Tuesday, 2 December 2008

More Blinkered, Ignorant Rantings

Following on from The Times stunningly ignorant article subtitled 'Why Men Should Never Wear Tights', this article was brought to my attention by one of the guys on LAUF - thanks Kingfisher!

This new article, published on the Canadian site sachem.ca, can be read here http://www.sachem.ca/opinions/article/153619 . The author, an apparently intelligent man, still manages to plumb new depths of ignorance, blinkeredness (if that's a word!) and Victorian narrowmindedness - I thought The Times article was bad, but this is incredible! What planet is he from?? I did notice the item is in a folder called 'Opinions' - thankfully! And, the author's picture has a caption marked 'William Thomas - Humour' beneath it. If he thinks this drivel is meant to be  funny...

Thomas also starts off with the dreaded 'M' word (mantyhose - that makes me want to throw up!). He refers to male legwear as a 'mass wardrobe malfunction', and states that wearing it 'would double your chances of Elton John following you home'. Here we go again - another ignoramus who thinks that gay men like men in legwear - where do they get that???? He then goes on to say that 'we already have a men's garment to keep you warm and cosy - it's called long underwear'! Why would any man in his right mind want to wear something bulky, scratchy, uncomfortable and which falls down all the time, when he can have a garment which is warm, lightweight, comfortable, doesn't move and isn't itchy? No contest! Why is it somehow thought 'manly' to wear something uncomfortable? Is this harking back to the days when monks wore hair shirts under their habits?

After passing through various desparaging remarks about wolf whistles from construction workers, Peter Pan etc, he says 'mantyhose is a very, very, very bad idea'. Why?? We (men) had tights first, centuries before women 'stole' them. He then continues to reinforce his blinkered views by comparing men who wear to Robin Hood and The Village People - back to the old 'gay' hobbyhorse again!

Next, he makes a totally unwarranted link between the advent of 'thongs' and the arrival of male legwear - wrong again! Tights pre-date thongs by about 2,000 years - go check your history, pal!

He laments that men's legwear is part of a moving of men's clothing 'toward androgyny'. Wrong again! We didn't start the trend of clothing moving towards 'unisex' - the women did that, by 'adopting' jeans, t-shirts, polo shirts, shorts etc (all of which were men's garments before the womenfolk stole them c. WW2) - so if he has to moan at anyone, it isn't us guys!

He makes out 'mantyhose is not fashion, it's fetish.' Wrong again, Einstein! Then he witters on at length about 'manbra's' (a solution without a problem, if there ever was one!) and 'prophecies' more garments making the crossover to the male wardrobe.

He concludes with 'Men are supposed to dress like men, look like men, smell like men, which sets us apart from women'. No argument there - I don't know any males who are attempting to do otherwise - or should we still be wearing trousers made of sailcloth, smell of sweat and have dirty fingernails? Come on man - this is the 21st century - not the 19th!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Times article - 'Beyond manbags: pantyhose for men'

Subtitled 'Why men should never wear tights', this article by Times writer Carol Midgley, posted on the 22nd of November, is a stunning peice of blinkered, biased nonsense which just serves to expose the writer's staggering ignorance and archaic values. You can read the article in its full, unedited 'glory' at

She dedicates one paragraph to whining about Jonathan Ross's fashion faux pas, about which I will say nothing beyond pointing out that Jonathan Ross is a total plonker and hardly representative of most British males - thankfully!

Coming back to Ms Midgley's rantings, she commences with this statement; 'There’s no good way to say this, but some men like wearing pantyhose.' And? If I (or any other male) were to say 'There’s no good way to say this, but some women like wearing jeans and t-shirts.' (both of which were originally male garments which were subsequently poached by women) , the knives would be out in a flash, and I would be shouted down as 'old-fashioned', 'out-dated' and 'Victorian'. Why? What's the difference?

She then 'reveals' that what she refers to as 'mantyhose' (that expression makes me want to throw up!!) caught her attention some time ago, but she wanted to 'spare' the general public from the 'mental image' she seems to find so repulsive. Next, she comes up with a classic 'one rule for you' statement; 'The trend for straight men to invade female fashion territory is seemingly unstoppable.' Excuse me, but you started it! Why is it right for women, but not for men? In any case, we are not 'invading' anything; merely taking back what was ours for centuries before the womenfolk stole the idea in the early 20th century, so back off!

Next, she states 'Perhaps people like me who feel ill at the thought of a chap in American Tan should just get over it'; I think I would feel ill at the thought of a chap in American Tan too - thankfully that colour is not available in men's tights. She goes on to quote from Steve K's ComfiLon site, stating that ComfiLon 'does a very reasonable “ultrasheer” range starting at £4.40' - £4.40?? Where does she get that price from? Steve doesn't stock anything that cheap.

In the final paragraph, she says, 'But I would just say to any man thinking of embracing the 20 denier that having to wear tights is one of the very worst things about being a woman.' Is it? Why? She goes on, 'Still, if you don’t mind an itchy crackle-fest around your nether regions, then please be my guest.' What?? Whose tights does she wear? I've never had that problem. Maybe if she bought some decent quality tights in the correct size, she might feel differently about them. And she finishes off with, 'Oh, and don’t expect your tights to be much of a chick-magnet. In fact, I’d say that mantyhose is probably the perfect gift for the man who never wants to get laid again.' I for one, am not remotely interested in being a 'chick magnet', and have no desire to 'get laid', as she puts it. There are other reasons to live besides attracting the opposite sex, you know. She should put her blinkers back on, crawl back under her rock, and leave the rest of us in the 21st century to get on with living in a way we are comfortable with; we can do without her ignorant and opinionated rantings.

Monday, 17 November 2008


Here are links to the web sites of the manufacturers of men's tights whose products we stock, plus some other useful links for the male wearer! Note that not all our manufacturers have pages on their web sites for their male products, as some have discontinued their men's ranges; all that do are given here.
Manufacturer of the high-quality Goldwear range of men’s tights, Aries have been in the hosiery business since 1991. They are based in the Czech Republic.
German manufacturer of men’s tights, and very good they are too!
Home page of US manufacturer ComfiLon, whose product range is one of the first and best of the men’s legwear products!
Please note , we are the ONLY UK reseller carrying the whole range of ComfiLon waist-high legwear – both Opaque and Sheer (Transparent)
E G Smith of New York manufacture high-quality totally opaque cotton/nylon/Lycra tights suitable for men and women! They are unusual in that they are one size, and yet claim to fit a wide range of sizes, thanks to their unique ‘memory’ yarns.
French high-end manufacturer of hosiery, Gerbe have the 'Rolls-Royce' range of men's legwear; whilst not cheap (real quality always costs) they are superbly comfortable and surprisingly durable too. They are also the first, and so far only, manufacturer to make ultrasheer tights for men.
Lida of Poland have been producing high quality hosiery for over 15 years, and now have two ranges of men’s legwear, the 406 ‘Man’s World’ opaques and the 407 ‘Active Man’, which are the first sheer hosiery for men to have built in ‘socks’!

Hints and Tips

This is a revised reprint of the 'Hints and Tips' page on our web site.

Washing your hosiery. We recommend you wash your tights in one of the easily-obtainable netting wash bags which are available from most supermarkets these days – we stock one if you have problems getting hold of them; see the 'Accessories' page on the web site – and wash as ‘delicates’ on a 40 degree wash. Most manufacturers recommend that you wash new tights before wearing them; this removes any residual dyes etc., from the manufacturing process and frees up the fibres, which could otherwise stick together due to these residues. The result is that your tights will feel more comfortable; you may find (as we have from years of experience) that the tights will feel softer and silkier with each subsequent wash.

Putting your tights on. Advice on this point varies; most of the traditional manufacturers (i.e. those who make tights for women) suggest sitting on a chair or the edge of your bed, and gathering first one leg of your tights up, pulling them gently over your toes (making sure the toe seams are straight – aligned with your toes) whilst ensuring your toes have room to move – if you pull your tights on too tightly, it will be painful for your toes, by cutting off the blood circulation, and can also cause the premature demise of your tights, when the fabric fails because the tension is too great at the toe seam! Then pay the leg fabric gradually and gently up your lower leg to the knee, again being careful not to pull too tightly and risk damaging the fabric. Repeat the procedure with the other leg till you have both legs of your tights snugly pulled up to the knees, then stand up. Again, pay the fabric of first one leg, then the other, gradually up to the top of your legs, being careful all the while not to put too much tension on the fabric, and ensuring the leg fabric is paid out straight and not twisted around your legs, and finally pull the brief section up to the waist. Make sure the centre seam is straight (or the centre or ‘male’ panel is correctly positioned, if fitted). If you are wearing your tights over briefs (preferences in this respect vary from person to person! – see next section) you may want to position the waistband of your tights so it corresponds to the waistband of your briefs – this will reduce the tendency for the waistband of the tights to roll down; unfortunately, most men don’t taper in the same direction as women, so this can happen ;-). Alternatively, you may be more comfortable standing to put your tights on; as long as you can balance safely on one leg while you pull them on! I prefer this latter option personally.

Underwear – to wear or not to wear! All the tights we stock can be worn without any other underwear if desired (just to be clear, underwear, if worn, goes UNDER your tights, not over (unless you are Clark Kent!):-)), as most have a ‘male panel’ or extended centre gusset (or even a fly opening) designed to accommodate the male anatomy, but we would suggest from experience that certain styles which have just a ‘conventional’ centre gusset are probably best worn over cotton or micro-fibre briefs, or else the centre seam may dig in and be uncomfortable. But at the end of the day, it is down to personal preference; for example I prefer to wear lightweight cotton/Lycra or micro-fibre briefs under tights – I just find it more comfortable – but I know of others who prefer to wear nothing under their tights – to each his own!

Personal Grooming – skin, nails & leg hair. It goes without saying that hosiery is relatively fragile in comparison to other male garments, so this section may be news to male wearers, particularly if they are new to the concept of tights for men.

Make sure your nails are filed smooth, and not too long; jagged nails will destroy your tights very quickly!

Ensure the skin of your hands and feet is not rough; if necessary, wear gloves (hosiery gloves are available, or disposable vinyl ones which are available in many supermarkets will do) when putting on/taking off your tights. If possible, use hand cream to keep your skin smooth – many men’s grooming product ranges now include skin products for men – and ensure your feet, particularly the skin of your heels and soles of your feet, are not rough – again, there are many suitable men’s grooming products available these days to take care of this.

Leg hair is another ‘personal’ issue; on the purely practical side, leg hair acts as a ‘lubricant’ to tights causing them to fall down over time; most inconvenient! And on a visual level, nothing looks worse than matted leg hair under sheers! Yuck! Now, if you intend to wear opaques all the time and don’t mind having to periodically sneak off to ‘adjust’ your legwear, then fine; you don’t need to shave or ‘exfoliate’ your legs, but we would strongly recommend that you do. Apart from the fact that your tights will stay up better, and look better (at least, sheers will) you will find that your legs will feel much better in tights when hair-free – it’s difficult to describe quite why; but trust me! You will never look back – I haven’t! As to how to exfoliate your legs, that’s up to you; shaving is probably the most obvious, as us guys all have shaving gear anyway! But there are many options; wax strips, exfoliating creams, or purpose made male body hair shavers are all available, even from your local supermarket these days – how things have changed in recent years! If you intend to shave your legs, I would suggest doing it whilst taking a bath; the warm water will soften your skin and make shaving easier and more comfortable; use plenty of soap or shaving cream, and a different razor blade than the one you shave your face with! Shave towards the direction of growth of the hairs; you will find what this is with experience. You may need to make more than one ‘pass’, and don’t forget the backs of your knees – they may be out of sight to you, but not to anyone walking behind you if you are wearing shorts! – these are best shaved whilst standing, with your knees locked straight.

Choosing which tights to wear. Obviously, this will vary with individual preferences, but as a rough guide;

In the summer, choose sheer tights that match your skin tone as closely as possible, or maybe a shade darker; Beige and Tan are the order of the day, depending on your skin colour. These will look great with shorts or ¾ length trousers. (If you are feeling really daring, there are a number of companies producing skirts and/or kilts for men; these can look really good, when properly partnered with other suitable garments.) Remember, we are not setting out to look feminine (in any case, men wore both skirts and tights (or similar leggings or ‘stockings’ – these were invented by the Romans!) for centuries before they were ‘stolen’ by the womenfolk!) and in some cultures they still are commonplace items for men. It’s nice to have a choice – skirts offer a degree of freedom unknown to men, even in comparison to shorts.

In autumn/winter/spring or just cooler days, or under long trousers, jeans or combats, you may prefer to choose suitably colour-matched opaques; say black, navy blue or grey, depending on the colours of other garments you are wearing. These can look great, particularly if you are going for ‘stealth’ (watch out for that word – you will see it more often in the future!) and want your tights to look like good quality dress socks, and they also offer warmth and a degree of support.

Also available are other types of tights, like ‘control top’ (which have a tighter brief section usually comprising a larger percentage of Lycra) which can improve the look of your, er, rear end? and, of course, support tights, which are great if you are on your feet all day (or even if you aren’t!); they can make your legs feel a lot better at the end of a busy day than they would without! I speak from much experience!

Other variations are; STW (sheer to waist) tights which have no noticeable ‘boxer brief’, although these are less common in men’s tights, as the need in men is not really there to have legs visible up to the, er, armpits! Most men’s tights have a ‘boxer brief’ or darker/heavier section from the waist to the top of the legs; the reason for this is to extend the life expectancy of the tights by reducing the likelihood of the ‘sheerer’ leg fabric failing due to the greater tension around the tops of the legs and the rear end. You will find examples of all the above on the web site.

We do not currently stock any thigh-high (stockings) or knee-high (socks) products, as the demand is so small as to not be worth the major logistical problems of all those additional SKU’s! But we will monitor the situation – we are always open to customer requests and feedback. That is how we came to stock Footless, High-Gloss and some brightly-coloured products. Oh, and we don't stock Fishnet, back-seamed or patterned tights, as there aren't any made for the male market, and as already stated, we do not sell women's tights. We think it is unlikely that such styles will become available for men in the future; we can think of no legitimate reason why men would want to wear such styles, unless for cross-dressing purposes, a practice which we seek to distance ourselves from.

Colours. Most tights made for men come in skin tone colours – Beige and Tan for sheers, as well as one or two other colours, like Dark Brown, Off-Black, Jet Black and Grey, and in opaques they are available in Black (by far and away the most popular colour by miles), Navy Blue, Grey and occasionally Brown or Beige. Most of our ranges fall into these categories, with small variations, and we also carry one or two bright colours (like Red and White) and a few High Gloss/Shiny tights, but these are probably less useful to the male wearer except maybe in the local Amateur Dramatics troop!

One last hint – if you snag or ladder your tights, the best short-term fix can be found in the form of clear nail varnish. A small dab on the damaged area will prevent it getting worse and ruining your tights! You may be able to persuade your wife/girlfriend/SO to buy you a small bottle next time she goes shopping (of borrow some of hers; with her permission, of course! ;-)), but I think you will find no one cares if you buy it yourself!

We hope these hints have been helpful (and hopefully, a bit of fun too!), but if you have any other points or questions, feel free to e-mail us on info@tights-for-men.com and we will be happy to help.

Why Would Men Want To Wear Tights?

This is a revised reprint of the article found on our web site under 'General Information'.

Someone once asked me, ‘Why would men want to wear tights?’ So, here are some reasons to wear;

1. Looks. This is probably the main reason that women wear hosiery, but is likely to come further down the list of priorities for men. Having said that, there are still benefits in this area for men too. Sheer tights can improve the look of your legs in a number of ways; blemishes such as scars, cuts & bruises, etc., will be lessened in appearance, and a more uniform appearance achieved. ‘Lumps’ & ‘bumps’ will be smoothed out, and the 'milk bottle' paleness of most Brit men's legs can be effectively disguised!

2. Comfort. Whilst this is a factor for anyone in choosing which tights to buy, it is probably the top of the list for most men! This is why it is important for men to choose tights which are especially designed for men; in case you’ve not noticed, men are usually a different size and shape to women! Men’s tights are designed in one of two ways, depending on the manufacturer; either from the ground up as a male garment, or as a ‘unisex’ product, meaning a much wider range of sizes, in the case of one manufacturer, covering heights of 4’ 10” - 6’ 7”! These make use of modern elastane fabric’s ability to stretch to several times its original dimensions, and still return to normal. The former approach uses designs which are entirely made from scratch to suit men’s dimensions; these will be longer in the leg, shorter in the waist, and can be ‘fully boarded’ - i.e., shaped to men’s contours, and so they have a ‘front’ and a ‘back’. Some even have a fly opening! Plus, tights stay up much better than socks, and are far more comfortable!

3. Support. My first encounter with men's tights was for this reason. My job at the time required that I was on my feet for 8 1/2 hours a day, with only my lunch break to rest my legs and feet. Result—I would get home at night with legs that felt like lead, and ached a lot. So, when I found a web site advertising support tights for men, I thought, ‘Why not?’ The rest, as they say, is history! The benefits to me were nothing short of miraculous—fewer aches and pains; my legs felt much better! I was sold! And I have worn tights ever since.

4. Medical/Circulatory. To some extent, this ties in with ‘Support’ above, because support tights can help improve circulation. Some people wear for this reason alone.

5. Warmth. It almost goes without saying that tights can provide warmth without bulk. Modern fabrics can be surprisingly warm whilst remaining very thin. In cooler, winter months, a pair of opaques can be a godsend, without feeling heavy or restrictive.

Some, or all, of the above, will apply in varying degrees to all potential wearers. Some, for example sportsmen, with benefit from the warmth without bulk, the support (which will also aid circulation) and the minimal restriction offered by modern fabrics. Everyone, though, will find some of the above applicable.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Does Wearing Tights Mean A Man Is Gay/Gender Confused?

For some reason, Joe Public seems to think that if a man wears tights, he must be gay, or at least, gender confused. I have no idea where this line of reasoning originates; it is complete and utter nonsense. I don't know any gay men myself (or gender confused either, come to that) so I cannot ask anyone from those persuasions about their thoughts on the matter, but as far as I can tell, it takes a huge jump of faith to get from 'Wears/wants to wear tights' to 'must be gay or gender confused'. Why does wearing a piece of clothing which is comfortable, practical, convenient, offers climate control, support etc, make a man gay?? Some men prefer to wear briefs, and some prefer boxers; but that doesn't mean that those men who prefer one type think that those who wear the other must be 'gay', does it? It's just down to personal choice and comfort; if I prefer to wear a garment that combines underwear and socks in one item, what of it? My sexuality isn't threatened. And don't give me the old 'Because tights are women's clothes' argument, because, as already mentioned in previous posts, tights were originally a male garment, only 'stolen' by the womenfolk in the last century when skirts started to get shorter and shorter. So, if us guys want to steal them back, and make them once more a 'male' garment, and wear tights made for men, why is that an issue for some (closed-minded) people? Remember, before WW2, trousers were solely in the male domain, but women (maybe working on the land, or in factories, or even flying planes!) found them to be more practical than a skirt. Same with jeans, t-shirts, polo shirts etc - all were originally male garments, which have made the transition to the female wardrobe too. So if your wife/GF/SO thinks wearing tights is 'feminine', just say to her, 'I don't question your sexuality when you wear jeans or a t-shirt, do I? And they were designed for men! So don't give me a hard time when I wear tights (which were also designed for men)!'

Also, why is there a double standard here? Why can a woman wear absolutely any item of clothing (either male of female) and it's OK, but if a man wears/wants to wear  something that the woman thinks of as feminine, he is 'gay' or gender-confused? If a woman goes into a menswear department and buys men's underwear, it is assumed that they are for her husband/BF/SO, but if a man goes into a ladieswear dept and buys women's underwear, it is assumed that it is for him and he must be 'gay' or a cross-dresser - why is that???

I liked Steve K of ComfiLon's comment; if a guy says to you, 'Why are you wearing tights? Are you gay?', just say to him, 'No, I'm not gay; but I know a guy who is, and he has a shirt just like yours!'

Next time your wife or SO wears one of your t-shirts, remind her she is cross-dressing, and ask her is she a lesbian - see how she likes it (and then duck!) :-)

Friday, 14 November 2008

Will Men's Tights Ever Be In The Shops?

Another question we are often asked is if/when will men's tights be available in the shops?

What you must remember is that bricks-and-mortar shops sell stuff that moves quickly; they aren't interested in slow-moving (in their terms) items like men's tights. Plus, at this point, so few men even know there is such a thing as men's tights, never mind buy them, so the priority at the moment is to get them into the public eye, and try and catch as many potential purchasers on the web as possible. That way, the manufacturers of the product will be able to ramp up production, spend more on advertising, and get to the stage where economies of scale begin to bite, so all us male wearers can buy our tights for less! I don't think any 'real world' shops would be interested in stocking (no pun intended!) an item which has such a small 'niche' appeal, but if we all keep plugging away at making men's tights more everyday and mainstream (by buying and wearing them) then who knows; maybe one day we will be able to walk into a store and buy them over the counter, but I don't think it will be anytime soon!

As mentioned in a previous post, if one European manufacturer of ladies hosiery produces 200,00 pairs A DAY (I doubt there have been that many men's tights sold EVER!) then we have a LOOONG way to go yet!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Where Do I Start?

We often get e-mails to the web site from new male wearers wanting recommendations for first-time purchases of men's tights, so here are some suggestions.

Firstly, DON'T buy the cheapest (on the reasoning that 'Oh, well; if I don't like them, then I've not lost much), because it is much more likely that you won't like them than a better quality pair, and we wouldn't want a new wearer to fall at the first hurdle, would we? I would suggest a good-value middle range style, such as Doyeah 0838 or 0858, ComfiLon 549/535/577, which are all excellent first-time buys, along with the Collanto LegSupport range, the Aries Goldwear support style, or if you want to start with opaques, ComfiLon 849/839/857, LE D500's, or either of the Lida or Collanto or Aries Goldwear opaques.

I would definitely NOT recommend you start with the low-to-no Lycra models, as they are not representative of the comfort, durability or general quality of almost any other style we carry; we wouldn't want a new wearer to be put off by these (unrepresentative) styles. If you fancy trying them after some of the other, better quality styles, then fair enough; just don't start with them! The same applies to the Collanto Adam cotton opaques, which are more like socks that happen to go up to the waist than tights; save them till after you've tried their own Aurel 40 or 70 styles (or any of the opaques recommended in the previous paragraph), which are much better in almost every way.

You may be wondering why I haven't mentioned the premium models, such as Gerbe, or ComfiLon 599's, any of which would make excellent first-time purchases for the aspiring newbie; I just don't want to be accused of 'pushing' the most expensive styles on the unsuspecting new boy! But you certainly do get what you pay for - the Gerbe styles and the 599's are all awesome in terms of comfort, and also surprisingly durable too, so if you can afford them, go for it; you won't be sorry!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Wearing Openly - Does Anyone Else Really Care?

One subject which seems to be aired frequently on the forums and almost any other legwear-related site, is the matter of men wearing tights openly, with shorts or cut-offs. Almost every male wearer, it seems, has a blind terror of being 'discovered' wearing tights. I really am not sure why this is; the vast majority of the general public (aside from wearers) don't give legwear a second thought, and certainly couldn't care who wears in the slightest. It has been nearly 10 years or so that I have been wearing openly, as a part of my normal day-to-day wear, and in that time I have not had one single person either notice, or if they have, make any comment to me about it one way or the other; they simply don't notice. Correction; one person did notice - my cousin's (then) 7 year-old son, who was playing around with his toy cars on the floor of our living room during a family visit, when he stopped by my feet and looked up, and asked 'Are you wearing tights?' (I was dressed in ComfiLon 577's in Tan, with combat-type cargo shorts and sandals, as I often do in the summer months); 'Yes' I replied, and he just nodded and carried on playing. About an hour later, this time I was sitting on the back doorstep, while the lad and his 9-year old sister were playing in and around my car (which was a Smart ForTwo - which fascinated them), when he stopped and said to me, 'Why are you wearing ladies' tights?'. 'I'm not', I said, 'I'm wearing men's tights'. At this, his (apparently more street-wise) sister chimed in with 'They do make tights for men, you know. D'Uhh!' 'One of my school teachers wears them' she said to me, by way of explanation. 'Well, I didn't know!' protested her little brother, and with that, they forgot all about it and carried on playing. And that is it - not another word, from them, or anybody else.

Another case in point; I recently met up with a former girlfriend, who I went out with almost 30 years ago, and who had got back in touch. We arranged to go for a day out, catch up, get lunch etc., and just chat. I was wearing my usual t-shirt, shorts and this time ComfiLon 599's (which are awesome by the way!) in Tan, and deck shoes (which I prefer for driving). We spent the whole day together, drove a couple of hundred miles, and visited lots of places of interest; it was a lovely sunny summer's day. When we got back to mine at the end of the day, we sat in the living room with cups of tea and coffee, and chatted. It was only then that the subject of what work we now do came up, and I told her about the Legwear4Men web site, and indicated my nylon-clad legs. She sat up, looked hard, and said, 'Oh, I didn't even notice.' And that was that; no further interest, and certainly no questioning looks or anything like that. We have chatted a little more about it since then, and she thinks it's great; no problem!

I think it all comes down to confidence; if you are furtive and look preoccupied, people will be suspicious, whereas if you just carry on as normal, no-one will notice, and if they do, they won't care - they will assume there must be some good reason you are wearing them, and leave it at that.

Now, of course, a great deal of that confidence will come from your own perception of yourself in tights, and this is where tights which are made for men come in; I know that I, for one, could never be confident wearing women's tights, because I would know they are women's clothing, and that bothers me, but if they are men's, then I am confident and there is no problem. Sometimes male wearers say, 'Well, no one else knows if the tights you are wearing are men's or women's,' which may be true, but I know, and that makes all the difference in the world - remember the movie Independence Day - 'plausible deniability'!

Another area in which tights for men are important, is in a man's relationship with his wife/gf/SO, who may be dubious about his wearing of what she perceives as a 'female' garment, but is far less likely to be concerned if he wears a patently male garment. After all, there are male and female versions of jeans, t-shirts, polo shirts, etc, which all at some point made the transition from being a 'male' garment to being available for both genders; why not with tights too (which after all, started off as a male item anyway)?

If you haven't already done so, try it; I am sure you will find that no one gives two hoots! Enjoy!

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Discussions about women's tights - why???

It saddens me when I drop in on the various legwear forums and see threads discussing the ins and outs of various women's tights. Now that would be fine, if those doing the discussing were women, but they're not; they are men. These guys just don't seem to get it; men should not be discussing women's legwear - leave that to the girls! As long as men buy and wear women's tights, men's tights will never become mainstream, for a number of reasons. First, Joe Public will assume that all male wearers are just looking for an excuse to wear women's tights, and that assumption will not go away as long as ANY men wear women's tights. Now, before there were men's tights available, there was no choice if a male wanted to wear tights; he had to wear women's. Aha, you say; but men's tights are a lot more expensive than women's, and I can't walk into any supermarket or department store and buy them - I have to order them online. But don't you see; that situation will not change until all male wearers make a conscious, inviolable decision NEVER to wear women's tights again. This will send a message to the manufacturers that they cannot get away with just producing tights for women; if there is a large male market out there who are voting with their wallets, the manufacturers will sit up and take notice - that is the basis of 'supply and demand'. If men continue to buy and wear women's tights, a number of things will happen (or not happen); the remainder of the manufacturers (who aren't already making men's tights) will think 'Well, these guys clearly will buy any old thing as long as it is hosiery; they don't seem to care if they are made for men or not. Why should we spend valuable time and money on developing special ranges for men, when they really don't care; they'll buy anything.' So they are laughing all the way to the bank, while companies like those who make the men's tights such as we here at L4M carry, are going bust because so few men are buying them. We should support the manufacturer's who make ranges of tights for men, and not send them to the wall through our lack of patronage. I recently found out that one of our suppliers, Czech manufacturer Evona, stopped making tights for men, nor are there any on the Belly Star web site (another of our former suppliers); they also used to make (very good) men's tights, but not anymore, because our company was the only one buying them. And, Polish manufacturer Lida told me they are not going ahead with three new planned styles of men's tights, and they are cutting back the options to one men's model in one colour (black), because they found out they can make more profit selling women's maternity tights. And Ergee of Austria, makers of the excellent Climaxx men's tights, have now ceased trading completely. We really need to get behind these manufacturers such as Gerbe, ComfiLon, Collanto, Aries etc, who have gone out on a limb and risked financial doom by making and marketing tights for men; if we can't be bothered to support them with our male £'s, $'s, €'s etc, in another five years WE WILL NOT HAVE THE CHOICE, because no one will make them for men any more. So, if that happens, and a man wishes to continue wearing, he will be back to having to wear women's hosiery, with all the issues that raises; cross-dressing/fetish, incorrect sizing and proportions (in case you've not noticed, men are different to women, in various ways, and even aside from the other issues, women's tights will NEVER fit men as well as they do women; plain and simple) and, if you've never tried tights which are made for men, you won't know how much more comfortable and better fitting they are than women's (unless you are a woman!).

I made the decision years ago that I would not wear women's tights (once I had realised there were tights made for men available - that's why I started L4M, and that's why we will continue to only sell men's tights - it's a principle thing). Now, if you are content to wear women's hosiery (I'm sure there are some men out there who wear women's tights BECAUSE they are women's; now obviously, I don't expect them to rally to our cause) then fine; you will have to settle for tights which don't fit you properly, and contend with the feelings of guilt brought about because you are basically cross-dressing (there is no other name for it). But as long as the option exists, I (and my company) are going to continue to support the men's hosiery manufacturers. In fact, just to show that I am putting my money where my mouth is, L4M now works with two hosiery manufacturers (on opposite sides of the globe) who now produce some excellent value-for-money men's tights under our own brand name (prior to that, we have only resold existing products from other manufacturers, which we will continue to do), and hopefully, in sufficient quantities for economies of scale to come into play (that is why, up to now, men's tights are dearer than women's; they just aren't made in sufficient numbers to come out as cheaply as women's, which are made by the ton - I recently read about one European manufacturer who produces 200,000 pairs A DAY!)

Sorry to rant on, but it is up to us guys to make this happen; if we don't (and we just continue to buy and wear women's tights) then the choice will be taken away from us - and we will be the only ones to blame!


Friday, 31 October 2008

Styles and colours of tights for the male market

From time to time, we get requests via our web site for items such as fishnets, back-seamed or patterned tights. We don't carry such items because;
A) No one makes them for the male market (I can't imagine why they would! Plus, of course, we don't (and won't) sell women's tights) and
B) we are not advocating that men should try to look feminine, and there is (currently) no legitimate reason why men would want to openly wear such items.
We want tights to be a male item, and have our own versions of the garment, and wear them for the right reasons - comfort, support, warmth etc (not fetish or cross-dressing). We are 'stealing back' a garment that the women stole from us men over a century ago; now if us guys benefit from the developments in hosiery that have happened since (Lycra, nylon, seamless legs, much greater comfort and durability etc) then even better!

Now, unless, as time goes on, and fashions (inevitably) change, maybe to a point where bright colours, wild patterns, shiny fabric etc., becomes acceptable for men to wear (in the general course of day-to-day fashion), then that's OK, but at the moment, I think the choices should be something like;

Colours - Black, Navy, Grey, Beige and maybe Brown (in opaques, at least) and Beige, Tan, Grey and Black in sheers. 
Styles - plain sheers (for 'stealthy' wear under shorts or cut-offs) and plain opaques. (Remember, we are not setting out to be 'in-your-face' or controversial, or to look feminine; we just want to be able to wear what is a very comfortable and versatile garment without being considered, at best slightly odd or eccentric, or at worst, totally 'gay' or ridiculous).

If the changes mentioned above do happen, then we (L4M) will certainly look at adding new styles and colours to our range, but just for now, I think we have enough on our hands just getting tights accepted once again as a mainstream 'male' garment. If, or should I say when! that happens, then fine; but for now we should walk before we run.



Thursday, 30 October 2008

Discreet Packaging? Why?

This post is humourous (although still true) so please take it in the spirit of fun in which it is given :-)

We often get e-mails or comments from guys who buy legwear from our web site, along the lines of 'Please make sure my order goes out in plain, discreet wrapping.' Firstly, our Shipping Info' page on the site does state that all orders go out in plain wrap, with just our return address on a label on the back, in case the parcel goes adrift in the post, so I'm not sure if they just didn't take the time to look, or if they are paranoid :-)

But, my point is; Why??? We only sell men's clothing - to men!! So why would it need to be in discreet packaging, as though we were sending them something dodgy, or, worse still, made for women! (We don't even sell any women's tights on this site, apart from some unisex styles). It's no different than if we were selling jeans, t-shirts or shoes etc., and no one would think twice if a parcel arrived from, say, Matalan or Peacocks, so why the secrecy? Come on guys, we really have to get over this furtive attitude, as though we were doing something iffy. Enjoy your legwear with confidence - that's why we (and the manufacturers we represent) make and supply tights which are made for men; so you won't have to feel guilty about it!


Sunday, 26 October 2008

More Lycra = more shinyness? Another in our 'myth busting' series!

Many hosiery wearers assume that shiny hosiery has more Lycra - this is simply not true; Lycra (or indeed, any elastane fibre; Beyer Dorlastan, Elapsan, Eastar) is actually matte in appearance, like rubber; the 'shiny' appearance of some hosiery is caused by the reflection of light off the nylon fibres which are helically wrapped around the (central) Lycra core. Sometimes more than one nylon fibre are wound in opposite directions (like the double-helix of DNA) around the elastane core; it is the nylon which causes the 'shinyness' or reflectivity of some hosiery, not the Lycra.

Opacity/Sheerness vs. Denier - Busting the Myth

It is a commonly-held misconception amongst the general public that the opacity or sheerness (how much of the wearer's skin shows or doesn't show through) of tights is dictated purely by the 'denier' of the fabric. Firstly, the denier rating is one of mass, not thickness (specifically, 1 denier = the mass in grams of 9,000 metres of the yarn; the decimal equivalent, decitex, being the mass of 10,000 metres). 

Secondly, the opacity or otherwise of a pair of tights is dependent on the density of the loops of the fabric, and their spacing, as much as the denier of the yarn, and also depends on the size of the wearer; the same pair of tights on two people of different sizes (not both at the same time! :-)) will expose more of the wearer's skin the tighter they are stretched, so the opacity will be seen to be different. As an example, we stock some sheer (i.e. see-through) tights of 110 denier, and some opaques of as little as 40 denier, so it certainly doesn't necessarily follow that more denier = more opacity. 

So now you know!

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Full Circle - the Return of Tights as a Male Garment

Most people these days assume that tights (pantyhose in the US, Australia & South Africa) are a female clothing item, as in recent years, it has been the womenfolk in the main (aside from dancers, dramatists, plus some athletes etc) who have worn them. However, it was not always that way. The earliest garment that resembled tights were the leggings which were given to Roman soldiers in cooler climes, some 2,000 years ago. In more recent history, men wore close-fitting leggings or knitted 'tights' for centuries. In fact, in some European countries in the 14th to 17th century, it was actually made illegal for women to wear tights, as the men guarded jealously what they considered 'their' garment; it was considered very masculine to show a well-turned calf! It was only the advent of trousers in the 19th century which made tights as a male garment pretty much redundant. Then, in the early part of the 20th century, women started to wear tights or stockings as skirts got shorter, culminating in 1966 with the arrival of the mini skirt, and the advent of modern nylon tights (helped along the way by the appearence firstly of Rayon (sythetic silk or 'viscose') in 1894, Nylon on February 28, 1935 by Wallace Carothers at DuPont, and Lycra in 1959) which we would recognise today. Whilst it is true to say that the last century has seen tights as an almost exclusively female item, men have often worn them under trousers as long underwear, finding the lack of bulk associated with traditional 'long johns' to be an advantage. In some coutries, notably Germany and some Eastern European nations, tights were worn by boys (under shorts) until fairly recently (1960's-70's); this may be part of the reason that the same countries are responsible for the resurgance of male tights (Germany, Poland, Austria and the Czech Republic all having manufacturers today). At the end of the day, tights (generically speaking) are a garment which can be worn by anyone, regardless of gender (understand though; I am not advocating that men should wear women's tights - that is clearly crossdressing) and now that there are tights made for all ages and genders, there is no reason for men to wear women's tights. Now we can all enjoy the benefits (warmth without bulk, support, comfort etc) of tights!

Friday, 24 October 2008

A Brief History of Legwear4Men.com

'How did you come to run a company which sells men's tights?' is a question I sometimes get asked by friends and acquaintances. Well, prior to 2004 (when we launched Legwear4Men), I would not have dreampt of such a thing myself. Basically, it started like this; back in the late 1980's, I got into cycling (mountain biking, to be precise) pretty seriously. I would go out every morning (yes, that's every morning!) at about 5:30 a.m. and cycle 20 miles along a cycle path which used to be a railway line, near my home, purely for exercise. Initially, I resisited the full 'clothing' (read Lycra) look, as I thought it looked silly, but soon found there was a good reason for it, so I reluctantly purchased the full hit; Lycra shirt, shorts and/or leggings, helmet, gloves etc., but drew the line at shaving my legs (as my cycling colleagues did). However, I soon found, that as well as looking very silly in shorts, my (very) hairy legs were causing my shorts or leggings to fall down all the time, which required me to stop and 'adjust' them periodically. 'Shaving your legs would soon stop that,' a friend said, so I (again, somewhat reluctantly) went for it, much to the amusement of my (then) wife, and found they were right; my shorts or leggings instantly stopped falling down! And it was much more comfortable that way. So, I have shaved my legs ever since (20-odd years). The tights came much later; I was searching the web one night about 10 years ago, (in the good old 'dial-up' days - NOT!) looking for clothing (as you do!) and found a web site with a banner which said something like, 'Men are beginning to discover something that women have known for years; that tights are a comfortable, practical garment with benefits for men as well' and went on to espouse the benefits of warmth, support, etc which tights can give. I was fascinated; 'Tights for men?' I thought. I was used to Lycra from my cycling; it wasn't too much of a step to include tights (as long as they were men's; I wasn't interested in wearing anything made for women) not least since my ex-wife had suggested, many years earlier, that I should try support tights to save my aching legs (I was on my feet most of the day at work) as she had found them to be beneficial, but I wasn't keen. Still, the seeds were all in place, so I thought, 'What the heck?' and ordered some. The rest, as they say, is history, and now I wear tights all the time; I haven't worn socks (by and large) for years. Fast forward to about 6-7 years ago, when I was chatting to a friend about how beneficial I had found tights to be, but was frustrated by the fact that I had to order them from far afield whenever I wanted more, as there was no one in the UK who sold them. To my surprise, he said, 'Well, why don't you do it (sell them)?' My initial response was 'Naaah!', but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made; I had a long background in retail, and more than a passing acquaintance with computers and the internet, so I went and had a chat with my brother (who was better paid than I was!) and discussed it; he thought it was a great idea, and lent me some money to get things started, and Legwear4Men was born! Since then, we have greatly expanded the range of makes and styles we sell, and now have an 'own brand' range of good value-for-money tights for men, made for us by a long-established hosiery manufacturer.

I will post as often as I can, and will keep things up to date with news and items of interest.

Please note, that as a UK-based company, we use the term 'tights' in the UK sense, not the American sense of opaque tights.


Welcome to the Legwear4Men blog!

I am the owner of legwear4men.com, the first and only on-line reseller of exclusively men's hosiery in the UK. That's right; tights that are made for men, as opposed to just selling women's tights to men - anyone can do that! We have almost all the currently available brands of tights and legwear which are actually made for men. We don't sell women's hosiery, (unless you count our 'unisex' brands) and we don't intend to in the future (at least, not through this site; but we now have a 'sister' site first4legwear.com, which caters to the ladies). We are not a tights/pantyhose fetish site; we are advocating tights for men as a serious, practical garment for men, with many benefits which men have traditionally missed out on. We do not advocate that men wear women's tights, and we have no time for crossdressing or other 'off subject' matters; any such will be removed by the moderators.

We will post matters of interest with regards to men's legwear products; news of upcoming new makes and models, and will attempt to answer any points raised in your comments.