Off the peg: After the sarong and male nail varnish, are we ready for men in tights?
Saturday 15 August 1998
Example one: I overhear a besuited business man on the tube earnestly telling his friend: "I'm just packing a few sarongs, and T-shirts." Example two: the Austrian hosiery and bodywear firm Wolford feels the time is right to launch male tights onto the market. This begs the question - has the fem/men thing gone too far? A statement from the spokeswoman for the tights' designer, Andreas Aschever-Martinelli, suggests it has: "We produced this hosiery because men all over the world want it. They said, `You are ignoring us, and we are half the population.'" She then added, "These are not girly, I think they are very manly, actually."
When Hard Candy created Candy Man nail varnishes for men in 1997, they used names such as Gigolo, Libido and Cowboy to sell the product, and it worked (well ... for Robbie Williams and Quentin Tarantino). Wolford has called its tights "Waist-socks", something of a misleading name for a pair of black opaque tights with Y-fronts sewn into the top of them. "Footed Long-Johns", would make them sound more macho, or even "ever wanted to dress like a chic version of Superman? Well, now you can." That might work. But it is unlikely, given that, at pounds 39 a pair, they are at least four times the price of the women's equivalent. It's also worth remembering that the vast majority of men hate tights on women, preferring the look, feel and (to be frank) easy access of stockings and suspenders, so why would they wear them themselves?
A reluctant, but open-minded, bloke-about-town was given a pair to try out for a couple of days, but the tights didn't last 10 minutes, despite his best intentions. "As soon as I put my jeans on over them it felt like a couple of plastic bags had been strapped to my legs," he said. After a bit of probing, though, he revealed the Y-front bit offered "lift" at the rear, and that the black "actively-breathing" cotton/Lycra fabric made his legs look like very feminine, which was a novelty for about five minutes.
His verdict: "I wouldn't wear them. I'll stick to thermals if I get cold." Tights for men may sound modern, futuristic even, but the look had its moment in the 15th century, when the Duke of Burgundy cut a dash in a black pair, worn with a doublet. And what self-respecting Nineties man wants to look like Blackadder?
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
Life & Style blogs
How to carve a pumpkin for Halloween with this step-by-step tutorial
Five year old British boy becomes youngest ever qualified computer specialist
Health: When masturbation can be fatal: The practice of auto-erotic asphyxia is often concealed by a coroner's verdict. Monique Roffey looks at a lethal taboo
Woman successfully sues Google for showing her with 'part of her breast exposed' on Street View
Happy Halloween! Google celebrates All Hallows' Eve with Doodle
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 4 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 5 The bubble bursts for Sodastream
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...
£19200 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Are you a ...