Male fashion is lagging behind


Midway Staff

The isolation of the world of female fashion is no longer suited to our understanding of gender, writes content manager Chloe Ma.

Chloe Ma, Content Manager

At most awards shows, female-presenting celebrities or spouses are expected to show up decked out in glitter and fine fabrics, while their male counterparts show up in a traditional suit and tie. Gender norms have been slowly changing for years, with the occasional male celebrity sporting a kilt or a loose-fitting skirt. But recently male celebrities have been pushing the boundaries of fashion while walking the red carpet. 

I watch awards shows for these red carpet moments, but the most memorable are always from the female presenting celebrities on red carpets — the glittery outfits and colorful fabrics, the ballgowns and slinky silver creations draped onto the women who wear them.

Male-presenting people have to face the stereotype that embracing femininity somehow makes them less of a man. But things are changing. More male-presenting people have started emerging from their traditionally masculine shells. Through both social media and fashion, many activists have begun to express themselves in a way that is not conventionally manly. A noteworthy event that stirred online controversy was Harry Styles’ December 2020 Vogue cover, in which he donned a lacy Gucci dress. This sparked debate between millions of people across the world about the idea of masculinity, and provoked a new age of male fashion. At the Met Gala Sept. 13, Frank Ocean went for a space-themed vibe over the conventional tux, while A$AP Rocky covered his black and white suit with a bright quilt. Pete Davidson wore a chic, straight-lined Thom Browne dress paired with a boxy, white suit jacket. It was a perfect example of a feminine yet still masculine-looking outfit. He may not have been the first man to wear a dress on a red carpet, but he has joined the ranks of Billy Porter, Tom Ford and Carl Clemens-Hopkins.

The standard for male design is unbelievably low, while female celebrities are expected to wear a new and fresh outfit at every awards show every year.

— Chloe Ma

While some male-presenting celebrities have shown up to red carpets in skirts and sparkles, the ratio of male to female creativity is devastating. Those who have managed to break out of the box tend to be queer or people of color, furthering the idea that only a select few can dress eccentrically. During the pandemic time, the idea of gender has become much less important as people had time to reflect on themselves and many began to explore their sexuality and the idea of masculinity. TikTok users created a trend in which men experimented with makeup and clothing. One of the most notable trends was men dressing up in maid costumes, either with significant others or on their own.

To catch up with the ever changing trends, fashion designers and brands have to make dresses and eccentric designs more accessible and creative for male celebrities. The standard for male design is unbelievably low, while female celebrities are expected to wear a new and fresh outfit at every awards show every year.