I decided to embrace freestyle fashion and evolve my style in March. The decision came on the heels of deciding to try to get more into shape and get my weight under control, something I have struggled with all of my life. I lost a good amount of weight over the year, and with that has come an increased feeling of confidence in myself, so it seemed like the perfect time to venture into a new style. Over the months I've gotten very accustomed to wearing skirts and dresses as everyday attire.
My year round work is home-based, however in October I take up a seasonal position doing makeup for a local haunt. As such, I've had to spent the majority of this month in shorts & capris (with one dreadful night in jeans - I simply don't find them comfortable at all anymore!). This led me to a bit of a shocking revelation, I no longer feel right wearing shorts! I found myself longing for my days off if only to be allowed the freedom of wearing a skirt, or even better, a dress.
While I did not wear skirts or dresses to work, I did wear sheer tights most days along with a comfortable pair of mary janes. These items have become so mundane and commonplace to me now that I underestimated the reaction I would receive wearing them openly around so many people. So I thought it might be interesting to share some of the reactions & comments I received over the month.
- Overall, people that made comments (good & bad) seemed to focus more on the tights than the shoes. I feel I should mention that most of the time I wore either navy or black sheer tights (as our dress code was to wear all black / dark colors), so the tights were probably a bigger shock to the eye than the shoes.
- The most common question was: "Are you wearing stockings / nylons / pantyhose?" I always find this question odd because as I said above I was usually wearing black, which is in no way stealth. However, that question was usually just a lead in to the second most common question: "Why are you wearing stockings / nylons / pantyhose?" My response of choice: "Why not?" This usually ended the conversation, even though that was never my intention. Perhaps I should have responded by saying that I just find them comfortable and like the way they look, but truth be told I was usually caught a bit off guard with the question just because it's become such a non-issue to me.
- Several girls commented that they thought it would be difficult for a man to use the restroom in pantyhose. Personally, I thought it a bit odd that their minds went there, but whatever. In case you are wondering, it isn't.
- When the weather was a bit warmer, quite a few girls would point at my legs and ask, "Aren't those hot?" I don't usually have issues with sheer tights in the heat (except on the most dreadful summer days here in Florida), but I also wear higher quality, 10-15 denier sheer to waist tights rather than run of the mill drugstore control tops.
- I received a few compliments from girls (which was great!), but I was shocked by the amount of positive feedback I heard from guys. I'm not talking about a "That's hot!" kind of way (as that would make me a bit uncomfortable, honestly), but rather in a "You're wearing tights? Cool!" way.
- It wasn't all good, however, as there were a few people who either scowled at me, made a weird face at me, or outright burst into laughter at me. This seemed to usually be over the mary janes. I'm pretty thick-skinned but I'd be lying if I said it didn't bother me a little. Oh well.
- A co-worker of mine informed me that some of the women were talking negatively about my tights & shoes behind my back, and have avoided my makeup chair because of it. People are entitled to their opinions (it falls under my "haters gonna hate" category), but I have to admit that I do find it a little disappointing. Despite the freestyle fashion, I really am pretty much just your average guy, albeit your average nerd guy. It disappoints me that some people can't see past their own preconceived prejudices.
- Thus far, I've had two women (besides my wife) tell me that my tights are sexy. I love to be complimented, so that was great.
- The most interesting comment from a girl that I got: "Yay, I'm glad you are wearing tights today! It's really weird when you don't. I like it." I thought this comment was interesting because I've actually reached a point now where I've worn them so often that I do feel weird when I don't. The fact that she found a man in tights to be normal enough for it to be weird when he wasn't wearing tights was pretty awesome too.
Overall, October has been an interesting month for me with regards to freestyle fashion. Spending a whole month basically trapped in shorts & pants has definitely made me appreciate the feeling of wearing skirts and dresses even more. Being around so many people in the social environment of work was also interesting as a bit of a social experiment in freestyle fashion as well. I think the most important thing to take away from all of it, though, is that I was able to go out and be myself without any real issues. At the end of the day, it's really all about confidence, and if what they say is true and the clothes do make the man, then I say that real men wear pantyhose!