Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Sir, I think you've forgotten your trousers! Men in tights...

A couple of years ago, there was only one place I wanted to go on Sunday nights. If I could get a few friends together who didn't mind starting the week bleary eyed, I'd head to Hoxton Bar and Grill for Boombox. Like it or loath it, while it was going, Boombox was a great melting pot of sartorial experimentation. For me, a few hours there could be as inspiring as a trip through the archives at the V&A. Every week there was a sizable contingent of precocious Central St Martins students who colonised the back of the stage shouting youthful confidence from every hand-sewn tuck. Their individual outfits put together on the cheap easily slayed most of the designer clobber worn by my generation and made most of look bland and predictable by comparison.

In the middle of this creative maelstrom, I remember one young chap who sometimes wore an outift based around a pair of black leggings. This was probably the first time I'd seen a man in tights outside of Saddlers Wells and it struck a firm chord of admiration and jealousy. They were made from a light matt cotton-elastane mix with a subtle sparkle. He wore them with smart patent Oxfords, a t-shirt, black cardy and black framed glasses with foppish hair. I think both of the guys pictured here share quite a bit with the Boombox boy and they all look good on it. The look works by keeping the footwear light and thinly soled - lightweight Oxfords or Converses. The most difficult area is around the waist and crotch. The problem's nicely diffused here by both our guys wearing mid length shirts with attractive tails. I think the key is to keep the top light and relaxed, for example with a long pocketed cardy or boiled wool blazer with enough length to cover at least half the rump.

And if you're brave enough to try the look but it leaves you feeling somewhat exposed? Don't worry, I have it on great authority that this is something even models face. When chatting with a Maison Margiela attendant in store the other day he told me of the collective embarrassment as the models were parading around the shop in their mirrorball leggings. Below is a link to the Margiela publicity shots. Notice how the models modesty is maintained in the photo, one of them looks like he's straight out of a penalty defence wall! Low and behold, their entire stock sold within a week of the leggings arriving on the shelves...

On the slate...


  1. Amusing, well-written trend post. Laugh-out-loud loved the line about Sadlers Wells. But, with this post and Kate Moss's push up (see today's Daily Mail - - I hate to think what men in tights might resort to in order to look more impressive.

  2. Yeah, I could definitely see my boyf's sexy pins in some leggings, as long as they're plain and probably black, or at least monochrome.

    Love the look on the Asian guy with those smart black shoes and no socks. Good alt - smart look for summer.