We’ve come a long way since being a man was anything concerning the physical exertion of entrusting chirpy spermatozoa to an ovum, going on the piss all day long or counting proudly the chest hair to assess virility- let’s say that men were more confident dressing the part of the ‘I-wear-the-pants’ in the past.

We have to admit that man’s evolution, in terms of fashion- from the animal hide-clothed Homo Neanderthalensis– the first to make clothing- to the hyper-bejeweled Homo Guccis—sorry to all the real anthropologists for this heresy but it’s just to make you catch the drift!- has not yet been completed and, perhaps, will never be. Even today, it’s challenging to treat of men’s fashion consciousness without losing the thread because of cultural inheritance and gender-centered ramblings- the only cert is that men of all time are solely very conscious of their testes!-.

You can’t deny the fact that, when your hands take a trip to your Privatesland or you take off your clothes, you inevitably identify something down there that, to a certain extent, acts upon your choices. For quite some time culture has struck at the heart of men’s fashion by assuming that to show any significant interest in clothes was a morally reprehensible attitude and that a stylish man- ipso facto a sissy!- was as repellent as Donald Trump’s yellowish comb-over. How scary!


Alessandro Michele’s take on Gucci revolves around the peculiar features of women’s wear and challenges the conventional male identity. Here an ensemble from Gucci Fall/Winter 15 collection.

At first, manhood was a construct based on very restrictive conventions and the penis, no matter the size- size is a quite recent woe!- was seen as a knickknack of formidable power- think of it as Aladdin’s magic lamp! Warning: rub it with caution, there’s not any genie within!!!-. Anyway, you know that with great power comes great responsibility- yup, to have a penis is a condition as haunting as Frodo Baggins-messing-with-the-One-Ring!-.

Male sex appeal was in a tight corner, moribund as an injured bird- the buttoned-to-the-neck shirts, flat-front trousers and square-shaped jackets with peaked lapels kept the fancied hidden-; men were reduced to utilitarian bodies: a pair of thrusts of the back in the sack, the control over emotions and devotion to work befitted the gent- men were so miserable and boring back than that I’m sure that it was the exact period women started pretending orgasms!-.


John Galliano’s designs- before his reputation’s restyling, natch!- revealed a strong commitment to a licentious masculinity that flirts with transvestism. An embroidered oversize sweater, furry collar and a turban- Fall/Winter 11- suggest femininity but Galliano never keeps a man’s good stuff hidden, quite the contrary, he focuses on it! Miss my Gal!

From the fashiophobic to the trendoid, it wasn’t a stone’s throw but there’s no need to bring up any evolutionary science to understand things have pretty much changed through the years. An annoying familiar refrain- nowadays a big hit- almost everyone sticks up for is: ‘There were giants in those days! Masculinity’s in crisis! The phallus is dying!’ and yada-yada-yada.

The blame for the growing feminization of men generally lies with fashion’s seditious pep and feminism and its troublesome clitoris-focused theories- overexposure to Botulinum toxin, tanning, bodybuilding and Lady Gaga did the rest! The fact that gender’s undergoing a revolution is as clear as vodka, but it does not mean that all men are being turned into the likes of Village People or they’re going to have an identity crisis, a decrease in testosterone levels or erectile probs just because they’re not dressed as a regular male is culturally supposed to be.


Vivienne Westwood always delights in experimenting cross-gender. From the Gold Label Fall/Winter 15 collection, a taffeta gown is fit for the most romantic fairy tale…if not for the princess’ hairy legs! But it’s a matter of taste!

It’s true that the cross-gender styling of Vivienne Westwood- and her insightful erotic-fetishistic digression on men’s wear-, John Galliano’s histrionism, Jean Paul Gaultier’s cross-over appeal and, lately, Alessandro Michele’s unsex for Gucci have been setting menswear free a bit more from the connotations predicated on binarism but, it is likewise true that we continue getting stuck on the idea that the attire makes the male.

I know that a further distinction of terms as masculinity, male identity and male performance would have helped, but when many words sound as a bluff, a picture is enough!

I wonder: Is an ultra-masculine three-piece suit that really makes the male?


Mapplethorpe’s Man in the polyester suit! The suit makes the difference full stop Over and out!

Are there barriers in our society or are they just in our mind?