Thursday, September 26, 2013

Men's Legear for Fall 2013

In this entry, I discuss current men's legwear fashions, and describe products that are available and where to buy them. If you found this entry because you're ready to buy meggings or other legwear, you can skip to the Products section.


Fall Is For Legwear

Fall is upon us, and while it's a time to leave summer behind, it's one of the best times of the year for men to wear the latest legwear fashions. The Fall climate is perfect for these fashions, and they've also been gaining in popularity. While they're not commonplace yet, they have new legitimacy they never had in the past, including support by retail stores, and increasing visibility as streetwear. If these fashion styles interest you, now is the perfect time to give them a try.

What Are the New Fashions?

Skinny jeans were a fashion breakthrough for men. They extended to men a range of slimmer jeans fits that were formerly only for women. With skinny jeans now mainstream, men as well as women can wear any jeans fit they prefer, from the most baggy to the most leg-hugging. These new fashions take that concept one step further, and extend to men the full range of legwear options formerly only seen in women's fashions. They add various kind of leggings and tights for men, with items worn either alone or layered with shorts.  Sometimes plain skirts are added to the mix, as a substitute for shorts. However, men's skirts for these styles are not readily available, so I won't be discussing them at this time.

While there are several variations of these fashions, two looks are very common, and are the ones I'll be discussing. One is men wearing leggings instead of skinny jeans or other pants:


and the other is wearing shorts layered with tights or leggings:





What's the Appeal of these Fashions?

Besides the aesthetic appeal that any fashion may offer, these fashions offer remarkable comfort. Only rarely is a fashionable style also so comfortable, but these styles achieve that. Are you a man who would like skinny jeans that have more stretch and are far more comfortable than any you own now? Then leggings are for you. If you're like many men, you'll find that leggings are the most comfortable piece of clothing you own. Do you enjoy the comfort of shorts for as long as you can in the Fall, then only reluctantly put them away until Spring? Then shorts layered with tights is for you. The tights add warmth, to extend the freedom of wearing shorts into colder weather, but without almost no extra weight or bulk. Women have already discovered how comfortable leggings and tights are, and with these fashions that kind of comfort is becoming available to men as well.

Are These Really Legitimate Fashions for Men?

Givenchy style by Riccardo Tisci
Absolutely, although they are new, and not as well-known as more established fashions, such as skinny jeans. Fashion designers have been showing these styles in men's fashion shows for several years now. Givenchy, for example, has shown shorts layered with tights consistently in recent years. A classic look from Givenchy, designed by Riccardo Tisci, is shown on the right.

For a comprehensive set of photos of designers' versions of this style, check out this web site: Men Wearing Tights Under Shorts. I find the sheer number of photos there impressive. The web site is also a great source of ideas for putting together an outfit.

While most new fashions never make it past the runway, these styles are now visible in the media and on the street, and retail stores are selling men's jeggings and leggings, along with suitable shorts to wear with them for layering. The photos above show some streetwear examples. From the media, the second photo on the right shows a member of The Neighbourhood performing on network television in layered shorts and tights. The all-black look in that photo, and some of the others, is a new style known as street goth.

Performer from The Neighbourhood
on Jimmy Kimmel Live
It's also worth noting that these fashions are not completely new looks for men. Leggings have a more perfect skintight fit than skinny jeans, but still an overall look not too different than the tightest skinny jeans. Also, leggings alone, and layered with shorts, are common men's styles for training and sports in cold weather. A conservative way for men to try out these new styles is by repurposing sports gear they may already own for their fashion looks. Indeed, the shorts and tights in the photo on the right may very well be sports products.



Products for Your Legwear Look

Ready to give these new styles a try? Here are products you can use to put together an outfit.

Jeggings
Topman Super Spray On
Skinny Jeans
Jeggings, or jean leggings, are leggings that are styled to look like jeans.  They have the same stretchy fabric and skintight fit of leggings, but have jeans features such as pockets and a fly, and may also have a print that looks like denim jeans. Jeggings are perfect as a way to transition from skinny jean to leggings.

Men's jeggings are available from Topman, although they are described as Super Spray On Skinny Jeans. An example is shown on the right. Get them here: Topman Super Spray On Fit Jeans (search)



Meggings

sTitch Logo Leggings (meggings)
Meggings refers to men's leggings, leggings that are made specifically for men. While there are men's leggings for sports and other activities, meggings usually refers to leggings intended to be worn as a fashion item. They are designed for comfort rather muscle compression, and often have patterns or designs.

The preeminent source of meggings is sTitch Leggings, a company that was founded to produce meggings. A typical pair with their logo pattern is shown on the right. Their leggings are available here: sTitch Range of Leggings

Recently (Fall, 2016), I've become aware of two new companies that are dedicated to marketing meggings. Kapow Meggings is appropriately named, having a range of meggings with some striking patterns and designs. Jeffrey Scott is a long-time meggings enthusiast who is now marketing his designs.

An increasing number of retailers are including meggings in their selections of men's clothing.

Topman, mentioned above for their jeggings, also offers several styles of meggings: Topman Meggings (search) Note: the products offered by Topman vary from country to country. Often their UK site offers the largest selection.

Zara Ankle Length Leggings
Asos is another retailer selling meggings. At the time of this writing, they offer megging in many different styles, including plain and with various patterns: ASOS Meggings (search)

Selfridges, based in the UK, is another source of meggings. They have meggings in several different fabrics and styles, including popular Boy London meggings: Selfridges Men's Leggings (search)

Finally, Zara offers the leggings shown on the right. They have the look of shorts layered with leggings, but are actually a pair of leggings, with the section above the knees fashioned as shorts. Get them here:  Zara Men's Leggings (search)

Athletic Leggings

ASICS Running Tights
While not intended for fashion styles, men's athletic leggings can also work well for fashion, alone or layered with shorts. Some have a very sporty look, but other are plain and hardly distinguishable from meggings. Athletic leggings are also more readily available than meggings, and many men may already own a suitable pair.

Athletic leggings are widely available at sporting goods and other stores. As an example, Road Runner Sports, a well-known online site, offers the plain ASICS running tights on the right. Get them here: RRS Men's ASICS Tights

Some regular men's clothing stores also offer athletic leggings. For example, American Eagle offers their AEO Performance Running Legging that is very plain, and could also be used for fashion. That may not be a coincidence. Some retailers may not be ready yet to endorse meggings, but may still want to offer products for men who desire them.

Women's Leggings and Tights

BlackMilk Snitch Leggings
Leggings and tights are popular and fashionable for women. As a result, they offer the advantages of being readily available at many stores, and being available in a wide range of styles. In many cases, they work as well as men's products, and often at a lower cost. Most are very stretchy, and easily fit men as well as women.  However, men must be careful to get the correct size, and the largest available size may be too small for some men.

Nearly every store that sells a full range of women's clothing offers standard leggings and tights, but I'll mention some stores and products of particular interest. BlackMilk has an exceptional collection of leggings with photographic and patterned prints, including Harry PotterStar Wars, and Lord of the Rings themes, and many others.  Many are appropriate for a men as well as a women. An example are the Snitch Leggings on the right. Check out their collection here: BlackMilk Leggings Collection Retailers with large selections of leggings and tights include  American ApparelH&M, and Urban Outfitters

Urban Outftter
Fleece-Lined
Footless Tights
Often women's products intended for colder weather are particularly suitable for men's use, because the extra thickness makes them more rugged and opaque. These products typically use extra thick nylon or fleece (and some spandex.) For thick nylon, an example are the H&M 200 Denier Tights, which are true tights, but nearly as thick and warm as leggings. Fleece leggings and tights, such as the Urban Outfitters Fleece-Lined Footless Tights shown at the right, are even warmer, but still extremely comfortable. Also, American Apparel offers these Winter Leggings that are totally opaque, and allow wearing leggings on all but the coldest days. 

Here are search links:
American Apparel Leggings
American Apparel Opaque Tights
H&M Leggings and Tights
Urban Outfitters Leggings
Urban Outfitters Opaque Tights

Men's Tights

Activskin A866 Tights
(layered with shorts)
Men's tights are commonly though of as something a male ballet dancer might purchase. However, men's fashion tights are also available, and have been gaining in popularity. They have been publicized in the media as mantyhose. A common way men's tights are worn is under long pants in the winter, where they look like dress socks and provide extra warmth. However for the new men's legwear fashions, another use is to layer them with shorts. They can have nearly the same opaque appearance as leggings, but are thinner, lighter, more stretchy, and a good choice for layering when leggings would be too warm.

In the U.S, an established source of men's tights is G. Lieberman & Sons. Their Activskin products are designed and sized for men, and many styles include a fly. The photo above shows their A866 opaque tights. Get Activskin tights here: GLS Activskin Opaque Tights (search)

UK-based Legwear4Men, dedicated to men's leg wear, offers Activskin as well as a range of European brands of men's tights. They also offer global shipping. Get their opaque tights here: L4M Men's Opaque Tights

Men's Shorts

Pyrex Vision Gym Shorts
For layering with leggings and tights, many kinds of shorts may be worn, including dress, cargo, and basketball shorts. In most cases, the same shorts you'd wear alone will also work well for layering. Retailers are starting to show combinations of shorts and leggings, such as these Black Acid Wash Callum Shorts from Topman, that are shown worn with blue leggings.

For a street goth look, you'll want black shorts to match the overall black look, and black basketball shorts are common. If you're into making a fashion brand statement, Pyrex Vision offers their Gym Shorts shown in the outfit at the right.

 

Tips For Your Outfit

These new fashions are very versatile, with many possibilities for putting together an outfit. However, there are some issues to consider:
Leggings with
a long shirt
  • When wearing leggings instead of jeans or pants, be careful what you're wearing on top is long enough to provide adequate coverage. When leggings are worn for fashion, it's not appropriate to reveal the details of your man parts. Typically, men might wear a long shirt of some kind, or a long sweatshirt or hoodie.
  • When layering shorts with leggings or tights, pay attention to the length of your shorts. Typically men layer with shorts that are close to knee-length. In general, shorter shorts are a more extreme look, and longer shorts are a more conservative look.
  • Most importantly, put together an outfit that you really like, both for comfort and appearance. Adapt the new looks to your personal style. Since these fashions are still new, it takes confidence to wear them. There's nothing better for confidence than to be wearing an outfit that looks and feels great.

A Challenge

Because these are new fashions, some men may find the claims I've made about them hard to believe. Maybe you don't believe they're really as comfortable as I say. Or maybe you don't believe they're actually legitimate fashions for men, that you can wear in public without problems. If you doubt these claims, then I challenge you to put together an outfit, and try wearing it out for just a day or so. Everyone is different, so I'd be foolish to claim that everyone will like these fashions. But I firmly believe a large majority will be surprised at how easy these fashions are to wear, and how comfortable they are. If you take the challenge, consider telling us about your experiences in the comments.

13 comments:

  1. psychosteelplayer@yahoo.comDecember 2, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Nothing more comfortable than leggings .No plummer's ass when you bend. They stay up. I'm a 60 yr old and wear wild patterened ones when playing my steel guitar...friends are disappointed when I just wear jeans..it works for me

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  2. Leggings are so cool!!! LOVE them!!!!

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  4. Great prints on your BlackMilk Snitch Leggings.

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  5. never would wear openly in fear of the rude comments

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    1. It's natural to be apprehensive about wearing tights or leggings in public for fashion. But what men have found through experience is that what you would expect is not at all what happens. You might get an occasional stare or comment, but generally, people ignore it, and some will even like it. You might even be disappointed at the lack of reactions. Start out slowly, until you see for yourself how easy it is. Act relaxed, like the tights or leggings are perfectly normal, and people will pick up on that. Before long you'll wonder why you were ever afraid to do it.

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  6. I have found that tights, pantyhose or leggings made for men are sold at inflated prices just because it's labeled for men. I myself buy pantyhose , tights, or leggings made for women more selection in colors more style at better prices

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  7. I am going to wear shorts and 80 denier tights in public for the first time this week. I am nervous but it is a great look and am sure it will be successful. At home I wear 20 denier and the look and feel ultra great but I feel I would get a lot of attention wearing them.

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    1. It's natural to be nervous until you get some experience, but I'm sure it will go fine. You may even be surprised at the lack of reactions.

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  8. I wear leggings with a longer shirt to the office occasionally, and even on my commute by train no one ever comments it. My colleagues told me that it's part of who I am and therefore it suits me. That's nice!

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    1. It's great to hear you're getting that kind of acceptance. I'm not really surprised though, because leggings are getting more and more accepted for men.

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  9. I started wearing tights/leggings years ago to the gym. Recently, within the last 3 years I have been wearing them regularly around the house, while walking out dog, and occasionally while out doing errands. They are way more comfortable than a pair of jeans and coupled with the right shirt or sweater and accessories, I feel very forward fashionable. I've always felt more comfortable going away from the crowd rather than with it ever since I became comfortable in my own skin.

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