HOW SOCIAL CONSTRUCTS ARE CRAMPING YOUR STYLE
Fashion trends always seem to be changing, and trying to keep up with what is and isn’t in style can be a hard job – even for the biggest of influencers and fashion icons. When it comes to style and clothing, women have always been the target demographic, with a wide variety of color options, silhouettes and various other combinations available to them. However, when it comes to men’s fashion, the options are much more limited, and tend to not go farther than a pair of shoes, pants and a nice shirt.
Something becoming increasingly more common is the idea of masculinity and femininity combining to push the boundaries of men’s fashion. A prominent example is actor and singer Billy Porter and his famous tuxedo gown from the 2019 Oscar Awards.
When talking about the Christian Siriano creation in an interview with Vogue, Porter said, “My goal is to be a walking piece of political art every time I show up. To challenge expectations. What is masculinity? What does that mean? Women show up every day in pants, but the minute a man wears a dress, the seas part”. Porter has been known for blurring the lines between masculine and feminine on multiple occasions and using his platform to represent the queer community.
Another prominent figure embracing the traditionally feminine side of fashion is singer Harry Styles.
“What women wear. What men wear. For me it’s not a question of that,” the 25-year-old revealed in an interview with The Guardian,” If I see a nice shirt and get told, ‘But it’s for ladies.’ I think: ‘Okay? Doesn’t make me want to wear it less though… I think the moment you feel more comfortable with yourself, it all becomes a lot easier.” Styles continued, “I think people are asking, ‘Why not?’ a lot more. Which excites me.”
However, this isn’t just a style for the red carpet. We’ve been seeing more casual departures from what is traditionally masculine with the introduction of skirts and rompers made for men around 2016.
Taking a look back into ancient history, the Greeks and Romans wore draped garments that only slightly differed between male and female in the way a woman would cover her chest and a man might leave his exposed. During the 18th century, men would wear powdered wigs, pants made to accentuate the hips and heeled shoes to appear taller. Fashion changes to fit with whatever society deems as masculine, demonstrating the artificial gendering placed onto clothing. “Sex-specific clothes is a societal construct that was honed—as gender roles and expectations were—over time”, said the Huffington Post in an article about men’s fashion through the years.
Clothing isn’t just a necessity, it’s a form of expression and a chance to show off some creativity. Everyone has their own personal style, but it might be worth adding something new to your wardrobe, even if it may be out of your comfort zone.