Feminist blogger Clarissa writes: “Male clothes are kind of boring. There is an obvious gender imbalance here.” — from 'Halloween Costumes'
And: “If women can wear pants and suits, there is no reason why men shouldn’t wear dresses and skirts.” — from 'Should Clothing Be Gender-Specific?'
The latter quote comes from a post about Michael Spookshow's 'His Black Dress', a freestyle fashion blog. Michael explains:
To me, a fashion freestyler is anyone who wears what they want to regardless of preconceived societal opinions. In the context of men's fashion, for me this mostly relates to men wearing dresses, skirts, tights, and high heels, all garments that are currently considered strictly women's clothing. A freestyler is not a crossdresser, at least not in the traditional sense of the term, as he does not try to pass as a woman. A freestyler wears a dress and a pair of heels as a man. (...) Freestyle fashion isn't about fantasy, or simply getting dressed up and taking pictures. For me, real freestyle fashion is worn out on the streets in every day life. — from 'Thoughts on Freestyle Fashion I'
Michael posits a freestyle continuum, from Braveheart (kilt wearer) to androgyne (blurring male/female), placing himself as follows:
As we approach androgyny we must first come into the area I fall into, men who ignore the gender label on clothing. This man will wear skirts, dresses, tights, heels, whatever, but will still keep his appearance male. He believes that clothing has no inherent gender, and that it's silly to put such restrictions on fabric. Speaking personally, to me it's about men having a full range of expression and experiences. — from 'Boys in Dresses: A Primer'
Possibly Michael's continuum could be extended into the more feminine side of things, heading for CD and TV. Following straight on at the androgyne end might be Alex Drummond's grrl-mode. Alex aims for a specifically transgendered presentation, using wigs, make-up, skirts, accessories and so forth, combined with a beard and an undisguised masculine frame. I'm not certain whereabouts I belong. And how about genderfuck? But anyway...
A couple more extracts:
Social perception defines what is viewed as masculine or feminine, and men are expected to stay within the masculine box. However, I think it is silly, and even outdated, to cling to such preconceived notions. At the end of the day, a dress is just a piece of fabric, cut and sewn into a particular shape. I just don't understand the need to put a gender label on that piece of fabric, to say that only girls can wear it. — from 'Boys in Dresses: Ignoring Labels'
Once we strip away the gender stereotypes and labels on clothing, what are we left with? A dress on its own is neither male nor female, it's just fabric. When someone says, "Dresses are for girls.", they are really only projecting their opinion onto that garment. — from 'Why Fashion Freedom is Important'
This is pretty much the position I've been approaching (see this post). So is freestyle for me? I'm not sure; there's rather more to it in my case than just clothes. But I like the attitude of freestyle: I'm going to wear these because I want to, so sod you and your stupid gender rules. Yes, I can certainly relate to that. Gender can be such a pain. As @quarridors tweeted earlier today: “Life would be considerably easier if I could just successfully opt out of the whole thing without everyone seeing it as a really big deal :/”