Hot on the tail of the RompHim, a streetwear brand has introduced a line of pastel, see-through lace shorts and button-downs just for men. And if you think they look dumb, the social-justice crowd says, you’re basically intolerant.
The outfit, created by the designer Hoza Rodriguez under the Hologram City brand and on pre-sale for just under $100 a set, comes in pistachio, pink, baby blue, violet and yellow. The collar and white belt are the least see-through part of the ensemble, tightie-whities peeking through the lace. In a promotional Instagram post, models wear the lace getup with white tube socks and sneakers.
On social media, the reaction was predictably scornful.
“You guys look like you’re about to have a butter knife fight in the back alley with a gang of seamstresses,” one Instagram user posted.
“My man better only wear lace shorts for me,” one person quipped on Twitter.
“Next week probably gone be like move over lace shorts we’ve got a whole new line of dresses FOR MEN. F*ck outta here dawg,” another Twitter user wrote.
“If your man wears these it is time to trade her in for a real man,” another Tweet said.
But if you don’t like your men in pastel lace daywear, you’re actually incredibly problematic, others have suggested.
In Allure, writer Crystal Tate praised the shorts, interpreting them as a sign that society is one step closer to breaking gendered strangleholds on fashion.
“We have a long way to go when it comes to fully embracing the shift in what men’s and women’s clothing looks like. … Newsflash: Fashion is about personal choice, and there’s NOTHING wrong with men choosing what they choose. The fact that people are actually upset by this (and still using the phrase ‘real man’) proves that we definitely have a lot of thinking to do about our perceptions of which clothes are ‘appropriate’ for people of any gender,” Tate wrote.
Teen Vogue—which has become increasingly activist about gender and sexual identity—said there was nothing wrong with the look, then groaned about the “very nasty” social-media users who considered them unmanly.
“Like one romphim wearer said about his style, don’t let anyone else’s fragile masculinity deter you from being your best self,” Teen Vogue wrote.
And at Bustle, writer Amanda Richards notes that pastel lace shorts aren’t a women’s fashion trend. This look was designed first and foremost with men in mind.
“All of this begs a question: What are we really reacting to here? If I had to guess, it’s more nuanced than how we feel about male versions of trends ‘for’ women, like RompHim. It’s not delight or concern at the fact that men are co-opting a trend typically worn by women—it’s discomfort and slack-jawed wonder that the details of the clothing are bright and lacy and stereotypically feminine AF, and being worn by men. … For me, it says a lot about our comfort level with actual gender fluidity in fashion,” Richards says.
Objectively, we’d suggest that the lace outfit is as ugly as it is impractical. A prediction: As political correctness invades the fashion world, expect a lot more such unattractive looks to succeed. Their value is assessed by their compliance with social-justice morality, not their aesthetics.
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.