Did You Know…Tights Were Originally Worn by Men?

Brr, it’s cold out there! And as you cover your legs with shiny stockings, you sit and wonder how and why the world of hosiery was created in the first place. Well of course, to protect our feet from the cold, but were there any other reasons? And who wore them?

It appears that tights were originally worn by men- yes, you read right…men. Said tights were called “hose” and were a staple item in a male’s wardrobe. European men used to wear them all the way through the middle-ages while horseback riding.

Interesting, right? What’s even more interesting is that these “hoses” did not count as a single unit at the time, but ever since male tunics got shorter in the 16th century, tights formed a unified garment as to blend well with the form of the legs.

Originally adopted by the noble class, this fashionable move gradually made its way down the social ladder as lower classes began wearing tights. The trend then caught on to women in the 18th century as a massive industrial production made trousers available for men. In a surreal turn of events, tights as we know them now came about in the 60’s, coinciding with the creation of the mini-skirt.

But the question remains, after watching Alexander McQueen’s menswear show in 2015, are tights for men making a comeback? Only time will tell!


Cindy Menassa

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