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January 14, 2009

Mantyhose are really Pantyhose for men

The Bro. The Man-zier. The mirdle. Pete Wentz’ guy-liner. Somewhere along the way, men decided to air out their femanine sides, starting a slippery slope into metrosexualism. Today’s newest addition? Mantyhose. Yes, you read that correctly: pantyhose for men.

Advertised as body shapers for men, mantyhose offers the support for men that apparently has been lacking all this time. Men can get muscle support, beer-belly shaping, and much, much more from this relatively new product. Specifically designed for the male anatomy, mantyhose offers comfort and support that women’s pantyhose fails to deliver.

According to Slate, men were turning to hose after being told by doctors it would help provide relief for Restless Leg Syndrome and other types of knee and leg problems. Of course, prior to the conception of mantyhose, men were having to resort to buying women’s hose – thus causing themselves a great deal of embarrassment – or having to pilfer them from the drawers of their ladyfriends – likely causing a different type of embarrassment, until offering a reasonable excuse.

I will admit, when I first heard about mantyhose, I had to laugh. All I could picture in my head were these great big, burly guys, trying to decide whether to go with a control-top option, or a nice, silky evening sheer. The funnies part is, however, is that while today is the first I’m ever heard of mantyhose, apparently they’ve been selling really well in Europe for several years. In the US (and presumably Canada), men have had more of a wait, and still have to shop online. There is a stigma, as I admit to initially supporting, attached to men buying pantyhose that doesn’t seem to exist in Europe. It would seem that Europe is more open-minded when it comes to men dabbling in what is traditionally viewed as women’s clothing.

Women wear “men’s clothes” all the time. Items like jeans or overalls, for example, used to be seen as clothes for men; however, as time and generations pass, such items are viewed as unisex. Should pantyhose be any different? Does the health benefit angle make it less of a metrosexual or potential cross-dresser issue, and more of a new-wave-alternative-health-care issue? To be honest, if I walked in on my boyfriend taking pantyhose of out my drawer, I’m not sure how I’d feel about it: probably a little bit alarmed, especially if he said he was planning on wearing them. Again though, that’s apparently the North American stigma of men wearing pantyhose; maybe our European friends are onto something.

Maybe if men find pantyhose comfortable (as a life-long wearer, I found this to be strange!) they should have the option to buy and wear them as freely as we ladies love to buy and wear our jeans. Maybe we should support our men with Restless Leg Syndrome, and be understanding that men too sometimes need a little body shaping.

I may not be 100% supportive of the metrosexual movement, but I think this might be a bit different. It’s probably not something you would notice a man wearing, and if it helps their aches and pains and makes them feel better about how they look, then I don’t really see the harm. I might suggest a more manly name than mantyhose, however; how about guylons?

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1 Comment(s)

  1. Patrick | Mar 9, 2012 | Reply

    Finally nice to see a level-headed view in a well written article of what is becoming more and more public and less and less taboo. Have been wearing pantyhose for years, and while I’m lucky enough to have a wife that LOVES that I do wear them, I just can’t work up the balls to wear them in public. Maybe that will change. The benefits far outweight the cons. The reduction in leg fatigue alone makes it worth every bit. The feel of them don’t hurt either…. just make sure to get decent ones that fit right.

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