Do we really want to see the window cleaner in his tights?
Byline: Dawn COLLINSON Sassy. Sexy. Sophisticated. She knows loads of words beginning with 'S.'
WHEN director Mel Brooks made the film Robin Hood: Men In Tights it made fun, among other things, of the idea of blokes dipping into the hosiery drawer.
Maybe the swashbuckling Sherwood hero could just about get away with it, and the odd Merry Man at a push (Little John probably shouldn't bother), but regular men would never succumb because that would just be ridiculous Wouldn't it? Well, perhaps not. At least not in the world of high fashion, anyway.
Because fashion designers are no respecters of the inhibitions of normal people. They like to push boundaries, be daring and innovative, create trends we never knew we wanted and, if only we'd had time to think about it, probably didn't.
The latest idea to bound onto menswear collection catwalks of the likes of Givenchy and Alexander McQueen (look out, the beardy Middleton brother will be wearing them any day now) is tights. Yes, men in tights and not as a joke.
Apparently the idea of chaps in a 70 denier isn't funny at all, not to fashion types. In fact, so growing is the market, if we're to believe those in the trade, that they're even making male-specific tights now which come with a fly.
This is presumably so the men wearing them don't have the indignity of pulling down their tights when they're standing at the communal wall having a wee, although it misses the point that anyone wearing tights has pretty much abandoned the majority of their dignity anyway, surely? Those in the know claim the majority of tights are bought - not by Premiership footballers, which would have been my personal bet, or crossdressers (too obvious) - but by manly men doing manly jobs; like policemen, builders and mechanics.
Now I can see how this might promote warmth. Every woman knows how lovely it is in winter to slip on a pair of black opaques. But, let's be honest, tights aren't even particularly good looking on women. The whole top part is a bit too reminiscent of a haggis, or an up-scaled Cumberland to really look sexy.
But on women, well, that's OK because they're practical and cosy and they belong to us and were made for us. I'm pretty sure whoever came up with the concept of tights didn't have our window cleaner in mind.
And I don't want to lower the tone of the conversation - oh, go on then, just for a minute - but tights can be rather unforgiving of any lumps and bumps. You only have to see a male ballet dancer in them to know they create an unavoidable focal point. Which is one thing on a toned athlete, in the name of art, but it's quite another on your average brickie and in the name of a new patio.
There's a very fine line between snug and stand back you're going to have someone's eye out with that.
No, this is one fashion which belongs to the runways and nowhere else, although it could be worse. One designer in the Paris shows, Rick Owens, went one step further and had male models with their dangly bits peeping out on his catwalks.
For heaven's sake, boys, man up and cover up, it's not big or clever.