“Choose your battles wisely”, is how the old saying goes. This is wisdom…especially if you are a man who happens to like clothing labelled as womens. There may be nothing wrong with a man wearing women’s clothing (personally, to me there should be one department store marked – CLOTHES with no separation for men’s or women’s), but society has adopted some skewed views that we have to work with.
As I write this, I’m watching my wife walk by wearing very manly cargo pants while I’m sitting here wearing leggings (quite comfortable I might add) and although this works well in our house, I’m cautious on choosing venues for how to dress. When we go out to a trade show with 25,000 people, It’s our turf and our company we represent. We set the rules and the guy in the skirt rocks it. When we go to Christmas supper with family, or we have a business meeting on a cold call – the skirt stays home. Am I a sell out? After all, I’m an advocate for men and women being able to wear whatever they want, right? True, but I’m also an advocate for respect and tolerance.
There are some old fashioned views out there and just like men wearing earrings, or women wearing pants, eventually when it is seen public enough, the social realm adopts it as “normal” but until then, I caution men to choose which battles are worth fighting and which are not. Damaged relationships or lost work may or may not be worth being right over. You have the choice in the matter. Choose to be a positive influence on those you come into contact with. Balance portions of what you like with what others will feel comfortable with. Seeing a man in a woman’s shirt with a skirt might be a breaking point, but one or the other might help to open a closed mind.
I recall not that long ago when body piercings were frowned upon. Most staff members in any retail setting had a choice – remove the piercing or don’t come to work. Tattoos were the same – keep them covered. But social acceptance and reality TV shows changed all of that in just a few short years – now 50 year old mom’s are getting inked and it’s considered edgy and in some ways actually encouraged by society.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, wear what you want, when you want, but be aware of your surroundings and the people you are going to come into contact with. The more men are seen in public wearing clothing that would be, by today’s standards, classified as for women only, the sooner old stigmas will be erased and new paradigms will rush in to fill the void. It’s an awesome world we live in, and I believe in the greater number of open thinkers than the handful of closed ones. I also believe the next decade will be one filled with many social walls being broken down. Clothing is only a small part of it.