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."

1 comment:

  1. My husband loves them and works out in them. He wants another pair so I had better start shopping.

    Men Cotton Shorts store


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