Forget plain-colored t-shirts, shirts, and suits with classic silhouettes, men’s fashion is gradually breaking down gender stereotypes with feminized designs.
Feminizing men’s fashion: a decades-old revolution that blurs boundaries
For generations, the male image has been associated with strength, power, and emotional suppression. Not only does this create a false standard of behavior, but it also places a heavy burden on men. In the wake of the wave of feminism in the 1980s that left many men feeling out of place, unable to define their role in society, Shepherd Bliss initiated the emancipation of men from the constraints of prejudice. Since then, many feminist movements have taken place with the desire to redefine the masculine.
But it seems that the struggle for the right to be weak men does not receive as much support as the struggle for independence and self-control among women. The proof is that to this day when women are allowed to wear suits and be CEOs, many men are still discriminated against if they like pink or stay at home. Author Alison Lurie once wrote in “The Language of Clothes”: “The most basic function of clothing is to distinguish between men and women”. Accordingly, the most common way, is skirts are for women, and men must wear pants.
On the cover of Vogue in December 2020, British singer Harry Styles immediately sparked debate when wearing a long glittering pleated skirt and stylish black tuxedo. Gucci fashion house. Political commentator Candace Owens shared on her personal Twitter page that Harry Styles’ outfits are a direct attack on society and called for bringing back masculine men.
It’s not the first time Harry Styles has toyed with fashion and challenged societal norms. Defending his aesthetic, he shared, “I don’t wear a dress because it makes me look gay, straight, or bisexual, but because I think it looks cool.” “If you don’t wear something just because it’s feminine, you’ve closed a whole world of great fashion,” added Harry Styles.
History has proven that wearing skirts does not make men lose their strength. Egyptian men from the beginning used to wear scarves and loincloths. In ancient Greece, boys wore skirts and off-the-shoulder robes. In the East, men from many countries such as India and Myanmar still wear long skirts and robes to this day.
Last July, actor Brad Pitt surprised fans when he wore a jacket and linen skirt to the premiere of the movie “Bullet Train”. This new fashion style is different from his usual classic, elegant style.
Most recently, actor Timothee Chalamet became the focus at the premiere of “Bones and All” when appearing in a Haider Ackermann outfit with crimson pants and a backless camisole of the same color.
In fact, more and more men in the US and Europe are looking to buy women’s clothing such as crop tops, pencil skirts, and doll shoes… On TikTok, videos with the keyword #boysinskirts attract more than 250 million views. see, #meninskirts also reached over 70 million views. These figures show that femininity in men’s fashion is receiving a lot of attention.
Just as women used to fight to be free to wear comfortable, convenient clothes for socially useful work, men are gradually wanting to erase gender boundaries with flexible fashion. Surely we can’t forget Ezra Miller’s black floaty skirt that covered her heels or the velvet dress Billy Porter wore to the Oscars, which stunned the fans for a long time. After Billy Porter, there are Harry Styles, Jaden Smith, and Timothee Chalamet…, these men are constantly sweeping the red carpet and prestigious magazines to change the face of contemporary men’s fashion.
Starting from Men’s Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018, the genderless designs of fashion houses Vivienne Westwood, and Edward Crutchley… have shown a rekindled transformation of the fashion industry. From time to time, independent brands to big names like Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Dior, and especially Gucci under Alessandro Michele, are joining the wave of blurring the boundaries between men and women.
At the recent Milan Fashion Week, we can see the versatility of men’s fashion through the pastel pink silk vest from Brioni, the Fendi jeans, and the range of lace tops from Dolce. & Gabbana… Not only on the catwalk, images of men with long hair, jewelry, and see-through shirts also appear more often in daily life.
“If you want, you can paint a world where we are free from stereotypes and nourished by its joy and beauty,” Ezra Miller said in an interview. question.
Perhaps there is still a long way to go for gender-neutral fashion to be accepted and widespread. How long this journey will take no one knows, but one thing is for sure, fashion will continue to challenge and pique curiosity by transcending social norms as it has been doing.
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