After learning about meggings, the male leggings that are the hot new trend in menswear, Gothamist publisher and stunt journalist Jake Dobkin immediately ordered a pair from Amazon. This is his story.
Tuesday, January 7th, 12:15 p.m.: After waiting almost three weeks for a shipment from Eastern Europe, my meggings have finally arrived. Words cannot describe my feeling of excitement and trepidation as I rip open the envelope. It took many minutes of searching to find the right meggings online— most men's leggings turn out to be athletic gear, like what runners wear— but I wanted "fashion meggings", which were much harder to locate.
First impression is that they seem small, especially around the waist, but the fabric is soft. I was glad I wore my new American Apparel briefs, because there seems like there will be some VPL. I run to the bathroom to change. I have a slight feeling of panic as my monstrous, size 11.5 feet don't seem to fit through the openings, but then, with a pop, I get them through. Pulling up is no problem, the material stretches. But the waist does feel a little tight and low-rise— bending over might be an issue. There's a slight ripping sound as I get them around my hip-bones. As I prepare to exit the stall I'm overcome by a feeling of intimidation, and then an immediate rush of shame that I'm letting the patriarchy dictate my fashion choices. I compromise and pull my jeans over the meggings and run back to the office, where I do the full reveal.
12:20 p.m.: The staff seems impressed by my bravery. Fashion-wise, I feel contained and powerful. Picking shoes is a challenge, but I go for a pair of Keds I found under the office couch— I bought them over the summer when I disastrously tried the "no-sock" summer look. They seem to go well. For a top, I grab a freebie McRib t-shirt for a CobraSnake style look, but the shirt is too small, and I feel like I'm doing it wrong.
12:25 p.m.: Legs are now feeling slightly warm—these meggings are surprisingly insulating.
12:28 p.m.: It's much easier to cross your legs in meggings than in jeans. I can see why women and Scotsmen don't like wearing pants.
12:32 p.m.: IM Tien to ask if he wants to get a sandwich. He says "i don't know if i want to be seen with you". As I prepare to leave, I realize these meggings have no pockets for wallet or place for a press pass. Thinking about European Carry-alls.
12:40 p.m.: In the elevator at our office building in DUMBO. Five hipsters and a dog. None of them so much as blinks, although on the way outside I think I catch one of them smirking. Meggings still feel comfortably warm, even outside at 45 degrees. This could definitely be a year-round trend.
12:50 p.m.: Turns out you can walk through the middle of a busy neighborhood in NYC in your underwear and no one will notice. Tien thought he caught a few passersby on Front Street giggling, but I didn't hear anything. At the Taco Truck the guys do start laughing, but only after we stood there for a couple of minutes. As we left the guy at the counter thanked us for brightening his day. I think there's a lesson here about not worrying about what other people think of you, because it turns out they're not really thinking about you at all. I'm meditating about this on the way back to the office when a few delivery guys start pointing and laughing, but I think it's still a valid point.
1 p.m.: It turns out meggings are very comfortable to eat a lot of tacos in—they really don't feel tight around the waist or anything.
2 p.m.: Gothamist Executive Editor Jen Chung walks in from a meeting, takes one look at the meggings and bursts out laughing. I realize I am far past my initial meggings embarrassment. I now understand the problem is not mine—it's all the anti-meggings bigots out there who can't handle this dose of intense masculinity.
2:15 p.m.: Forgot I had scheduled a business meeting with a fellow DUMBO publisher—decided to see how meggings work as business attire. He takes it well ("whatever floats your boat, dude")—at least in Brooklyn, I think you can get away with this. Thinking about wearing them to a Business School panel I'm on tonight in the city.
2:55 p.m.: Decide that Manhattan might not be ready for the full-meggings experience yet, so I throw on some jeans— but roll up the bottoms enough to expose a foot or so of megging action. I might wear these all the time now.
4 p.m.: Realize these meggings are starting to overheat my junk—maybe 4 hours is all the meggings lifestyle I'm man enough to handle right now. As I peel them off in the server closet on our floor, I wonder why leggings are so accepted for women, but not for men. It occurs to me that it's something about the male gaze and sexual power relations in America, but then realize I didn't take enough classes in gender studies at college to really say for sure.
Final Verdict: comfortable, but probably too transgressive for most guys. Also make you look a little fat even if you're totally not.