Monday, November 07, 2011

Is Feminine Fashion Frivolous? Why Can't Manly Men Wear Skirts?

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I've watched plenty of fashion seasons come and go that feature "borrow-from-the-boys" trends in women's wear - everything from small, tailored details to full on gender-bending. And while I'm a complete fan of gender-bending, lately I've been wondering why it doesn't go the other way around. Why isn't menswear cited as inspired by women's wear?

"Girls can wear jeans
And cut their hair short
Wear shirts and boots
'Cause it's OK to be a boy
But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading
'Cause you think that being
a girl is degrading..."
~ What It Feels Like for a Girl, Madonna

When guys have "feminine details" on their clothing, the overwhelming mainstream response is "gay" - as in these guys are weak, submissive, feminine and, overall, bad. But when women wear ties, blazers and men's button-up shirts, they are aggressive, dominant and sexy. It feels like an imbalance in gender power. If a girl wants to look like a guy, it's only natural but if a guy wants to look like a girl, there's something wrong with him.

Dressing in "girly" clothing, a guy can be perceived as silly, not to be taken seriously, like in the cases of Halloween costumes and drag queens. Years go, women, however, had to don power suits and wear loafers to be taken seriously in the business world (which is often referred to as a Boy's Club). Does that mean then that clothing typically reserved for the female gender is frivolous?

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A few years ago, Hot Topic started carrying Tripp's "One-Legged Pants". Anyone could see that it was a maxi skirt - with chains - for men. But why not call it a skirt?

Mainly because their target market for these "pants" are men and men would never wear a skirt. I teased my boyfriend in high school about his one-legged pants - not because he was wearing a skirt but because he would not admit to it. He told me skirts weren't manly.

Is it really so wrong for a man to be wearing a "skirt" while women walk around everyday in pants? Makes you wonder if there is something dirty about femininity that must be kept away from men.

1 comment:

Style Me B.A.D said...

So funny you posted this because I went to see kanye west and jay z and I posted about how kanye def rocked a leather skirt! I honestly don't know how I feel about men wearing skirts. It's like it doesn't bother me, but I get why most men wouldn't wear it. the double standard is super whack tho!