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

'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, 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, 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.