Men’s Fashion: Patriarchy, Masculinity, and Diversity in Style

We need to give props to men’s fashion and call out the patriarchy for double standards.

Most of the time, men’s fashion is only a sliver of what’s available for women. But that’s not–as so many of my male friends would like to argue–the fault of women. The lack of options is specifically tied to patriarchy and the fashion’s industry role in upholding masculine standards.

Because, let’s face it, men’s clothing is limited because there are more specific ideas of what what male-identified folk should wear and present as. That’s why there’s so much flannel, basic tees, and black jeans.

To be “stylish” is to be “feminine.”

Consider how we automatically write off boy bands, Korean pop idols, and any male-identified folk with a sense of a style as “gay,” or lacking in (toxic) masculinity.

While it is fun to tease our friends about their sense of style, we should appreciate the diversity too and rethink of how we view fashion. It’s an extension of our identity. Men’s Fashion has been taking more provocative turns in recent years, from the influx of skinny jeans to the reintroduction of men’s skirts. But it’s also our job not to unduly criticize or hate, because we’re just upholding tired patriarchal tropes.

Below is my friend Corey Zhao, who is always unafraid to wear what he wants and demonstrate his own sense of fashion despite teasing. While I admit, I’m not particularly a fan of his shiny leather pants (pictured), we should admire men’s fashion more too, because it is just as an important part of the industry as women’s fashion.

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