men.  I hope it will further the continual evolution of the public mindset, and cause that segment that is still ignorant of the realities surrounding the men's legwear trend to further educate themselves and therefore open their minds just a bit more.  This will result in fewer being quick to reject this emerging phenomenon.

As I say in the tagline for The Nylon Gene: we continue to, "change hearts & minds: from pantyhose... to mantyhose."


Sunday, February 27, 2011

College Skiers in Pantyhose

Recently, a member of the Legwear As Unisex Fashion (LAUF) forum posted the following:

I am a charter bus driver in the Chicago area and have been wearing support hose for awhile, with the encouragement of my doctor. Yesterday I drove on a trip to a ski resort in Wisconsin for a group of college student from a major Big Ten school. Many of the students had never skied before and knew little about how to dress for the cold. However, some must have had some 'insider' tips for beating the chill.

When we arrived at the ski resort, the kids began getting dressed in their gear. Several of the guys pulled out packages of pantyhose and began to put them on. Some were with girlfriends and some were not. One girl even helped one of the guys by telling him how to put them on. One guy's girlfriend commented how wished her legs looked as good in pantyhose as his.

In all, there were seven or eight guys who wore pantyhose as a base layer for warmth, yet it was as if it was second nature to everyone concerned. None of the other skiers had anything negative to say, and even the jocks in the back of the bus had no disparaging remarks.

When they finished sking for the day at least two of the guys made comments about how warm they were and noted that, "from now on, the hell with long underwear. It's pantyhose for me."
As we continue to point out here on The Nylon Gene, things continue to improve when it comes to society's views on men wearing pantyhose.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stars & Stripes | Can Nylon Stockings Prevent Blisters on Marches? - Military Use for Pantyhose

Soldier being treated by medic for blisters
In the past, we've reported here at The Nylon Gene on the not-so-well-kept military secret that our soldiers overseas have made use of pantyhose for more than just filters to keep desert sand out of engine intakes. Now we read it directly from Stars & Stripes--the primary news outlet of the Defense Department. Jeff Schogol takes a look at this in his Feb. 24th column, exploring the question of whether nylon stockings or pantyhose are effective at preventing blisters on those long marches.

The article's author readily admits his days of long marches are well past, so he can't speak with firsthand authority on this. So he consulted Army Lt. Colonel Christopher Garver, among others, to see how widespread wearing of nylon hosiery is in the military, and whether it works.

Col. Garver, a 10-year infantry veteran, reported “There were guys I know who wore nylons because it worked for their feet.” Currently serving as a spokesman for the Army, he notes that some wear pantyhose and others wear specialized socks that also wick away sweat. The choice depends primarily on individual preference.

Dr. Stephen Pribut, a podiatrist in Washington DC, recommends the socks over pantyhose because the Coolmax socks can keep the moisture away from the feet--which can also contribute to blisters. Of course, in hot climates, pantyhose are going to be cooler than socks.

Pribut stressed that servicemembers should use whatever solution works best for them. “If someone has successfully used pantyhose, it's OK with me. The main thing is it's really important to go with what’s worked well in the past.”

The takeaway from the article is that if wearing pantyhose under socks keeps soldier's blister free, the author says to 'go for it.' He suggests we call them "Freedom Stockings."

Of course, they may not be aware there are options available that are more specifically designed for men than off-the-shelf pantyhose. ActivSkin has long been a supporter of the military, and tries to offer discounts to servicemen and their families sending care packages to them. If you have a male member of the military stationed overseas, consider sending them a pair of ActivSkin to try out. When a father living in my neighborhood shipped out to Iraq last year, I donated two pair of A677s and they seemed to be well received.

An additional item of note: the value of nylon legwear to soldiers on long marches is directly transferable to outdoorsmen as well. A hunter or camper hiking over rough terrain into a distant campsite or deer stand can benefit in the same way. Not only will pantyhose protect from blisters while hiking, they are also effective at keeping ticks off the lower body, and horseback riders report beneficial effects at avoiding or minimizing saddle sores, as well.

So, the rumors are true. Some of our military men have been wearing pantyhose, and they're seeing benefits from it. If you are one who thinks pantyhose equals feminine, I wouldn't recommend saying it out loud to the next Marine you meet... at least until you make sure his M16 is unloaded.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Twitter User Walks (more than) A Mile in Pantyhose As Challenge to Women

An interesting development on Twitter came to my attention last week. On "LIVE, with Regis & Kelly", Kelly Ripa gave an on-air shout out to a male Twitter fan with username @stuckinhose as a result of his having worn pantyhose to work nearly every day since early last fall. As reported on "The Stir" by Lauren Flynn Kelly, co-host Kelly Ripa paired black pantyhose with her outfit on Feb. 17th because, "she switched up her usual 'childlike' tights out of solidarity with StuckInHose, a guy from New York tweeting his adventures in hosiery since promising a female coworker he'd wear nylons under his pants...

One of the fascinating aspects of this story is that Mr. Opinionated--the pseudonym used on @stuckinhose's Twitter account--did not take on this mission out of a desire to promulgate the male legwear trend, with which faithful Nylon Gene readers have long been well-acquainted. According to Twitter conversations with him, this arose not from a desire to wear hosiery, but instead to encourage more women to do so.  He wanted to prove that their complaints about the discomforts and annoyances of pantyhose are a gross exaggeration. 

Over the course of time since he began wearing pantyhose to work, Mr. Opionated began tweeting his thoughts on pantyhose to anyone willing to engage in debate with him.  As of this writing, he's posted more than 5,200 tweets.  They run the gamut from curious coworkers to far-off strangers who've heard of his situation and are curious to learn more about him or his motivations.  He has sent 140-character missives to many a female celebrity to compliment them on their choice of legwear, or chastize those who swear by the bare-legged hose-haters party platform. 

That's how he came to Kelly Ripa's attention this month.  StuckInHose had been critiquing her tendency toward opaque tights--which he considered 'childlike'--rather than opting for more elegant sheer hosiery.  He believes women in professional settings should wear sheer hosiery, because there is no question that it improves the look of their legs, and going bare-legged is unprofessional.  In her Feb. 17 Fashion Finder video blog, Kelly takes pains to point out she's wearing, "hosiery... HOSIERY--not tights" as she previews the day's outfit backstage.  Then, while sharing the story with viewers, she blew a kiss to StuckInHose.  He posted later that he would've never expected to have been mentioned on air, much less have Kelly blow him a kiss. 

Since then, his Twitter followers have grown by leaps and bounds, from a handful of insiders to about 250 in less than a week.  His profile reads, "I have been challenged by a female friend to wear hose to work under my pants..looking for females who want to help/have ideas/find it funny/etc."

As I've not had the opportunity to interview him directly and get more details, my observations are based on recent Twitter correspondence and review of his public Twitter timeline of previous conversations with other followers, as well as the spate of recent news items that have popped up.  It appears the original agreement between Mr. Opionated and a female coworker dates back at least to September 2010.  He agreed to wear pantyhose under his trousers each day to work for 90 days, ostensibly to prove that they're not nearly as bad as women make them sound. 

Assuming a 5-day work week (18 weeks), StuckInHose would've ended his 'nylon captivity' sometime around New Year's Day.  Yet here it is almost March, and he's still going strong--even going out to buy a $50 pair of Wolford hosiery in recognition of the brand Kelly wore the day she introduced his saga to her national TV audience.  It seems that there have been quite a few 'side bets', etc. that have added the occasional 5 extra days here and there (Geez, I hate it when that happens), which is why he's still got at least quite a few days to go before being 'set free' from being a 'hostage to hosiery'. 

While Mr. Opinionated insists he has no interest in the men's legwear trend, it's hard to avoid a couple of questions that spring to mind with respect to this story.  First, for a guy who isn't at all interested in the idea of men wearing pantyhose, or 'mantyhose', he seems to have taken on this 'chore' of demonstrating the hollowness of female complaints against hosiery with little resistance. 

Add this to how readily he was required to add days and weeks to his original 90-day ordeal, and the picture that emerges hearkens back to that old Shakespeare line, "Methinks he dost protest too much."

This should not be taken as criticism, though.  If anyone should appreciate how wearing of hosiery out of necessity for any length of time tends to cause one to discover a whole range of beneficial aspects, it would be me.  It was only after wearing support-style hosiery at a doctor's suggestion for relief from poor leg circulation that I discovered how several secondary benefits and how energized they make ones legs feel. 

Although he could be reluctant to admit it, for fear of the reaction of friends or family, Mr. Opinionated shouldn't fear the public fallout were he to acknowledge that he's learned to like the idea of wearing pantyhose during the past six months.  He would be among the very good company of thousands of 'regular guys' across the country who have made the same discovery.  Secondly, even if he truly remains fully committed only to promoting more frequent wearing of pantyhose by women, his exploits and the publicity surrounding it have the unavoidable consequence of furthering the public acceptance of sheer legwear as a male, or more properly a unisex, garment.  Each time a man who is by all appearances an otherwise average, ordinary guy--lacking effeminate or 'odd' personality traits--comes into the public eye while unapologetically wearing tights or pantyhose, it continues the erosion of those outdated misconceptions once held in the public perception.  That was the idea behind my work in developing this blog, and previous work as a public spokesman in support of this emerging trend. 

Consequently, the old notions associating men and nylon legwear with sexual deviations, etc. have all but disappeared.  I can't tell you how many people who have noticed my hosiery have commented that they assumed I must be wearing them for medical reasons, etc.  That seems to have become the new default assumption when it comes to a man wearing pantyhose. 

I wish Mr. Opinionated luck with the remainder of his time "stuck in hose."  It will be interesting to see whether he ever reaches the end of his 90 days.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

SkinKiss Caffeinated Mantyhose - National caffeine |

Restrictive caffeinated pantyhose work out with a fury - National caffeine

An interesting article publised by a fellow Examiner writer (I, too, write for the Examiner). He writes about his experience testing a pair of SKIN KISS caffeine-impregnated tights. I did not realize that caffeine could be absorbed through the skin such as this. Apparently, it has beneficial effects on skin tone and firmness, as well as slimming down the legs and getting rid of cellulite.
The article links to clinical testing results on the SKIN KISS website, which provide further details for those interested. According to the blog author (and the test results), the caffeine in the hosiery also have the effect that most of us are accustomed to when we drink coffee--"resistance to fatigue". Who would've thought you could keep yourself awake with a pair of pantyhose? But, apparently that's the case.

I noted with some interest that the author apparently had few if any qualms about trying out pantyhose while researching this article. As a guy who's been wearing them for better leg circulation for years, I can attest to how much they can benefit guys who don't suffer from stereotypical hangups that can close us off from things that could be helpful to us. I suspect his willingness to give them a try is a product of the big shift in public perception of the men's legwear concept (aka, mantyhose) in recent years.

Ten years ago, hardly any male would dare admit having even TRIED wearing pantyhose--even if researching an article--let alone actually consider taking it up. Today, however, if a guy walks down a busy downtown street wearing hose with a pair of shorts, hardly anyone gives so much as a second glance. I can attest to this from firsthand experience, as anyone who's read this blog for any length of time is aware. Men's legwear may not have become commonplace yet, but it's certainly lost those misinformed association as for women only. If people pay any attention at all, they typically assume there must be some sort of medical/leg health reason behind it.
The blog author doesn't mention whether he encountered any second looks or comments while working out at the gym. I'm assuming he didn't or he would've probably made note of it. Since he says he was wearing sheer black hose and he has pretty hairy legs, if anyone paid attention I would guess it had more to do with how a bunch of matted leg hair would look under sheer nylon legwear. When I go out running in my neighborhood, I often wear sheer black legwear with my running shorts, and no one bats an eye. But then again, I keep the hair on my legs short so it doesn't show up underneath.

He seemed to be somewhat taken with the concept, but wished for some caffeine mantyhose that were designed for the male body (fly opening, more room in front, etc.). He may not be aware how many sources now sell tights and hose that ARE made specifically for men--although none are caffeine-infused (yet). Who knows, maybe that'll be the next big idea from ActivSkin?...


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tights for Men: A History from 1510 to 2010 | Men's Tights Fashion

This is a good retrospective to remind us that tights were traditionally associated with men's wear (click link below to see blog post). The idea that tights are strictly a female garment is actually a very recent historical development. The blog, called, "Men's Tights Fashion" is relatively new. I'm not sure exactly when it appeared, since the blog posts aren't dated, but I don't think it's been around longer than this past fall. Although only a few articles are posted so far, they seem to provide a well-reasoned approach to the concept of male legwear--similar to what we try to provide here at The Nylon Gene.

I'm not acquainted with the blogger, but would invite him or her to share some background information below, or even write a guest post if so inclined?...

Tights for Men: A History from 1510 to 2010 | Men's Tights Fashion


Monday, January 17, 2011

Does Your Man Wear Tights? (

The men's legwear trend has caught the attention of UK-based TightsPlease, the "no.1 destination on the internet for fashion tights, stockings, leggings..." etc. With more than 20,000 items in stock, they are a major web presence when it comes to what's happening in the world of legwear.  The website and blog are viewed by a very large number of people around the English-speaking world.  So, it was no insignificant occurence when they posted "Does Your Man Wear Tights?" on their blog last week (see Jan. 4th posting).  (BTW, I published an article with a similar title for the Examiner back in Nov. 2009, "Ladies, Does Your Guy Wear Pantyhose?... Maybe He Should")

The vast majority of TightsPlease readers are women, so the article and accompanying survey are primarily directed at guaging the attitude of the female customers towards the 'mantyhose' trend.  However, it's also evident from the article that they have a great many male customers, and they ask the question, "what are your men buying tights for?" 

I hope that some TightsPlease readers have made their way here to The Nylon Gene, where we can certainly shed some light on that question...

Having spent some time as director of marketing for the original seller of tights/pantyhose made especially for men (, I am very familiar with the reasons men are buying tights (BTW, 'tights' in British usage is synonomous with what we in the U.S. refer to as pantyhose, as well as opaque tights).  First, one needs to answer why men are buying so many pairs of tights/pantyhose from a website that sells women's tights/pantyhose?  The simple answer is that there are a great many men who wear them for mainstream, legitimate reasons (see below) who aren't aware that there are readily available brands of hosiery made especially for men--and what the differences from women's hosiery are.  This is most true when talking about mail-order hosiery, since there is no difference from ordering from ActivSkin or a website selling only women's hosiery.  Even the question of overseas shipping becomes moot, because there are British-based distributors of male tights such as Legwear4Men, and several European-based companies.  As awareness of existence of these companies has increased over the past 5-10 years, sales have also grown rapidly.  This trend will continue away from women's tights to men's as awareness continues to grow.

There will continue to be a certain percentage of male tights wearers who stick with those brands they've become accustomed to and loyal.  There are also a good deal of men who prefer to buy their legwear at retail outlets instead of mail-order.  Male legwear has not become pervasive enough yet to enter the retail market, so these men must either buy women's brands or spend the postage money and order from the web.  I mentioned the differences between men's and women's hosiery above.  These include sizing according to male body proportions, somewhat more durable material (men aren't tolerant of the wispy-thin styles that run/tear at the drop of a hat), etc.  However, those men who have not tried any of the men's brands before may not realize what they're missing by settling for women's brands.  They may think there's no real difference because they've never worn anything else. 

So what ARE the primary reasons men are buying tights (aka, mantyhose) in the first place?  They can be summed up in a few categories:

Leg support: Women have known for years of the benefits of support hosiery when they're bothered by the subtle effects of poor leg circulation.  One need not have gnarled up knots of varicose veins to benefit from a good pair of support pantyhose.  They mildly massage the legs and help move blood through the veins to keep it from pooling during the day when on your feet for extended periods or being sedentary for hours on end.  Somehow, 50% of the population has been left out when it comes to providing relief.  Men are as likely as women to suffer from this complaint.  A woman can wear a pair of sheer hose that keeps her legs feeling good at the end of the day and no one thinks a thing of it.  It's now becoming more acceptable and commonplace for men to recognize the value of support hosiery.  And, they need not wear thick black opaque tights--under long trousers--that are too hot in spring/summer, either.  As men's legwear becomes more commonplace in the public perception, men are wearing them with shorts when the weather permits. 

Warmth-Without-Bulk: In colder settings, hosiery provides a thin base layer under outer clothing that is much more comfortable than the long johns that were traditionally the only option available to men.  Thin tights trap a layer of air next to the skin that adds insulation.  When wind is blocked by an outer layer, hosiery is very effective at adding additional warmth without constricting movement.  This is usefule for hunters and fishermen, construction workers, and even office workers.  How many desk jockeys complain that their employer can't seem to find a way to regulate the climate control and sit shivering throughout the day? 

This benefit is also valuable to outdoor athletes.  For instance, runners or cyclists who exercise or comete on chilly mornings need to keep the chill off their legs to avoid cramping.  Hosiery provides just enough insulation to do that.  Yet, since most types of athletic tights are thicker than sheer pantyhose, they tend to cause the athlete to feel overheated after body temperature rises during exertion.  Some cycling tights have zip off legs, which is good, but zippers add expense and you still have to stop to remove them and find someplace to store them. 

Performance Enhancement: It's fairly well known in athletic circles that muscle compression helps improve stamina/endurance by holding the muscles in place better and minimizing bouncing against each other.  Support hosiery provides that same sort of muscle compression.  So in addition to the aforementioned warmth-without-bulk benefit mentioned above, they can also enhance a runner or cyclists ability to stay the course longer.  Also, since sheer hosiery wicks perspiration it's insulating effect transforms to cooling when this moisture evaporates from the legs.  Thus, they can also be worn in warmer weather if the benefit being sought is performance enhancement. 

Anti-chafing: When worn under trousers, tights or pantyhose are a great means of preventing chafing of the inner thighs in many circumstances.  It's been an open secret for many years that horsemen often wear women's pantyhose while riding to avoid 'saddle sores'.  Likewise, this same benefit applied for hikers on long marches.  An added benefit is protection against ticks.  They can't get attached to your legs when you're wearing nylon against your skin.  That's also why the military have used them overseas to help ward off sand fleas, etc. 

I've posted the text from the TightsPlease blog, along with a few inline comments that I think will help clarify a few misconceptions inherent in the article:
Does your man wear tights?
It’s come to our attention that more and more men are choosing to wear our tights!

They’re being worn for whole host of purposes, from meeting a basic need like our boys in Afghanistan – wearing tights to protect their legs from desert flies, or wearing tights to make a bold statement, like our cross dressing shoppers, who get a lot of enjoyment from wearing stylish, women’s tights! [As men become more comfortable with the idea of wearing tights, they will add them to their wardrobe for aesthetic, as well as practical, reasons.  However, cross dressing is a very small proportion of the number of guys wearing tights.]

Traditionally, men wearing tights has always been a taboo subject. The only time men in tights is acceptable, is at the pantomime or on our favourite superhero! With the sheer volume of male shoppers that we’ve seen visit the site, it’s unlikely that they’re all shopping for either of these purposes.  [As I've detailed above, men wearing tights is fast losing any of the former taboo. They're wearing them for very practical reasons, and the public is recognizing that fact by taking the sight of a guy wearing hosiery very much in stride]

So what are your men buying tights for? We’d like to find out more! For 5% discount off your next purchase with Tightsplease, fill in our Men In Tights survey now! We’d love to hear your views!! [Nylon Gene readers: Make sure to visit the blog or follow this link, and offer your input for the survey]

Lauren x


Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Well Groomed Bloke is Back (and wearing mantyhose)

I came across this interesting article the other day: "The (Well Groomed) Bloke Is Back", posted Jan. 2nd on the Australian Herald Sun website.  It makes the assertion that up til now, both extremes of recent models of masculinity have been inadequate: the stiff upper lip, emotionally remote breadwinner (too rigid) and the sensitive new-age guy in pastel shirts (too soft).  As the article says, "real men it seems, can drive a backhoe with one hand and apply hair product with the other." 

Although I can't personally vouch for that last mental image, for the purposes of our Nylon Gene blog and it's loyal readers, I can share with you what the article has to say about the mantyhose trend...
From Givenchy Spring/Summer 2010
"...Across the globe "mancessories" are big business, with everything from make-up to handbags being tailored to a male market.

And if you thought men in tights went out with bows and arrows, think again. Givenchy's spring 2010 collection featured mantyhose and the trend has been embraced for their warmth and the circulation boost they provide.

The online men's fashion magazine even includes detailed photographic instructions to help men get into their mantyhose and avoid ladders ('runs' in U.S. lingo --SN.).

How about guy girdles to hold in the beer belly?

The designers at Australian company Equmen prefer to call it male compression wear; briefs and undershirts designed to lift, flatten and shape a bloke's body.

The range has been embraced internationally and is sold at outlets such as Saks Fifth Avenue in the US and Selfridges in the UK..."

[Follow link to read the full article.]

We've not seen a great deal of publicity about the male legwear trend for a few months, so reading this reference in the Herald Sun article was refreshing and reassuring that our previous efforts to increase awareness among the public and media outlets in the past has not been in vain. 

Spring/Summer 2011 Collection (with a
little kilt action thrown in)
And, FYI... here's a link to one of the Givenchy items the article was no doubt referring to (although it's from 2011).  It's got sort of a menacing 'Insane Clown Posse' look that is no less edgy because of the sheer black mantyhose--or the skirt/kilt for that matter.  For those who might be tempted to question the manhood of the wearer--I'd make sure to smile while you're saying that [as an aside, I cannot for the life of me figure out what is up with the leather face masks the designer had some of them wearing in the show???]

As with just about everything in the 'fashion industry' it's far removed from what the average 'bloke' on the street is going to be wearing.  But it's also an indicator of the general shape of things in years to come.  What starts out on the runway generally morphs into something similar, but realistic, before showing up here and there in general circulation.  Obviously, since legwear has been showing up in men's fashion collections on more and more occasions, the idea that they aren't for men is evaporating. 

And, as the Herald Sun article cited above asserts, that doesn't go hand in hand with guys becoming more feminine, either.  One of the basic precepts of The Nylon Gene's message is that legwear (tights, sheer hose) have a legit place in male attire.  Real men can, and do, wear hose.


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