Let’s Pay Tribute to Male and Nonbinary Celebrities Who Know How to Rock a Dress
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We’ll never forget when one of our favorite queer celebrities of the moment, Keiynan Londsale, epically clapped back at a troll who mocked the Love, Simon star for wearing too many dresses. Of course, there are plenty of popular male celebs who have worn or wear dresses, and we love them all.
The online bully tweeted, “Dude, you gotta stop wearing dresses… Come on!!!!” Lonsdale wasn’t having any of his petty ignorance, and responded, “Dude, you gotta stop tweeting me about it and just go try one on yourself. It’s only a piece of clothing and it’s fun. It also allows the balls to breathe and therefore will chill ya out.”
How pitch-perfect is that response? Lonsdale’s sassy and informative response amassed thousands of likes and retweets, prompting a wave of support from fans of the actor and musician.
We couldn’t help but think of other celebs who are currently pushing gender boundaries and those who paved the way for people to express their identity in a myriad of ways that don’t fall into simple boxes of male or female.
Here are six more male celebs who wear dresses and look really good doing it:
Jaden Smith has become a poster child of gender fluidity. So much so, we brought up their name when we questioned Vogue’s huge misstep of naming Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik the cover stars for their gender fluid issue in 2017.
More recently, Smith felt the need to defend himself on social media for choosing to wear dresses, tweeting, “If I wanna wear a dress, then I will, and that will set the new wave.”
Fans were quick to support the performer, with one writing, “You would look good no matter what you wear,” while another added, “I still remember how back in the early Drake days my friends would make fun of me for listening to him. Now everyone riding his wave, acting like they was about that life.”
Smith honestly doesn’t need support from anyone to be himself. As he has proven time and time again, he is a true individual not worried about what other people think of him. Regardless, we see you, Jaden, and we appreciate you.
Nico Tortorella, who identifies as pansexual, has for a few years been exploring gender in his own way, especially with clothing. On probably one of the biggest days of his life — his wedding to longtime partner Bethany C. Myers — he wore a gorgeous white dress that left many fans gagged.
In an interview with Euphoria magazine, he dished about his exploration of gender identity, saying, “There is not one label that I’m saying this is who I am for the rest of my life. I love language and I just wrote a book of poetry. I’m obsessed with words and how we use them.”
“I think they can either be used as medicine or weapons. I feel like I’m getting my doctorate in the medicine right now. I’m exploring the world of gender and what it means to me. I think the more work I’ve been doing in the space, the less I believe in gender as binary, as the construct that it is.”
If the late, great Kurt Cobain were alive today, he may be surprised to see that he left an indelible mark on fashion in more ways than one. Cobain, an outspoken feminist and gay rights advocate, would often dress in feminine pieces of clothing. Leopard-print faux-fur coats, women’s blouses and floral dresses worn over his jeans were all staples of his wardrobe. These items suggest he wanted fluid ideas about dressing and gender roles in the mainstream.
A large reason why some men aren’t afraid to don these looks today is because Cobain paved the way for them to express themselves in more ways than one.
David Bowie practically invented rock music’s notion of men playing with gender. He used fashion as a way to liberate himself and his music from the confines that mainstream tried to place upon them. “I loved how he challenged people about how gender was represented,” says Adam Lambert of Bowie’s contributions to fashion.
The out designer has never been afraid to push boundaries with his own work, or what he puts on his own body. To the 2012 Met Gala, one of the most important nights on the fashion world’s calendar, Jacobs wore a “controversial” lace dress, saying, “I just didn’t want to wear a tuxedo and be boring.” The long black tunic by Commes des Garçons was worn over a pair of white boxer shorts, black socks and pilgrim shoes.
“And here’s the thing: He wears them (and dresses) very well,” she continues. “Better than I do. And better, I’d venture, than many women out there do. When you see Marc Jacobs in a skirt, you can’t help but think, ‘Yes, this makes sense.’”
Young Thug did a cover shoot for Dazed and Confused back in 2015 that is a perfect representation of what “androgyny” can look like in pop culture.
Especially being in hip-hop, Young Thug has more obstacles to overcome than David Bowie in glam rock or Marc Jacobs in fashion to express himself this way. But the eccentric rapper known for wearing leopard-print dresses has gotten respect from his peers and fans for expressing himself in an original and authentic way.
Another rapper known to don a dress, Kid Cudi stunned us all when he wore an ankle-length floral dress during his April 2021 Saturday Night Live performance.
“The goat @KidCudi killing it on SNL one of the best ever to do it in a dress,” one person tweeted. “I’ve always been a Kid Cudi fan but omg this dress is so cute and I’m a fan all over again!” tweeted another.
The dress, created just for Kid Cudi by Off-White CEO Virgil Abloh, was intended as a tribute to Kurt Cobain.
The former One Directioner and current successful solo artist made a ton of headlines back in 2020 when he did an entire Vogue cover shoot wearing dresses and other typically feminine fashions. His appearance marked the first time someone who isn’t a cisgender woman was put (solo) on Vogue‘s cover, and the accompanying article focused largely on Styles’ love of androgynous fashion.
“I find myself looking at women’s clothes, thinking they’re amazing,” he told the magazine.
Following the cover, he’s been considered by some to be a leader in the current crop of gender-nonconforming fashions, while others have questioned whether the pop-rock star is getting too much credit.
Did we miss one of your favorite male celebs who wear dresses?
This story was originally published on June 29, 2018. It has since been updated.