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.


  1. I love the sneakers! So colorful.

  2. Those shoes. Gads, I love you soo much it hurts.

  3. I LOVE your rejection of the "one item" rule. I totally agree its a completely stupid and arbitrary rule.

    What strikes me about your style is how feminine it is, yet how completely normal and appropriate you make it look.

    I added your site to my blogroll as soon as I found it.

    Do you work in an office? If so, do you dress this way at work every day?

    1. Hey, Scott. Thanks for chiming in here.

      Mrs. Spookshow often comments on how feminine my clothes are as well, but it's strange because to be honest I never really notice. I think I've somehow disregarded the gender stereotypes so much that I don't even really see them anymore, if that makes sense. I'm glad you agree that I make it work, anyhow. :)

      I'm a self-employed makeup artist(and soon to be stay at home dad), so nope no office work for me. My makeup gigs involve creatures more often than beauty makeup, so I usually need to dress in things I'm not afraid to get paint all over, which rules out nearly everything I post here on the blog. Ah well.

      Thank you for the compliments and for following the blog! It was great to hear from you.

  4. Those sneakers are amazing. I don't do gym shoes generally either, then my mother bought me an obnoxious pink sequinned pair. :D

    I had no idea that there was a one item rule in men wearing skirts community. How odd, you'd think if you're gonna break the social expectation of gendered clothing there would be no rules. I like that you go with your own heart and mind and wear what you like. :)

    Your gay shoes stories remind me of when I was grapplig with being plus size as a teen and I would wear the baggiest clothes clothes I could find. I always wanted a leather jacket and the only one I could find was from the men's section. It made me look very broad, but I loved it. I wore it out on a night out and a guy came up to me and said "You really look like a man, are you a lesbian?" I was morified, but a friend of mine nearby heard and yelled at him about what an amazing lesbian I was. From then on it was my lesbian jacket. Ha!

    1. Thank you for the compliments, Sian!

      Yes, there are really only two types of sneakers I will ever wear ... obnoxiously awesome pink ones, and wedge sneakers.

      The "One Item Rule" has definitely always struck me as odd. It can sometimes work, but I personally feel that it often does not. Really, though, personal style is exactly that, personal, and I for one don't often let other people influence my personal fashion. I do understand that some people just aren't willing to completely color outside the lines all the time, though. :)

      Imagine if the gay shoes and lesbian jacket somehow managed to combine their power ... the world would tremble! Haha.

  5. Heya, just found your blog today. I love seeing men in alternative fashions and I've always loved men in skirts/robes, particularly historically-influenced cuts. The biggest message I have for you is that you are AWESOME and KEEP IT UP!

    Practical advice that I can give (as I'm a bit of a fashionista myself and I'm older than you, haha) is that you are rocking a lot of great looks, but then are a few outfits which aren't so flattering.

    The key is identifying what it is you want to flatter. I'm lucky as a tall/skinny lady, so I can pull off most looks, but I am slightly top-heavy (i.e. my shoulders are quite broad and I have an atlhetic build). Sometimes I wear full-skirted petticoated frilly Gothic Lolita dresses to enhance my small waist and make my hips look wider, curl my hair as well to add to make my shoulders smaller. Other times, I'm rocking a "masculine" look, so I wear slim-hipped tux trousers, angular blazers and suit jackets and slick my hair back.

    (although, almost ALWAYS with heels XD regardless of a manly/girly look.)

    My husband does not wear skirts, but when he makes an effort to dress up (because he's painfully nonchalant about his looks all other times) he brushes up his suede shoes, he wears slim-cut elaborately patterned shirts with block-colour jackets to broaden his narrow shoulders but show off his narrow waist, he wears flashy, bling-encrusted cufflinks and fluffs up his long hair. (you can tell I love him, can't you?)

    So! There are some guidelines out there about colour, pattern and cutting that are universal for any body shape. But there are others which are much more focused for different shapes and what you want to emphasise.

    Now, you look quite stocky, more straight-up/down with slight apple shape to me. As such, wearing clothes that create a good waist (loose over most, with belt), or draw attention away from it to your shoulders (boat neck, embroidery or accent colour/patten at the top, something with a bit of architecture and sharp lines to broaden the shoulder) or down to the hips or below (pattern or bright colour on leggings or skirt, dark top).

    Also, balance and moderation can be great for making a stylish outfit. If you're wearing a loose, flowing, batwing top, then a fitted skirt or leggings looks really nice. If you're showing off lots of leg, cover your arms. Tightly fitted vests look so stylish with a hip-slung rustic belt and a billowing maxi skirt!

    I'm sorry if I'm saying things you already know and have been told before (I'm sure your wife will have given you tips!), I certainly don't mean to offend! But yeah, I mean good will and want to help you with inspiration for even more stylish outfits! <3

    I love your colourful trainers though - one of my best friends (a straight male) has a whole collection of crazy coloured shoes, my favourite one of his is brown with bright pink laces and he wears them often with a brown/pink shirt, from different brands but it's like they're made for each other O.O!

    (As you may have gathered, I'm British, so please ask if you don't get some of my colloquialisms)

  6. Hey, Sonia! Thanks for this post, and I appreciate the compliments.

    Sometimes I do miss the mark a little, and I recognize that. To be honest, I don't often pay attention to many of the fashion "rules", which is sometimes to my detriment I know, ha. I experiment with lots of different combinations, some of which work and some don't. But hey, that's part of what fashion is all about I think.

    Anyhow, thank you for the advice!

  7. Hi - I'm falling asleep but wanted to stop in and give you MAJOR kudos for doing what you're doing. I'm loving your choices and am also passing your site on to a friend of mine that is also genderqueer and is finding his way (I'm a straight chick).

    couple things before I sign off: The 'no pantyhose with open toed shoes' is kind of an old one. It was mainly because there used to be different colored toes and heels on pantyhose and it looked weird. I've noticed a LOT of fashion pics now where colored tights/socks are paired with open toed shoes and it's super chic. I say go with whatever feels right.

    Love the gladiator sandals and LOVE the wedge heels. Super cute. I would totally wear them both. Mostly I'm in love with your pink sneakers and want to know what brand they are!

    I'll be back. I love fashion and love to support the idea that anyone can and should wear whatever makes them happy :)

    Hooray for you!

  8. Hello. Please please tell me the model of these asics sneakers. :o

    1. Glad to! They are ASICS GEL-scram shoes. Specifically, I purchased them from Amazon here.

    2. Thank you very much. =)