StyleThe Style Guy’s Take on Men in Tights
This month, GQ style guru Mark Anthony Green tackles the optics of tights, suits on a plane, and the difference between channeling style and stealing it
The tech tights that GQ has featured in the magazine—can I wear them without shorts? I think they're comfortable, but will they look too much like leggings?
I like to think I'm open-minded as far as Style Guys go. Red suede pants? Sure. Fur cardigan? Make Namath proud! Rarely is it impossible to pull something off. But this—this pressing issue at hand—is extremely tricky. Here's the complicated, nuanced reason why men can't wear tights by themselves: We have penises. And with spandex, everyone can vividly see the outline of your penis. You might be thinking, “So what? Parisians and rock stars have been showing bulges for centuries.” Fair. But there's a difference between bulges and delineation. A bulge is a vague affirmation that there's something at rest there. Congrats! A delineation—especially in those neon and “breathable” tights that are popular now—shows everything shy of moles and veins. If you're uncomfortable reading this, imagine how uncomfortable it is to see it. Even in a pair of slim sweats, I worry about showing too much of the little Style Guy. Tights are an entirely different—and not to be attempted—beast.
I take pride in wearing a suit—even on business flights. But it's not exactly comfy. Can you recommend a good plane suit?
I don't really understand this for two reasons. For starters, you yourself admitted it's uncomfortable. Wait until you get stuck in a middle seat on a cross-country flight in a three-piece suit. No amount of fun-size proseccos can save you, my man. Second, even if it's a nice suit, you look like a traveling salesman begrudgingly en route to the Nashua branch. I have a travel uniform. Dark jeans, solid T-shirt, and a black cashmere hoodie I got from Ralph Lauren a few years ago. The plush hood doubles as a pillow, and the cashmere keeps me from looking too slouchy.
Can you settle an argument for me? Sometimes when I see a picture of Ryan Gosling or Kanye on GQ's site, I'll copy his outfit head to toe. My friend thinks that's lame, but isn't that why you guys feature them?
There's an ancient Milanese proverb that goes, “Jacketh one's swagger, never thy rig.” Or something like that. Point being: We want you to take note of how these stylish superhumans put clothes together. For example, Kanye's oversize parka or Gosling's impeccably tailored green suit. But don't buy the exact same parka and suit. Your personal style is just that—your personal style. Copy the fit. Copy the color scheme. Copy the vibe. But don't outright copy anyone. Even Gosling.
Style Hack: Mo' MoMA in Your Closet
Stylish—and broke—art lovers know this trick best: Buy collaborations. Artist-and-designer collabs are more accepted by the art world nowadays. Which gives top-shelf artists a green light to get into the game. And it's cheap. Relatively. Take this bomber jacket KAWS did with Mira Mikati. For a jacket, it's a bit pricey at $1,985. But as a limited piece of art by KAWS, which it is (only 350 made), it's not half bad. Plus, you can't wear a painting on a first date.