Let’s Hear it For the Boys

Post by C.M.

Marc Jacobs has been trying for years to get men into skirts, and despite his best efforts, and a momentary high point when David Beckham donned a sarong (which must have given dear Marc palpitations of hopeful glee) it’s just not happening.

But if skirts really and truly did become a thing, they’d likely be referred to as a “man skirt”. Just like if a dress crept into mainstream menswear it would be called a ‘mress’.  As it is, a functional, useful bag becomes a man-bag when carried by a member of the gruffer sex. In the hands of a lady her trusty Lancome Le Crayon Kohl is eyeliner, in those of a fellow it’s suddenly guy-liner.

Tinie Tempah, looking dapper
(Photo: Rex Features)

My current pet peeve is the “mankle”. Not the trend itself – I quite like an exposed, sockless ankle on a guy (See Tinie Tempah, above ) – but the term. What then do we women have? Wankles?

Male nannies are ‘mannies’, male nurses are “murses”.  It’s tongue-in-cheek and the words haven’t yet entered the dictionary (although photobomb has just been), however I can’t help but feel that if a woman in a typically male profession were referred to as a femelectrician or a womechanic she wouldn’t take it lightly, or kindly. There are no more Bean Gardaí (female police officers, for our non-Irish readers), only Gardaí, inclusive of both sexes, so perhaps it’s now time to put the shoe on the other foot and offer men in the care services the same respect?

I digress, but staying on a similar vein, can we accept that men are interested in fashion and interested in expressing themselves through it just like women are? At the original time of writing this post it was a little known fact that we were in the midst of Milan Men’s Fashion Week, following London’s the week before, because there’s so little coverage. It brings to mind when our talented and hard-working female sportswomen’s matches, finals and triumphs are overlooked and dismissed but for an enlightened few. But again, I digress.

Irish Independant’s Darren Kennedy at LFW
(Photo: Silvia Olsen)

Anyway, so far the overwhelming trends emerged introducing bold, bright colour, particularly mustard; a lot of shrink-fit suits and on the other end of the scale voluminous jackets and wide-cut trousers; the mode for a slightly modish, smart look continues, but with the added addition of a clutch or purse (no, not a “murse”).

So men, unite! Halt this wary, fearful emasculation and go forward on your fashion adventure. Try a bow tie, a pop of colour, a smart brogue. You don’t need to shave your unwanted hair or moisturize or do any other pruning and preening if you don’t want to (and neither do we for that matter (except moisturize and apply sunscreen, do that!)), but discovering a personal style can be really enriching and refreshing. Grab a friend, do a bit of shopping, and give yourselves a big man-hug afterwards to reward yourselves. Because you’re worth it too.

Mustard and mankles at the Gucci Show

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