Harry Styles: Why Masculinity Doesn't Make the Man

So often in discussions of menswear or men's fashion, the conversation turns to masculinity (i.e. how strong the prints are, how structured the design is, how uniform the look is).

It is nearly impossible to separate the two, they have become ignorant synonyms of each other, replaced easily by the haphazard use of the other. In this distorted arrangement, a man cannot exist in the absence of masculinity and vice versa... and yet we have Harry Styles. 

Source: tigerbeat.com

Source: tigerbeat.com

One of four members of the music group One Direction, Harry Styles has had a continuous relationship with blurring gender traits with his wardrobe. With the growing popularity and success of the group, however, many have noticed a growing prominence of femininity in the heart throb's clothing choices for both professional and private appearances.  

In One Direction's latest music video "Perfect," Harry Styles is seen sporting a silk Gucci blouse...

Source: http://dailyonedirection.tumblr.com/ Gucci

Source: http://dailyonedirection.tumblr.com/ Gucci

...this silk Marc Jacobs tropical print shirt... 

Source: tumblr.com 

Source: tumblr.com 

...AND this Louis Vuitton silk embroidered top. 

Source: tumblr.com

Source: tumblr.com

Watching Harry's personal style change over the past couple of years has truly caused me to reconsider my own notions of dressing in menswear and how I often avoid femininity in fear of losing touch with my own masculinity. For many, we cling to one side of the femininity/masculinity binary as if our bodies, like a lit seatbelt sign, prevent us from moving when in all reality we are free to move about the cabin. 

Harry Styles has become the picture of unapologetic self-confidence and expression, one of few to take advantage of their freedom and stretch their legs. 

And that's not even mentioning these striped Paige Denim skinny jeans...

http://www.sugarscape.com/fashion/news/a1074508/harry-womens-skinny-jeans-paige-denim-pics/

http://www.sugarscape.com/fashion/news/a1074508/harry-womens-skinny-jeans-paige-denim-pics/

...his little splashes of phalange flair...

...and of course THE BOOTS.

All of this to say that unpacking yourself from that safe little box can go a long way in the "what a cutie" category but even further when expressing your own personal style. Who knows... maybe you'll find the one thing that will make you so strong that no body will be able to drag you down.  

In the end, following the rigid rules of "what women should wear" and "what men should wear" just really is...

Be boldly you. 

-Bing

Keep up with Bing on instagram, twitter, and tumblr.

Ashleigh Bingham better known as “Bing, ”creator of I Dream of Dapper, is a dapperwear Tumblr style icon. She contributed to popularizing the long-haired "queer pomp" and is known for her daring pattern mixing, complimentary rich colors, lapel pins, wild thrift finds, variety in neckwear (featured in her "50 Days of Dapper" project), & ability to write about Harry Styles. In the past, Bing has contributed to Autostraddle, and has been featured on DapperQ, S Moda, HudsonBuzzfeed, and included in the top 10 of a national menswear online competition. With a tendency to mix fashion with satire, Bing aims to explore fashion as a tool for self-expression rather than an industry.