Modern Men In Frilly Stockings
Men's tights are making a comeback, but there's a secret many men who wear hosiery harbor – they don't want to wear men's tights, they want to wear women's tights. And why not? Although several small companies have sprung up making hosiery for men, Activskin being perhaps the most well known, as with most male garments, every effort has been made to remove the softer side of the garment. For some reason, when clothing is made for men, be it outerwear, underwear or intimate wear, an emphasis on blocky construction and minimalist ornamentation seems to be considered key.
You won't find lace trim, bows or anything else pretty on this 'hosiery for men', so all it really does is continue to reinforce the stereotype that men must dress plainly in order to be considered masculine.
Why? In nature, the most flamboyant displays are usually reserved for the male. Look at a male peacock compared to a female peacock. The male is brightly colored and flaunts his ornate display proudly. In humans, we seem to delight in quashing all signs of male flamboyance for fear that males might become more effeminate.
The fact that clothing can't really make a man more or less fundamentally effeminate seems to escape people. If a man is going to be effeminate, then he will be effeminate whether he is dressed in a red silk gown or a prickly penguin suit. Our gender identity is usually set long before we start to wear adult clothing at all, and all the conditioning in the world can only serve to impart an insidious guilt on those not already primed to run with it.
What do I mean by that? I mean if you try and train boys to be 'real' men by making them only do 'manly' things and wear masculine clothing, you're really only appealing to the young men who would have naturally gravitated towards this sort of thing anyway. If you try and force unwanted hyper masculinity on a child or man who is not naturally that way inclined, all you do is create internal conflict, guilt and self loathing.
Bring on men's hosiery with bows and lace and frills! Lets embrace men in all their proud glory, not shut them away in dark sombre colors. Let's allow men to express themselves as freely as we women can express ourselves, and lets enjoy the great pageant available to us in fashion without feeling guilty about what we want to wear.