Men in tights are both fashion-forward and sensible

One of my favorite menswear trends of recent years is tights or leggings for men. While this sounds like a stereotypically flamboyant high-fashion proposition, it has actually emerged from specifically masculine reference points. There are several variations on the look but, all in all, it’s exciting territory for menswear.

Sportswear inspiration has become standard fare as technical fabrics and cuts have become increasingly integrated into runway shows. The broad lines of football jerseys without shoulder pads appeared in the oversized fluorescent tunics of Issey Miyake’s spring/summer 2013 collection, and perhaps most famously Givenchy has been showing basketball inspired shorts in wool and leather for several years now.

For Robert Geller’s fall/winter 2013 collection there were thick dark leggings underneath heavy knit and quilted layers. Heavy wool socks were pulled over the bottoms with ankle height leather boots.

I’ve taken to wearing Uniqlo’s HeatTech long underwear in gray and black stripes underneath bright swim trunks or black basketball shorts. Since it is rather cold out they are extremely practical underneath cropped or rolled trousers.

A recent viewing of Harmony Korine’s Kids has me hankering for chinos rolled high above the ankles perhaps with compression pants below.

Those looking to take the sportswear-inspired route can try borrowing the monochrome textured look from Givenchy: A black leather baseball cap, leather jacket, tights, wide-legged knee-length shorts and black oxfords or boots take on a streetwear elegance, a kind of off-duty male-model style.

For reference, check out men-wearing-tights.tumblr.com.