Men in tights

When a friend visited from Albany, Western Australia, a couple of weeks back, she was blown away by how many Melbourne men were wearing skinny jeans.
"In Albany, the only guy who wears skinny jeans is the local hairdresser," she laughed. "Here, they're everywhere."
When I asked her if she'd seen any guys in leggings she could hardly contain her disbelief. "Men, in leggings? Are you serious?"
Clearly blokes in Albany - including the hairdresser - were yet to embrace man leggings, or "meggings" as fashion types like to call them. And to be honest, who can blame them?
I was surprised she hadn't spied any men in tights during her four-day visit. Like men in skinny jeans, legging-clad blokes are a growing breed. Barely a week goes by when I don't see a guy who has succumbed to fashion's latest craze. Usually, I wish they hadn't.
The thing about tights as pants is this: if you're not a ballet dancer, a superhero, or Robin Hood, or doing exercise - and even then, it's advisable to wear shorts over the top - male leggings are a no go.
The same rule applies for men and women. I've already spelt out, in a previous column, my thoughts about the growing number of women intent on wearing leggings and tights as pants, too. If you missed it, here it is in a nutshell: don't do it.
Leggings and tights were designed to be worn as undergarments, not as a substitute for pants, and there is a good reason for that. They are unforgiving. Nylon, Lycra and spandex have a tendency to cling lovingly to any lump, bump or bulge. And the results usually aren't good.
In fact, there is a fast-growing band of legging dissidents who think leggings worn as tights are so unflattering they have even launched a website - - where you can print flyers such as "Tights will not suffice", and "Tell your douche friends: tights are not pants" and hand them out to Lycra-clad offenders.
Male leggings have been a slow-burning trend, which is hardly surprising. Meggings first turned up on overseas catwalks in 2007 - a lifetime ago in fashion years. Even before then, some of Hedi Slimane's leather pants for Dior looked more like leggings than pants. It was actually Slimane's obsession with men who looked like emaciated stick insects that spawned fashion's penchant for skinny-leg jeans and now leggings.
Kirrily Johnston, Kate Sylvester and Fernando Frisoni are among local designers who have offered up an assortment of meggings - from super-tight styles to long johns and drop crotch versions - for those brave enough to embrace fashion's latest craze this spring-summer.
It's a craze that seems distressingly determined to stay. At Milan Fashion Week last week, male leggings were spotted in several collections including Gucci and Roberto Cavalli. D'oh!

Ballet dancers and superheroes. And that's it. OK, perhaps slim-legged men with more front than Myer - and by that I mean, big enough to handle the staring and pointing - might just be able to get away with them.
Most men, but especially those with chunky legs. Comedian Russell Brand - who slipped into a pair of Sass & Bide's women's ruched Black Rat leggings - is a case in point. If you haven't seen the photos, Google it.
Leggings tend to cling to every bump and bulge. You can protect your modesty and your pride by wearing longer tees, knits or cardigans that cover the crotch.

Fernando Frisoni (02) 9360 9100
Gucci 9639 6200
Kirrily Johnston (02) 9282 9413
Kate Sylvester (02) 9211 2644