Mantyhose: Are men really ready to wear tights?

08:13:00


The masculinity of UK males could be under threat following the results of a new survey by online tights retailer, Tights Please, which suggests that many are in reality hidden mantyhose wearers.

95% of survey respondents (male and female) said that men did wear tights and that they were worn under the trousers at the office or other places of work because they ‘felt good against the skin.’
When the survey quizzed women as to the type of tights their menfolk prefer to wear, 44% said that those specifically made for women rather than men were the most desirable. 

Retailer Tights Please stocks Cette Dublin Tights, the plus size version of which is proving to be very popular with men who love their feel and of course need the larger size.

Men’s hosiery expert and blogger of hosieryformen.blogspot.com said: “Tights are becoming increasingly popular with men. They are comfortable, provide a layer of warmth and also provide leg support for men working outside or at a desk all day. There are now a number of brands of tights manufactured specifically for men and this is a growing market. However, there is a good deal of evidence that most men buying tights for themselves are happy to buy tights made for women when the quality and sizing meets their needs. The price can also be more competitive.” 
“Brands such as Falke, Cette, Charnos and Wolford that make extra large sizes are particularly popular. Many men prefer opaque tights in dark and neutral colours, although women's sheer and semi sheer tights also sell well.” 

Sophie Hawkins, Marketing Assistant at Tights Please, added: “It’s perhaps not a big surprise that women’s tights are becoming increasingly popular with men as they are generally manufactured to a more luxurious and using much softer materials. Sales of our Cette Dublin Tights plus size are double that of the normal sized range due to the number of men who love these tights.” 

Men and their relationship with tights has been hitting the headlines recently with the launch of Emilio Cavallini’s range of men’s tights and a new video from Madonna (Girl Gone Wild) featuring hordes of male dancers in tights.

Mantyhose: Are men really ready to wear tights?


Call them what you will (guylons, broisery, mantyhose) but tights for men are reportedly growing in popularity.Photo: emiliocavallini.com

"If you thought men in tights was a sartorial statement best left to medieval jesters, think again,"says Daisy Dumas in Britain'sDaily Mail. Upscale Florentine hosiery purveyor Emilio Cavallini is at the forefront of what it sees as fashion's next big thing: Male pantyhose, or "mantyhose." The "hose for bros" fad has caught on in Europe, the fashion house tellsWomen's Wear Daily (WWD), and is primed to make a big leap across the pond. Here's a look at the (possibly) imminent mantyhose craze:


Are "mantyhose" a real thing?Yes, really, says Francesco Cavallini, the company's vice president. Call them what you will — Racked suggests "guylons," or "broisery," or "he-tards" — but male tights now account for 2 to 3 percent of the million-plus pairs of hose Cavallini sells annually. "When we started our online shop we noticed that a lot of tights sized medium-large were being purchased by men," Cavallini tells WWD. He did a web search and discovered a cult following for mantyhose. In 2009, the fashion house introduced the product in select fashionable boutiques. A pair costs $27, and the biggest markets are Germany, France, Scandinavia, Canada, and the U.S.


How are they different than female-oriented tights?Cavallini's mantyhose are actually unisex. But they come in a range of more masculine patterns, like skulls, checks, stars, and horizontal stripes (as well as various plain colors). And the fabric is different, too, with "greater elasticity and stretch as well as breathability, which is important since men perspire much more than women do," says Cavallini. They fit both sexes equally well in the crotch, he adds. "If it's fine for Italian guys, it's fine for the world."


And men really wear these, in public?Cavallini's biggest-seller is basic black, and most men apparently wear their mantyhose like long underwear — "in other words, safely out of sight beneath their pants as an extra layer during the winter," says Charlotte Cowles in New York. But Cavallini has seen "men on streets across Europe wearing them with shorts," too. And why not, asks Chan Kraemer at online male hosiery magazine e-MANcipate.com. "Pantyhose for men can be an everyday clothing item, and that it can be fashionable as well."


Is there any way this will catch on in the U.S.?Why not? says Ashley Cardiff in The Gloss. If tights-clad men "can pull it off and feel good about themselves, then no one else should care." I actually think male tights are kind of sexy, says Emily Abbate in The Stir. But mostly, I want my man to wear guylons just to "watch him squirm. Can he get them on without ripping? Will he understand how not easy that is?" I'm skeptical, says Kenzie Bryant in Racked. This whole male hosiery trend feels like "revenge on women by dudes who have had their wardrobes pilfered for decades." Either that, or long-delayed nostalgia for a "return — nay, reclamation — of Shakespearean man-tights.

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