Most of us believe that clothes have "genders." Our society got the idea that some things are "fitting" for a man or woman to wear, some are not. However, there are open-minded people in this world who wear whatever they want and express themselves freely, not needing to live up to any type of stereotype. Like this inspiring man. He proves that it's finally time to get rid of gender stereotypes, especially in clothing.
Mark Bryan is an American, but he currently lives in Germany and is a robotic engineer. He lives his life like every other person, except that he challenges gender stereotypes every day. He almost always wears a skirt and heels while he goes to work, to the town, and even at home. And let's just say he looks absolutely fabulous while he does.
Mark told Bored Panda: "I dress like this because I can. Just to be different. I have always admired the women that wore tight skirts and heels. Not sexually, but the power they presented. I don’t dress to be sexual, but to dress like any professional woman would. To me, clothes have no gender. I prefer skirts to dresses. Dresses don’t allow me to mix the genders. I prefer a 'masculine' look above the waist and a non-gendered look below the waist. It’s all about clothes having no gender."
We asked Mark what inspires him to wear heels and skirts: "All the fashion options. With men’s pants, you have just a few color options: black, gray, navy, and brown, and no pants with prints. With skirts, you can add reds, green, brighter blues, floral prints, animal prints, etc. Same with shoes, but then you also have many more styles and heel types. Plus you can wear open-toed shoes when the weather is nice."
"I feel no different as to me, it’s just clothes. Naturally, on a cold or windy day, it physically feels different. When wearing heels, I feel taller, but also empowered for some reason. In all, maybe having the inner strength to have the confidence to wear non-conforming clothing has also given me the confidence and strength to handle my pressures at work," said Mark when asked how wearing heels and skirts makes him feel.
Mark has been happily married for 11 years and gets full support from his wife and family: "My wife often makes suggestions on what I should wear. My daughter wishes she could borrow my shoes at times."
The author shared what it's like to find feminine clothes that fit him: "I am 6’ tall and weigh around 165 lbs. I also have medium to small feet. I wear a size 8.5 US and 41 in Europe. I have a 29” waist so I wear a size 8 skirt in the US or a 38 in Europe. I also work out 2-3 times a week. So finding clothes my size is no problem."
"I buy most of my heels online so that I can try them at home. This way I can have some shoe time and try going up and down the stairs. Feel how much they slip, the stability when testing stilettos. I’ll also wear them while sitting for half an hour or so. If they hurt right out of the box, then back in the box they go. So having a good comfortable shoe is important, but so is the style."
"My favorite is a 5-inch stiletto. I just love the way they make me look and the feeling they give. My least favorite thing is walking on uneven surfaces like a cobblestone walkway or a sidewalk with pavers that have gaps big enough to swallow a stiletto heel."
Mark described to us his favorite style to wear: "I wear almost exclusively pencil skirts and stiletto heels. I don’t wear dresses as that is not my style, which is presenting as the man above the waist, with non-gendered clothing below the waist. I prefer my skirts at the knee plus or minus an inch or two. My average heel height for a week is around 4 inches."
He also described how people react to him. Mark said that women, usually around the age of 30 to 40, give him compliments. Men make comments or ask questions, but usually will not compliment his appearance.
"Take a person with bright green hair. Green hair is not normal. You look up and see this person, your mind tells you it’s a person with green hair, you think to yourself, that’s odd or interesting, then you go back to do what you were doing and don’t give it another thought. I believe this is the same when people see me in a skirt and heels."
Mark shared some advice for men who want to wear skirts and heels, but are too afraid: "If you are asking about heels, then I would say to start with a low heel and work your way up as your confidence gets higher. You cannot be afraid. Some people are like animals, they attack the weak. Show confidence and show the world you are not afraid and nobody will bother you. The only fear you have is fear itself. Skirts? Just do it. Maybe not with high heels, but skirts are much more acceptable on a man than a man wearing heels"
"Old girlfriend in college asked me to dance with her with us both wearing heels. We did this for more than a year. I got very good at walking and moving in heels. Throughout the years, I have worn heels off and on, but not with skirts. I just started wearing heels with skirts in the last 5 years. It was suggested that I would look a lot better in a skirt and heels than pants and heels," shared Mark when asked how he decided to start wearing heels and skirts.
"I am old enough to remember that in school, the girls could not wear pants. Pants have now become a non-gendered article of clothing. So why can't skirts and heels be non-gendered? Besides, men wore heels before women did. Maybe not today’s stiletto-style heels, but men did wear heels before women."
Mark is not only a mechanical engineer, he is also the head coach of a football team. He is currently restoring his 1967 Porsche 911 and his wife keeps him busy with her "honey-do-list."
"I do this for non-sexual reasons. Men can wear this style without being labeled as gay or queer. I don’t act like a sissy, which is one of the most frequent comments I get from men. They just assume I’m gay and a sissy until they start talking to me. I am just an average, normal, straight, and happily married guy. I love beautiful women, Porsche, and I just want to incorporate a skirt and heels into my daily wardrobe."
What do you think of Mark and his wardrobe? Tell us in the comments and vote for your favorite pictures and styles!