Embrace Wearing Tights for Your Health, Performance & Style (2023)

Why You Should Embrace Wearing Tights for Your Health, Performance & Style

Elizabeth Pascka Latim

September 09, 2022



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You clicked on this article because you were curious, weren’t you? Intrigued by whether we meant gym tights, long johns, or pantyhose. Well, the good news is we’ll be exploring all three, focusing heavily on the latter because it seems that there’s a trend that has recently resurfaced where people who identify as men are now visibly wearing a variation of tights in mainstream culture, including top catwalk shows and celebrities like Harry Styles, Idris Elba, Adam Levine, Zac Effron, Lil Nas X and Billy Porter.

So with demand comes supply and brands such as Tom Ford, Hugo Boss, DSquared2, Emilio Cavallini, Falke, GymShark, Adidas, Patagonia, Nike, HANRO, and now Threads are all getting in on the action by expanding their ranges to cater to the growing mainstream need.

RELATED: Best Workout Tights for Men

Experiencing deja-vu? Well, men wearing tights isn’t anything new. On the contrary. Just like everything in fashion, style goes round in cycles. According to the fashion history books, men have been wearing hosiery since 700 BCE and tights specifically since the 1500s in Tudor England, to keep themselves warm, comfortable, and fashionable. And since then, it has been incorporated in nearly every element of society from high society (Louis XVI and Henry VIII) to thespians and dancers in theatre, outdoor workers, athletes including basketballers (the late Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Allen Iverson, Vince Carter, and Dwayne Wade), footballers, wrestlers, boxers (Jack Dempsey), horseback riders, superheroes in comics and on-screen, cosplay enthusiasts, musicians (Boy George, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Kanye West, A$AP Rocky, and Pharrell Williams) and worn as part of a sexual fetish.

If you think wearing tights is emasculating, think again. As most of us are now fully embracing a gender-neutral world, we can wholeheartedly say that “yes,” men wearing tights is here to stay. But please let’s stop putting ‘m’ in front of terms like mantyhose to meggings.

What Type of Underwear to Wear

Before we get into the specifics of how to style tights, we need to address (or undress) one thing with you first. Depending on how attached you are to your preferred underwear style this could cause some friction. And hey, we get it — the thought of having to change may feel like a hard decision and may even make you second guess wearing tights in the first place — probably more hassle than it’s worth, you might think. Especially if you tend to gravitate towards wearing the same fabric or brand. On the other hand, if you get past this minor hurdle and decide to try something new, you could be opening yourself up to a whole new world of comfort and potential freedom.

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For underwear, wearing breathable fabrics is a sure winner, no matter the duration of wear or the type of tights you end up layering on top because it goes without saying, lack of ventilation and increased body heat can cause sweat. We know it can feel like there is nothing worse than feeling like you are in a sauna down there but actually, there is, and that is the risk of a bacterial or fungal infection.

Fashion expert and stylist Miranda Holder, who’s worked with the likes of Boy George says “the best underwear to wear underneath your tights is the humble brief, as it covers enough butt to prevent it from riding up and lies under the lycra snugly.”

Does Fabric Matter?

In one word — yes! Just like underwear, tights fabric can make all the difference.

If you work in extreme climates or are simply looking to keep warm this fall, investing in long johns is a no-brainer. Thermals tend to be made from wool or mixed with a blend of synthetic fibers such as polyester, spandex, lycra, and nylon to help retain heat and remain moisture absorbent. Gym tights are usually a blend of elastane, lycra, and polyester to allow you to make strides quickly and freely. Pantyhose are often made from nylon which makes them feel lightweight but also prone to snagging easily.

Pro tip: Holder says “watch out for static — if you are layering a synthetic material over pantyhose this could become a really bad hair day, all day — invest in a good anti-static spray to avoid this or stick to natural fabrics.”

What Are the Best Brands for Men?

Earlier we mentioned the best brands for gym tights and long johns but as pantyhose are still a new territory for some, we spoke to two pantyhose enthusiasts.

John, 32, who has been wearing tights for over four years, wears them for comfort and warmth and recommends Primark and Amazon. Whilst Matt*, a heterosexual married man in his 40s who says he’s been wearing them for as long as he can remember and describes wearing them as a fetish that gives him comfort and excitement, recommends L’eggs Medium Support in either 20 deniers for pantyhose or 40 deniers for opaque tights.

How to Choose the One

If you are a novice or it’s been a while, wearing tights may feel weird or even a bit daunting but remember that just like everything in life, you need to give it a go to know if it’s right for you. So why not start small by investing in a neutral pair of long johns or dig out your trusty skiing set to wear underneath your pants (which you may need to size up in for comfort) to add some much-needed insulation.

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Thinking of upping your workout game like a champ? Start by wearing a pair of gym tights underneath your workout shorts to help prevent chafing, absorb perspiration, and even add extra resistance like the Agogie with eight built-in resistance bands, which helps you to get the most out of any workout regardless of the duration.

Or if slipping into pantyhose is more your style, Holder says, try a men’s skirt or kilt, or cropped slightly wide trousers to show off your newly svelte ankles, teamed with chunkier footwear to keep the look less medieval and more modern.

Wearing tights is nothing to be embarrassed about and if anyone questions it, and you can voice your opinion safely, kindly remind them that we’re in 2022and we all have better things to be worrying about than what you may or not be wearing on top of your underwear because at the end of the day, if you feel confident and own it, people are much more likely to respect you for it.

*Name has been changed to protect identity.

Best Tights for Men

Fruit of the Loom Long Johns

Embrace Wearing Tights for Your Health, Performance & Style (1)

Fruit of the Loom

With the temperatures dropping, it pays to own a comfy pair of long johns, and Fruit of the Loom delivers. Made from a cotton-polyester blend, these long johns are cozy, conforming without being restricting, and warm when you need them to be. We especially love the waffle fabric texture.

From $18.99at Amazon.com

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Willit ActiveLeggings

Embrace Wearing Tights for Your Health, Performance & Style (2)


Made from a combination of nylon and spandex, these leggings are ideal for active men, whether you're hitting a hot yoga class before work, racking up the miles as a runner, or stretching your limbs in an elaborate dance routine. They're available in nine vibrant colors, so you should have no issue finding one that suits your style, while convenience features like the stretchingside pockets and elastic waistband all make these easy to wear day to day as well.

From $19.99 at Amazon.com

Jomi Compression Leotard for Men

Embrace Wearing Tights for Your Health, Performance & Style (3)


With a two-way stretch engineered into the fabric, a body-hugging fit, and the same breathable, comfortable CoolMax fabric that Jomi uses in their famous dress socks, this leotard is stylish enough and comfortable enough to wear out on the town, dressed up with a button-up shirt or down with a t-shirt. Make a bold style statementandenjoy some of the most comfortable men's pants you can own.

$39.99 at Amazon.com


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Next Article


What are the benefits of wearing tights? ›

Fit and Comfort

In addition, the tightness will eliminate friction that baggier clothing can cause against your skin. While the concept may seem restricting, tights are made of stretch fabrics — polyester and spandex, for instance — that allow flexibility and freedom of movement.

Why do I find tights so attractive? ›

Tights show your curves much better than anything else apart from perhaps a waist cincher or corset under your dress. They're often figure-forming if you go for compression tights, but even if they are not then the way they draw your gaze means that your curves are easier to show off.

Is it good to wear tights all the time? ›

Tightness restricts air circulation on the skin and causes heavy perspiration around the groin. Leggings increase yeast creation over the skin and cause sweating, swelling, skin rashes, redness, itchiness, and infections. Urinary tract infection is another common type of infection caused by leggings.

Do tights help with blood flow? ›

Compression stockings are specially designed to apply pressure to your lower legs, helping to maintain blood flow and reduce discomfort and swelling. They may be prescribed by your GP if you have a condition that causes poor blood flow in your legs, such as: varicose veins (swollen and enlarged veins)

Are tights good for blood flow? ›

Our study is the first to compare various sports compression garment types on muscle blood flow, and the results identified TIGHTS as the most effective garment for improving resting muscle blood flow in the calf and thigh musculature.

Do men prefer tights or stockings? ›

Which are best, stockings or tights? Well, according to a survey, which was conducted by a men's magazine named Mondo, British men would far rather have a girl in tights. They no longer find women in that much of a turn on.

What are the most flattering tights? ›

These 16 slimming leggings are versatile, comfortable — and yes, flattering
  • Iuga High-Waisted Leggings. ...
  • Syrinx Tummy-Control Leggings. ...
  • Ododos High-Waisted Yoga Leggings with Pockets. ...
  • Seasum High Waist Yoga Pants. ...
  • Aimilia Butt-Lifting Leggings. ...
  • Lululemon Align High-Rise Pant 25-Inch.
Dec 1, 2022

Do guys like it when a girl wears stockings? ›

A majority of men prefer stockings and garters - or thigh-high "stay-ups" - over the omnipresent nude-like-Mom-used-to-wear pantyhose. On the upside, sheer, sexy tights with interesting patterns ... or made of fishnet ... don't fall into the underwhelming "pantyhose" category.

Do tights work like compression socks? ›

Compression stockings are similar to tights, but with a few very notable differences. Compression Socks and stockings have a graduated amount of pressure verses tights that are uniform pressure. Uniform pressure means the tights apply basically an even pressure all throughout the tights.

Should you wash tights after every wear? ›

On a positive note, we recommend you DON'T wash tights after every wear. Instead, you can wash sheer tights once every two wears, and thicker tights after every three wears. It's also safe to hand wash several pairs of tights together and at the same time. As usual, just be gentle and wash similar colours together.

Do tights improve performance? ›

“The theory behind the tights is that the tights reduce (muscle) vibration, and by reducing vibration, your muscles don't have to do as much work and you end up with less fatigue,” says Ajit Chaudhari, PhD, FACSM, who led the study and is an associate professor of physical therapy, orthopedics, mechanical engineering ...

Do you wear anything under tights? ›

Layers and covering. Running tights are usually designed to be worn without underwear - it can be uncomfortable to wear an extra layer underneath an already close pair of tights. Of course, you can wear underwear if you find that more comfortable.

What is the difference between tights and leggings? ›

Leggings and tights are very similar in that they are skin-tight garments that cover the legs and sometimes the waist. Leggings are much thicker, footless, and can sometimes be worn like pants. Tights are somewhat sheer, cover the foot, and must be worn under another garment.

Can tights be worn alone? ›

Pantyhose are normally used as undergarments while tights can be worn alone and as a single fashion piece. With our vast collection of different kinds of hosiery, you can wear them however you'd like whenever you'd like.

Where does the fluid go when wearing compression stockings? ›

When you put on compression socks, the fluid in your body is forced up into your upper body. Compression socks are designed to help reduce swelling in the feet, legs and ankles by squeezing your lower extremities.

Do tights help your knees? ›

Compression apparel can provide some much-needed support for your knees, taking the pressure off the knee joint and helping you stay active and mobile. Those who are recovering from surgery should opt for the Performance Compression Tights for Men and Women, which feature single-ply fabric that is gentle on the skin.

Can you wear tights in bed? ›

Wearing running tights - or even compression tights - to sleep should not be a problem. As long as your friends are sleeping well, what they wear to bed is not a huge issue.

Who should not wear compression stockings? ›

Compression socks are NOT recommended for some patients.

If you have peripheral vascular disease affecting your lower extremities, you should not wear compression socks,” he says. “The pressure provided by compression socks may make ischemic disease worse.

Can tight leggings cause blood clots? ›

This may cause injuries to muscles, vein walls, and nerves; it can even limit blood flow to the heart. “It would be like wearing a tourniquet. The worst-case scenario could be the formation of a blood clot.

Does wearing tights help with varicose veins? ›

It's the pooling of blood because of this valve failure that causes the squiggly, bulging blue veins to pop out. When you wear compression stockings your veins are supported and enable the blood to flow more effectively.

Why are thigh high stockings attractive? ›

Thigh highs socks are like highlighter for the leg. They define the leg's naturally feminine lines, provoking a slenderizing and elongating look that's undeniably attractive. All the while, they're busy accentuating the curves of your legs, sculpting your calves, knees, and thighs for a sultry look.

Why do some men love wearing pantyhose? ›

It's not news that some men like to wear women's clothing. But a different sort of man is discovering the virtues of ladies' hosiery. No cross-dresser, he wears hose for warmth, comfort or the compression they provide as a possible antidote to circulatory problems or varicose veins.

Do guys like wearing tights? ›

They are comfortable and allow a full range of movement. Above all, the material and design of the tights make them an ideal pick for physical activities such as running and hiking. Fashion- and look-wise, some men like to wear tights with shorts to feel more comfortable. Now you know that guys can wear leggings.

Should tights be tight or loose? ›

Leggings Should Fit Like a Second Skin; Snug But Not Constricting. Okay, so it sounds like you're looking for a perfect in-between fit. And that's exactly it. If you want to go full on Goldilocks and try on the size up and down from your regular size, it will be obvious which fit is “just right”.

What tights do celebrities wear? ›

The brand most commonly used by pop stars is Capezio, which costume designers call the “Spanx of fishnets.” When viewed from far away, the two brands blend together to slightly tone down the shine of the Neon 40s, creating a more natural look.

What tights make legs look slimmer? ›

In general darker colours will minimise and make your legs appear slimmer. Tights in shades that matches the colour of your heel will make your leg line look longer. Choose your hosiery right for your body shape: some body shapes are better with attention in their leg line and other are best to keep in lean and clean.

What do guys find attractive in a girl clothes? ›

20 Attractive Women Outfits That Guys Think Are Hot
  • Skinny jeans. Skinny jeans are trademarks of a sexy fashion style. ...
  • Red outfits. Wearing bold colors like red can improve your look instantly. ...
  • Mini-skirts. ...
  • Formal dresses. ...
  • Lounge shorts. ...
  • Nightgowns. ...
  • Denim jackets. ...
  • Leggings.

Why do people wear stockings with dresses? ›

Classic sheer, nude pantyhose are worn with dresses to keep from baring legs, and all their imperfections, in formal and professional environments. They're not exactly a style statement, but more of a practicality.

How many hours a day should you wear compression stockings? ›

Depending on your need, you can consider wearing them all day long (though you should take them off before bed), or just for a few hours at a time. Compression socks can be helpful for many people, but you should still talk to your doctor before making them a part of your health care routine.

Which is better compression socks or tights? ›

Takeaways. Compression sock benefits outweigh those for compression stockings. Doctors prescribe compression socks to treat poor circulation and other conditions. Wear compression socks during long trips and when standing long hours at work.

What is the major drawback of compression stockings? ›

Compression socks can cause: Discomfort: At higher pressures, compression socks can feel really tight and uncomfortable. Skin irritation or damage: Signs of irritation may include tingling, itching, redness, or bruising. Poor circulation: Ill-fitting compression socks can cause decreased blood flow.

Should you put tights in the dryer? ›

Pantyhose or tights: The mesh material that makes up pantyhose and lightweight tights will likely shrink when exposed to the heat in your dryer, so it's a better idea to just hang these items to dry.

Can you wear the same tights two days in a row? ›

"Any garments that are fully synthetic or contain synthetic fibers, like your leggings, are more likely to get smellier faster," says Ahoni. For all of these reasons, pros also advise against keeping the same sweaty leggings on all day after you've worked out in them.

How many days can you wear tights for? ›

Many women will throw their tights in the wash with their underwear after one use. However, some tights should only be washed after the second or third use. Some may even last up to the fifth or sixth time of being worn.

Does wearing tights help with recovery? ›

Conclusion. Based on our results we recommend athletes wear compression tights for faster recovery, particularly after intense exercise with a pronounced eccentric aspect.

Why do athletes wear tights? ›

They help muscle swelling, normal blood regulation, body heat, etc. They also help prevent injuries such as exercise-induced injuries, knee and thigh injuries, etc. Overall, the tights enhance overall performance by keeping the muscle strength in check.

Do tights help muscles? ›

Reduced muscle soreness

By increasing the flow of oxygenated blood to the muscles after exercise, compression running tights, tops and socks can help to reduce water retention and swelling that may cause discomfort and soreness.

Do you wear undies with leggings? ›

Choosing to wear leggings with no underwear is totally fine and peachy. Whether you're simply more comfortable going commando at the gym, or you're low on laundry at home, there's no judgment here, soldier. Without the protective layer of undies, though, you may have to wash your leggings more often.

How do you wear tights nicely? ›

Best practice for tights or opaques is to pair them with skirts and dresses of equal(ish) weight. Sweater dresses, double knits, or stretch ponté fabrics all work well. Then, pay attention to your shoe, avoid a pump, or ankle strap shoe and instead go with an ankle, knee-high or over-the-knee boot.

What is the purpose of wearing tights? ›

The fabric weight of both full and mid-length tights varies, so even in warm weather, you can wear tights to reap protection and performance benefits. Lighter tights can keep you cool but also protect your skin from elements such as sun and wind.

Why are tights so popular? ›

They Are Much More Comfortable Thanks to Modern Materials

The fashion industry has certainly come a long way from rough wool and buckskins. Modern tights and leggings give you unlimited freedom of movement, and you have all the choices you could possibly want when it comes to warmth and breathability.

Do people wear tights with dresses? ›

While we're all used to putting on tights when we wear our short party dresses out all through the winter, opting for a longer midi dress is another fresh option. For a cool layered look, add a chic overcoat, and for some texture, opt for subtly patterned tights.

Is it good to wear tights everyday? ›

While tights may not be the worst thing for your body or even your feet, they are something that few people consider at all. And yet they are worn all the time, usually throughout a person's lifetime. While it is okay to wear tights, it is best to avoid wearing them all the time.

Is it OK to wear tights everyday? ›

But tights don't just have to be worn to the gym, it's perfectly acceptable to wear them everyday, if you do it right. Whether you work in an office or you're a stay at home mum on the go, you'll see that a good pair of tights will serve as your ultimate investment.

Should you change your tights everyday? ›

So a pair of dirty tights can put you at risk of yeast infections and UTIs, especially if worn with cotton underwear underneath say medical experts. There's also a chance of attracting foot fungal infections. So wash them every day and no excuses!

Are tights good for your legs? ›

Improve circulation

Wearing gentle compression tights like Scholl Light Legs tights can help blood circulation in the legs, allowing your blood to flow more freely and provide your body to get the essential nutrients it needs. They're also so comfortable and stylish you may not want to take them off.

Can we wear tights as daily? ›

For the most part, leggings are perfectly fine to wear daily as long as they are clean and dry. Problems come into play if you don't change out of your sweaty leggings after hitting the gym.

How many days should you wear tights? ›

Many women will throw their tights in the wash with their underwear after one use. However, some tights should only be washed after the second or third use. Some may even last up to the fifth or sixth time of being worn.

Are tights good for knees? ›

Compression apparel can provide some much-needed support for your knees, taking the pressure off the knee joint and helping you stay active and mobile. Those who are recovering from surgery should opt for the Performance Compression Tights for Men and Women, which feature single-ply fabric that is gentle on the skin.

How tight should tights be? ›

Leggings Should Fit Like a Second Skin; Snug But Not Constricting. Okay, so it sounds like you're looking for a perfect in-between fit. And that's exactly it. If you want to go full on Goldilocks and try on the size up and down from your regular size, it will be obvious which fit is “just right”.


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