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.




dougaa said...

I think that certain patterns would be fine for men, and not give the impression of being more feminine than plain opaque tights. For instance these pictures. I do see a problem though in that given the relatively small size of the men's market, patterns would not be popular enough to justify manufacturing them.

bozeman1941 said...

Interestingly, they were exactly the pictures I had in mind as an example of patterns that were not suitable for men - it was this very photo shoot that prompted me to write the post in the first place! I think they look ridiculous, but that's just my opinion! However, you're right when you say that no one would make these for men; there just wouldn't be the demand (thankfully!) :-)

I think these sort of patterns are just too 'in-your-face' for men; we should stick with something a little more subtle.

sheergeek said...

Having taken a look at the latest styles of men's socks that are available from Marks & Spencer, I notice that the trend for patterns is really taking off. I think that this is indicative of the fact that many men like to be flamboyant with socks, ties and other accessories. I am sure that this theory could just as easily be applied to men's tights. I know that I for one would welcome the patterned tights that dougaa referenced if they were to be made for men.

Quidam said...

Seen the M&S socks and want to say that I leave in Mexico, and am used to see those argyle, diamond, herringbone, vertical pinstripes, ribbed and cable knit textures/patterns as "manly". They have been present on men's socks for ages!. However, colours such as red or plum, and ring patterns are considered girlie. Only up to last years manufacturers began producing "plain colour" socks for men, and they are not very welcome, as they resemble "mallas" (collants) in mexicans eyes. I think some pattern and a bit wider colour range in men's tights would be helpful to sell them in as many international markets as possible.