Men: they have feelings too! They wear clothes. They do things. They have opinions. They want to be heard and be loved and be looked at and made to feel good.
So what do they think of clothing? They have lots of thoughts, obviously, in particular about how clothing makes them feel. What a funny thing to think about, a swapping of the typically gendered idea of feeling like something because of clothing. New York magazine recently asked a very varied selection of twenty five men how clothing make them feel. The results are interesting!
A lot of them speak to the idea of a uniform, which gets at the biggest commonality between the men: they like to feel comfortable. No shit, dudes. Everyone does! Another thing: the men get into a character when they wear certain clothes. “I put them on and I feel super butch like a lumberjack,” Cheyenne Jackson explained of some steel toed boots. “If I wear tie-up leather shoes, I walk differently, I talk differently than when I wear sneakers,” Sam Shahid echoed.
Furthermore—and at the intersection of both of these—are men looking at other men and realizing what does not work for them, something at the intersection of discomfort and identity. For example: Wes Bentley doesn’t fuck with shorts. “Shorts are always tough for men,” he says, obviously referring to himself. “I see some guys pull it off great. I don’t think I could necessarily do that unless I am working out.” Huh. Who would have thought. “I think I have skinny skinny legs,” Jon Michael Hill adds.”I’m pretty self-conscious about that.” Maybe men feel really uncomfortable with showing some leg? Something to think about.
Perhaps most notable is that most of the men don’t feel good about how they look now. Most throw back to the past, to a bar mitzvah (Jonathan Adler) or to when they had really cool kid Jordans (A$AP Rocky). Most stayed within their gender except for the old dude ray of light that is John Cale. “Gender-free clothing!” he starts. “It challenges any preconceptions of sexuality from both sides of the fence…I feel masculine in whatever I’m wearing…especially my new pleated skirt!!” I love that. Masculinity is whatever you want it to be. So is femininity! It’s all an act and clothing help to reinforce that feeling.
How does clothing make men feel? Well, they want to feel comfortable and confident and they think they looked better when they were younger. Sounds like we’re all the same, aren’t we?