Jay Maynard (jmaynard) wrote,
Jay Maynard

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Why are tights on a guy so worthy of comment?

I've taken to answering the usual questions I get when going out in garb ("Where's the play?" or "Are you going to a renaissance festival?") with "No, I always dress like this." Usually, people laugh it off, and then I explain what's going on.

Yesterday morning, I went to the gas station next door to the restaurant we were having breakfast at to use the ATM. I was wearing the outfit in the icon. The clerk asked me "Where's the play?" "What play? I always dress like this." She looked flustered and disbelieving. "Not really...there's a renaissance festival in Avoca." "Oh. Don't scare me like that." We talked for a bit more...she said she doesn't often see men wearing tights, so she wasn't used to the idea.

Last night, we had dinner with friends at a little restaurant in Avoca. As I was leaving, after telling the manager about the faire while paying the bill, I walked out...and some guy shouted "Put some pants on!" at me. I turned, but couldn't tell who it was.

This morning, we went back to the same restaurant next to the gas station, and I used the same ATM, in front of the same clerk. I was wearing a new outfit that I hadn't worn to faire before. (Front, side, and rear views.) She told me "Now that I've seen you before, you look pretty good in those tights." I thanked her. (Being told one looks good in tights is always good for the ego.) We talked some more...I bemoaned the fact that a man can't wear tights without causing comment, and noted that it was quite comfortable, with which she agreed. She was definitely a convert.

I've complained about this before in other forums, but I think it's grossly unfair that a woman can go out dressed in a Renaissance-era dress and not draw comments, but a guy wearing tights is the object of everyone's attention. That kind of thing was what men normally wore in the 1500s. (Well, plus or minus materials. I suspect they'd have killed for cotton-lycra blends.) If I thought I could get away with it, I'd wear a T-shirt and tights as my normal, knocking-around-town outfit. Unfortunately, I doubt that I could do so without utterly destroying my, and Paul's, standing in the community.

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