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.

23 comments:

  1. I am all for guys in skirts. It makes more sense as a male garment than female, strategically speaking. Besides, girls wear boots, pants, and "wife beaters" all the time without being considered to be dressing outside their gender. Kudos!

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  2. Thanks, Scully! There's definitely an imbalance in crossover garments between genders currently, and I'm sure I'll talk more about that in an upcoming post. Thanks for your support.

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  3. Keep up the great work.

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  4. Mark from Brisbane Australia.February 18, 2012

    I have found your website very interesting, I have made a comment about one of your garments that you are wearing, I am in favour of men being able to wear skirts and things like that, you see I also like to do so, but not as open as you are, you are very brave to do so, I however don't have that kind of currege to do this, here in Australia our society is what's called a matcho society, the idea of men wearing what's a lot of people would consider traditionally women's clothing, the question that I as you is this, Do you actually wear some of these outfits in public? If so have you had any bad derogitory comments maed to you about what you are wearing? It's a shame that our society has been conditioned to frown upon individuality in the case in the right of men to be able to wear a skirt/dress as part of his normal wardrobe, I also don't consider myself a drag queen or cross dresser in the terms of being or trying to be just like a female, for instance I'm not into wearing makeup or anything like that, sure I don't mind female swimwear, that is to wear to swim in the pool and nothing else, but to actually wear a skirt or a dress in public, I agree with you, we should be able to do this without being labled queer or deranged or even a pervert, I would also like to say to you to keep up the good work, sadly that idea that men will eventually be able to walk down the street in a skirt or dress without being verbally or physically assaulted will probably happen long after I'm gone, I'm only 41 going onto 42 years old, I also live in Brisbane Australia.

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    1. First, thanks for your comments, Mark! I appreciate it.

      Yes, the outfits you see here are my daily attire. While I wore my skirts & dresses out very often before this month, I have actually packed away all of my shorts & pants for the month of February. To be honest, I'm not sure I'm going to unpack them, either.

      As far as reactions, sure I've received plenty of reactions, and although I don't actively seek or want the attention, I can't say it surprises me. I get lots of double takes & stares, but it's not every day you see a guy rockin' a skirt, right? There have been some vocal reactions, like snickering from teenagers or the occasional remark, but it's never been a big deal and it doesn't bother me. I've never been threatened with violence or anything like that, though I do carry a can of pepper spray in my purse just in case, ha!

      I'm not going to mince words: I suspect that a lot of folks probably think I'm totally weird, but honestly, I'm completely fine with that. I actually had a funny thought when Mrs. Spookshow & I visited the Salvador Dali museum ... it occurred to me that normal people don't get museums built for them. I realize that probably comes off as completely egotistical, but I only mean it to say that I don't think being different is necessarily a bad thing. At the end of the day, I just don't want to look back on my life and wish I had had the courage to be myself.

      I'm not waiting around for anyone's approval.

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  5. Mark from Brisbane.February 18, 2012

    Thanks for replying to my message it was great, you must go to a very good specialist store to get your gear it must cost plenty just to get a fair ammount of your gear, by the way all I have is just one denim skirt, one made for men and it came out of the UK, the brand is called, Midas clothing, their range is well OK, we do have some groups aking to something like it for men who like wearing female clothing but they are in the shaddows and it's more to do with fettish and that's not what I'm about at all, it just sounds sleazy to me, but what you wear is not fettish or sleazy, what you wear is very tastefully done, for me being in a sub-tropical climate like Brisbane, you'd think that wearing a skirt for men as well as women would be more sensible idea, unfortunately the social norms are a bit narrow minded.

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  6. You look great in most pictures.Not so "male looking tops"work better on your outfits.

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    1. Thanks for the compliments!

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    2. Oh. I just have to say I love your mixing! Fx your hellboy-look. It's awsome. I find your blog very inspiring!

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    3. Thank you! I'm glad you like the blog!

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  7. Mark in Brisbane Australia.February 21, 2012

    I like your latest photoes, they look good, while I was thinging about it, it has acoured to me that you are not only making a stylish fasion statement, you are also making a men's health statement too, I'll explain the best I can although I'm not a Doctor, but if there are any Doctors out there, I'm sure they know where I'm comming from, the health that you are making is this (so I believe), when you are wearing your skirts, you are protecting yoru testies from over heating because whe you wear trouses,they can over heat and cause infertility issues and you are also protecting yourself from testicular cancer, becasuse when they over heat, you run the risk of getting testicular cancer by wearing trouses, so speak to your Doctor about this and see what he/she has to say, it also depends on the climate you are living in too, so I believe yuou are the best candidate to make a public statement to say, men should be wearing skirts, not just for fasion freedom, but for their health, if so called mainstream society were to realise this, they wouldn't be so hung up on the idea of men wearing skirts adn dresses, then in that way we can take the sleaze and smut out of the equasion, in that way we take this so called fettish rubish out of it too, in that way future generations of boys can grow up and realise it's normal for boys and men to wear skirts and dresses.

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    1. Yep, there's no doubt skirts & dresses can be a much healthier option for men to wear. Although, I sometimes wonder if I don't negate some of that by wearing tights? Ah, well, I've always been of the thought that maybe at the worst it just balances out for me, ha!

      I don't have anything against fetishists, although that's not why I do this. People have fetishes about all sorts of things, however I think there's definitely more of a subconscious link between men in skirts & fetish-related material at this point in time. I hope that my blog can show that wearing skirts & dresses as a man doesn't have to have any sort of sexual connections.

      Have you ever heard of breeching? When I heard about it I was actually quite surprised to learn that young boys were often dressed in gowns or dresses until between ages two & eight up until the early 20th century. It seems it's only really been in the last 100 years or so that skirts & dresses for boys has become taboo. It's interesting to think about, anyways.

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  8. Mark in Brisbane Australia.February 25, 2012

    I've a question for you, Have you ever considered marketing your gear, that is to the fasion houses of New York, London, Paris and Milan, to see about them making skirts and dresses for men, like the styles that you currently have, have you ever considered aproaching them? It thought I'd bring up that question because that way you can really get known and maybe, just maybe with co development with one of their houses you can slowly bring in skirts and dresses for men, modalled simular to what women wear, and What about accessories like manbags/handbags, because there's no room to put a wallet or mobile phone, what you can a cell phone over there in the States, it's just a thought, so that way not only through education but through fassion of design, eventually it will no longer become something hidden that men like to wear skirts and dresses, in that way you take it away from the sleazy fettish groups that do you no justice, or me any justice.

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    1. I'll let slip a few exciting details here ... Mrs. Spookshow & I are actually working on creating our own line of clothes to sell in an online shop. It's still very much in the planning phase, but for now the thought is to try to provide clothing there that is gender neutral, in the sense that we won't be keeping skirts & dresses just under a women's section.

      This blog is generating some positive awareness for men in skirts & dresses as everyday attire. I've received a lot of support all across the web, so it's definitely happening my friend. The real way to affect change in real fashion is through the streets. This is where we will show people that men can rock skirts & dresses with confidence and dignity, and look damn good doing it!

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  9. Mark from Brisbane AustraliaMarch 02, 2012

    Thanks for replying and that's excellent, by the way, How many people do you recon that would have seen your website and how many would have come from out side the US alone to join your blog? I'm just curious, we have stores like Kmart and Target that sells everything from electronics to clothing, do you see yourself seing skirts for men in a few years time selling to the general public, or is that at the moment too far ahead? Our Target and Kmart are sort of like what you call Wallmart, we also have a store called Just Jeans, they do sell some denim skirts, Do you think in a few years time that they will start marketing and selling skirts for men, even out here in Australia?

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    1. We have Targets and Kmarts here too. In fact we had both in Michigan before we ever had a Walmart.

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  10. Mark from Brisbane AustraliaMarch 05, 2012

    Now that it's March, are you still wearing skirts and dresses or have you gone back to wearing shorts and jeans and trouses? If you have continued to still wear skirts and dresses, well I suport you in that because one day things will change for the better, better education wouldn't be a bad start either on this issue.

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    1. I'm still wearing skirts & dresses. To be fair I usually did anyways, I just wanted to remove any option for pants or shorts in February. After a month of skirts I actually find pants and shorts a bit uncomfortable and strange feeling now, ha, so I'm definitely still rockin' the skirts!

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  11. Mark from Brisbane Queensland Australia.March 06, 2012

    Now that's good, good to hear, I'm sure the weather is getting warmer for you where you are from and that means you'll have no problem weatherwise wearing skirts and dresses, apose to where I am, it's the start of Autumn, I hope you are successfull in creating a line of clothing for men in the line of Shirts and Skirts, Hmm that could be a good company name for your clothing range, Shirts 'N' Skirts, designed by men for men.

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  12. Hey I love your site. I think your sense of style is cool. I have an outfit that I am planning on wearing out on a recent trip and hope that I have the courage you do. I have a pair of sheer dress pants with open toed sling back some black hose. Do you ever visit Atlanta, maybe we could meet up for a guys night to dinner in skirts.

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  13. I love how bold you are with breaking these gender roles that restrict us fellow boys and men. To be honest, I didn't even realize how many restrictions boys and men have with what's socially acceptable for us to wear until a few weeks ago! I guess it goes to show how oblivious we can be to something like this because we're conditioned not to give much thought about it. Every guy sees it everyday: This is socially acceptable to wear not that. I really wish that major fashion lines would produce more clothing options for men because women have sooooo much more. There are so many fashion lines that make clothing JUST for women. And for clothing stores that have clothes for both genders, girls and women still have more options. I commend you for being so open and comfortable with expressing yourslef. I support you! Keep it up!

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  14. Saw your pics on modcloth's style gallery and thought you were a very patient man whose S.O. had a rather wicked sense of humor. Once I found out just how very wrong I was, my admiration went WAY UP! You choose color combos very well, know how to accessorize, I mean, Damn! Where do I find a guy like you? Keep fighting the good fight, we should all be able to dress depending on our moods and whims, not our genitals.

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  15. I have previously never heard of freestyle fashion, or even the concept outside of drag, trans, or otherwise LGBTQ contexts, until I found your blog. I just want to say keep up the good work! I think your clear writing presents very compelling arguments, and I think your positive pay-it-forward attitude is admirable. Keep spreading tolerance! It helps to end hurtful biases against women too, not to mention every gender and orientation on the spectrum. Nice dress, dude!

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