Chicago-based Jeffrey Scott talks about leaving the corporate world to pursue his passion
11 January 2018
Gaystar New Business
Among aficionados of men’s tights, there’s one designer to name-drop these days: Jeffrey Scott.
Known simply as the ‘TightsGuy’ online, Scott is building a brand as a bespoke designer of stretchy tights, leggings and singlets for men. Designer Jeffrey Scott.
Scott, 43, was born and raised in Bartlett, Illinois, in the suburbs of Chicago. He and his fiancé are still based there. The two men have known each other almost their whole lives (‘we were best friends in 2nd Grade!’). His love of tights goes back to his youth.
‘I was a fan of spandex shorts in the early 80’s when they were in fashion,’ Scott tells GSN.
‘As a young kid I loved how the stretched fabric felt on my legs. Spandex has been a part of my life since. As I grew through puberty I learned to enjoy it as a fetish. In my 30s I began sewing my own for personal use, in and out of the bedroom.’
Scott went into the corporate world… but his love of tights never went away. Eventually, he felt moved to launch his own fashion line.
‘I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems. I worked as a Project Manager for corporate software implementations for more than 10 years before starting Jeffrey Scott LLC.’
‘Even my grandmother has a favorite pair, but is jealous I only make tights for men’
He started selling online in 2014. In 2016, he left the corporate world to dedicate himself full-time to his business. I can’t help but wonder: how did family and friends react to his change of career?
‘I am very close with family. Most of my best friends are also cousins of mine. They have known that I liked spandex since the 80s.
‘When I began wearing tights regularly for family functions, they didn’t think twice of it. My father was the one that suggested I start a business to see where it took me. My business is regular conversation at family parties and holidays. It is the same to them as if I manufactured shoes.
‘Our family culture is to use our imagination, love each other and celebrate everything that makes us individuals. Even my grandmother has a favorite pair, but is jealous I only make tights for men. Many of them follow me on social media. They are proud to see my business grow. I couldn’t be luckier.’
Scott says that making tights specifically for men is what sets his clothing apart from much of what else is on the market.
‘I designed my tights to fit men. After many, many years of studying leggings brands I realized the men’s tights were just re-sized, re-colored women’s patterns.
‘They are either square patterns that are quick to manufacture, or are re-skinned women’s tights with high waists, flat fronts, short legs, and saggy crotches.
‘I designed my tights to have a drawstring, low-rise front, high-rise back, waistband elastic, and room for your bulge to breathe.
‘One of the main reasons to wear tights is to control moisture to eliminate chafing between your legs. Cyclists have known this for decades. If the fabric isn’t touching you where you sweat, then it will not wick away moisture. Moisture helps breed bacteria.
He admits that he also finds tights to be a turn-on.
‘I certainly enjoy them in the bedroom, and they make me feel good. There isn’t any reason men can’t enjoy them out of the bedroom too!’
As his name has grown, so have the requests for custom-made items.
‘I get asked all the time,’ he says. ‘While I can’t accommodate because of my current production schedule, I use the queries as a guide to keep my brand changing with the customer’s needs. That is where the Mesh and the singlets ideas came from.’
Scott says the majority of his customers wear his tights to the gym and nightclubbing. Others wear them in everyday life.
‘I am surprised how many guys just want to be comfortable at home and while out on errands. Guys in their 30s and 40s have been taught to be more conservative when out in public. They tend to carry demons on their shoulders telling them they can’t wear leggings in public. Our attitudes and fashion are changing. Men are losing their hang-ups around wearing tights and leggings.
However, as his growing business success testifies, men’s tights are growing in popularity.
‘The kids today don’t have the same demons to conquer as my generation does. That makes it very promising for the fashion movement. As my guys become more visible the trend is catching on.
‘We all know the gay clubs will continue to generate fetish sales for years to come. My main goal is to represent it as an acceptable fashion so men can be as comfortable as women have been for decades. We deserve it too!’jeffrey-scott.net
I love Jeffrey's stuff! Everyone I've talked to who has some of his tights are very happy with them. The designs are stellar. I really hope that guys will look at leggings as something men can wear without question. Men have amazing glutes and quads and these should be celebrated, not hidden. It looks like gay men are leading the charge on this fashion shift (as always); more and more companies are coming on-board with the trend, targeting male styling specifically. I have a few pairs of leggings from another company (among many, many others over the years!) with male support pouch in them and I couldn't be happier! :)