Why are Male Compression Stockings or Support Pantyhose Wearers Not More Liberated?
I recently came across a very typical account of a guy wearing support hosiery and thought it was worth sharing in an article here because there are many men out there that have similar stories.
The name of the person has been left out to protect privacy.
I suffer with circulation issues in my lower legs and was advised many years ago by my doctor to wear compression hosiery to help eliminate the pain associated with it.
Initially I had a prescription for compression stockings and got them for free because I was still studying full time. When I started work however, I had to pay for them and the cost was even then considerable and so I stopped wearing them for several years.
My girlfriend at that time, who is now my wife, suggested that I should try standard store bought support hosiery that was intended to help with tired legs. Admittedly it felt a bit weird at first but it was amazing how much better my legs felt even compared to the prescription hosiery I had used originally. The cost is also much lower than the so called specialist compression hosiery products.
Fast forward, more than 10 years later I am still wearing support pantyhose. During the summer months I go with a lighter denier of the sheer type pantyhose because I have to wear suits and they allow my pants to glide. In the winter I go for thicker support tights (70-150 Deniers) in black or gray without the socks.
So far I have never been the victim of a negative comment although I don’t advertise the fact that I am wearing support hose. But who does advertise what underwear they are wearing? My wife and family all know and have no problem with it. When at home in the evening and on weekends I can openly wear them with shorts weather permitting.
When I am out and about I tend to cover them up, because there are closed minded people out there who I suspect would easily come to the conclusion that I am a transvestite, even though men some time ago actually wore pantyhose style legwear first.
I guess for me the bottom line is – it is my life and my health and I do what I need to do to feel comfortable and be healthy.
How Long will it take for Society to Accept that Compression Stockings and Support Hosiery is Unisex?
Isn’t it peculiar how societal thinking and standards tend to be rather compartmentalized? For example, there are occasions such as in ballet dancing, theatre or sports where it is perfectly acceptable for males to wear hosiery garments that are generally thought of as more “female”.
On the other hand if tights or pantyhose are worn by males openly in public it is still perceived as “odd”, “strange”, “weird” or worse by many members of our society.
Considering the many eccentric clothing choices and combinations that can be spotted on female or male members of the population on any given day one would think that a guy wearing tights, support stockings or support pantyhose of any type should be no big deal.
Curiously when it comes to women’s fashion many traditionally male clothing items have been creatively adapted and migrated to become accepted mainstream fashion for females. Unfortunately the prevailing attitudes in our society do not grant men the same kind of tolerance and acceptance at this point in time.
What is Your Opinion about Men Wearing Compression Stockings or Support Hosiery Openly?
Given the fact that support hose or compression stockings can provide considerable health benefits in the way of preventative care or in controlling and sometimes even improving existing symptoms for a wide range of conditions our stance on this issue is clear.
Neither men nor women should be discriminated against or hassled for wearing compression stockings or support hosiery as legwear.
Obviously the topic of discrimination and harassment covers a wide range of possible areas for discussion. However, for the purpose of this article we would like to invite all male and female visitors to leave their comments on this issue and express their opinions about men wearing compression hosiery openly with shorts, especially during the hotter months of the year.
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I’m a 67 year old male a retired Flight Attendant.. I was just informed by my Doctor I need to start wear 20 30 compression pantyhose for my legs, because of my varicose veins. At first… there was no way I was going to do that. But after getting scolding 3 times from my Doctor and wife, I gave in.. I’m so glad I did.. my legs feel great and look smooth again. No bulging veins. I even started shaving my legs because the hair was sticking out and it looked terrible. I haven’t gotten up the nerve to wear them in public yet, but maybe someday.. I highly recommend compression pantyhose for your legs. Don’t be stubborn like me, you’ll be glad you started wearing them..
Sergio Ward says
I wear sheer pantyhose with my suits, tuxedos and dress clothes.
I received many compliments on the style.
These feel Great on Your feet.
Tom L. says
I, too, have been wearing graduated compression pantyhose for the past 9 years and I enjoy wearing them as my circulation has improved and I feel much better. Wearing ladies’ pantyhose has required me to make some changes in my life, such as shaving my legs regularly and sitting when I pee. I have welcomed those changes and I’m not the least embarrassed about them.
John R says
I just received an athletic pair today which I bought online from a popular shopping website for $10. I have had them on for approx. 30 minutes and I cannot remember my calves feeling so good. I am 6’8″ and fly over a hundred times a year coupled with driving rental cars at least 20k. Being cramped in so many places for long durations of time has taken their toll on my legs/back in my 57yrs. I was wondering if it is sociably acceptable to wear with shorts which brought me to this website. Before I finished this comment I had already made up my mind I don’t care what anyone thinks if I wear these in public with shorts. I will just make sure the logos are facing the same direction on both legs (smile).
About 6 years ago, I had an extended clot from my calf to groin after a short flight. -at age 22. Was told I had Factor V and a few blood clotting disorders. Blah Blah Blah.
Originally was fitted for thigh high stockings, however after wearing them for a short period of time, I stopped wearing due to the silicon band irritating my skin. Additionally, summer was fast approaching and once summer hits in Texas, the least amount of clothes on your body is the most desirable. (I like wearing flip flops and shorts all year round….I really do).
Fast forward a couple of years. I started getting problems with post thrombotic syndrome (edema, skin discoloration, pain – it mimics symptoms of another clot). In addition, I started seeing awesome looking veins popping up from my legs/thighs, which I initially assumed was attributed to my raging physique of testosterone manliness from working out at the gym. So I went to the doctor again diagnosed with PTS and CVI (sorely disappointed that my varicose veins were not a product of becoming manlier at the gym) and was once again prescribed the stockings.
Since I had pitting edema throughout my upper thigh, I was told that thigh high or waist high would be more beneficial to me than the knee high length. Due to the nature of not wearing the stockings the first time around, I went the waist high route (reluctantly). I have to be honest, I probably should’ve done this much sooner, as I didn’t think I could ever go back to wearing stockings with a silicon band again.
I’m 28 years old now. Still wearing my waist high hose (the sheerer stockings in the spring/summer, and the more surgical weight/opaque stockings in the fall/winter). I think I’ve come to the point where I’d rather be comfortable and healthy than not. So I wear them all the time wherever. Shorts, under slacks, jeans….doesn’t matter. I don’t hide the fact I’m wearing nor do I go out and flamboyantly show off wearing them.
Nobody cares and you shouldn’t either. It’s your health. I regret not wearing the hose after my DVT. Also, a little word of advice: hair and hose suck. From keeping them up throughout the day – to them being more comfortable (believe me, this is true), you’ll want to do yourself a favor and shave/trim if you are a man bear like myself. I’m probably the laziest guy on this planet (yes I am), shaving down there does have its benefits. Furthermore, depending on the level of CVI going on, you’ll notice hair doesn’t grow much anyway or you’re going to lose the hair anyway without treatment (so I’m told). So what do you have to lose? True story: I was starting to have thinner leg hair on the back of my upper legs vs what I had in high school. (I really didn’t notice because the GF liked the hair trimmed a bit down there).
A little note: My girlfriend doesn’t care and actually prefers seeing me in them (not sure if this is a confidence thing or if she wants me to take care of my health or both)? Whatever.
Be a man. Wear what you want. Be healthy. Don’t be stupid.
Thank you for this contribution Adam. I completely agree. Who cares what others think of what you are wearing. Your health is what really matters.
I was ordered to wear thigh highs while still in the Marines. My line of work while enlisted involved standing for periods greater than 24 hours at times. No doubt I started devolving circulation problems. Later, I switch to waist highs because the silicone band on the thighs highs started to bother me as they itched and I started to get stretch marks from the pulling. I wear 20-30 compression from jobst supplied by the VA.
I have no problems at all wearing these in public with shorts. In the summer, these things are very hot and I’m sorry if it bothers anybody but, I need to be comfortable too! In all the time I have worn shorts with hose in public, I have only gotten one negative comment and I went off on the guy. After a verbal bashing having something to do with my time in service and the fact that I would like to be able to keep both legs, the poor guy looked like he was going to cry. Kind of felt bad for him. This happened in a Wal-Mart in front of a lot of people. Other than that, I have had some odd stares but I think my size shuts them up.
Awesome contribution. Thanks Chris!
After wearing full leg compression hosiery for more than a year, I’m a great believer and advocate for men wearing pantyhose and stockings. Helps with my edema following both knee replacement surgeries, as well as energizes my legs against fatigue and achiness. Men wore tights and stockings for centuries before women. Thanks for your blog. Admit only worn in public with shorts a couple of time, but working on doing so more frequently.
Thanks for your contribution!
K. Tademy says
Thanks for taking your time to write this.
Linda C. says
Great blog! I am loving it!!
Very inspiring post. After having both knee replacements, I have edema and circulation issues with one of my legs. Most of the hosiery available for my compression needs are targeted and made for women to include knee highs, thigh highs and pantyhose. So thanks to this blog, I have more confidence making purchases at the stores. Thanks.
Thanks for your contribution Mike. Maybe other guys with similar concerns will draw confidence from reading comments like yours.
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Nancie G. says
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Men are the ones who invented hosiery to begin with. I see no reason why they no longer should enjoy it.
Compression hosiery is actually for one’s health.
Thanks Jessica. That’s the kind of progressive and non judgmental thinking we need from everybody 🙂
Very well written, really intelligent, keep up the good work.
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Dylan P. says
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I’ve been told to wear compression hose from morning until bedtime. I do so with shorts that are well above my knee (to keep cool). The only comments I get (from other than a medical professional) are about either my hat or the shoes I’m wearing. It’s really no big deal.
That should be encouraging for other guys. Thanks Charley.
Claudio F. says
I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.
Well to start with I started wearing because of the amount of time I spent sitting and while doing so my legs would swell. I spoke with my Dr. about it and he recomended compression hosiery. I started with a knee length and would have swelling above the knee, and decided to try pantyhose and they were a good match. After trying just about every manufacture out there and looking for a place to purchase compression hose at an economical price, I went with Ames Walker and purchased style #33 beige they are very durable and long lasting and blend with my skin tone very well.
As time went on when not wearing my legs would turn redish/purple so it was decided I would need to wear daily, my dr. said I have Chronic Veinous Insuficiency he also said I should wear from the time I wake up till going to bed. So after years of wearing long pants over my hose and in the summer months feeling very uncomfortable I decided to give shorts a try, I worried about what people would think. Well I’ve come to find out that the fear I had was unfounded. It was all in my head, nobody has any issues with me wearing, the public doesn’t need to come to terms with me wearing because they don’t have any problems with it, and it’s not just where I live, as a matter of fact I live in the Ol South.
I wear every day with shorts when not at my job (must wear long pants), and I’ve never had a negative comment or have not had anybody make fun or laugh at me. So if we are waiting for the general public to come around to us wearing comfortably, your wasting your own time…PLEASE nobody cares or in most cases nobody even notices. So please if you are interested in wearing take little steps…
Here’s how I started with my little steps. Try going out after sunset wearing your shorts (I wear tee shirts and shorts just above the knee, socks and running shoes) and go to a store, or coffee shop you can see inside to see how many people are in there, if there is just a few try walking in (have confidence in your self, stomach in chest out) and make a small purchase. You will find out in most cases nobody will notice (as time goes on and you do this more often you will feel like, hey people I’m wearing hose…trust me) if someone does notice it’s usually 1-2 seconds then they just turn away and that’s it. If your arms, and face, are tanned and your legs are white then just wear suntan colored hose to match your arms and face and you’ll be good to go. Please make sure you shave your legs, that’s what will create a lot of attention is seeing all of the hair crunched down. I’m fairly lucky, because when you have poor circulation in most cases you don’t have hair…so my legs are mostly hairless, if anybody ask you, you can say that it’s a result of poor circulation.
I wear everywhere while going out with my family, my daughter, and son don’t care, along with my wife. I have full support from them because a blood clot can kill!
So PLEASE, PLEASE get out there and give it a shot, I promise nobody will call the newspaper, you won’t see any helocopters flying over…etc
That was an awesome and inspiring contribution. Thanks Terry