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13 Times Men Skipped the Pants & Opted For a Skirt or Dress on the Red Carpet

When it comes to red carpet fashion, the stereotype for men is to just stick them in a traditional tuxedo and off they go. But many actors are now starting to play around with fashion — whether it’s a kilt as a nod to their ancestry or exploring couture clothing. A few stars are leading the way — we see you, Billy Porter.

After starring in Pose and having a higher profile, Porter decided to defy fashion norms at the 2019 Oscars, where men tend to dress conservatively. He showed up in a tuxedo gown that stole the show. “My goal is to be a walking piece of political art every time I show up,” he told Vogue. “To challenge expectations. What is masculinity? What does that mean? Women show up every day in pants, but the minute a man wears a dress, the seas part.”

He’s not the only one pushing the envelope because Jared Leto, Jaden Smith and even Pete Davidson are feeling the freedom and confidence to express themselves through their wardrobe. Smith, who began wearing dresses at the age of eight, created a line of gender-neutral clothing that was made for “the girl that wants to be a tomboy or the boy that wants to wear a skirt,” he explained to Variety. It’s a reminder that wardrobe doesn’t have to be drawn down gender lines — it’s a work of art that some men are choosing to display with self-assuredness.

A version of the article was originally posted in May 2022.

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