Being a guy, for the most part, I feel judged with any risky fashion choice. Sure enough, anytime I decide to do anything that is not part of the standard tee, jean, and sneaker archetype I get the classic “what are you wearing?” Sounds like something akin to Mean Girls right? Even as a 19-year-old in 2017 I still get this. Ironically, I thought I was done with that treatment after I finished middle school where guys used to make fun of me for wearing tight jeans. Reactions like this keep me from wearing what I truly want to or from what I think I'll look good in. The truth is, fashion is based on perspective. Therefore, there really shouldn’t be any matter that I wear what I want. Just with how I act and what I believe, as long I am following the law, I shouldn’t care what people think about my own garb.
This revelation came to me after a few people in consecutive weeks looked at my dress or what I planned to do responded to me with a brisk “What!” or “Why?” Some even began to question my masculinity. What does fashion have to do with masculinity anyway?
Looking historically and critically, just like music, literature, and history in general, fashion is an ever evolving, cyclical concept. Things come, leave and show back up again. Just like leather boots, and all of the other trends the 2009 folk revival brought back, rolled cuffs, and slicked back hair were in almost direct contrast to the baggy t-shirt and jean combo of the late 90’s and early 2000’s, not to mention frosted tips. We look at all these things as ridiculous now; however, at one time they were popular.
I am even one to have been caught up in the making fun of or judging others fashion choices. In reality, I shouldn’t care. For instance, I can’t stand bucket hats, sock flops, and obnoxiously frequent wearing of shorts. However, why do I take the time to let it bug me? If there is any reason at all, I can’t find one.
Of course, there is color combinations and symmetry to take into account because certain choices are more appealing to the eye. Does that mean we should judge an individual who doesn’t comply? No. Even if they are extremely close. I wrote in an article around 8 months ago that I dress for myself. Why should I get in the way of another doing the same, or even worse, someone who cannot afford to wear what they want?
In the end, I am going to try to not allow these things to bug me. In its most basic purpose clothing gives us warmth and protects others from seeing our nasty bits. More importantly, I will not allow other people's opinions to hinder my perception and choice of my own appearance. I am going to dress how I want because I have a vision of my appearance that no one else does. So yes, ponytails and man buns are cool!