Article written by Maya Vukovska

In the early 1900s, Coco Chanel introduced the pants into her collections as part of her effort to liberate women from the tight corsets and bring female fashion into the new century. Some 20 years later, German actress Marlene Dietrich became the first female actress who wore a pantsuit in a film. Before her, women wore trousers mainly for riding, but they were not seen as fashionable. With her “scandalous” taste in men's clothing, the actress not only changed beauty ideals but also challenged the concept of gender. Celebrities like Billy Porter, Johnathan Van Ness, and Harry Styles are today’s male versions of Marlene Dietrich. These guys have been among the first to rock skirts and dresses publicly. Designers like Zegna and Jun Takahashi have immediately caught the wave - they challenge ideas of manhood in their latest campaigns by making skirting an issue. Of course, we don’t expect many men to embrace that style, but for those who are prone to experiment, here are some ideas on how to steal items from the female wardrobe without looking ridiculous.

High Heeled Shoes

Before you exclaim, “There’s no way I am walking around in Dorothy’s ruby slippers!”, think for a moment. It’s for a fact that the high-heels were first created for men. Their origin can be traced back to the 15th century when Persian soldiers wore them for practical reasons. Later, Persian migrants introduced the trend to the European male aristocrats who would wear them to appear taller. Needless to say, wearing a 5-inch heel pink pump with a hidden platform is out of the question - after all, you are not looking to rob a drug queen of her essentials! What we’d suggest, though, is getting yourself a pair of massive heeled boots. Back in 2019, the fashion designer Marc Jacobs posted a bunch of selfies on which he looked gorge wearing such boots. Another designer, Laurence Decade, admits that the biggest inspiration for her is David Bowie’s 2.6-inch bootie from the 70s. It’s been a current trend among male celebs, like Timotheé Chalamet and Shawn Mendez, to take cues from the glam rock icons’ footwear. High-heeled boots will make you feel more powerful and sexy.

Purses

Ever since the airing of the episode in Sex and the City caused a mass obsession with the Birkin bag, men have wanted to wear purses. They just don’t admit it out loud…yet. However, the recent fashion weeks showed how the attitude towards bags in menswear was changing. A petite cross-body chest or clutch purse can be an excellent choice for guys who are tired of stuffing their pockets with personal belongings, but are too embarrassed to go around in public carrying an actual “girls’ purse” in their hands.

Dresses

Men wearing dresses is not just an eccentric fashion statement. It’s been that way for centuries. Loose togas and chitons were the favorite garments of the ancient Greeks and Romans because of the freedom of movement they would provide. The Chines loved their tunics, and the Indians have rocked cotton dhotis since forever! So, why now it should be any different! Well, it shouldn’t. One big pro of wearing dresses is that they are non-constricting and very comfortable. Cotton jersey dresses, for example, when combined with sandals, a pair of Converse sneakers, or black army boots are perfect for casual events like having drinks with friends. An oversized patchwork dress could be a good choice for a work dress in certain professional circles because it looks both gender-neutral and aesthetically pleasing.

Skirts

When it comes to skirts, you can borrow some ideas from designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier , Rick Owens, and Rei Kawakubo who are passionate advocates of unisex fashion, and for years have been advancing the cause of skirts as an acceptable item of the men’s wardrobe.

The blanket skirt looks very much like an American sportswear classic - it is pretty much provocation-resistant as it’s considered an equivalent of a pair of chinos. Jordan Clarkson’s version of this type of skirt is actually perfect to wear after a basketball game with the buddies. French designer Hedi Slimane came up with an invigorating TikTok-inspired 2021 collection of schoolgirl skirts for boys, which he combined with stacked jeans.

Bras

This item is not only socially, but also biologically ascribed to women only. And nobody can argue that. However, the utilitarian and gender-bound function of the bra has been recently questioned when a Ukrainian soccer player removed his shirt after scoring in a match against Sweden and the whole of Europe could see him wearing a black bra. WTF!? Soon, it became clear that it wasn’t some kind of extravagant underwear choice, but a piece of equipment that holds a GPS device that tracks the player’s physical performance and health factors.

So, guys, the bottom line is: Do not be afraid to discard the prejudices and embrace the traditionally feminine characteristics. And don’t worry - it’s not fugu fish - you won’t die just because you've tried it.