Gender Blending

Right, well I’ve been experimenting with putting together something decent to go with the magnificent new boots. I think I’m come up with something thats not half bad so I thought I’d release it onto the world.

As I posted before, I was trying to find a way to use the leggings I bought for the elf outfit in my general everyday wear, so I thought why not use them with some black shorts (they’re actually pretty close to hotpants, but shhhhh).

Combined with a black t-shirt maybe a black long cardigan (but I’m not so sure about it, comments please) and I think I have something that looks pretty good – and not too feminine either.

I’m actually quite pleased with this photo – as well as the outfit!

This picture shows off the boots quite nicely. I also put on a bit heavier eyeliner than I normally wear to try and link in my face with the blackness of the boots, t-shirt and shorts.

This one includes the cardigan too, I’m not so sure about it because it think it makes me look a bit top heavy as I seem have pretty thin legs, but comments are appreciated.

Have a great week.

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Awesome Androgyny

I’ve made several intimations in my postings on fashion that mens and womens clothing designs are getting closer and closer to each other. Yes folks, androgyny is in – but just what do I mean by that? What is androgyny?

Well the little dictionary on my mac says its ‘of indeterminate gender’, however dictionary definitions rarely capture the nuances of anything, let alone issues of sexuality, gender identification and definition. Therefore, I’m going to set the terms of reference for this particular post thus:

Clothing and style choices that introduce an element of ambiguity about ones gender.

Key here is ‘an element of’ – by this I meant that it doesn’t have to be crossdressing or an attempt to look entirely like the opposite gender, merely that a little bit of playfulness and fluidity is introduced into the equation.

Now there are people who identify themselves as androgynous on as their definition of themselves on the gender spectrum, if you’re interested in that then http://www.genderfork.com is a good place to start, but here we’re talking about the style choice only.

What has kicked off this post? Well its the news that Andrej Pejic was chosen as the model for a range of push-up bras for the dutch company Hema. Andrej Pejic is the one of the premier womens clothing models at the moment, fronting designers such as Jean-Paul Gaultier, and Marc Jacobs and he got much acclaim at the 2011 Paris shows. Yes – that wasn’t a typo. He. Andreij is a man.

This is fine, but it highlights one particular issue – designers are designing womens clothes that look their best then modelled by a man. Now Andreij Pejic is a particularly feminine looking man, but he is not a transexual, he has had no surgery or augmentation and therefore the clothes he models are designed to fit a shape that is unobtainable (and probably undesirable) for the vast majority of women. This is a giant signifier of the gradual unification of mens and womens clothing trends.

Now obviously this is at the most extreme end of the trend – but the same phenomenon can be seen right down at the consumer end of the market – most noticeable to me recently was outerwear or coats. I needed one, so I was searching through the usual haunts of Topman/Shop, River Island and the like and here are some examples of some strikingly androgynous styles…from relatively mainstream retailers…

Check out all the gold buttons, the sharp shoulders and the slight pinching at the waist, not to mention the belt. This is a pretty feminine coat, but not so much so that it looks like an womans coat, but it could be…

And here is the other side of the coin, this one being from Topshop – a womanswear retailer.

Womens fashion has always been better at integrating more masculine styles into ostensibly quite feminine clothes. For example:

At first glance this is clearly womens clothing, but have a look at those shoes – they not dainty, they’re big and stompy and an adaptable of mens office shoes in terms of the stitching detail. The dress too, its straight, with very little flare or embellishment, and bag looks like something a Doctor would have carried around in the 1950’s.

Look back up at the t-shirt. Looks like a mans t-shirt, but again a closer look reveals a dropped neckline, which is way more common on womens tops, its relatively long, and the sleeves are pretty short.

The perception therefore of whether something is ostensibly masculine depends largely on the model, and thus this is the key to androgynous fashion: it would probably look good on either gender.

Is this just a British thing? Let me know what you think.

Nail Polish

So as a man you want to move in the fashionable and colourful world of coloured nails?

Up until this point its generally accepted convention that guys (with plenty of self-confidence) can use black, brown or very dark blue. But what if you want to stand out a bit more and take it to the next level?

There’s hundreds of colours available but my experience suggests that they’re generally all high-gloss. The problem with this is that glossiness makes it look like you’ve put loads of effort into it, it looks to manicured, too perfect.

As with most styles for men, its all about looking like you spent 30 seconds on something (when in reality you know you’ve just spent longer in the bathroom than your girlfriend – much to her chagrin).

The solution?

This….

It turns high gloss nail varnish into a dull matt finish that makes it look a bit like you used a felt tip pen. Cool. Only £1.50 too.