Jeggings, Meggings + Mantyhose

As mother of a 5 year old who has refused to wear anything but skinny jeans for the past two years, shunning all other legwear as “too puffy”, my recent shopping  finds should come as no surprise. And yet, somehow, I’m stunned at the insidious spread of the dreaded JEGGING to children’s wear and beyond.

I was in Old Navy one recent morning before work and wandered over to girls’ leggings to find, hanging alongside the ubiquitous multicolored leggings, baby jeggings. Just like mama owns, only in sizes from toddler to tween..

If somehow you missed the advent of the jegging, let me explain. It’s basically a denim jean in legging form, – so a super-stretchy blue jean, usually with an elastic waistband and often with jean-like stitching details – hence the unfortunate name, jegging. Besides the horrible name, I don’t object to the product per se. Who doesn’t love to pull on something comfortable that gives, tucks neatly into high boots or looks just as good with ballet flats. Jeggings  – I love mine from Uniqlo – can look great.

And then there’s the other side. It’s tricky for women to pull off the skintight silhouette, disguising womanly lumps and bumps under long tunics. Plus, I often feel badly that I resort to the legging look all too much, rather than structured clothing with zippers and buttons. It concerns me sometimes that we – me included – are rearing our children largely unaware of belts, buttons and shoelaces.

That said, it seems the jegging, along with elastic and Velcro are here to stay. And not just in the children’s aisle.

Legwear for men is getting an overhaul too, with man leggings – meggings perhaps – on the runways and already in some fashion forward retailers. The UK’s Daily Mail reported last month that men also are increasingly keen to wear tights. So much so that Selfridges in London has a range of man pantyhose – yep mantyhose – designed exclusively for guy-sized legs.

The mantyhose are made by lingerie brand Unconditional and are a sturdy 120 denier thick. At about 70 GBP a pair or roughly $111 US dollars, the look doesn’t come cheap and really, hipster, fashionista, whatever, this just cannot be a good look en masse.

It’s nothing new of course; think court jesters, ballet dancers, some athletes, Superheros and rockstars – meggings and mantyhose have been on the radar for years. But in 2010/2011, unless you’re Spidey or glam -metal rocker Bret Michaels, perhaps stick with a manbag instead.

3 thoughts on “Jeggings, Meggings + Mantyhose”

  1. Thanks for allowing me to finally know just what ‘jeggings’ are, after all. I’ve seen them plenty of times, just never put the name with the item. Of course, they’ve caused my head to snap around when confronted with the sight of a women wearing what I at the time thought were jeans so tight they MUST have been painted on. I guess it turns out they were so tight they were… tights. A great look for those who can pull it off.

    On to the topic of mantyhose. I’m afraid you may be a bit misinformed over what type of men’s legwear Selfridges in London is selling. The UK Daily Mail article you referred to actually ran in Sept. 2009, not last month. I discussed it in several posts in my blog, The Nylon Gene (

    Anyways, from everything I could gather–without actually going to London to see firsthand–these are really not ‘mantyhose’, or men’s pantyhose. They’re more like leggings (I’m begging, PLEASE drop the word ‘meggings’ from our vocabulary) since they’re so thick. This MIGHT, sort of, justify the super high price they’re being sold for.

    If you want to see actual pantyhose made for men–as in sheer hose, or thin opaque tights–then you need to go somewhere such as ActivSkin ( or some of the other companies currently selling ‘mantyhose’ today.

    The fact is, men are wearing hosiery in increasing numbers today, even if most are still wearing them beneath their trousers. Slowly but surely, we’re discovering that a good pair of support hose can keep the legs feeling great all day and not achy or tired. If this weren’t so, why do you think Spanx are taking the country by storm lately?

    1. Hi Steve, thanks for the comment and for giving credence to my admission that I really don’t know what year it is! You are absolutely right that article was a year ago, I am clearly stuck in 2009 still. I am fascinated with your knowledge and facts about actual men’s hosiery – and have to ask if that is indeed you modeling some in your profile pic? Hey if men want to wear tights under their trousers, more power to them but I do hope they are more comfortable than Spanx – I have tried those and didn’t find them in the least bit comfortable. Cheers, Lee

  2. Hi Lee,

    Sorry this reply to your question is WAY after the fact. I hadn’t checked back in after posting my comment, but happened to run across it just now and saw that you had asked if I was wearing mantyhose in my profile pic? The answer is yes. When that photo was taken, I was wearing ActivSkin A677 which are a sheer, full support style that comes in black (as shown), dark brown and beige.

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