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What is Mannyhose?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 21, 2024
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Mannyhose are pantyhose designed to be worn specifically by men. Despite the somewhat silly term, mannyhose actually have some very practical uses, and some men simply enjoy wearing pantyhose, for a variety of reasons ranging from the desire to wick away sweat to a cross-dressing hobby. Mannyhose tend to come in a range of larger sizes, to accommodate the larger frames of men, and they are designed with a bit more room in front to accommodate the male anatomy. Men can also simply wear women's pantyhose, especially in areas where mannyhose are hard to find.

Historically, actors and dancers have often worn pantyhose, regardless of gender, to smooth out the appearance of their legs. The color of such hosiery can vary considerably, from a taupe designed to blend in with the skin to darker colors designed to offset costumes. Some athletes also wear mannyhose, especially winter athletes, because pantyhose can provide a layer of insulation from the weather while streamlining the body and preventing sores as skin rubs together or against clothing.

Horseback riders have also long been aware of the secret of mannyhose. A pair of pantyhose under riding gear can substantially reduce the risk of saddle sores, making prolonged rides more comfortable. However, it can also reduce friction on the saddle, which could be dangerous if a rider loses control of his or her horse, as the reduced friction could lead to a fall; some riders compromise by wearing half-hose to protect their thighs, leaving their calves uncovered so that they can still have a firm grip on the saddle.

Several lingerie firms have recognized the interest of the male market, producing special lines of pantyhose which are specifically designed for men. Sizing for such hose is usually just like the sizing used for women, based on the height of the wearer and the inseam, and it is also possible to order custom mannyhose for men of unusual proportions. Firms which sell pantyhose designed for men usually do not use the term “mannyhose” in their product advertisements, incidentally, and sometimes it can be difficult to find a specific reference to hose, out of concern that some men might shy away from a product which too closely resembles women's wear.

Mannyhose have uses beyond simply being worn. Pantyhose and nylon stockings are used by some hunters to bag meat, protecting it from flies and other insects; while the result may look a little strange, it's quite beneficial in terms of food safety. Stockings can also be used to protect gun barrels from large particulate material like sand, when tied around the barrel, and of course pantyhose have long been used by criminals to obscure their facial features without impeding visibility.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a BeautyAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon1005051 — On Jun 08, 2021

That was an informative article about Mannyhose. Interesting. I am a guy who discovered the benefits of wearing pantyhose purchased from the women's section. They are comfortable, provide needed leg support, and the control top provides the same function as an athletic supporter so that's a big plus too. Pantyhose are what I consider practical wear for anyone who can learn how to put them on without running them and care for them properly as they can be pricey. The downside to wearing hose is that shaving our legs is pretty much a necessity.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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