Breaking the Norm with Leggings (Tights)

Breaking the Norm with Leggings (Tights)

I’m continuing on with my norm related posts. You can check out my Breaking the Norm post and my Making a New Norm post if you haven’t yet. As I mentioned in them, I’m working on wearing leggings / tights. It was about a year ago it hit me that I could wear tights for more than riding my bike.

This realization came when I decided to purchase tights without padding to use on our spin bike. My wife requested a more comfortable seat, so once we got it I didn’t really need the extra padding. Plus I needed more tights to ride anyhow. When I received the new pair to try, it hit me when I pulled them on that these would be a great option for other things. Not sure why I didn’t think about it before then. It’s not like I haven’t seen people run in them.

The ones that got me started are a lightweight fabric with printed designs on them. After wearing them to ride the bike, I’d keep them on for a bit. I was really enjoying wearing them to do a few things before hitting the shower. So then I started slipping a pair on when it was just me at the house. Well, that got me started really wanting to try them for more than just cycling.

My First Non Cycling Tight Activity

Since I’m not a runner or go to the gym to workout, I needed to come up with another options that I could experiment wearing them for. I came up with hiking. There were a couple reasons I thought hiking was a good option. First, I don’t typically see many people at some of the places I hike. Then mentally for me, I felt it was an activity that wasn’t pushing against the societal norm too much. Of course I thoroughly enjoyed my first hiking experience. I didn’t come across anyone in the woods but there were some fishermen in the parking lot. Since my first experience hiking in tights, I have done many more hikes in them. I’ve passed several people and have exchanged friendly hellos. I’ve actually felt pretty good and confident in those passings.

Comfy Pants (Leggings)

So my next experiment involved me accidentally…eeerrr….maybe on purpose buying leggings more in line with what a lot of women wear out and about. They have a soft sort of cotton-like feel though no cotton in them. I see them listed as buttery soft a lot of times. I did however accidentally come across the material when looking for a print pair my wife wanted for exercising. The description stated for working out, but the material to me is more for non exercise wear other than maybe yoga. Ok, let’s get back to the plan. I bought them for the purpose of first trying them out to know what it was like to wear more of what I’ll call traditional leggings. Then the intent was to wear them around the family. Initially, I started with wearing them around the house when no one was home. I planted the seed in my wife’s head telling her I got leggings similar to her print ones and they didn’t work well with the bike. Then I stated they were very comfortable to wear.

A couple weeks or so later I decided it was time to introduce them to the family. They’ve already seen me in the ones I wore for exercising, so it wasn’t going to be a complete shocker. My son was the first home and he wondered if I just exercised. I said no, these are more just comfortable ones. A little later my wife and daughter came home. My daughter didn’t really seem to notice or didn’t think anything of it. My wife said something similar to “you got your comfy pants on” kind of teasingly. Later on she made a comment that she didn’t think most guys wore them around the house. I can’t remember quite how she stated it, but she did add you can wear what is comfortable. The two pairs have been worked in to being worn around the house somewhat regularly now. They’ve been named my “comfy pants.”

Expanding My Comfort Level in Leggings

My next step in my personal norming of leggings occurred over Easter weekend. My parents and brother both were spending the night and we were having Easter dinner the following day. Well, I was the first one up and what was out for me to slip on was a pair of leggings. I wasn’t exactly planning on introducing the tights to them. I decide to at least slip them on to step out of the bedroom for a little bit. I figured I can always chicken out when others start stirring and come out. I guess the wait for me made me comfortable enough to not think much about it. My brother was the first to appear. As anticipated he didn’t say anything about what I was wearing. Eventually, my parents came out and I was still sporting the leggings. Again the reaction I received was expected. None whatsoever. My Dad is pretty easy going about things. My Mom is more opinionated, but unfortunately her mind isn’t quite working like it use to. However she never said anything about the time I wore swim briefs in front of her, so maybe with the wife fine with it she figures there is nothing to say. I ended up wearing my leggings to cook dinner, so they got worn a good portion of the day. I did put on jeans before we ate, but I don’t recall why for sure. My brother decided to stay another night and he awoke to me in the leggings again all the way until he left before supper to head to my parents for the remainder of his time off. Since Easter I have worn tights around my parents when visiting us a few times. So they should be starting to see them as a pant option in my wardrobe at least at the house.

Tights and the Public

men's tights at donation box
I don’t feel right now that I’ll get to a point of wearing them everywhere like many women do. So far I have only really worn them out of the house when I have been on my own. There is only one time I know my wife knows I’ve worn them out of the house for sure, which I’ll tell shortly. Hiking is the activity I feel most comfortable out in public wearing them. I’ve walked the dog from the house in them, but we don’t live in a housing development, so only a few neighbors and passing cars. I have run some errands in them that didn’t require going inside somewhere like I suggested in my making a new norm post. I’ve done ones like dropping mail off at the post office and drive thru banking, which requires staying in the car. My out of the car errands were simple things like dropping off recycling in the community bins, putting clothes in donation bins, and a night movie return to the Redbox. I do know I was seen for the movie drop off and cars drove by on the other drop offs. So far that is the extent of comfort for errand running.

Ok, here’s the quick story on the time my wife knew I wore them out of the house where others could see me in them. Both my wife and I were in our “comfy pants.” The dog needed a walk and of course the kids didn’t want to go, so we both decided we’d take him for a separate walk. My wife decided to go first. She was outside the front door and realized she had her comfy pants on and was hesitant about wearing them. She wouldn’t have done so if they were black, but they were leopard print ones I got her. I told her to just go. My mind was already set on wearing mine. When she returned I got my shoes and coat on and headed right out the door with the dog. She didn’t say anything about me wearing mine as I went out. Now, it’s slipping my mind, but she did say something about it when I returned. Wasn’t anything negative, but it was societal norm related. I guess I did at least one other time leave when she was home to run a couple in car errands in a pair of tights.

As you can see I’m not pushing the norm too much in my leggings and tights. I’m picking things that aren’t much of a stretch for a guy to wear tights for. Of course I haven’t seen many guys wearing tights in my area besides the occasional runner. Can’t say for the gym since I don’t go to one. At least I’ve started representing them for guys in a small way, but it is a start. I’m now comfortable wearing them around my parents and brother and for some hiking. I’ve been seen in them and really didn’t have any anxiety when I saw it coming. That’s my long winded version of my start of breaking a norm into leggings or tights wearing.

9 Responses

  1. Bill says:

    I’ve been wearing them to the gym for about 3 years. And several other guys wear them as well. When I leave I will run some errands while I’m out. The only comment ever made was by a girl I went to school with. She asked me if I had been to the gym. And then said how she liked seeing guys wearing leggings. Other than that nobody seems to care about what I’m wearing. So I say lets make this a norm for us as well.

    • The Bottom Drawer says:

      Must have been nice to get the positive feedback from someone that you knew. Wonder if dropping the shorts over the leggings is coming a thing at gyms and running finally. Always good when in company of others wearing something similar.

    • Samuel says:

      Great article. I think it should be ok for men to see our curves on our bodies. I have been wearing leggings/ tights now for a few years. And yes thongs and bikinis are a must to under our leggings. I have a few men’s under armour pair, full length. I think there may be a hidden ice braker here for the public. They may be getting use to seeing us wearing them in public because the waist band and have white or black print on it that saids under armour on the band. When people see at word under armer and they are starting to be ok with a men wearing them. Now the problem for me is, I got tired of advertising there company. I like to shop at Community aid stores and Goodwill stores. A gold mine for people like us. I started to look at the woman used leggings/ tights and I found my favorite company. (Danskin) leggings// tights. They were made in USA at one time. They also have a thick waist band and they have no white print of the company on them on the waist band. I like the way the fit and fill. Comfortable. I wear there them under my work pants. Then at the end of the day. I am driving home from work, My pants come off and my Danskins stay on for the drive home. Comfortable.

  2. Jonathan J says:

    Your article was a good read .
    Good for you to be able to be able to wear what you want when you want .
    It should not matter what we wear , I do believe that people are less likely to say something now a days , rather than say 5 years ago.
    It’s your body wear what ever you want .
    Thanks for your article.

    • The Bottom Drawer says:

      Thanks Jonathan. You would think people are less likely to say anything with all the movements and changes going on. I suppose it may depend on location. I look at things as I’m not wearing anything more revealing than many women are wearing, but still hard to go against the grain of the norm.

  3. Mike says:

    Interesting read about making leggings the new norm for guys. I’m living in Australia, so the whole speedos, bikini briefs thing really isn’t a problem here, guys can pretty much wear what they like to the beach.
    However! at the Crossfit gym, I go to, all the girls wear leggings of some sort, many pretty see through, which is great. I wear short shorts with a g string or thong, not that anyone can see that, I’ve had a comment my short of pretty short, but what the hell, I like them. I’d like to have a go at wearing leggings to the gym, but as no other guys wear them, i’m probably too much of a coward to give it a try.
    It just seems odd, the norm in Australia is ok with speedos, but not leggings.

  4. RespectTheKini says:

    Great article, again commending you taking steps to inspire and share with out small, but growing communites.

    Curiousity being piqued myself to pull the trigger on a pair and try them (thank you TBD), I gotta say I’m a fan. The more I wear them, the more I can see just how versatile of a clothing they are.

    Sports activities, gym activities, layering, heat cooling, protection against chafing, compression treatment, extreme comfiness, non-loose housewear without losing said comfiness!

    It’s no wonder women of all shapes and sizes caught on extremely quick, glad menswear itself is offering these options more everyday and giving us new experiences and good vibes! Hope it continues to expand!

    Please continue sharing your experiences, and to anybody hesitant, it’s a great new world! Try them! Highly recommend.

  5. Jeffrey says:

    Love the article. I too am trying to bring leggings into the mens norm by wearing them to the gym sans the shorts and going to the store and other errands. Sometimes I will admit that I’ll wrap a jacket around my waist if I feel intimidated. But mostly I’ll need the jacket for pockets cause I only have one pair that has a side pocket.
    I wish more men would consider wearing them.

    • The Bottom Drawer says:

      Thanks, glad you can relate. I’ve been given the suggestion of something like a runners belt. Kind of a slim version of a fanny pack (or I think they are calling fanny packs sports belts now to make them more stylish sounding) that can be covered by your shirt. Haven’t tried them out, since haven’t braved a store. Going for longer shirts or sweatshirts for I guess some modesty for others have been suggested too, which some women do.

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