Mantyhose. They're pantyhose for men. The concept and obvious pun first crossed my path on an episode of Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!, in which rapper and actor Ice T was given a multiple-choice quiz in which "mantyhose" was the correct answer. And, as far as listening to famous people discovering mantyhose for the first time, Ice T is about as interesting as you can get.
And then, Time magazine reported that they're not only a very real thing, but have a growing niche market.
'Mantyhose have been popular in Europe – that bastion of progressive, gender-neutral fashion – for years, but have only recently gained traction in the U.S... When we started our online shop we noticed that a lot of tights sized medium-large were being purchased by men…so I did a search on the Internet and discovered there is a cult following for mantyhose.' Indeed, there is an online community of mantyhose enthusiasts, and many congregate at the site e-MANcipate.com. Its founder, Chan Kraemer, writes in a post, 'We believe that pantyhose for men can be an everyday clothing item, and that it can be fashionable as well.'
"Most men buying into the trend wear their tights much as you would wear long johns – beneath the pants, as an extra layer. However, those with sartorial boldness might try pairing them with shorts."
So, huh. I guess I need to say that I'm okay with men and women and children wearing absolutely whatever they please, unless it's harmful to another person. But, I'm just having a hard time figuring out when there might ever be an opportunity where these would even be an option for me.
The way I understand it, women wear pantyhose for three-ish reasons:
1) to keep there legs covered and warm when wearing skirts, dresses, or thin pants
2) to give a uniform look to their legs and skin, or to appear more professional/dressed-up
3) as a style choice, usually involving non-"nude" colors or patterns
Of the three, only the third applies to me...but I'm 99% sure that's not a decision I'd make. If I need long underwear, I'll wear long underwear. If I'm wearing shorts, then it's cause I'm hot or exercising, and definitely don't need more gear on.
But...I'm curious what you think, good women and men. Please post your thoughts in the comments below.