Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pack up the Pants, Fashion Freedom February starts tomorrow!

Fashion Freedom February is almost here! As I outlined in a previous post here, starting tomorrow the pants & shorts will be packed away for the month and it's only skirts & dresses for this boy. I suppose it's not really so much an event as it is just a bit of fun. I'm looking forward to having some interesting experiences to post here daily, as well as learning more about my personal style.

I originally wanted to have a video on YouTube to accompany this, but unfortunately I've had a nasty cold for the past week or so, so that just hasn't happened. Once I'm over the cold, however, I will be producing new video content for the His Black Dress YouTube Channel promptly, so be sure to stay tuned there!

I thought it might be fun to take some quick photos today of packing up my pants & shorts. While it probably wasn't necessary to do so, I thought it would add a fun twist. 

Photobucket

So, tomorrow starts my 29 days of skirts & dresses. What do you have to look forward to?

For starters, I'm going to make a daily post showing my outfit of the day, as well as some details about my day that are relevant to men's fashion freedom. There are a few days where I will be out of town, and I haven't figured out how I am going to work that yet, but I will otherwise make sure to post daily.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I've set some ground rules I'm going to try to abide by for the month. First and foremost, I'm going to try to show unique outfits to the styles I've already posted to my Flickr photostream over the year. This means mostly remixes, or trying some different layering or tights / shoe combinations, although some of my looks may wind up carrying over, just because I love them that much. I'll try to keep it interesting, though, for the folks who have been following me on Flickr already. I'm also using this as an opportunity to clear my closet a bit, so anything I just can't figure out how to wear over the month, or anything I wear but just don't like, I'll be getting rid of afterwards.

What do I have to work with in my closet, anyways? At the moment, I have 17 skirts and 11 dresses, so that's 28 unique garments to style my looks around. Although I'm one day short for having no repeats during the month, I'd say that's still a funny coincidence.

Hopefully, this month long event here at His Black Dress will provide an interesting look into the life of a boy in a dress. I hope that you will enjoy following my adventures during the month, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts about my experiences.

BONUS - I've been having some trouble deciding how to start off Fashion Freedom February. Help me decide if I should go for a skirt or dress for my February 1st outfit to kick off the event! I know it's a bit last minute, but that just means your vote will count even more! Please take a moment and vote for what you'd like to see this boy rock tomorrow!

First Look: Skirt or Dress?

That's it for today, see you tomorrow for the first OOTD for Fashion Freedom February!

Over 1,000 Views

His Black Dress has received over 1,000 page views this month! That's a great start to 2012, and I hope to see those numbers rise even higher as the year goes on. Thank you to everyone who reads the blog! I'm glad to have the opportunity to share my style and opinions on men's fashion freedom with you.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Comments

I've taken the time today to post replies to all of the comments on this blog dating back to October 2011. I just wanted to write a quick note to say thank you to all those who took the time to comment here, and apologize for not replying sooner. Moving forward, I will be sure to reply to all communication from readers / viewers both here, on the YouTube channel, and through my email promptly. I care about your comments and appreciate them deeply! Thank you!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Legs of the Year 2011!

Decided to have a bit of fun and enter this contest for Legs of the Year 2011. If you have a Facebook account, please check out this link and give my legs a vote!

http://www.legsoftheyear.com/entries/129/

Why Fashion Freedom is Important

"I'm not ashamed to dress 'like a woman' because I don't think it's shameful to be a woman." (Iggy Pop)

I came across the above quote on a Tumblr blog, and thought it was really interesting. I haven't been able to find the source of the quote, so for all I know it's possible Iggy never said this, but the thought is relevant nonetheless.

I think I may have touched on this topic on a previous post here, but I wanted to write a bit more about it because it couldn't be more true. Men's fashion freedom isn't just about men, it's about everyone. It's about empowering people to be themselves. Once we strip away the gender stereotypes and labels on clothing, what are we left with? A dress on it's own is neither male nor female, it's just fabric. When someone says, "Dresses are for girls.", they are really only projecting their opinion onto that garment.

I've been following an interesting photo set named Switcheroo, where the people in the series swap clothes between the photos. It usually involves a man and a woman, which is what makes it so interesting. Body size /shape isn't really accounted for, so sometimes the outfits can look a bit jarring just based on that, but overall I've found it an interesting photo essay on fashion freedom (even if that wasn't the intent). Anyhow, I'm willing to bet that most people would think the women look perfectly fine in either outfit, but would find the men strange in the women's clothes. Which takes me back to the quote.

I believe the reason for that feeling is because somewhere deep down in our society, men are still considered more powerful / better than women. I think a lot of people who feel uneasy about men in women's clothing feel that way because of this sexist meme.

I think the point was illustrated perfectly on the television show The Doctors in this clip. In the segment, they show a photo of a woman in a skirt next to a photo of a woman in a pantsuit, and then ask the audience (by round of applause) which woman they think is more successful. The audience felt that the woman in the pantsuit was more successful, while the host went on to say that whereas in the past women who dress more like men are seen as more successful, a new poll suggests women in skirts make a better first impression. Is that perceived balance of power between the sexes changing in our society, and what will that mean for boys in skirts? On a side note, I thought it was fun that the male hosts said they were going to wear skirted garments on the show, but to my knowledge this has never happened. If they did indeed rock it and you saw it, I'd appreciate a link to the clip.

What I've been trying to get at here, is that I feel the topic of men's fashion freedom is inclusive and important for women as well, and this post is predominately for the female readership. I think you girls should support men in skirts & dresses because in the end it's also going to empower you by breaking down gender stereotypes and allowing people to live their lives how they see fit without judgement based on chromosomes, and I think that equality is a cause that we should all champion.

At the end of the day, a dress is just a dress, and what's truly important is the person wearing it.

Please share this post if you agree with this message. Thank you!

Friday, January 20, 2012

His Black Dress is now on YouTube!



This is the introduction video to my HisBlackDress channel on YouTube. As I mentioned before, I've been wanting to expand the blog with some video content, and this is the first step to realizing that. There's no need for alarm, however, as this blog will still continue on as normal. I'm hoping to use the YouTube videos to reach out to more people and help attract more readers / viewers. Also, because style and fashion is so visual, it seemed natural to start producing video content about fashion freedom as well.

Please help me out and follow me on YouTube and share the videos with your friends. I'd like to get a strong following going both on the channel and here at the blog this year, to get the word out there about men's fashion freedom! If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to post them here, on the video comments, or email me at hisblackdress@gmail.com. Thanks, everyone!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Special Announcement: Fashion Freedom February!

So I've been teasing a special announcement for a little while now, and today is finally the day to announce it. I'll be running an event on this blog throughout February called Fashion Freedom February.

So what exactly is Fashion Freedom February (F³ for short)? The event is a celebration of fashion without gender boundaries, meant to inspire creativity and individuality through style. The idea is simple: pack away all of my pants & shorts, and wear skirts & dresses for the entire month. Everyday, I will post my outfit, as well as accounts of my experiences that day as a guy in a skirt. That's the basics of F³.

Why am I doing this? There's many reasons, the most important of which are outlined below.

Celebration: This event is meant to be a celebration of my first year of freestyle fashion. Although I posted my first skirted picture to Flickr on March 2, 2011, the seeds for that event were largely planted in February. It's when I found my self-confidence and decided to change my style to fit what I've always wanted it to be. First and foremost, this event is meant to celebrate individuality and personal acceptance.

Experience: I think this will be a very insightful experience. Even though I do wear skirts & dresses very often when I go out, I spend a lot of my time around the house in shorts. I'd like to try to break that "lazy day" habit, and also see what it's like to just do normal guy things while wearing a skirt. My appreciation factor for pants & shorts is already quite low, so I'm interested to see how that changes after being without them for a month. Also, I think it will be fun to share my daily experiences in skirts with the readers.

Insight: I'm hoping to use this event to gain some insight in to my closet. My plan is to try to avoid any similar looks to ones I've already posted to Flickr. There will be some exceptions, both because my closet is somewhat limited and also because I feel some of the looks just work too well not to rock during the month, but largely I'm going to aim for remixes. I'm also going to try to do a little closet cleaning during this event, as any items that I just can't get to work or don't really enjoy wearing I will be selling or otherwise getting rid of after  is over. The idea is that I will come out of this knowing more about my personal style, and what does and doesn't work for me.

Frequency: I'll admit some difficulty coming up with blog topics lately, so I'm also using this event to generate content. I hope that by the end of the event, I'll be in a good rhythm to keep content coming throughout the year. I hope to generate some interest in men's fashion freedom with the event, as the whole reason I run this blog is to try to inspire others to be themselves and to accept other people.

So that's the basics of Fashion Freedom February. I'll have more on it coming soon, and the event itself starts in two weeks! See you there!

Monday, January 16, 2012

For Those About to Frock, We Salute You

Just wanted to give a quick shout-out to two fellow boys in dresses.

First, Rye Silverman and his blog Chick Like Me. I'm glad he's decided to start a blog and give us his insight into being a boy in a skirt. He's been updating very frequently, enough so that I've realized I should really step my game up here. Check his blog out and let him know what you think. Also, pop over to his Flickr photostream and check out his style. Rye's pictures were very inspirational to me, and played a big role in bringing me onto the Flickr scene.

Next, I want to shout out to another Flickr member I follow, Brian McCloskey. Brian has recently been the subject of a fun little blog post about his style on Femulate, which you can view here. Brian took part in the Dressember event this year (and I believe last year, as well), where bloggers from around the net put away their pants and wear a dress every day of December. It was a lot of fun to follow his looks throughout the month, made even more special by the fact that many of his pictures were taken with his co-workers. It's always inspiring to see other boys breaking the taboo on gender and clothing, so check out his Flickr photostream to see his fun style!

I have a special announcement coming up on Wednesday, so be sure to check back in a few days for that. Expect a lot of fun content from His Black Dress this year, starting very soon!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2011 Year in Review

It's been a little bit since my last update (busy holidays and all), but I'm back! Even though it's a week late, I'm counting this as the last post of 2011 for the blog. With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to pick my top 4 looks of the year, and say a bit about them.

2011 was a big year for me on the freestyle fashion front, because it was the year I decided to finally embrace it and rock it! That all started in January, when I decided to take better care of myself and try to lose some weight. I want to state flat out that I'm a supporter of weight acceptance and body love for others, but my personal weight has never been something I've managed to feel good about. Anyhow, it didn't take long to start seeing results, and that quickly gave me a much needed boost in confidence that allowed me to begin my journey into freestyle fashion. Although I posted my first pictures to Flickr at the beginning of March, February was really the true origin of my style (more on that later!).

With all that said, here are my favorite outfits of the year, and some commentary about them.

The Moto Dress
This is the dress that really started it all, and it's been a mainstay on my blog for the year. Readers are probably sick of seeing this dress by now, but damn it, I love it! I did at least take a new picture of it exclusively for this post. Anyhow, this dress is the most perfect example of what I hope to achieve with my style. I've said a lot about it in the past, so if you want to know more about this look, just check out some of my previous posts.

Everyday Freestyle Fashion
This is probably my most common look, a simple skirt paired with a graphic tee. For a long while this year I tried to shun the common t-shirt, but with this look I've managed to work it into my style. The ease of a combination like this just can't be overlooked, sometimes it's just a relaxed, casual sort of day. Also, those shoes are the dark horse of the year, as I originally just bought them as throw away work shoes. I liked them so much, however, that they are now a staple of my fashion, and I'm really not looking forward to putting them away this summer!

Dresses & Jackets
Oh, Fall / Winter, how I love you. I really love pairing jackets and dresses. I've found it a bit difficult to find dresses that work on a male chest, but often that problem can be solved with the addition of a great jacket. I love this jacket in particular, perhaps even more so after seeing one of my favorite Trublood characters wearing it! It just feels hot! I love it paired here with this awesome color purple dress, and some of my favorite heels that I unfortunately just don't wear enough. This was one of those outfits that I just felt great in as soon as I put it on, and that's why it's included here.

New Years
This dress captures a lot of what I love about freestyle fashion. The dress itself is interesting and unique, with a lot of fun details going on, and that's why I chose it to end 2011 with. Yes, I wore this exactly look to a New Year's Eve party, so it literally did ring in the new year. This look symbolizes what I hope to accomplish with freestyle fashion in the future, to create my own take on fashion that represents who I am. So here is to a new year of boys in dresses!

That's 2011 in review on His Black Dress. I hope you've enjoyed the journey so far. I look forward to presenting lots of new, interesting content on the subject of men's freestyle fashion throughout 2012 (and beyond). I have a special announcement concerning the celebration of my adventure into freestyle fashion, so look forward to hearing more about that soon!

Thanks for reading!