More Men Need to Dress in Skirts




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More Men Need to Dress In Skirts


I've been saying this for a minute- I don't get why men have not embraced feminine clothing, other than the fact that a lot of them are too entrenched in poisonous masculinity thinking.


In the article below entitled "What Will It Take for More Men to Wear Skirts" by Fast Company the author lists a bunch of gender bending designers including Christian Siriano, Yves Saint Laurent, Rick Owens, Rei Kawakubo for Commes Les Garcons, and Alessandro Michele for Gucci.


It's interesting because over the course of history, fashion has shaped so many parts of identity, one major one being gender. At one point in time, colored garments and patterned garments were considered frivalous, and so most wives/women wore these garments, while their husbands/men wore black or blue suits.


Bottom line, it's crazy to me that it is such taboo still for a man to dress in a skirt...


You can read the article "What Will It Take for More Men to Wear Skirts" by Fast Company below.


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For 100 years, women have embraced fashion that was once only considered appropriate for men, like suits, military jackets, blue jeans, and brogues. Why hasn’t it become the norm for men to take on traditionally feminine clothing? Will it ever be socially acceptable for more men to wear skirts and dresses?


These are some of the questions that Michelle Finamore asked as she curated the Gender Bending Fashion exhibit at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition is a psychedelic experience. The space is moody and dark, with green, yellow, and red neon lights illuminating faceless mannequins, crafted by the MFA’s in-house designer Chelsea Garunay. Finamore chose to take an ahistorical approach to fashion: Outfits from different moments over the past century sit beside each other, with ’90s men’s kilts next to a women’s bicycling ensemble from 1900. Interspersed among everyday looks are clothes by designers that have played around with gender norms, including Christian Siriano, Yves Saint Laurent, Rick Owens, Rei Kawakubo for Commes Les Garcons, and Alessandro Michele for Gucci. [Photo: © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston]This allows the viewer to see the outfits out of their context–and better identify patterns. And it quickly becomes clear that there are recurring motifs. The dark suit, with its boxy shoulders and sharp angles, comes to represent masculine dress. Meanwhile, colorful patterns and flowing robes embody the feminine. But these two forms of dress are slowly colliding in our current moment. The future of fashion appears to be neither masculine, nor feminine, but an intriguing hybrid of the two.

THE ARMOR OF PATRIARCHAL POWER

The dark business suit is a relatively recent phenomenon. Finamore, who studies clothing in the 20th and 21st century, believes that our culture has transformed the suit into a symbol of patriarchal power. Before the 19th century, European aristocratic men tended to wear colorful, frilly outfits, along with wigs that gave the appearance of long hair. But then, in the early 1800s, wealthy men began wearing well-cut tailored suits in somber colors, like black, gray, and blue. This is still true today, particularly in male-dominated industries like finance, consulting, and law. The shift occurred during the period after the industrial revolution, when middle-class women were increasingly relegated to the home, while men were out in public spaces working. “There was this idea that colors and patterns were frivolous, and something that women cared about,” Finamore points out. “So these things came to be characterized as feminine.” Donna Karen, Suit dress, 1992. The Evelyn H. Lauder Fashion Collection—Gift of Leonard A. 
Lauder. [Photo: courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston]As I’ve written in the past, women have tried to access patriarchal power by wearing the suit, particularly in workplaces where women are in the minority. Startups like Argent and Dai specialize in creating suits for women. Even Savile Row, which emerged in the 19th century as the go-to place for wealthy British men to have suits made, is now reinventing itself to cater to women. While women have gladly taken on the iconic male garment of our time, men, for their part, have not been as adventurous. In fact, men seem to be clinging onto the suit–and offshoots of it, like the blazer and the chino–as their standard form of dress. Not only are these clothes carefully designed to facilitate movement, they also project power and authority toward others. “The business suit has become so entrenched in Western culture and now in non-Western cultures, too,” says Finamore. “Men are loathe to give that up.”


Read More >

[Photo: Michael Blanchard/courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston]

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