Monday, January 24, 2011

Feminization of Male Fashions

his-&-her-outfitsLast week, androgynous fashion model Andrej Pejic walked the runway in a men's fashion show wearing an outfit that included a belted fur dress, high heel pumps, stockings, jewelry, makeup, and a Veronica Lake peek-a-boo hairdo.

In case you missed it, I'll repeat it: he was modeling this decidedly "feminine" outfit in a MEN'S fashion show!

What's going on here?

Does this mean we will soon find dresses and high heel pumps on sale at our favorite men's boutique?

Or is this just another anomaly in the fashion world, which is chock full of anomalies?

During the past few years, fashion designers have been pushing the envelope in the men's fashion arena by showing skirts and dresses for males.

In the more distant past (the last half of the 20th Century), showing masculine skirts and dresses grabbed headlines, but few customers.

Things have changed and males are buying and wearing skirts and dresses today. Not a lot, but a few. You likely will not see a guy in a skirt on the streets of Podunk, but visit some place more cosmopolitan like New York City and you will occasionally see a male wearing a masculine skirted garment.

Masculine skirts and dresses are one thing, but the outfit that Andrej Pejic modeled last week was a horse of a different gender; the only thing masculine about it was the fact that a male was modeling it.

Does this very "feminine" male outfit mean that designers have pushed the envelope so hard that has broken wide open?

It depends.

The designer breaking the envelope is Jean Paul Gaultier, and he has been playing with traditional gender roles in his shows like forever. So it is no surprise that Gaultier would show the "feminine" outfit that Andrej Pejic modeled.

Was Gaultier seriously proffering total feminization for males or was he playing gender games again using a very pretty androgynous model?

Maybe a little bit of both.

Anyway, I promise to keep doing my part.


  1. Masculinity and femininity are so ingrained in us that it's hard to imagine that men wearing skirts and other feminine clothes and accessories will become mainstream in our lifetimes.
    However, anything is possible, and with female power and success in society growing day by day, and that of males in decline, it could be in a few generations that we men will be walking around in skirts and heels. We can only hope!

  2. Dear Russell,

    Thomas Berger, who also wrote LITTLE BIG MAN, authored a novel in which your hopes come true. It's called REGIMENT OF WOMEN (not to be confused with A MONSTROUS REGIMENT OF WOMEN). However, if you read the novel, the phrase "Be careful what you wish for" comes to mind.



  3. Dear Sheila

    I have read and enjoyed "The Regiment of Women". You might want to read an article in The Atlantic by Hanna Rosin called "The End of Men". Based on the statistics in that article, women have overtaken men in academic performance, the workplace and even pay, and guys are falling further and further behind. This is not fantasy, this is what is happening all over the world right now. Females are fast becoming the dominant gender and as Stana's article shows, the feminisation of male fashion is starting to creep in, albeit slowly. Berger's fantasy could be reality within a few generations.



  4. I think it is going to happen in 5 years. Look at the feminine young Japanese male street fashions.


  5. I am a male, I would love the freedom to wear skirts and dresses like woman have. Will I wear a short or long skirt, or a dress. We will never be able to until females stop putting themselves down. They look at me in a dress and laugh. They are saying men are better than females so it is funny for a male to degrade himself by wearing womens clothing, but a women whop wears mens clothing is considered a go getter because she is making herself better by imitating a male. Until females themselves stop this type of discrimination I will never be able to wear a dress in public without being ridiculed.

  6. Men wearing women wear should be accepted, when women wearing men wear is accepted.
    In fact, men wear suits women aptly and correctly!
    Women wear suits men correctly.Think Y, U get an answer.U have to keep in mind,the anatomy of male and female!- woman Admirer

  7. Men can wear women's wear, as women wear men's wear!
    Men are strong physically, as women are strong mentally!
    Men can grow long hair, pierce ears and nose to wear jewels, wear bangles too!UniSex!
    No one can stop this,All of you will see this happening!

  8. The day is not far off, seeing men wear frocks,skirts,maxis,bangles,nose studs,earrings and high heels! Why they should be deprived of all this fantastic attire?

  9. I also think that the worldly accoutrements may be overrated. I didn’t fit in well in high school, and for a long time I blamed it on my church membership. If only I weren’t a weird Mormon, if only I were one of the party animals who was drinking and sleeping around, then I wouldn’t be such a geek. But as time went by, I had to admit to myself that there were a lot of people who _were_ drinking and sleeping around, and that many of those people didn’t fit in particularly well either. So I’ve come to peace (I think) with my Mormon geekiness, mostly by admitting that if I weren’t Mormon I would still probably be a geek. But at times I wonder . . .