Jim Plocker

Putting the “Man” in “Mankini”

The top hat is out; the beach thong is in.

According to a recent study of Loveawake dating site, the world of men’s fashion has been dipping into feminine roots, for better or for worse. Prepare to see more of the “mankini,” the “mantyhose” and “manscaping.”

You might find this repellent. You also might find it empowering. In either case, here are some items you could look into for your next date:


A purse for a man.


Pinky rings and wristbands for men.


According to Urban Dictionary, “what Robert Pattinson wears in Twilight.”


Male pantyhose. A visual is appropriate.


Male panties. A visual is not appropriate.

Are you confused yet? Here are some theories accounting for the mannification of fashion.

1.) Now that “manbag” is in the Oxford English Dictionary, it’s becoming as normal as “LOL” or “WTF” (both of which, incidentally, may be used to describe “manbag”.’)

2.) President Obama rocked the “mandals” while he was a president. Call him a trendsetter.

3.) Men are finally “manning up” and defying gender stereotypes.

This last point is the most promising explanation (sorry, Obama.) Metrosexuals – “straight urban men willing, even eager, to embrace their feminine sides” – are carving out their place in the mainstream. (Think of David Beckham, the emblem of Macho, who has his own line of designer long johns.)

Some argue that “going metro” is actually crucial for many of today’s men, and not just in the fashion sense. Channeling more traditionally feminine attributes can be beneficial for men who have been raised to be ‘macho’ – it allows them to more openly express emotion and spend time rearing their children. Currently, America has three times the number of fatherless children than it did in 1960, and only 3% of dads are “stay-at-home.” Sweden, which noticed a similar problem, has championed male equal rights laws. Now, 85% of fathers in Sweden take paternity leave. None of them have to wear a murse.

No matter where you stand on the issue of gender roles, it’s impossible to deny that manning a mankini these days takes some serious confidence. And confidence, of course, is the key to attraction.

Want to read more about meterosexuality? Check out the Daily Beast article. And never forget: you’ve got to be a man to wear tights.

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