Blurring the Lines of Fashion


Gone are the days of men simply wearing button-ups and starched slacks. It’s the 21st century and fashion standards are changing. 

Harry Styles made history by being the first solo male on the cover of Vogue magazine. In an interview with The Sunday Times openly gay Broadway star Billy Porter commented on Styles’ achievement claiming “I. Personally. Changed. The. Whole. Game. And that is not ego, that is just fact. I was the first one doing it and now everybody is doing it.”

Styles was pictured on the cover of Vogue wearing a blue Gucci dress. Porter says “I had to fight my entire life to get to the place where I could wear a dress to the Oscars,” and claims that he “created the conversation” about ambiguous fashion and that just isn’t true. Porter started blurring the lines between gender and fashion in 2017 and has furthered the conversation, but men have been doing it in the public eye for years before Porter. 

A good handful of male musicians of the past wore feminine-styled jumpsuits during their concerts like Styles, who have made them part of his signature. You can see examples of these men such as Freddie Mercury, Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler, and David Bowie, but Bowie didn’t just blur the lines with jumpsuits.

In 1971, a version of The Man Who Sold the World was released with a cover photo taken by Keith MacMillan of Bowie wearing a dress. Further, during his stay in 1971 for his tour around the states he wore 6 dresses that he bought from fashion legend Michael Fish. 

Drag queens have also been pavers in the path of ambiguous fashion. Some notable figures are Rupaul, Trixie Mattel, and Joane Jett Blakk. RuPaul is one of the most infamous drag queens. When talking about drag, RuPaul comes to mind. RuPaul is an openly gay black man who started doing drag at 15 in 1975. He has made a career and brand out of dressing in feminine clothes.

She’s even been featured in the movie based on the family favorite series The Brady Bunch and the Disney movie series Zombies. He’s most known for his show under his own name RuPaul’s Drag Race, a competition show for other drag queens.

Trixie Mattel is another drag icon known for her Barbie-inspired looks. Sporting big yellow hair and primarily pink looks, She has become popular through social media with 3.1 million followers on Instagram. She even garnered her own show, where she remodeled an old motel she bought, along with other shows she was the face of. Trixie starred as a contestant on season 7 of Rupaul’s Drag Race in 2015.

Joan Jett Blakk is a black drag queen who ran for president in 1992, and during her campaign, she wore full drag. Following this campaign, Blakk became the host of a talk show Late Nite with Joan Jett Blakk, and a play titled Ms. Blakk for President was written based on Blakk’s presidential campaign. 

Some of these famous men have made names for themselves for their feminine fashion, others, their fashion choices are just a plus, but these men are just a few who started the conversation way before Porter.