Dress For Success

Dress For Success 

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I’m looking at dresses

skirts

something for me

but it’s all too fem

I wonder

why is fem a bad thing

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there was a time when

nothing was too fem for a man to wear

all those portraits

of men in wild oceans 

of lace

satin

brocaded jackets

did they dress like that

hanging around their homes

what did they wear

when they weren’t posing

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do I want this dress

to pose in

or

do I need something practical

utilitarian

genderless

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I’m looking at vintage photos 

of men 

going fishing

they’re wearing shirts & ties

shirts & ties to the beach

on picnics with the family

working on the roof

I can’t remember 

the last time I wore

a shirt & tie

but I remember wearing them

owning them

I’ve never worn a dress or a skirt

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I don’t want to make a statement

but that is impossible

if I showed up

in acceptable formal

Henry VIII court wear

it would be a costume

how many times 

would I have to dress that way

for it to be as ordinary

as a shirt & tie

would a dress on me

ever be as ordinary

as a shirt & tie

A few years ago Billy Porter showed up at the Academy Awards in an amazing, huge, black ruffled ballgown with a tuxedo jacket top. Beautifully tailored & shockingly fashion forward. It got him more press than anyone else at the Awards that year – what year was it? Who won that year? I can’t remember but I doubt if I’ll forget that dress or who wore it.

This was followed up by some minor male pop stars in various fashion magazine spreads, modelling dresses & androgynous clothing. Gimmick stuff supposedly to aid in the cause of degenderizing  clothing. If you look back through the history of fashion there has always been a clear difference between what men wore & what women wore – at least those who could afford it & had social positions that demanded it. What the farmer’s wife & her husband wore were close to identical. 

I know that when I grew up clothing was gender by colour & practicality. Boys never had lace trim on their sweaters; pink, blue etc. Even which side you buckled your belt was a gender indicator. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I found out women’s blouses had buttons on the left (or is the right), men’s shirts on the right. 

Hair was another defining point – men/boys short – women long. When the hippie guys began growing out their hair, it was always straight down never teased into hair hopper balloons. I never knew a girl who got a brush cut for the summer. I never owned an ordinary shirt & tie.

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

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