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


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