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.


  1. It is nice to see that the press is giving it a better review now compared to how it sounded a couple years ago. The idea is still small and not to much in the main stream of everyday attire yet. But looking back to today, we have done well collectively putting it out their in good light and it is growing world wide. Technology is a big help in this, because we can support each other through discussion forums and blogs, as we try to expose the idea and get global acceptance really quickly, quicker than ten or twenty years ago.

  2. Now this is a fairly positive article, but apparently the writer is still "out" when comes to understanding the true reasons why we wear leg gear. Yes, there is a mention of it, but at least there is a somewhat positive spin to it. Another step closer to acceptance?


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