Tight spot: Nathan Waring sports a pair of ''meggings''. Photo: Steven Siewert
Luke Sales likes his trousers bright and tight. "I often wear leggings because I don't like wearing pants," Sales says.
The co-designer of fashion label Romance Was Born is known for wearing boldly printed leggings, which he teams with shorts, worn over them, to preserve his modesty.
"It's not for me to go the whole hog and it's definitely not a look for everyone," Sales says.
But leggings for men are definitely on the rise.
Justin Bieber wears them, Russell Brand performs in them and international labels ranging from Givenchy - whose leggings cost up to $US595 ($680) - to Asos and Uniqlo are now manufacturing dedicated "meggings" as what began as a fad moves closer to the mainstream.
"This time last year we had no jersey bottoms for men, today we have over 40 styles and we will have 150 jersey styles next year," said Asos's head of design, John Mooney.
"We have everything from true meggings and skinny jogging bottoms to tailored shorts with built-in meggings."
Americans Adam Freck and Andrew Volk went one step further when they launched an entire company devoted to meggings, named Meggings Man, in December, and in Australia, Jac + Jack, Bassike and Zanerobe are among the brands that now manufacture drop-crotch-style meggings for men.
"There is a really strong sportswear influence taking place in menswear," said Deborah Foreman, David Jones's general manager, menswear and childrenswear. "A few years ago men were quite staid but now they are really experimenting and we are seeing a lot more drop-crotch and softer-style trousers."
Asos sells meggings from $20.27, for its own brand, to $91.23 for the Bjorn Borg brand.
Businessman Paul Connor sees meggings as the evolution of black skinny jeans.
"The meggings I wear now have that skinny-jean look but because they are stretchy they have a brilliant comfort factor," Connor said.
"I buy mine from Uniqlo and I would wear them twice a week."
Men were wearing leggings long before women turned them into a fashion trend in the '80s. Shakespeare practically lived in them, although they were called stockings then, and Henry VIII wore silk knitted versions.
Mooney believes the beauty of the megging is its versatility.
"There is so much variety that the appeal is broad," he said. "Everything from a true megging for a late teen or early 20s fashionista through to more detailed styles you can dress up with shirts and more."
But Foreman cautions the look is not for everyone. ''You have to have a bit of confidence about you and you have to know how to put it together," she said.