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Thread: HOW I STOPPED WORRYING AND LEARNED TO LOVE WOMEN’S CLOTHES

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    Default HOW I STOPPED WORRYING AND LEARNED TO LOVE WOMEN’S CLOTHES

    by Eugene Rabkin

    "I am straight. This must be stated for the purpose of this article, because it’s about my history of buying women’s clothes. While in our non-binary times articles on crossing the male/female sartorial gender divide are in abundance, they tend to be written by gay men. These go hand in hand with media missives about so-called “new masculinity” and directives to men to carry purses. Publications like Dazed, self-appointed leaders in gender fluidity, are full of pictures of young slim boys in women’s dresses and high heels. If such a media landscape feels alien to you, I understand. Created with best intentions, to break stereotypes, by now it seems to be perpetuating a stereotype of its own, that women’s clothes are necessarily those that possess inherently feminine attributes and are reserved for the gender-fluid. But women’s clothes run a wide gamut, and if individuality is indeed a cornerstone of modernity, then the degree of masculinity / femininity that an individual is comfortable with should be set by the individual and not by societal forces, of which the fashion media is one.

    I bought my first piece of women’s fashion in 2003. It was a pair of Ann Demeulemeester combat boots that was famously modeled in the September ’03 Vogue US by Nicole Kidman. They were made of buffalo leather, with zippers on each side and straps around the ankles. I would have dared anyone to say they somehow made me look feminine. On the contrary, they made me feel as confident in my image as any piece of menswear could have.

    It takes a certain comfort with oneself, perhaps even courage, to cross over to the women’s department. This isn’t your domain. You are entering not only a different physical space, but a different mental space. A trespasser, you leave behind societal norms, and that is no small task.

    And so I hovered at the edge of the women’s shoe department at Barneys, looking at a sea of Manolo Blahniks and Carrie Bradshaw wannabes. But, somewhere in there amongst the plush velvet, stockings, and pedicures I knew there was the best pair of boots I ever laid my eyes on. So, I crossed over. I don’t remember the details though it’s tempting to write that I broke into sweat and my pulse raced and stuff like that. What I do remember is a sense of euphoria that washed over me upon leaving the department store clutching my prize like an eagle his prey. I wore those boots to death and I still have them."

    Full article on SZ-Mag

  2. #2

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    Love it E, excellent article. Been on the smaller side for garments and shoes some of my earlier purchases were women's, specifically Ann and Carol coats from '07-08. Originally thought to have the buttons moved over to the "men's side" but decided nah, fuck it. Still plenty of women's or fairly androgynous pieces in my rotation, from Acne Hex jeans, women's Rick Island Dunks in burgundy, and most recently the new Guidi PLS sneakers.

    Coincidentally Sandy may have the exact same quilted kilt, haven't taken to stealing it yet but the thought is there now..



    (Oh and congratulations on the marriage, it's been a long time since the SZ 10 party brother!)

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    Fantastic writing... I think this is one of my favourite pieces and very relatable. That first paragraph totally encapsulates how I feel about the current gender-fluidity stuff in the media; inadvertently stereotyping themselves through misguided subversion. To me, the whole point of the gender fluidity trend should be to come to our own personal takes on how to present ourselves, which was touched upon as well.

    Two of my favourite tanktops I have seen were from the women's section. One from Y's, which goes all the way down to right above my knees and looks feminine, but when tucked into pants has a cooler edge to it. Both styles work differently and that accidental versatility is part of what I think makes re-appropriating styles from other genders so intriguing. The other was a S size cashmere one from RO which is meant to fit oversized, but on my lean and skinny body fit tight and snug. I would own both of them if the RO one wasn't so expensive (around 200,000Yen).

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    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Thank you, dji! Surprisingly, I got no hate mail yet. The kilt is similar to this one, just the quilting is vertical. I just wanted to also give some encouragement for straight guys to cross the aisle. And thank you for the marriage congrats - yes, it's been ages.

    Thank you, Danny.
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

    StyleZeitgeist Magazine

  5. #5

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    I have a fair amount of women’s clothing in my male wardrobe. While pieces that read more feminine can be quick to make any man feel uncomfortable (and even as a gay man I still get anxious browsing the designer racks in the women’s department in stores), there are a wealth of garments that you’re missing out on if you’re only looking at the men’s department. I have many Rick Owens sweaters, scarves, coats and shorts that are from his women’s line. Blazers and coats from Haider Acekermann. One of my most treasured pieces is a women’s knee length alligator leather coat from early 2000s Calvin Klein when he was still designing runway collections. I’ve also purchased a vintage Chanel jacket this year - the cut works and the fabric is amazing. I don’t feel or look feminine when I wear any of these, no more than I do masculine anyway. They’re all just clothes that make me fee confident.

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    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by haydn View Post
    I have a fair amount of women’s clothing in my male wardrobe. While pieces that read more feminine can be quick to make any man feel uncomfortable (and even as a gay man I still get anxious browsing the designer racks in the women’s department in stores), there are a wealth of garments that you’re missing out on if you’re only looking at the men’s department. I have many Rick Owens sweaters, scarves, coats and shorts that are from his women’s line. Blazers and coats from Haider Acekermann. One of my most treasured pieces is a women’s knee length alligator leather coat from early 2000s Calvin Klein when he was still designing runway collections. I’ve also purchased a vintage Chanel jacket this year - the cut works and the fabric is amazing. I don’t feel or look feminine when I wear any of these, no more than I do masculine anyway. They’re all just clothes that make me fee confident.

    Love this <3
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

    StyleZeitgeist Magazine

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