Pantyhose for men have become trendy in Europe—and have surged in popularity at a hosiery boutique called Emilio Cavallini. We asked Jacob Tomsky to try them out for a week to see what the hype is all about.
There is nothing sexier than a secret. And for the last week I have been sporting a pretty serious, tight-fitting secret. Mantyhose. Also called guylons. Also called brosiery. Also just called pantyhose they want men to wear.
You should see their faces, the women, when I tell them what I’m wearing. Their eyes widen, and they laugh and laugh, place a hand on my arm, and laugh again, making eye contact and smiling. There is intrigue in the smile, though. They look at me and they consider taking my pants off. They want to. But it is still a secret, because they have no idea what it will actually look like.
And later, when I do take my pants off, it will not go over well.
But back to the beginning.
Application Process for Men in Five Steps:
1. SIT DOWN. This is going to be difficult, so sit down.
2. You should probably lotion up.
3. There is no front or back. (Is that normal, ladies?) These are unisex hose, and so it doesn’t matter what sex you are or which way you put them on! These damn things don’t care about anything! And once you do choose, doing so with no empirical evidence to help you decide, that decision will last forever, because your body will alter the tension structure. Thus, when you take them off and hold them up before you, they will forever after look like a representation of your body shrunken by age, the feet weakly pointing forward, just a shriveled pair of elderly legs. They’ll look like the bottom half of an alien carcass.
4. Bunch them up by the toe and work your way up. This is something I knew how to do already, somehow. Innately. Maybe from watching ’80s movies? Or something I learned while propped up in a woman’s bed, watching her dress for work? Who knows, but shimmy them up both legs at relatively the same pace, drawing all slack from the foot until you stand upright and pull hard and discover that, yes, for whatever reason, you are now absolutely wearing women’s undergarments.
5. Head to the bar and tell everyone you’re wearing them.
“Darling, do not sleep in them. They will suffocate your feet, and you’ll wake up in a terror.”
“Listen, what? You’re wearing what, brah? Why?”
“I think that’s sexy. If I took a guy home, and he was wearing women’s pantyhose, I would make him do some crazy shit in them.”
I tried to explain that these were pantyhose for men. The fabric is thicker, more durable. They are not sheer, but darker and patterned. The ones I am wearing have goddam skulls on them. Tiny white skulls that cluster at the footies (Yeah? Footies?) and then grow until the midthigh, where they reach the size of silver-dollar pancakes.
That was my look, at least my inner layer, for a long hot week (during which there was a blizzard).
Basic product review:
These things are warm. Hot even. I felt no wind. Like hyperthermals. And your genitals have to pick a side. I’m left-handed. Bending down feels super dangerous, like they’re going to rip, or tear into your flesh. I would usually take a knee and swing the other leg out to release tension while picking something up or whatever. Walking up stairs involves some serious friction. Do not run to catch a train. Also they ride low, and you’ll be doing that shimmy-’em-up move way more than you’re comfortable with. After even a tiny bit of use, they stretch out and sag in the back. I felt like the Coppertone baby with that little dog attached to my brosiery, pulling the little guy toward the surf.
So I took them on a date.
I was able to control my mouth about it for approximately 10 minutes before I said, “OK, so, guess what.”
Then the laughter. The looking at me directly to see if I was serious. A slight bit of intrigue. Not much.
I roll up my pant leg to show her.
She pulls and pinches at the fabric and says, “Hmm,” which is hard to interpret.
Later, when they are fully displayed, she says something that is very easy to interpret.
“Seriously, take those goddam things off.”
I comply. But I decide to make it look sexy.
I fail to make it look sexy. I am shackled by fashion.
Since that evening, I have played drums in them. Bad idea. These things are snug. I secretly wore them to a professional event. Bad idea. I ended up wanting to tell everyone I was wearing tights. I tried to sleep in them despite the warning. Another bad idea. There is nothing less sleep-inducing than feeling like both your feet have dry-cleaning bags rubber-banded around them.
These things are, for me personally, a bad idea.
Ideally they’re not a secret at all. They peek through stylishly ripped jeans. Above your shoes and below your rolled up short pants, they will shower your ankles with fashion. Or, ideally, if you got it like this, you wear them with shorts. Just like that. And there are certainly more patterns available than just skulls. There is even a pair with questions marks all over them! They make you look like the Riddler! But like a hot, stylish Riddler, I guess.
I’m no stylish Riddler, you guys. I guess I would wear them skiing? I don’t know. Also, as a final question, how the hell do you wash these things? Is there specialty machine for them?
So many questions still unanswered.
But I probably won’t be washing them. Because I probably won’t be wearing them again. Unless I go skiing. And I haven’t been skiing since 2002.
I give them two out of five stars. Or two out of five SKULLZ.