Friday, November 11, 2011

Everyone Loves a Boy in a Dress

Okay, so I'm pretty addicted to watching traffic sources on this blog. Maybe not as addicted as I am to shoe shopping, but close, ha! It's just really interesting to me to see how people find their way here. This post is inspired by the most common search phrase that brings traffic to the blog ...

Boys in dresses. Specifically, this boy in a dress. As of this writing, I own seven dresses. It's probably silly, but that's a bit exciting for me since it means I could wear a dress a day for a week. Anyways, for this post, I'm going to showcase my three favorite dresses, and talk a little bit about them.

Before we dive in, I'd like to share some of my thoughts and feelings about dresses. For as long as I can remember, I've always been fascinated by them. There's just something so aesthetically pleasing to me about the shape and movement of a dress. My favorite thing about a dress, though, is the feeling of wearing one. 

For a large part of my life I was uncomfortable with my body, and as a result of this I nearly always wore pants. The feeling of a pair of pants digging into my waist uncomfortably (to say nothing of being uncomfortable elsewhere) was a feeling that I long thought I would have to experience for the rest of my life. It eventually irritated me so that I just couldn't take it anymore. Skirts alleviate most of those problems, however there is still that feeling of constantly having something digging in around my waist. Even though it often isn't as bad as a pair of pants might be, it's still a bit of an annoyance to me. 

Thus, enter the dress. In short, dresses offer reprieve from all of those issues, and they feel incredibly freeing. Combined with my love for their look, well, it's really a no brainer for me then. I'm a man, and I love dresses!

So, without further adieu, let's have a look at my top three favorite dresses!

Dress #3: Viking Purple Knit Dress

 


I loved this dress from the moment I saw it at Target. However, I initially put off buying it because I still wasn't sure about dresses for my body. I'm so glad that I did eventually buy it, as it's quickly become one of my favorites. The color of this dress is amazing, it's really the perfect purple! My favorite thing about this dress, however, is the versatility I feel it has. While I think it looks okay on its own, this dress really shines when I pair it with a jacket or other top, as the purple is strong enough to still shine through for a great pop of color.

Dress #2: Grey Shirtdress


This is the second dress I ever purchased. I think that shirtdresses are an easy choice for a guy, as it can often look pretty similar to wearing a button up shirt with a skirt or kilt, a style many skirt wearing men choose. I really like the casual feeling of this dress. I chose this dress as my second favorite because I feel it still presents a largely masculine look. This isn't really important to me, as I tend to not worry much about labels, but that aspect of this dress means that I could see this look being more easily adopted by men than some other dresses. Plus, I think I look pretty good in this dress.

Finally, that brings us to my number one favorite dress, which should be no surprise to my fans (do I have fans? Supporters maybe?)

Dress #1: Moto Dress




This dress was easily my number one choice. In addition to being my first dress, it's also my most featured dress on Flickr. This dress perfectly captures my style, and I feel that it really speaks about who I am. It's got great attitude and edge, and just feels rockin'! This dress is so comfortable, and I love the way that it moves. Truth is, I could probably go on and on about this dress. 

There is one reason above all, however, why I love this dress so. This is the dress that gave me my confidence. You see, this dress was the first dress or skirt I wore that was above knee, and I was very self conscious about that. I worried that it would look silly, that maybe it was too much leg for a guy to show like that. Then I realized, I may be a man but I can still have damn sexy legs, so why shouldn't I show them?! Although it took me a while to feel confident in this dress, once that happened it was like the floodgates were opened. This dress made me realize that it's okay for me to feel attractive, in fact that's what confidence in fashion is all about! 

This dress has been a bit of a looking glass, through which I've managed to accept and love my body for everything that it is, and that's why the moto dress is my favorite dress.

I hope you've enjoyed reading this post as much as I've enjoyed writing it. 

As always, you can check out my most recent outfit photos on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mspookshow/

Please feel free to comment below, as I'd really like to see more activity on the blog in that regard. It doesn't matter if you love it or hate it, I want to know your thoughts! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Are You Wearing Pantyhose?

As a makeup artist, October is always a busy month for me, and this one has been no exception. One thing that has made this October different, however, is freestyle fashion.

I decided to embrace freestyle fashion and evolve my style in March. The decision came on the heels of deciding to try to get more into shape and get my weight under control, something I have struggled with all of my life. I lost a good amount of weight over the year, and with that has come an increased feeling of confidence in myself, so it seemed like the perfect time to venture into a new style. Over the months I've gotten very accustomed to wearing skirts and dresses as everyday attire.

My year round work is home-based, however in October I take up a seasonal position doing makeup for a local haunt. As such, I've had to spent the majority of this month in shorts & capris (with one dreadful night in jeans - I simply don't find them comfortable at all anymore!). This led me to a bit of a shocking revelation, I no longer feel right wearing shorts! I found myself longing for my days off if only to be allowed the freedom of wearing a skirt, or even better, a dress. 

While I did not wear skirts or dresses to work, I did wear sheer tights most days along with a comfortable pair of mary janes. These items have become so mundane and commonplace to me now that I underestimated the reaction I would receive wearing them openly around so many people. So I thought it might be interesting to share some of the reactions & comments I received over the month.

  • Overall, people that made comments (good & bad) seemed to focus more on the tights than the shoes. I feel I should mention that most of the time I wore either navy or black sheer tights (as our dress code was to wear all black / dark colors), so the tights were probably a bigger shock to the eye than the shoes. 
  • The most common question was: "Are you wearing stockings / nylons / pantyhose?" I always find this question odd because as I said above I was usually wearing black, which is in no way stealth. However, that question was usually just a lead in to the second most common question: "Why are you wearing stockings / nylons / pantyhose?" My response of choice: "Why not?" This usually ended the conversation, even though that was never my intention. Perhaps I should have responded by saying that I just find them comfortable and like the way they look, but truth be told I was usually caught a bit off guard with the question just because it's become such a non-issue to me.
  • Several girls commented that they thought it would be difficult for a man to use the restroom in pantyhose. Personally, I thought it a bit odd that their minds went there, but whatever. In case you are wondering, it isn't.
  • When the weather was a bit warmer, quite a few girls would point at my legs and ask, "Aren't those hot?" I don't usually have issues with sheer tights in the heat (except on the most dreadful summer days here in Florida), but I also wear higher quality, 10-15 denier sheer to waist tights rather than run of the mill drugstore control tops.
  • I received a few compliments from girls (which was great!), but I was shocked by the amount of positive feedback I heard from guys. I'm not talking about a "That's hot!" kind of way (as that would make me a bit uncomfortable, honestly), but rather in a "You're wearing tights? Cool!" way. 
  • It wasn't all good, however, as there were a few people who either scowled at me, made a weird face at me, or outright burst into laughter at me. This seemed to usually be over the mary janes. I'm pretty thick-skinned but I'd be lying if I said it didn't bother me a little. Oh well. 
  • A co-worker of mine informed me that some of the women were talking negatively about my tights & shoes behind my back, and have avoided my makeup chair because of it. People are entitled to their opinions (it falls under my "haters gonna hate" category), but I have to admit that I do find it a little disappointing. Despite the freestyle fashion, I really am pretty much just your average guy, albeit your average nerd guy. It disappoints me that some people can't see past their own preconceived prejudices. 
  • Thus far, I've had two women (besides my wife) tell me that my tights are sexy. I love to be complimented, so that was great.
  • The most interesting comment from a girl that I got: "Yay, I'm glad you are wearing tights today! It's really weird when you don't. I like it." I thought this comment was interesting because I've actually reached a point now where I've worn them so often that I do feel weird when I don't. The fact that she found a man in tights to be normal enough for it to be weird when he wasn't wearing tights was pretty awesome too. 
Overall, October has been an interesting month for me with regards to freestyle fashion. Spending a whole month basically trapped in shorts & pants has definitely made me appreciate the feeling of wearing skirts and dresses even more. Being around so many people in the social environment of work was also interesting as a bit of a social experiment in freestyle fashion as well. I think the most important thing to take away from all of it, though, is that I was able to go out and be myself without any real issues. At the end of the day, it's really all about confidence, and if what they say is true and the clothes do make the man, then I say that real men wear pantyhose!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Spookshow Style: Pleat Tier Skirt Remix


This outfit is a bit of a wardrobe remix, with a new jacket thrown in.



Jacket: Sheer stripe moto jacket from Ashely Stewart
Top: Fringe top by Anna Scholz
Skirt: Pleat tier skirt from Roaman's
Tights: Charnos opaque 60 denier thick tights in petrol
Shoes: Meg ankle boot by Gwyneth Shoes

I really wanted to get a better shot of this skirt, as it's one of my favorites. When I decided to fully commit to freestyle fashion, this was one of the first skirts I bought. I remember that it really caught my eye, and I was really eager to try it on. This skirt was a real defining moment for my style, as I just felt this surge run through me from the first moment I put it on. There was definitely a little extra swagger in my step, and for one of the first time's in my life I felt hot. This skirt helped me realize that I need to remember my roots (I've always loved dark, gothic, edgy clothing) when shopping, as previously I was just buying any ole black skirt in my size range. It helped me focus on the fact that fashion should represent my persona, my personal style.



I feel the jacket and boots also have a certain edge to them, so I thought they would be fun to pair with the 
skirt in this look. 

I received a lot of compliments on these boots in a previous outfit, so I wanted to try to get a better shot of them. I really love them.


I wanted to get a closer detail shot of the skirt with this picture. I think this shot just turned out too cool, haha. It really captures the attitude of this outfit. 

You can view this outfit in my Flickr photostream here:



A Small Expansion

I've made a few tweaks to the blog layout and added some new gadgets. There is now a gadget displaying recent photos from my Flickr photostream. I love reading comments on my looks on Flickr, so please visit my photostream and let me know what you think.

You may also notice there is a gadget to display twitter updates. That's right, HBD is now on Twitter! My hope is that the twitter updates will help fill some space between blog posts as well as help promote the blog itself. When it comes to writing I'm often much less than brief, so the character limit on Twitter is a bit troubling, but maybe I'll get used to using it for brief thoughts and updates.

On that subject, I have some concerns about the content on this blog. To date, the posts have been rather large walls of text concerning the "heavier" side of men's freestyle fashion. Ideally, I'd like to get into the habit of also talking about the lighter side, posting smaller and more personal updates about my experiences and thoughts. I think I've done a good job thus far of laying an introductory groundwork on my feelings and opinions about men's freestyle fashion, so hopefully moving forward I can also include some more casual posts.

I'd love to hear any thoughts or suggestions about what content you would like to see on this blog, as well as thoughts on how to best present it (ie. do I need to include more pictures? lol). Feel free to email me at hisblackdress@gmail.com, or comment on this post with your thoughts.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Boys in Dresses: Ignoring Labels

In the previous Boys in Dresses post (which you can check out here) I outlined some of the different outlooks when it comes to men wearing clothing from the women's department. I talked about the spectrum, as I see it, of "fashion freestylers" that ranges from men in kilts all the way to androgynous boys. Within the online community, there seems to be a lot of separation and even animosity between these different outlooks, which I find unfortunate. A lot of the online forums for men in skirts tend towards the kilt side of the spectrum, often not wanting much to do with men who step too far out of a traditional masculine look.

Another topic I spoke about in the previous Boys in Dresses post was the "One item rule", that a man should only wear one item of women's clothing at any given time. I often see people say things like, "Let's get people to accept us wearing skirts first, then we can incorporate something else." I think the general idea is that a man wearing a skirt, tights, and heels openly as a man presents a very jarring shock to people's preconceived notions on fashion, whereas a man who has just replaced his dockers with a skirt is a lot less jarring, and thus may be more easily accepted. I reject this way of thinking based on one reason: I'm not waiting around for anyone's approval on how I want to dress.

Social perception defines what is viewed as masculine or feminine, and men are expected to stay within the masculine box. However, I think it is silly, and even outdated, to cling to such preconceived notions. At the end of the day, a dress is just a piece of fabric, cut and sewn into a particular shape. I just don't understand the need to put a gender label on that piece of fabric, to say that only girls can wear it. I'm going to beat a dead horse a bit here, but I have to bring up the elephant in the room: pants. It wasn't that long ago that people got in an uproar about women wearing pants. See, previously fabric made into pants had that pesky "for boys only" label on it, until women challenged that and took to wearing them.

As I said above, I think it's silly to put all these restrictions and expectations on people based on gender. With my fashion, I'm less concerned about masculine and feminine, and more concerned with body shape, and how something looks. For example, I've received a lot of compliments on my legs. It just seems natural to me, then, to want to show them off. If my legs look great in a pair of sheer tights and high heels, why shouldn't I wear them? If my body looks good in a dress, why shouldn't I wear it? Because boys shouldn't wear that? Well, why not, and says who?

I just don't agree that men & women should only look a certain way, that fashion choices have already been made for me based on what's between my legs. Don't get me wrong though, I am a man and I'm happy about that, I just happen to be a man wearing a dress. It's just fabric, garments chosen because I like the way they look and feel.  The fabric on my body doesn't change the person I am nor does it dictate my sexual preferences. I ignore the gender labels on clothing, because I simply cannot imagine living my life as anything other than myself, unashamedly so.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Spookshow Style: Grommet Skirt

Spookshow Style posts will be all about my outfits. I thought it might be fun to talk a bit about the style choices I make and the thought behind them.


Top: Fringe Top by Anna Scholz
Skirt: Hand made by Mrs. Spookshow
Tights: Levante eXtra in Londra
Shoes: Wedge Bootie by Madden Girl


This outfit captures the essence of my personal style perfectly. It has just the right amount of edginess and attitude for me. I've always loved gothic fashion, although I don't take that quite as far as I used to. I've tried to keep that influence, however, and I feel that attitude still comes through in this outfit.

This look just sort of came together in a perfect maelstrom, but it all started with the skirt. 



When I saw the pattern for this skirt I was immediately inspired. I really liked the blue swirl pattern of this fabric, and thought it would go perfect with the grommet trim design. The lovely Mrs. Spookshow put all of these elements together for me and created this skirt.

When I first tried this skirt on, I quickly realized that none of the tops I currently owned would really work with it. Up to this point, all of my tops were still from the men's department, largely either black t-shirts or black button downs. Enter the fringe top.


Around the same time as I found the pattern for the skirt, a new fashion catalog arrived in the mail from Simply Be. This is where that maelstrom effect that I mentioned earlier started. We had never heard of this store before, but immediately loved most of the items in their catalog. We both headed straight for the sale section of their website, which is where I found this top. I was immediately drawn to both the cut and the fringe. I knew the fringe would look great with the blue skirt fabric. Earlier in the year I had taken to modifying my plain t-shirts with scissors, altering the neck and often the sleeves. I really like the edginess it can add to a boring old shirt design, although my wife isn't a big fan of the look. I've been shocked at how much of a temperature difference it can make in the heat, however. Anyways, the cold shoulder design of this top reminded me of that, and it's a style that I've loved since.

I hadn't dabbled in tops from the women's department mostly because of concerns over fit, particularly in the bust region. It can be very difficult as a man to tread here, as a lot of women's tops are designed to emphasize or enhance a shape that I do not possess. I've also found that sleeve size can be a problem, but it wasn't with this top. Off the rack this top was quite a bit too baggy in the bust area on me (not too shocking), but that was easily fixed by my wife by just shortening the shoulder straps a bit. Just like that, it fit pretty great. I actually really love the elastic waist bit at the bottom of this top, as I actually feel it helps to hide my primary problem area, my tummy, and makes me look a bit more slim than I actually am. Another thing I've come to love about this top (and most tops from the women's department as well) is the fabric it's made from. With men's tops, I've pretty much just been wearing cotton my entire life. This material is much softer and has more stretch, which actually feels really nice. Just a small perk of crossing the aisle, I guess.

 Last up are the tights and shoes. 


Whenever people comment on or ask about my style in public, it's usually regarding the tights. In fact, I think I should make a separate post just about tights, so look for that in the future. I went with black sheer tights here, and I think they work well with the outfit. I actually get quite a few compliments on my legs (thanks!), and honestly I think the tights are a large part of that.

These shoes .... oh, these shoes. Okay, so, I should admit that I have a bit of a shoe addiction, but that's also probably a whole separate post in itself. A quick look at my shoe collection will illuminate one fact: I love ankle boots! Another thing I love? Wedge heels! I had been looking for a pair of wedge ankle booties for a long time. I've found it can be a bit difficult to find stylish shoes in my size (13 or 12w), so when I saw these I knew I had to snatch them up quickly. This was, of course, right around the same time as the rest of this outfit was coming together. These shoes are a lot of fun, and I think they help enhance the attitude of this outfit. 

That's about all I think I can say on this outfit, as this post has already run a bit longer than I anticipated. My hope is that these Spookshow Style posts will help shed some light on why I wear the things I do. I put a lot of effort into all of my looks to try to look the best I can. 

If you'd like to see more of my styles and comment on them, please visit my Flickr photostream here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mspookshow/

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Boys in Dresses: A Primer

The title of this is a bit misleading, as I'm mostly going to talk about guys in skirts. However, I like the sound of "Boys in Dresses" better, so go with it.

One of the interesting things about being a guy in a skirt is that there are nearly as many opinions about how to wear skirts as there are men wearing them. For classification purposes, I like to think of it as a spectrum. On one end of the spectrum we have the "Bravehearts", men who only wear kilts. On the complete opposite end of that spectrum, we have the androgynous boys, who prefer to blur the lines between gender. These two ends are very different, and to be honest I often see them clash in the internet community. Let's break it down, shall we?

So we will start with the aforementioned Bravehearts, men that tend to stick exclusively with the kilt and its various accessories. I'm aware that the kilt is a traditionally masculine garment, so if anything this is right at the edge of the spectrum, but only because I oft see people call a kilt a skirt regardless of historical or cultural connotations. Personally, I do view kilts as a type of skirt, albiet an accepted men's skirt. My wife tells me that a kilt is only a kilt if you don't wear anything under it, otherwise it's a skirt. As a result of this, I apparently don't own any kilts. Anyhow, the Bravehearts keep it strictly masculine, and don't delve into any women's fashions.

Next on the spectrum are men who do venture a bit further down the skirted path, and begin to incorporate skirts designed and marketed to women. To be fair, this group takes up a large part of the spectrum. Closest to the Bravehearts are the men who will wear skirts from the women's department, but only if they are "masculine" enough. From what I've seen, this mostly seems to involve denim skirts or muted colors in a-line cuts. These guys usually keep the rest of their wardrobe strictly masculine. There are some varying philosophies on this, and I'd like to take a moment to digress a bit and discuss them now.

From what I've gathered from reading posts from men who do this, the guiding philosophy behind this style of dress seems to be baby steps, for lack of a better term. The idea is that the social stigma against men in skirts will only change over time by careful and deliberate small changes. Once a man in only a skirt is accepted, then we can work on other garments or more feminine styles, but for now we need to keep a low profile and not push the envelope too far. I don't agree with this view at all, and I'll explain why later in this post.

There is also a rule that I see floating about called the "One Item Rule." Essentially, the idea is that you only incorporate one item of feminine clothing into your wardrobe at a time. The idea here is quite similar to the one above, to not impose too much "deviancy" (for lack of a better word) upon the viewer at once. So if you are going to wear tights, you had better wear some men's shorts and tennis shoes with them! Sorry, but my thoughts on this? Boring!

Back on topic, sliding a bit further down the spectrum you start to see men incorporate more than one garment at a time into their wardrobe. He might wear a skirt with tights, but still keep the rest of the outfit very masculine. I've seen this look work great, though I think it can be a bit difficult to find that perfect balance. While it isn't really my style, I do respect the few men I've seen pull this off.

As we approach androgyny we must first come into the area I fall into, men who ignore the gender label on clothing. This man will wear skirts, dresses, tights, heels, whatever, but will still keep his appearance male. He believes that clothing has no inherit gender, and that it's silly to put such restrictions on fabric. Speaking personally, to me it's about men having a full range of expression and experiences.

Lastly, we come into the androgynous look. This boy blurs the line between male and female. I often see supporters of androgynous fashion write about a world where gender doesn't really matter, where someone isn't strictly viewed as a boy or girl so much as just a person. In that world, gender doesn't put any limits or expectations on you. While I don't go for an andro look personally, that's something I can really get behind anyways.

I said earlier that I would post my thoughts on why I push as far as I do in this post, but I feel it's already gotten too long. If you've made it this far, thank you. My opinions on why I do what I do will have to be another post, so stay tuned for that!

So that's a broad view of the spectrum as I see it. If you feel I've missed something, I apologize and please feel free to tell me about it in the comments section. In any case I would love to read your thoughts on this topic. Where are you in this spectrum, or where (if at all) do you feel it's gone too far for you?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thoughts on Freestyle Fashion II

One of the most common statements that I hear in support of men's freestyle fashion is that women can and do cross the gender divide in fashion quite freely, and men should be allowed to do the same. While freestyle fashion isn't an issue of gender equality for me (more on that later), I do feel this is a valid point. A girl in a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers could just be a bit of a tomboy, although I don't think most people would even bother to think that in this day and age because it is so common. Meanwhile, a guy in a dress, tights, and heels is clearly either mad or perverted. While I feel this is a great disservice to men, it's probably an even greater disservice to women, and here's why.

While women have made great strides in earning equal rights in life, there is still an underlying prejudice. Without delving too deeply into feminist theory, the reason I see for the aforementioned social disparity is that masculinity is still viewed as being more powerful than femininity. It is socially accepted, and even encouraged, for the weaker to mimic the strong. A business woman in a pantsuit is going places, she's confident and able. When a man puts on a skirt, however, he's opened up to all manner of name calling and assumptions about his sexual preference.

It's so strange to me how simple garments have come to represent such notions, but I see examples of it all the time. My wife and I have recently started watching the short-lived television series No Ordinary Family, and there is a perfect example of this in the show. The show centers around a family who gain super powers and how they deal with it. One of the characters, the mother in this family, is a leading scientist at a large research corporation. She seems to be pretty high up in the corporate hierarchy, enough so that she has an assistant. What I find striking in the show is that the lead scientist is always wearing pants at work, while the assistant is always in skirts and dresses. Now, you could say this is just coincidence, or maybe just characterization, but I see this sort of styling in shows all the time. I'm not even convinced that it's a conscious wardrobe decision, I just think it's one of those things that is deeply ingrained in the subconscious. The boss wears the pants, the secretary wears a skirt. I've even seen articles online suggesting that women may not want to wear pants to a job interview, for worry that it makes them look too assertive.

Getting back to the primary topic, I do think it's unfortunate that there is such a bias when it comes to acceptable fashion choices between the genders. I think it's sad that men are often looked down upon for expressing themselves outside of the expected machismo and toughness. Is it unfair? Absolutely. However, remember that at the beginning of this post I said that freestyle fashion is not about fairness with me, and it isn't. I don't see myself as a champion of gender equality. I don't really see myself as wearing what I wear for a cause. I'm just being myself.

I can't really say if the gender bias in fashion will ever be broken, though to be honest I'm not certain I care. I wear the clothes that I wear because I like them. I like the way I look in them and I like the way they make me feel. I've never cared what other people think of me, and I'll never let it stop me from being myself. I read an article earlier this year about the top ten most common things that people regret about their lives on their deathbed. The number one regret people had was not having the courage to truly be themselves. So, whenever someone gives me a dirty look or says something hateful towards me for dressing the way I do, I think back on that article. If I ever have a moment of self doubt or hesitation, I remember the article.

No regrets.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Thoughts on Freestyle Fashion I

I want to share some of my thoughts on men's freestyle fashion. To me, a fashion freestyler is anyone who wears what they want to regardless of preconceived societal opinions. In the context of men's fashion, for me this mostly relates to men wearing dresses, skirts, tights, and high heels, all garments that are currently considered strictly women's clothing. A freestyler is not a crossdresser, at least not in the most prevalent sense of the term, as he does not try to pass as a woman. That's not to say that a freestyler cannot appear more androgynous, or even traditionally feminine, but merely that a freestyler does not go to the same lengths as many crossdressers in terms of manipulating their gender appearance. I feel it's important to point out, though, that these ideas and the freestyle fashion term are not meant to be limiting or quantifying, and are not meant to exclude anyone. At the end of the day, it's really just about wearing whatever clothing you prefer, regardless of preconceived gender stereotypes.

I think that freestyle fashion is a subculture, and will never be a mainstream thing. I don’t really see the average man ever delving too deeply into the freestyle fashion world. While one day skirts (not just kilts) may well be a staple part of menswear fashion, I don’t believe we will see a dramatic shift towards other “feminine” style garments by the general populace … but that’s okay! It may not become a mainstream thing, but I don’t think it’s unrealistic to think that one day freestyle fashion may be an accepted subculture, much like goth, punk, and other alternative fashions are. In fact, I feel that freestyle fashion is already a largely accepted concept within the gothic fashion community. Still though, I don’t expect some fashion revolution to happen, but I do think we can gain tolerance for our fashion freedom. We just have to get out there and take it!

I want to provide inspiration for other guys to not be afraid to wear the clothes they want to openly in their lives. There are many men with pictures on the internet of themselves in fantastic looking outfits, only to have their head cropped out or otherwise obscured, and I think that’s a shame. Sure it’s true that many, maybe even most people don’t like the idea of men wearing clothing that’s been deemed for women only, but the only way that we can challenge and change that gender bias is to just do it. Everyone's situation is unique, and for some anonymity is absolutely essential. I'm fortunate enough to be in a situation where I am free to openly express who I am, and so part of this blog is an attempt to "pay it forward" and try to push at the boundaries and make these unique fashion choices more accepted for men all over the world.

Introductions

Welcome to His Black Dress, a freestyle fashion blog by Michael Spookshow.

I thought it best to start things off with a bit of an introduction, both of myself and the intent of this blog.

So how about a little about the writer first? Put simply, I’m just a spooky boy in my mid-twenties living in sunny Florida. I’m happily married to a wonderful & beautiful woman who I will refer to as Mrs. Spookshow in this blog. I’m a proud geek with a love for tabletop wargaming. I’ve always had a love for gothic and alternative fashion. Growing up, my parents always told me that the most important thing in life was to have the courage to always be myself, to forge my own path, and that is something I have always tried to do … I just happen to do it in heels.

The purpose of this blog is to promote men’s freestyle fashion. This means men wearing skirts, dresses, heels, & other items currently viewed as acceptable everyday fashions for women only. This is not about crossdressing, any more than the modern woman crossdresses when she wears jeans & a t-shirt. It’s about style without arbitrary boundaries based on gender alone, and about men having freedom of expression in fashion.

My hope is that this blog will show other men with an interest in freestyle fashion that it’s okay to be yourself and express yourself through style. It’s okay to be a little different. This blog is not just for men, however, as the support & knowledge of women is important in this movement as well. My hope is that one day a man in a dress will be no more taboo than a woman wearing jeans & a t-shirt.

Of course, the introduction to His Black Dress just wouldn’t be complete without a picture of the author in his black dress …

Revenge of the Moto Dress!

To see more of my looks, or to comment on specific looks, please visit my Flickr photostream here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mspookshow/