Friday, August 31, 2012

Skirting the Issues: Dad Wears Dresses?

There's an article circulating pretty heavily in the news right now about a dad who has taken to wearing skirts to support his son who wants to wear skirts & dresses, but was afraid of what people would say. This story is getting quite a bit of action it seems, and given I'll be a father myself in a couple of months, I feel I should talk a little about this topic. If you'd like to read the article in question, here is a link to it.

I'm sure it goes without saying that I think this dad is awesome. I happen to have come from a very supportive household as well, so I definitely know the value of having parents that encourage you to be yourself. This is actually a topic that I've given a lot of thought to recently, as I've thought about what kind of parent I will be. The conclusion that I've come to is that the most important thing I can do is encourage my child to be themself, whatever that may be. I do have my own hopes about how they will turn out or the things that they will be interested in, but I know that at the end of the day I want to allow my son or daughter to discover themselves and be themselves, because that's what is most important.

While I do find articles about men in skirts interesting, I'm often more interested by the comments section. I enjoy reading other people's opinions on these types of stories, because I feel like it gives me a bit of a social barometer of "where we are" in the whole men's fashion freedom movement. It feels a bit paradoxical, but I do often want to know why people who don't like men wearing skirts or dresses feel the way they do. While I've never read an opinion on why men shouldn't wear skirts or dress that I've agreed with, it's interesting to catch a glimpse of things from the other side, and helps give me some perspective.

Speaking of perspective, I really feel like the perception of men's fashion freedom is truly moving forward. I've seen a lot of positive support for men in skirts recently, and that support seems to only be growing. I think it was just a little over a year ago that there was national outrage over an ad featuring a mother painting her son's toenails pink. Seriously, you would have thought the sky was falling from some of the comments on that. Now, just a year later, we see articles such as the above that receive a lot of positive attention, and much less gnashing of teeth. This makes me feel like things are moving forward ... and honestly who knows where we could be in even another year?

Bringing this back to talking specifically about fathers in skirts, I have to wonder if eventually I will be the subject of an article like this one? To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure how I would feel about that, but it's something I realize is possible in the back of my mind. A number of people have asked me recently (with regards to a skirt or dress I'm wearing), "So what are you going to do about all that once you are a dad?" Will wearing a skirt or dress in public with my child make some people question my ability to parent? Absolutely. The answer to the question, of course, is that I still plan to remain true to myself in all aspects of life, and I can't imagine doing it any different. Being yourself, even in the face of criticism, is a very important lesson to set for my child. 

We've decided to leave the sex of our child a surprise (which seems to be driving some people mad, ha), but I've been doing a lot of reading about "princess boys" & other male identified at birth kids wearing skirts and dresses, so look for my thoughts on all that and how it may pertain to my child (gender dependent, of course) soon.

What do you think about dads wearing skirts, or allowing their boys to do so? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, August 27, 2012

08/27/12 OOTD: Scroll Remix

Due to the storm in the Gulf the weather is dreadful and rainy outside, which means my photos are not going to be up to the quality I usually try to post here. However, I'm not gonna let a little hurricane stop me from doing an OOTD today, ha! Let's get to it.

Top (outer): Forever 21+
Shoes: Torrid

So since it's a rainy day and I'll be primarily inside at the computer, I figured there's no reason not to dress up a bit. I've been wanting to give this skirt another go, as I'm not really too happy with the last outfit I paired it with (here). I think the gold top details and zipper details on the skirt was a great concept, but there's something about the looseness of the top with this skirt that just feels a bit off. So anyways, here's round two.

Ah, yeah, you may have noticed something different about the photo above. Why yes, thank you, I have lost a little weight, but that's not it. I know my pink nails are awesome, but nope, that isn't it either. Okay, okay, so I'm sure you've noticed that I seem to have been assaulted by the Headless Horseman, ha. No worries though, my head is still intact.


Anyhow, the first (headless) photo is a bit of foreshadowing to a topic I'm going to address soon on the blog here .... confidence. So often, when we see men wearing skirts or dresses on the internet, the faces are always cropped out of the photos. There's a lot of reasons why (and that's a topic for said other post), but I wanted to replicate that here because I was curious on if that changes how a look is perceived. I'm curious to know any thoughts you may have on that below!

I've gone on a while already without talking about this outfit, so here goes. I thought perhaps the outer top over the red undershirt would work well with the red scroll pattern of the skirt. It's an interesting idea, and I'm always one for trying things out and seeing how they work. I think it's a pretty cool look, but I often feel quite good about my outfits the day off, and there's a certain perspective that comments & a few days of simmer down time can only provide, so who knows, haha.

Here we go with some shoe shots! I really like these shoes, but I don't wear them very often. I actually have another pair of them in a different size (12w) that I've been meaning to put up for sale on eBay, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. 

I wish these pictures had turned out a bit better, but the lighting situation outside just isn't great, so it's hard to get a great photo of darker colors. Ah, well.

I found myself just playing around with the camera and trying some different shots, and this was one that I thought turned out pretty cool, haha. Taking off (or putting on) my shoes, and just generally seeing how the camera acts in different lighting situations.

That's all for today. I will be back very soon (weather permitting) with more OOTDs. As I mentioned in my last OOTD I went to a party yesterday but unfortunately I didn't take pictures before I went and I wound up getting covered in dog hair (bleh), so I'll have to post that look once I wash those clothes, ha. See you soon!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

08/25/12 OOTD: Scuro Remix

Time for another OOTD! Let's get to it!

Shades: Domino Dollhouse
Skirt: Macy's
Shoes: Wanted

Outside of the shoes, this look features items I've shown on the blog before. I really love this skirt, but honestly I haven't worn it much. Since Mrs. Spookshow and I had some errands to run this afternoon, I decided it was the perfect time to just rock it out and wear this skirt. I tried a few tops with it (that's been the primary issue with me not wearing it), and in the end hastily decided on this top for today. I think it's a fun shock of color here.

Although it's always sunny here in Florida, the tropical storm / hurricane moving in on us has actually cooled off the weather a bit, so today was a relatively nice day out. This top is super breathable, and the skirt is really light and airy as well, so all in all in worked out great. I love my Domino Dollhouse sunglasses, I honestly rarely leave home without them.

Although I rarely show any purses in my OOTDs, I do have to often use one, simply because most skirts don't have pockets (and even if they do, I probably wouldn't use them and ruin the lines anyways). Truthfully, I only have two bags anyhow, so I've never seen a point of just repeating them over and over here, ha. I felt I should show it with this look, however, since this is how most people saw the outfit in the wild.

Here's a closer shot of the bag (and incidentally, the shoes, which we will get to in a moment). I like it a lot, it's very much my aesthetic, but it's not really anything too special ... just a clearance bag I got at Target, ha.

Shoes. Oh, yes! So I'm sure my love of shoes has been well documented here, haha, but one particular style of shoe I've always loved is wedge sneakers. It's been surprisingly difficult to find a pair in my size (I need an 11W at the smallest), but when I saw these on Amazon in an 11 I decided to take a chance and hope that they either ran wide or would stretch out a bit. They don't run wide, and they are a little tight, but not unbearably so, and as I've broken them in they fit a lot better each time I wear them.

I love these shoes! I'm so excited to finally have an awesome pair of wedge sneakers to wear. They are totally great when I want to wear heels, but still want to maintain a pretty cool and casual look. Expect to see these babies on the blog quite a bit, haha.

Mrs. Spookshow and I went to Sally's Beauty Supply to get some hair bleach for my roots (yeah, I know they are bad here, but I'm literally about to go take care of that, guys, ha), and then headed over to Firehouse Subs for lunch. After Firehouse we went over to Michael's to check out the halloween stuff, which is always fun. It's been a while since I've been out in public in complete fashion freedom style, so I may have been a bit more aware than usual, but I did definitely notice a lot of double takes and stares today. Ah, well. It comes with the territory of being a trailblazer, eh?

Anyhow, that's all for this OOTD. I should be back with another either tomorrow or Monday, as we have a party to attend tomorrow afternoon and I'll have an outfit to show from that. See you soon!

Friday, August 3, 2012

08/03/12 OOTD: Rule

Three OOTDs in two days?! And in the summer?!? Yep, it's all happening. Let's get into it.

Cardigan: Target
Top: Ashley Stewart
Kilt: Sportkilt
Shoes: ASICS

This is one of those "uninteresting casual outfits that I don't bother posting here" outfits that I mentioned in the OOTD yesterday. However, I had a funny thought while dressing today, and realized I simply have to post this look on the blog. This look is a good indication of a casual day look for me, when I'm not doing anything particularly cool, but also not working in my studio. 

The funny thought I had about this look, and the reason for posting it, regards something I wrote about during one of my Boys in Dresses essays about the spectrum of men in skirts. Over the years, I've found that a large portion of the men wearing skirts who also post about it on various internet forums seem to support an idea they call the "One Item Rule". The theory behind the rule is that the best course of action when it comes to men's fashion freedom is to only wear one garment from the women's department at any given time. So if you are wearing a skirt, wear a men's top, socks, and shoes (which often looks ridiculous, imo). If you are wearing a pair of tights, then men's pants or shorts, shirt, and shoes, and so on and so forth.

One of the reasons that led to me creating this blog is the amount of ostracism that comes from the men on these forums for guys like me who think that rule is silly. To me, the only way to further men's fashion freedom is to rock whatever the hell clothes you want to (and look damn good doing it). I just don't think "Let's get people to accept men in skirts first, THEN we'll work on dresses" is a valid strategy. All or nothing, guys. 

Anyhow, the reason the "One Item Rule" is relevant to this post is because I realized that I am actually sort of following that rule with this outfit ...

... because I'm only wearing one item of clothing from the men's department, ha! How's that for rules?

Anyhow, I figured I would give this cardi and top combo a shot today, to see if it's as light and breathable in the heat as I think it is. It's a bit strange in my head to be layering like that in the summer, but I do think it's works because overall the two items feel lighter than a normal t-shirt would. We'll see.

I got these shoes recently, in hopes that they would provide enough support to be comfortable standing around on hard floors all day. To be honest, I got them mostly to play Warhammer 40k in. Seque time!

I've been meaning to tell this story on the blog for a while now, but I could just never fit it in. As I mentioned above, I like to play Warhammer 40k. If you know what that is, awesome, but if not ... it's honestly not too relevant to the story anyhow. Suffice to say it's a tabletop wargame using plastic toy soldiers for grown ups, and usually involves a few hours of standing to accomplish. Given that there will be a lot of standing involved I tend to make it a rule to wear flats when I go to play. Usually, I wind up wearing an awesome pair of gladiator sandals ... 

Ignore the tights, guys. I couldn't be bothered to take them off just for this picture. Also, I largely think the no tights with sandals rule is stupid too, but that's a subject for another time.
Anyhow, continuing the story, one day while my friend and I were walking to our cars from the game store, a cracked out lady yelled, "Hey, you boys got any spare change?" while driving by us in the parking lot. I was in a good mood that day, so even though I suspected she might be scamming for drug money, I told her to wait a sec while I went to my car and got some change from the console. As I was walking back to my car after giving her a dollar she yelled, "Hey, are you gay?!" I turned with what I can only assume was a somewhat puzzled look, and told her no. "Why are you wearing those shoes then if you aren't gay. Aren't those women's shoes?" Before I had time to respond, she continued, "Well I guess you have a punk rocker thing going on, huh? That's why you wear those." I thought about asking her if she didn't want my dollar if I was gay, but whatever. She drove off while I had a bit of a laugh at the situation. Anyhow, henceforth I've taken to referring to those gladiator sandals as my gay shoes, ha. Thanks, meth lady.

Getting back to my OOTD post, despite how stylish and cool the gladiator sandals are, they just don't provide much support when you are standing around on a hard floor for hours on end, which is why I purchased the kicks in this OOTD.

I don't really like to wear plain sneakers very often, as I just find them rather boring. For that reason, I decided if I was going to get a pair of sneakers to wear, I should go all out and get a really obnoxious neon pink pair. In the past, I've actually tended to avoid pink, as I was worried it would just further cement the man in skirt = gay stereotype that I often encounter. Lately I've come to realize that giving in to a fear of what others might think is exactly what I try to fight against with this blog, and so I've embraced pink as an acceptable color to rock. Truth be told, I've always kinda loved it anyways, ha! So yay for obnoxiously pink and awesome kicks.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

08/02/12 OOTD: Dual

I've said before that I struggle to be fashionable during the miserably hot summers here in Florida. I tend towards a darker aesthetic, and that's sometimes just not bearable on the hottest days. It's so easy to just shrug and wear something lazy, even though I feel a strong desire to try to always look at my best. I haven't posted my more casual recent outfits because they honestly aren't all that interesting, and despite a few slip-ups, I always strive to make sure I look good here on the blog. Anyhow, I'm not sure why I'm rambling on here anyways, given I do have a new OOTD (with a twist!) today, ha! Let's get into that!

Necklace: Domino Dollhouse
Top: Deb
Cami: Forever 21+
Shorts: Deb
Shoes: Target

I totally love this new top I got. It's really got all the things I love in a great top: cutouts, off the shoulder / cold shoulder style, and dolman sleeves. What's not to love? Sometimes I come across some clothes that I just can't resist buying, and this was definitely the case here. Luckily, I got it on a super hot clearance deal to boot.

I'm honestly not sure if those rectangular sections in the fabric are an imperfection or if they are intentional, but I kinda dig them anyways, and for the price I got it for I can't really complain. I also picked up these shorts at the same time. Normally, I don't really love shorts, and they don't rate very high on my purchase list, but I wanted to try some short shorts, ha! My original intention was to wear them under a sheer skirt I've had for a while now but haven't been able to figure out how to style, but I decided to just wade in (har har) here and wear them all by themselves. Leggy!

I originally wore a pair of heels with this outfit, but for some reason I decided to switch to flats before taking photos. I don't really wear these grey flannel flats enough, and I thought it might be a nice touch with the grey cami underneath the top. 

Speaking of shoes, here's the requisite shoe shot. Again, holy legs, Batman! Short shorts are short. Too much or do you love it?

Sometimes I wonder if I lose any cred for showcasing shorts or leggings looks, given a lot of the focus here on the blog is on skirts & dresses for men. Lately I especially feel like I've perhaps done too many non-skirted looks, but whatcha gonna do? Earlier in the post I said there was a twist to this OOTD, and here it comes ...

Necklace: Domino Dollhouse
Top: Deb
Cami: Forever 21+
Skirt: Deb
Shoes: Avenue

At the same time I ordered the top and shorts from Deb, I was also able to pick up this maxi skirt. For whatever reason, I've really been wanting a basic black maxi skirt for a long while now, but I just never found one that I was happy with for the price. Anyhow, I thought it might be a fun concept to do a wardrobe remix in the same OOTD, and all with core items that I purchased together. Two ways to wear the same look? Yep. Also, there's a fun duality in showing so much leg in the first photos, and then totally covering them here.

I thought about adding a belt to this look, but decided to keep it unbelted as I did in the first look. I feel it works great either way, honestly. I gotta say, I'm really digging this maxi skirt here, despite the fact I'm quite a fan of showing some leg. I think the boots really kick (more puns, sorry!) it up a notch here. Rockin'!

So basically, I wore the shorts look for the first half of the day, and then did a wardrobe change to the maxi skirt this afternoon. All of this fabric is actually quite light and breathable, so despite being mostly in black, I think I'm about as cool as I could manage on a scorcher like today. Anyhow, I had a lot of fun with these dual outfits, and hope you enjoyed the post! As always, I'd love to read your comments below.