Pantyhose for men

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In American English, the term pantyhose generally refers to hosiery traditionally worn by women since their introduction in 1959, however some manufacturers also produce pantyhose for men, or, colloquially, mantyhose, brosiery, or guylons.


A man in wearing pantyhose
A man wearing male pantyhose

In 1996 L'eggs, a US pantyhose company, opened a storefront together with a product-related bulletin board on the web. They soon discovered that most of the visitors talking about their products were men. After conducting a survey[1] in 1998, the company came to the conclusion that many men were wearing pantyhose as a regular clothing item, and would buy leggings in a well-targeted male product range, if it existed.[2]


Based on this survey and other market research, G. Lieberman & Sons (GLS Hosiery) began to manufacture and market ComfiLon[3] in 1999, which became Activskin[4] in 2002. Comfilon/ActivSkin was followed by a variety of other male pantyhose (aka "mantyhose") storefronts as well as popular brands like Wolford, Cecilia di Rafeal opened their own subsections catering to men. Men's tights also account for 2–3% of the business of Italian legwear designer Emilio Cavallini.

Size of the market[edit]

The market for men's pantyhose has continued to grow steadily since 1999. While ActivSkin, a leading seller of male pantyhose and tights, does not release specific sales data, they now sell to customers worldwide in 76 countries and have reported growth each year since their inception. An important component of that growth is continued expansion of public awareness of this phenomenon. On March 14, 2012, Forbes magazine indicated that mantyhose could be the next billion dollar undergarment idea.[5]


As clothing[edit]

Men who wear pantyhose as a regular item of clothing have come to the attention of the media with increasing frequency since 2002, beginning with a front page Wall Street Journal article on the subject, entitled "Kingsize, Not Queen: Some Men Are Taking to Wearing Pantyhose". Some of the reasons for wearing them include:

A significant portion of the population—both male and female—will eventually suffer from some sort of leg circulation problem, including venous insufficiency and related issues. There is no physiological difference between men and women that prevents it from developing in men in nearly equal frequency as women, therefore men can benefit from the preventative aspects of full length support hosiery every bit as much as their female counterparts.[6] It is important to consult a physician when these problems worsen and varicose veins begin to appear, to make sure medical intervention is not necessary. The regular use of full support tights or pantyhose may be all that is needed to prevent these symptoms from occurring.

In scuba diving[edit]

Pantyhose are also an effective protection against box jellyfish stings.[7] The pantyhose were formerly thought to work because of the length of the box jellyfish's stingers (nematocysts), but it is now known to be related to the way the stinger cells work. The stinging cells on a box jellyfish's tentacles are not triggered by touch, but are instead triggered by the chemicals found on skin.


Pantyhose are also very popular as a sexual fetishism item and many men wear them for sexual purposes. [8]


There have been anecdotes of men wearing pantyhose for practical purposes nearly since their original introduction in the women's market, but these stories have been typically difficult to verify because the men in question tended to refrain from discussing the issue. Such anecdotes have included:

  • For fetishistic and/or erotic purposes.
  • Hunters, campers, and outdoor workers wearing them as a base layer beneath other cold weather attire.
  • Men with varicose veins or other circulatory problems that may or may not require surgical hosiery.
  • Horseback riders wearing them to prevent chafing.
  • Soldiers who have to wade through deep water and want protection from leeches.
  • Motorcyclists wear them under their riding gear to aid movement and to prevent chafing.
  • NFL Players wear them to stop from getting cold during winter games.
  • As a possible measure against ticks and chiggers; also blisters.[9][10]

Reasons why manufacturers are now producing pantyhose for men:

  • With the advent of the internet, the male pantyhose market is growing[11] and online hosiery retailers have reported that the majority of their sales are to male customers.[12]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Pantyhose designed for men". via Google Groups (September 27, 1998). Retrieved on August 11, 2011.
  2. ^ Pantyhose. NPR (February 23, 2002). Retrieved on August 11, 2011.
  3. ^ ComfiLon. ComfiLon. Retrieved on August 11, 2011.
  4. ^ ActivSkin. ActivSkin. Retrieved on August 11, 2011.
  5. ^ Poulos, James. [1] Forbes (March 14, 2012)
  6. ^ "Informative Article on Support Hosiery".
  7. ^ "Use Pantyhose to Protect Yourself from Jellyfish Stings".
  8. ^ "The Pantyhose Kingdom: A Men in Pantyhose Site".
  9. ^ "Survivaltek | Block Ticks and Chiggers".
  10. ^ "Man vs. Wild: Hacks You Need to Survive in the Wilderness".
  11. ^ Annis, Elisa. (October 9, 2006) 'An industry that lost its footing' – Style – International Herald Tribune – The New York Times. International Herald Tribune. Retrieved on August 11, 2011.
  12. ^ [2]


External links[edit]