2012 March 13

Most men would say no. But what they say and what they do may be different things. Called mantyhose in the USA, it’s claimed (somewhat tongue in cheek) that men are getting into tights in a big way.

Several role models are referred to, or maybe blamed, for this phenomenon. Captain Jack Sparrow is definitely in the frame for eyeliner and the unbuttoned ruffled shirts sported by Russell Brand, while Usain Bolt and other sprinters are considered to be driving forward the trend towards men wearing skin-tight leggings, or maybe even tights.

Men tights cost around £12 to £35 and come in matte colours with diamond or skull patterns. They are also specially designed in a more breathable fabric to allow male reproductive regions to be cool enough, given that tight trousers have been held responsible for low sperm counts.

Behind the giggles though is a serious situation – male hosiery is most popular in cold countries where it’s being worn under trousers to act as an insulation layer in winter. And there’s another reason too – men are using tights to act as girdles (or mirdles, as they are called) to hold in flabby bellies and love handles.

So if you’re not willing, or able, to wear tights, how can you get the fashion look?

First, make sure your underwear fits sensibly. If you have bulges or sags in your foundation, they just get magnified as you add layers over the top – good underclothes help to give you a smooth silhouette.

Buying trousers a size smaller than you really are just forces the evidence up over your belt-line. It’s better to wear well fitting larger trousers than too tight ones, for your health as well as your appearance. If you want to look slim, buy straight fitting polo-shirts in a heavyweight weave and a light colour and don’t tuck them in. Then invest in some dark trousers or jogging pants: the pale top and darker trousers have an instant slimming effect. Ringer tops also perform this illusion of making the body taper from the shoulders to the waist.

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