By Oliver Zuniga
Men’s fashion is somewhat simple. Get a haircut that suits your head shape. Wear all black. Wear accessories for the flare. Wear longer shirts to make your midsection longer. Wear shoes that accentuate what you are wearing. Skirts. Layering, layering, and more layering. Wait… skirts? Yes! Dresses and skirts fit certain male body types perfectly by accentuating their height and shoulders. This look gives even the roughest, and toughest of men a softer, almost priest-like look.
Skirts are slowly becoming a hot trend in the male fashion world . Rappers and other fashion icons have all donned effeminate clothing. The acceptance of new fashion trends and a new wave of men taking to more flamboyant styles is what we need in the fashion world. New styles that gear dresses, skirts, shorts with leggings, and any other fashion trends towards males are allowing them to express their love for fashion and uniqueness in a whole new manner.
For many fashion enthusiasts, it did not happen overnight. Pyrex apparell and #BeenTrill clothing did not suddenly find themselves in their closet. It started with buying the basic apparel from H&M. The necessities: t-shirts, jeans, maybe some hoodies. Then they were looking at things at Urban Outfitters, and Cotton-On, maybe a little Express soft goods sprinkled in. Slowly, they began getting into the fashion culture, but always retained their sense of pride. Now they are wearing leather skirts, extra long t-shirts and birkenstocks. How did this happen?
While certain fashion icons and clothing lines may have people believe that skirts are a cutting edge fashion trend that breaks gender roles, they have actually been around for ages. Ireland, most of Southeastern Asia, and the many islands of Samoa, are no strangers to men rocking a skirt. Irish kilts, Polynesian sarongs, and Samoan lava-lavas have been around for centuries.
With fashion trends always changing, it is important to notice the patterns in our society. Most of what we think of as cutting edge in fashion is usually out of reach for the typical, middle class fashion lover. While most people would love to wear Gucci and Louis Vuitton clothing daily, most people have to settle for cheaper alternatives. The extravagant looks and sometimes ridiculous clothing articles that quirky-looking models wear are not very accessible to the average person.
While we may see flamboyantly dressed rockstars or avant-garde rappers dressed to the nines, casual followers of music and fashion culture may not be so inclined to wear the same thing as their favorite fashion icons. In a recent GQ interview the famous rapper, A$AP Rocky, who doubles as a fresh and outspoken fashion icon, said “what’s hard for fashion designers to do is take looks from off the runway and actually put it into existence, into reality.” Although Rocky brings up a valid point, he is very much guilty of wearing those runway looks given that he occasionally wears skirts and dresses himself.
On the contrary, outfits that at one point were typical and part of the everyday life have slipped into obscurity, and ironically once these fashion styles pick up for the second, third, or maybe even fourth time, they are considered cutting edge or avant-garde.
While seeing rappers with outspoken loves for fashion like A$AP Rocky and Kanye West donning fashionable and sometimes cutting-edge clothing is no surprise, older, more “OG” rappers like Snoop Dogg and P. Diddy have also been spotted wearing skirts and dresses. While clothing should never be the sole criterion when judging someone, it is a big sign of progress when even iconic, and classic rappers renowned for their hard-hitting lyrics and rough edges are able to don dresses without ridicule.
Things like shorts with leggings, and effeminate clothing have all been introduced by famous fashion icons and musicians, brave enough to make a statement. This new trend of wearing clothing regardless of what their traditional correlation to gender is, is a positive trend in society and shows just how welcome change is as we evolve and progress not only as a society but as a culture.