Racked.com has a fun read on why men don’t generally wear dresses.
“Clothing makes you aware of the edges and boundaries and borders of your body,” Barry says. “So wearing a dress, wearing women’s garments, even in the privacy of your own home, connects you to your body in a way that could make you feel comfortable or uncomfortable with how you perceive yourself.”
Dresses are brilliant things: simple ones are arguably the most comfortable things anyone could wear. Flattering, too: I’ve never felt smarter or cuter than when I’ve been in a simple tea dress, and I’ll fight anyone who says Brad Pitt didn’t look like a gladiator when he donned a frock for Rolling Stone.
And dresses are practical: you can go from naked to ready by pulling a single thing over your head. Although I’d also recommend underwear in case of Marilyn Monroe moments or unexpectedly see-through fabrics. But you get the idea. Slobbing around at home? Dress! Corner shop for biscuits? Dress! High powered business meeting? Dress! Beach? Dress! Date? Dress! Climbing up ladders while commando? Maybe not that one.
Lack of pockets aside, dresses are more versatile than anything else I can think of. Denim jeans come close but they’re not as welcome in as many different places as a LBD.
Despite the many pluses, though, I feel vulnerable in a dress. Much more so than in any other obviously female item of clothing.
Part of that I’m sure is the lightness, the lack of layers, the omnipresent fear of a gust of wind. But a bigger part is that dresses are hyper-feminine in a way leggings or skinny jeans aren’t. They aren’t feminised versions of generally unisex things.
Which leads us right back into why we don’t see men wearing this season’s knife-pleat skirts or sequined minis while out grocery shopping or drinking scotch at a bar. “Feminine clothing has absolutely no social capital for a man to put on because he’s gesturing towards a set of traits that our society doesn’t really value,” Jolles says. He’s gone from the top of the social ladder to the bottom, and that display of willingly cashing in your power is what makes the look so uncomfortable or shocking.
It’s a shame that such a simple, useful and practical bit of fabric is imbued with such power. Guys, you’re missing out.