Social – Boys are the new girls

2013-10-06 14:00

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At STR.CRD, Joburg’s premiere street-fashion event, Malibongwe Tyilo discovered that the guys are doing more dressing up than the girls – and igniting the social scene with the ‘skirt effect’

Joburg’s annual street culture festival happened at Constitution Hill last weekend.

STR.CRD is one of the best places to spot what fashion trends the young’uns are embracing right now and, from what I saw, there is no doubt that when

it comes to fashion, boys are the new girls.

I’m not just talking about the little skirts and minidresses pretending to be longer-length T-shirts either, although, yes, we do need to talk about that in a good, celebratory way, obviously.

But I am more fascinated by the matching looks, the “Imma-coordinate with-my-best-mate” vibe.

You know, the kind of outfit-matching usually seen on groups of It girls in movies like Mean Girls, the movie that gave us the classic phrase: “Stop trying to make fetch happen.”

Now don’t get me wrong, boys matching up is nothing new – think bands and gangs.

But somehow we’ve come to expect girls to always be the ones pushing fashionable looks. It’s not a rare thing to see girlfriends and wives making fashion choices for husbands and boyfriends. But at this year’s STR.CRD, the girls were well outdone by the boys and, considering that many boys dressed in pairs, it’s fair to say they helped each other make the fashion choices rather than them depending on girlfriends.

Of course, this is part of a larger global movement towards much more exciting menswear than we have seen in a long time.

The influences of fashion-conscious rappers like Kanye West and A$ap Rocky cannot be underestimated either.

Both have rocked skirts, and A$ap has layered with an actual dress. Well, the boys got the message. Now they know they can wear a “skirt effect” style without having their masculinity called into question. Fashion blogs and videos have also literally made fashion the new pop. You no longer need to be in a band to be cool. Just dress blogworthy and you’re It.

Personally, I love it. I’m just a little worried for the girls. The competition is heating up. Will they bring it? Already, quite a few guys are taking over the responsibility of helping their girlfriends put together outfits.

Competition is a good thing sometimes. Perhaps the playing field is being levelled, and we’ll soon have fashion battles to see who can really bring it, the girls or the boys.

No longer will fashion sensibilities be determined by whether one has one or two X chromosomes.

So go on boys, own those skirts, or minidresses, or longer-length tees?...?whatever you want to call them. Just “make fetch happen”.

»?Tyilo runs a blog called Skattie, What Are You Wearing?

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