Boys in tights

OMG, it's a boy!

OMG, it's a boy! (© me!)

At the beginning of my little monster’s first winter, he was about 6 months old and had just begun to crawl. So I went out to a store for children’s clothes, wanting to buy this indispensable item of winter clothing that is tights. Alas, no luck. I only found the pink, purple and white-with-flowers varieties for girls. Now, while I personally wouldn’t have minded seeing him in those I wanted to avoid him being called a little girl any more than necessary. It might also have had something to do with the fact that I like being in my husbands will.

So I tried another store. And another one. To no avail. Relating the story to my English Mom-in-law finally shed light on the matter: Island monkeys don’t do tights for little boys. Why? Because tights are for girls. Ah yes…

So I would like to make a case here for tights for boys. Maybe I can change one or two of your island monkey’s minds.

1. Tights are comfy.

I mean, have you seen how your little one struggles to get up onto that chair there in his (undoubtedly handsome) little pair of jeans? No such problems in tights. He can run around as if naked. Actually, I think, tights are the next best thing to letting them run around without clothes. Especially in winter! They are just perfect for horsing around at the nursery or playgroup.

Oh, I hear you argue that track suit bottoms (or whatever you might call them) are also quite comfortable. Well, they are, but have you looked at these usually grey, shapeless things lately? There is a time and a place for everything, and track suit bottoms should be worn in a gym or when going for a jog in cold weather. Otherwise the wearer just looks like a chav.

2. Tights are practical.

My little hero is potty training and unless his jeans have an elastic waist, he struggles with pulling them down and – after the deed – back up. Never happened with tights.

You advocates of track suit bottoms: See above.

3. Tights are cosy.

Why do you think your daughter likes wearing them?

4. Tights are essential for layering.

You know, the onion principle. When it becomes colder, you put on layers. You also put layers onto your little boy’s upper body. Vest first (if you’re sensible), then a longsleeve. When you take them outside (as well you should!) you add, depending on temperatures, a cardi, jumper, jacket or coat – or all of the above in case it gets really mean cold.

But what about their bottoms?! Nappy/undies, then trousers/jeans. And when you go outside? The same, even though it might be 20°C colder than inside? Ever thought about the fact that they only develop hairy legs a bit later in life?

I found that the easiest way to dress my little monster for a cold winter day outing is to simply put a pair of jeans over the tights, just like a coat over the top. Double layer, double warmth – result! Try that with track suit bottoms. Hah!

(By the way, more tips on how to dress appropriately in cold weather here. Brought to you by an expert in cold German winters – me.)

5. Tights put an end to losing/pulling off socks.

The little blighters just loooove taking their socks off. And in some socks the cuffs are just too loose, so they frequently lose them. Now, if you don’t mind your little one having cold feet, by all means, go ahead and let it be. Alternatively you could purchase some of these nifty sock ons for your baby boy. Or you can simply try tights like you would for your baby girl too.

6. Tights are cute!

This one comes with an exclamation point because it’s such an important factor. Granted, little boys look cute in pretty much anything you throw on them but tights are – in my not so humble opinion – a notch above everything else on the cuteness scale. I mean, these adorable nappy bottoms… Which isn’t to say that a toddler’s bum isn’t the most adorable body part without a nappy too! Especially in tights. So will you please shut up already, you insufferable track suit bottom lovers!

Also, to put those of you I couldn’t quite convince yet a little more at ease with the thought of boys in tights, here are a few points of clarification:

  • I never let the little monster go outside in just his tights. Neither would any other German mother. They are indoor clothes, think of them as slippers for legs. Or maybe not, as slippers stay indoors all the time. Tights can go outside but then they hide under ‘real’ trousers or jeans. Except maybe when you take the rubbish out and the little monster – as always – ignores your command to stay inside.
  • As I mentioned, I try to steer clear of colours that are too girly and so should you if you consider getting some for your little boy. But I do love bright colours, especially for kids. So the tights I buy (at the moment unfortunately only in Germany) often have red, orange or yellow in them (see pic above). So cute…
  • Tights really are only for boys of a younger age. I don’t expect you to wrestle down your teenage son in order to put tights on him. Plus, at that stage he might have developed some hairy legs anyway.
  • Wearing tights does not make your son look gay. He’s a little boy for crying out loud!
  • And no, WEARING TIGHTS DOES NOT MAKE YOUR SON BECOME GAY either! He will be gay or not, no matter what clothes you put on him as a youngster (and frankly, what difference does it make anyway?). I thought I better state the obvious again. To my knowledge, the percentage of gay men in the German population isn’t any higher than in the UK. If anything, we are less homophobic. Or maybe not. Scientific research yet to be conducted.

38 thoughts on “Boys in tights

  1. I must say that I never thought of boys wearing tights – I don’t think we sell them here (in the U.S.) in the mainstream anyway. But, I see your point! We do wear long johns – both the guys and girls, men and women. I wonder if that’s our version of tights for boys. Anyway – thanks for the post!

    • Hello Boy Mom, thank you for your comment. Yeah, I know there are alternatives around but can you wear these long johns without anything on top? I mean, how helpful is it when you want to leave the house and first have to take the pants (yeah, I do American English too (-:) off, then long johns on, pants back on… And then there is always the sock problem, although I suppose they do grow out of it at some stage. I hope.
      Anyway, keep them warm this winter 😉

  2. As an American, tights are definitely only worn by girls here. But, after seeing your points, I agree that this should be reconsidered.

    You can easily put long johns on under pants (that’s probably the standard way they are worn here in the States–my dad works outside all winter in cold Kansas and definitely wears long johns under his jeans pretty much every day in January/February), but long johns are MUCH bulkier than tights, for sure!

    Unisex tights are needed here in the USA, too! Come on German importers! 🙂

    • Cammy, great pleasure to see you here! And I’m glad you agree with me. Tights are just the allround better solution. Will see what I can do about exporting them to the UK and US. Shouldn’t German producers have seen the opportunity long ago? *Sigh* You just have to do everything yourself!
      Thanks for the comment and come back soon.

      • My little boy wears tights, I have no problem with it, they keep him warm and that is all that matters to me!

      • Hi Sandra,
        Happy new year to you and yours, I agree with you, I’m in the uk too and tights are indeed the anwser for cold winter days at the nursery and play group etc.
        I just buy my little boy girls tights in plain colours (he does not know they are for girls yet!) he wanted to dress up for halloween back in october and rather than a scary costume he decided on a bumblebee, so I bought him some black tights to wear, very cute!

      • I was trying to find tights in more boyish colours her, to no avail. Where do you buy them?
        Oh, and as long as you don’t tell your little one they were for girls (which they are NOT, at least not exclusively!) he might not think this nonsense until he is too old to wear them anyway 😉
        Thanks, Fiona, for giving me back my hope that one day woolly tights will be a universally accepted means to dressing your little boy nicely and warmly in winter.

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  6. tights are awesome for everyone of all ages and they keep you warm. I suggest trying a dance shop such as Bloch for tights for young boys- thats where I bought mine

  7. any boy wearing tights is not gay- dancers do it all the time and many boys in Australia are wearing compression clothing- especially tights as well does that make them gay- god no- they do benifit from being warm on the rugby feild and there muscles benifit from quicker recovery and anyone who is lifted in line outs by 2 other big guys who would often get a wedgie doesn’t.

    One has to be born gay- u can’t just become so, anyone who questions this is stupid, imiture, boring- I am bi-sexual so I know what I am talking about

    living in a cool region of Australia- its about 5- 10 degrees out today- not cold on world standards but cold for what many people are used to accross australia- I would much prefer to wear tights out under trackies or jeans than not- it kept me warm when we were out doing 2 fire drills- yep across the generations they hate em

    • Unfortunately male dancers are often seen as feminine or gay, one of my favourite musicals Billy Elliot adresses this sad fact among other issues.

      No doubt, tights for both genders are an absolute must when you are not living in the tropics.

      Thanks, Lauren for stopping by and for your support. I apologise for not replying sooner.

  8. Our boys wear tights, black and grey ones. What about Robin Hood? He wore tights 🙂
    Each to their own, who cares when they are warm, practical and so cheap. They are only seen as girls clothing because of the big clothing chains selling them this way……..i wonder if they started selling boys tights, would not take long to catch on!

    • Hah, nice one. Although I believe that Robin Hood in tights is one of those Hollywoodian historic inaccuracies that were then used to poke fun at the legend. Oh well…

      In any case you are making a valid point about supply and demand. Where are all the British stores that could make a fortune selling tights for boys?!

      Thank you for your comment, we girls inanothercountry have to stick together 😉

    • How lovely of you to stop by, Sandy, and thank you so much for the recommendation. I checked out their site and they are awesome! Just what I was looking for. Plus, they are in Ireland, so practically next door. I might go and order some of their products right away – despite the fact that summer has just arrived.

  9. It was a pleasure it makes such a difference to have open minded parents who don’t think clothes are going to change their kids sexual orientation. : )

  10. You”re welcome Sandra.
    Unfortunately Iive in the U.S. and I can’t buy tights for my boys here. Luckily, my parents live in Poland and will send tights for their grandchildren soon:)

  11. I wear tights all the time, they are comfy, warm and look good, and I’m 13, I’m not gay, I just love the feel of them.

    • I wish I could where them and nothing else but I would get bullied, they should sell tights for teenage boys without, them having to be specialist sports ones, my favourite tights have to be the thick wooly ones.

  12. Does anyone know where I can buy Wooly tights for teenage boys from, I could do with a few pairs for bed and out and about

  13. Our 4 1/2 year old twin boys have been wearing tights since they were in diapers. They are the equivalent of slippers. Our boys run around the house in them. They are way comfy and warm.They love them. To them it is normal. My husband is Polish and he wore them as a child. Boys wearing tights is the norm in Poland. They have such adorable ones for boys. My mother in law sends us some from Poland. They do not sell them here in the US at all. HM sells them in Poland but, that is the market. I got some Superman and Batman tights. Way too adorable. The US should get on the bandwagon and start selling them. NO they are not gay. Lighten up people!!

      • This comment is to Sandra Parsons only, and are you religious or not? and if you are religious then what religion are you and no i don’t count atheism as a religion, and because by dressing your son in girl tights, he breaking one of the verses in the holy bible which is Deuteronomy 22:5 which clearly says: ” a man/boy must not wear a woman’s/girls garment and neither should a woman/girl wear a man’s/boy’s garment for all who do so are an abomination to your Lord thy God.” and yes even though that’s in the old testament we still have to obey the old as well as the new testament of the holy bible while some of us still struggle with following the bible verses, and some of don’t struggle with following it. and if you read my life story then you’d understand and my life story is at this link:

        no before reply to my comment read my of my life story and you should be able to understand. and please leave comments on my life story if you don’t mind.

      • Hi Casey, I am not religious whatsoever, and I find it strange to let a 2000 year-old book determine the way I live. Life today is completely different from what it was then, so unless you want to tell every woman she must not wear pants I think the bible verse you quote is pretty outdated. Apart from that, I severely doubt that the Hebrew people back then even knew tights (for it was warm where they lived), let alone assigned a gender to them. Moreoverm the tights I used to put on our little monster were expressly boys tights, mostly blue, with trucks and monsters on them. That was one of my problems, that I could never find un-girly ones in England.
        I understand that you struggle with these issues in your life and I wish you all the best, Sandra

  14. Hi. Loved reading your article and you’re right…wearing tights do not make men/boys gay. I’m male and I’ve been wearing tights for most of my life. I practice ballet and find tights to be indespensible in many ways. They come in handy to keep my legs warm when traveling to colder climates. They help in fighting soreness during and after ballet class, and are just plain comfy to hang out in at home with a shirt and a pair of slipper socks. If we, as men, liked wearing tights as kids, why should that change as an adult??? Just because society says so?

    • Thanks for your perspective, balletbrit. Funny enough, the Little Monster now also wants to learn how to dance and my second child, Little Monkey, is growing out his hair now. They are both stubbornly ignoring comments about their “girlishness” which are, apart from stupid, also highly irrelevant and no challenge to my little superheroes 🙂

      • I can’t say anything about your youngest about his hair other than “to each his own.” As for your older one regarding dance, I’d choose ballet because there’s not many other forms of dance where men spend their days in a pair of tights. And as well as a shirt and tights being a ballet dancers “office wear”, boys/men get to hang out and touch girls/ladies tights while partnering. WOW!!!…a man touching a woman!!!! Yeah, THAT’S gay!!!! Plus, if he likes the feeling of wearing tights like I do, slow ballet movements and stretching at the barre are the best ways to appreciate the time you’re spending in a pair of tights.

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