Man in Tights


Those Middle Age guys had it all figured out. I don’t mean middle-aged guys like myself. I mean men way back in the day, in the Medieval era, and the Renaissance. They knew that tights were the best legwear in the world–something that women have never stopped knowing but guys have chosen to forget.

As this mild fall slowly spirals into chillier weather I couldn’t be more happy. It means I have all the more reason to wear my running tights. Pre-run, post-run, and certainly on the run–at least when I’m not pushing it and working up a big sweat. There’s nothing more comfortable than tights. Some light compression, an ankle zipper, a sneaky hidden key pocket, and a racing stripe up the quad? Yes, sir. One feels both sleek and cozy. A miracle!

One morning this week I took a quick jog before joining my wife at our first grader’s class for what had been advertised as a publishing party. I was in full running regalia, including my fave tights from Under Armor. The kids had created stories and were sharing them with their parents and then we traded off and listened to other kids’ stories.

My boy had written something about me helping him build a fort in the living room. Always good to be the star, so I liked that. I also liked that in his drawings I could see he had depicted me in my running attire–meaning tights. Nice! And very authentic.

After admiring his story I switched off to another table to listen to a story from a kid named Otis. I’ve done a field trip or two last year with the class and I knew Otis wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. Sure enough, he wasn’t interested in telling me his story. He just had a question. “Why are you wearing lady pants?”

Oh, dear. Why can’t we live in a world where tights are not just the territory of one gender or the other? Just imagine. A world where we lads have running tights and PJ tights, dressy tights and party tights, just like the ladies. Yes, yes, on men, if tights are too tight they can be a little too, umm, revealing. But that just means fellas should get the next size up for a less-TMI look. 

I can imagine young hipster peacocks going crazy for tights–probably even working in codpieces and swords in wishful hopes of a Bumble or a rumble. But me, I’m not talking about any of that flashy accessorizing. Just give me a nice charcoal gray pair for the office and a funky paisley pair with some peek-a-boo cutouts on the calf for a jazzy night on the town.

Forget sweater weather, man: it’s tights weather I’m talking about.


The Competition in Sittacene and the Placating of Sisigambis (detail) in Book of the Deeds of Alexander the Great, illuminations attributed to the Master of the Jardin de vertueuse consolation, about 1470–75, at the Getty