By Maria Martinez
Blog Content Contributor
Men have been taught to like football and beer, not clothes and accessories.
There are times when I just sit on the benches at the Quad for a few moments, looking at people walking through, and almost every guy is dressed in sweatpants and t-shirts. This “style” is what is predominant among college guys. Not many of them really take the time to grab a nice pair of jeans and a shirt, or even a polo, to go to school.
The overuse of sportswear is incredible. According to Sports Illustrated, Americans have transformed themselves from a populace that dresses almost exclusively in civilian clothing and pays to watch athletes perform in uniform, to one that dresses, in significant numbers, exactly like those athletes.
We live in a world where we still stereotype men who like dressing well or fashionable. Many people interchange the words homosexual with male fashionista. But why is that? Anyone can like fashion, in the same way that anyone can like football or basketball. The word fashion, in a men’s vocabulary, needs to change its connotation. There is a feeling, possibly stronger in America than in Europe, that a man who spends time on his appearance is somehow emasculated.
Many men don’t know the power of dressing well. It reflects self-confidence and success. Whenever I see a man dressed nice, I get happy and excited. It makes me feel proud to know he took the time to look good, for not only himself, but for the other people around him. I always try to convince my dad and boyfriend that there is nothing more attractive than seeing a man in a pair of fitted jeans and a shirt. I always tell them that if I could, I would choose their outfits every single day of their lives.
We are in the process of a slow transition of men embracing their own fashion styles. Today, men are being more open and adventurous in trying new trends. Simon Glazin, fashion journalist, said, “Men are getting more fashionable and wanting different things. They are spending more money, and more time getting ready.”
Men have started to wear accessories such as bags, ear cuffs, necklaces and pretty watches. They are also using more colored shoes and showy sneakers, and not just the typical black or brown shoes. The Chelsea boot is coming strong; it is my favorite shoe trend of the moment so please guys, keep this trend coming. Another big change men are going through is hairstyles. The pompadour style has been predominant these past couple of seasons. There have been some variations of the style, but the idea remains the same, shorter on the sides and longer on the top. A fun fact about this style is that it has been around since the ’40s and ’50s. Stars like Elvis Presley and James have sported this look. Just like in women’s fashion, everything comes back!
Men are taking little steps out of their comfort zone. Glazin said, “Expressing yourself with what you wear is becoming more important [for men].” He added, “I think now more than ever with menswear, it’s a massive growing market in the fashion industry.” I think the main cause of this change is social media. Men are being exposed to other males like celebrities, athletes, bloggers on Instagram or other social media accounts, and they are imitating their styles. I know many guys around me who use Harry Styles as an inspiration, which I totally love and approve. While some others that use Kanye West as a model, which I am not a huge fan.
I don’t know how many of you have watched the movie The Intern, but if you haven’t, you need to go and watch it now! There was one part of the movie that struck me, and I want men all over the world to be changed by it too. Jules Ostin, played by Anne Hathaway, is just as worried of the fashion world as I am. She said, “How, in one generation, have men gone from guys like Jack Nicholson and Harrison Ford to… take Ben [Robert De Niro], here. A dying breed. You know? Look and learn, boys. Because if you ask me, this is what cool is.” Which is totally true! Why did these past generations started to dress carelessly, walking around like they just got out of bed?
The sea of wool overcoats and fedoras gave way to logo-plastered sweatshirts and jackets. We can’t let men’s fashion die in our country, we simply cannot. So it doesn’t matter what your style is, if you are a hipster, a classic or a more Kanye West-inspired type of guy, embrace it. Be proud of being a male fashionista. I am not saying you now have to start your own fashion blog to be considered a fashionista, just start dressing better and maybe some of your friends will be inspired by you and they will start to copy your style. I know deep inside of my heart that slowly but surely, men will start to become more and more interested in fashion, and we will have men dressed nicely all around us. Remember guys, we clothe to make a statement, not to prevent nudity.
Featured image by Madison Tyson.