Conservative idiots criticize Harry Styles for wearing dresses in his Vogue editorial

Harry Styles covers the December issue of Vogue. I’m covering the Vogue interview with Styles at a later date – it’s a good piece, and worth a separate post – but that’s not what this story is about. This story is about the Vogue editorial, where Harry Styles was photographed by Tyler Mitchell in the English countryside for the most part. Styles is first man to get a solo cover of American Vogue, and he clearly agreed to highlight both men’s and women’s fashion. For years now, Harry has been one of those guys who happily cross-dresses, casually wears “women’s clothes” to events and blurs the lines of gendered style (much like Mick Jagger, Elton John, David Bowie, etc.).

As you can see, Vogue photographed Harry in skirts, dresses, old-fashion basques and general women’s fashion. The Tyler Mitchell photos are lovely! But conservative douchebags had to chime in about it. Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens both hate-tweeted about Harry Styles wearing dresses like it was the worst thing in the world, and the downfall of masculinity entirely.

Personally, I don’t care about Shapiro and Owens enough to even argue with them or about them online. They’re just professional trolls who are too eager to make this into the next big dumb culture war. The fact that they’re trying to do that to Harry Styles, a gentle, harmless soul with a massive and enthusiastic fanbase, is just… well, it’s interesting.

Also: I still believe that there was no way Vogue would have given Styles the cover if he would only agree to model menswear. Menswear is pretty boring and Vogue is a women’s magazine. Women want to see women’s fashion. Harry was a great model for womenswear.

Instagrams courtesy of Vogue.

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80 Responses to “Conservative idiots criticize Harry Styles for wearing dresses in his Vogue editorial”

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  1. Snuffles says:

    I don’t care what he wears, he’s still hot as fuck.

    PS. Prince wore six inch bitch boots, frilly clothes, relaxed his hair and wore make up and women were chucking their panties at him until the day he died.

    • Eleonor says:

      Prince was sex on the heels!

    • megs283 says:

      Yes, isn’t it funny? Even in a dress – he’s very masculine. His confidence is sky-high. Those haters can’t pull it off, so they hate.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      I love your whole post.

      and agree about Harry Styles. that man is beautiful and sexy and RAWR.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      I wasn’t that into 1D, but have to agree with you.

    • SKF says:

      Yeah, pretty sure Harry has no problem getting lovers!!!

      This whole “men in the east know what masculinity” crap in response to him wearing dresses is hilarious. I’ve lived in a number of middle eastern and Asian countries and in MANY of those cultures men wear skirts and dresses. Often it is their traditional attire. Often it is fashion. What a moron.

      • coolspray says:

        Really don’t care what he wears – but the actual dresses they chose are offensively ugly!

    • Moxylady says:

      Omg Harry needs to model all the clothes. I actually care about them when he’s wearing them. And agree. He’s never been hotter.

  2. Rapunzel says:

    Owens later said toxic masculinity is just a thing created by toxic females and “real women don’t do fake feminism.”

    These people are deranged trolls.

    • Chris says:

      What does that even mean? Not every stupid thought that passes through your brain is worth sharing Owens.

    • Jules says:

      He looks good and he seems to not take himself too seriously. He was hilarious on SNL and has a good sense of humor. With that being said, if there is toxic masculinity there is also the toxic feminine and faux feminism. Can’t have one without the other, though it takes more deep thinking than these comments allow. It has nothing to do with being conservative, more about being force-fed a narrative and looking behind it.

      • Leslie says:

        Toxic femininity does exist. Take a look at Mrs Midwest and Girl Defined. Or the transformed wife. That is definitely toxic femininity.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        can you give an example of “toxic femininity”?

        and what exactly are you being “force-fed”?

      • Rapunzel says:

        Um… i wasn’t saying that toxic feminity or fake feminism doesn’t exist. I was simply saying Candace is stupid for saying toxic masculinity was created by toxic females. Toxic females are women like Candace who deny toxic masculinity. And fake feminism is, again, Candace acting like she is a feminist for insisting men act “manly.”

        Candace is, like most Republicans, projecting. The folks supporting Harry aren’t the problem. She is.

      • South West says:

        There are definitely some highly problematic flavors of feminism (for example the TERF phenomenon) but men have the power and privilege afforded to them by the patriarchy and it’s dangerous to falsely equivocate between toxic masculinity and the way it oppresses women and “toxic feminity”, which I imagine refers to women oppressing each other?
        It all comes from the same place and to suggest otherwise doesn’t help. Some women are too deep in the patriarchy to see how they’re being used by it, but toxic masculinity has no equal expression in women.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      @Rapunzel: You’re right, Candace Owens and her ilk are projecting. It’s almost as if they don’t want to be left out, like they need to make sure everyone sees their toxicity too, and the men they’re standing by. Yes Candy, Senpai noticed you today. She’s a more extreme, far right example. Julie Bindel too, and those who rushed to her defense. But a couple of days ago Jameela Jamil actually admitted to how she has been a more subtle example:

  3. Chris says:

    I’m always baffled by people like Shapiro and Owens. Why do you care so much? How empty are your lives? What small small people.

    I love opening up the idea that clothing doesn’t have a gender. How fun! Tbh this makes Harry Styles attractive to me. He’s apparently also comfortable with his boy band past, pointing out that as a society we’re dismissive of teen girl’s interests as frivolous. Also remember reading that he asked a black model permission to touch her hair in filming his music video (the bar is on the floor for white dudes). His Bowie vibe is sexy. I was too old for his boy band phase, but I’m into this current phase.

    • bettyrose says:

      My understanding of their arguments (from above) is that society can’t survive without “strong men” and wearing a dress is a sign of weakness. So now I need a list of qualities that society requires of men that cannot co-exist with wearing a dress? I mean, of course it’s ill advised to wear a dress while operating machinery involving gears and levers, but presumably that’s true for women too.

      • Amy Too says:

        The whole “society can’t survive without strongmen” is so stupid and myopic to me. Society doesn’t have to be what we have now: warrior men fighting wars for domination over other people so they can steal their land and resources and tamp down the “threat” of different religions, cultures, values, languages, etc. Society was not always like that. And it doesn’t have to be like that. Sure, I guess you could claim that this very single-minded view of warrior, patriarchal society depends on men acting like “manly” killing machines. But the word “society” does not have only one definition. How small minded and incurious can they be to think that world-wide, historically, and forever and ever there can only be one blueprint for “society.”

      • bettyrose says:

        Amy Too:

        But with one fell swoop you’re just wiping away American exceptionalism. If we compare ourselves to other societies, especially the *history* of other societies, then we lose. We are NUMBER ONE! and it’s the strong manly men who keep us there. (Please know that I don’t believe any of this, but it’s what I’ve learned over the last four years is how a certain population of 70 million Americans thinks).

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Honestly, she sounds like she’s making the case in favor of dictatorships. Saying “strong men” are necessary for society is frightening.

      • cdnKitty says:

        By extension, it’s continuing the idea that anything female or feminine is bad, that the very nature of feminine clothing, behaviours, etc is demeaning, and that the feminine is a lesser way of being. Nurturing, feelings, caring, emotions, softness = all bad in this narrative. Like we should all become robots instead of humans.

    • Janiet says:

      I know right? That’s what I was amazed over. DO you have a job? GET ONE. Because you have too much time on your hands.

  4. lola says:

    So I guess those Scots in their kilts who throw trees are no “manly men”?!

    I’m so sick of certain clothes being labeled “female” and “male”. Let men and boys wear dresses and skirts. It’s no big deal. And just take a look back at history, they’ve done it before.

    • Jane says:

      Yes – so it’s fine for women to wear trousers, but not fine for men to wear skirts? Like so many things conservatives insist are ‘traditional’, they’re actually relatively new. But these people have next to no knowledge of history or culture and like it that way.

    • bettyrose says:

      But not in the U.S. The toxic masculinity of the U.S. is unique, isn’t it? Even in some of the most patriarchal cultures on earth, men engage in behaviors that U.S. conservatives would call “feminine”: i.e. kissing and hugging male friends, heck even having close male friends, wearing fashions, going to salons, dare I say dancing? (And yeah there are plenty of men in the U.S. who do these things, I’m just saying these things are not scrutinized in other, sometimes much more patriarchal cultures).

    • Amy Too says:

      Or the fact that for hundreds of years men wore long, mid length, or shot tunics and leggings? Or long robes that were basically maxi dresses? Trousers are relatively new. Men wore “dresses” and “skirts” for centuries, but of course we have to call them “tunics” and “robes” to make them sound more masculine and acceptable to our present day society. I hate how even the names for certain, basically identical items of clothing are gendered based on whether they are being worn by a man or a woman. Robes vs long dresses. Tunics vs shift dresses. Kilts vs skirts. Even identical cotton shifts/night gowns that everyone slept in and wore under their clothes from the medieval times-1800s are referred to as undershirts for men but chemises for women.

    • HayGrl says:

      Read a kid’s book to kiddos about the Princes of India who wore kohl eyeliner, lots of jewelry.-wanted an early on exposure to all expressions of “masculinity”. Today’s men are more free, not sure about the fans of owens or shapiro….their POV just reads as ignorant.

  5. buenavissta says:

    He looks awesome and personally, I’m a fan of gender bending fashion.

    • BL says:

      Me too!
      And omg I love HS so much!!!!!

    • bettyrose says:

      Always and forever and 80s girl, and I have always loved the gender neutrality of the era. Give me boys in eyeliner and boas and girls with short pixie hairdos. (I don’t personally have a short pixie hairdo. My bushy curly hair could never pull that off, but I can do naturally what the boys in the hairbands spend hours teasing their hair for!)

  6. Teresa says:

    I had a crush in high school on a person who dressed like David Bowie. I never knew if they were male or female, just older and sexy as hell. This is Harry Styles to me. He oozes sex appeal and I don’t give a shit what he wears, he always looks delightful and I am here for it.

  7. Jess says:

    He seems great and this photo shoot is beautiful. Those trolls are hateful.

  8. Tiffany says:

    They just jealous Harry was never about attracting their attention as fans.

    Harry’s who being is inclusiveness and these clowns will look for any way to be a victim.

    They can always go listen to Scott Baio’s one album.

  9. Jane says:

    Personally I don’t find him physically attractive because he’s just too young and boyish for my tastes, but I do find him emotionally attractive in the sense that I find him compelling, I love his attitude, and I think he’s a fantastic role model. And I really enjoy his fashion sense – he looks great in these pictures.

    It’s such a shame that saying basic, nasty shit gets you a pay check these days. Whatever happened to ‘if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all’?

  10. Ariel says:

    As we say in the south; Bless their hearts.

    He looks great, by the way. I am an Gen X-er, and watching this generation play with gender and sexuality and just all be okay with whatever someone expresses in gender and sexuality, is inspiring to me. Gives me hope for the future.

    When i was in early college, My So Called Life was on. And the gay character, Ricky, who wore eye liner and hung out in the girls bathroom- probably so the guys didn’t beat him up- met a girl who had a crush on him one episode. And he made a comment- do you know how much easier my life would be if i could just like her back?

    The idea that gay/gender fluid, etc kids don’t have to feel that pain (as much) is a wonderful thing.

    • Cacec04 says:

      Aww, I love that you quoted my so-called life. Our gen definitely has to deal with rigid gender roles and homophobia still so it makes me happy as well to see the youngers embracing gender fluidity.

    • Valerie says:

      Aw, Ricky! Gender fluidity was a pretty big thing in the 90s, so I don’t know why they’re getting their knickers in a twist. It was a thing way before that, but it seemed to go more mainstream then, and that was the time when some of these naysayers were growing up.

      Owens is, surprisingly, a year YOUNGER than I am (I thought she was ~45), so the idea that this is something new that’s being pushed on and by today’s generation is ludicrous.

  11. Katie says:

    I love that he’s doing all of this with his look, it looks great and it’s not crossdressing (which – there’s nothing wrong there as well), it’s a new way to make a fashion choice, I love it

  12. Wednesday Addams says:

    I think he is sexy as f*€k, and I’m 66.

  13. Greta says:

    The problem is that skirts/dresses are seen as female and female equals weak in their eyes. Never strong. We still have a looong way to go – and some will never learn it.

  14. nicegirl says:

    I love that he’s wearing dresses, I’m here for all of it.

  15. Ann says:

    I somehow find HS more masculine in women’s clothes. He wears them so freely with confidence, and yeah its sexy. Makes sense that Ben Shapiro takes it personally, what with his black hole sized void of sex appeal. At least Ben still has his facts and logic.

    • Larisa says:

      What facts and logic? I totally fail to follow how 1 man’s photoshoot is a “referendum on masculinity”.

      • Ann says:

        Its a joke…. Ben Shapiro is always going on and on about facts and logic not caring about feelings.

  16. Milkweed says:

    He is so hot in all clothing. I 🖤 his tattoos. I also love his music and his confidence. “Adore You” is so lovely. Have you guys seen the movie “After” on Netflix? It’s based on Harry Styles fan fiction. It is my favorite quarantine find. 🥰

  17. FancyPants says:

    Scottish men have been rocking skirts for all of time, and even Owens’s Fearless Leader wears a full face of makeup every day (well, full to about an inch away from his hairline and eyelids).

  18. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm 😍

  19. ME says:

    He can wear whatever he wants. He seems like a cool dude, people need to stfu and remember that times have changed so get over it !

  20. Veronica S. says:

    I mean, there’s one dress there, right? Most everything else there is menswear, including the “skirt” that is clearly a kilt based on its design, so…also menswear? So they’re upset about one shot of him in a tuxedo with a skirt.

    “Bring back manly men” lol okay Candance, go back to the kitchen where your manly man can beat you into the silent obscurity where you belong.

    • tammy says:

      I’ll take this over a “mans man” any day! Someone who you can actually talk to and has feelings instead of some douche in camo and a big truck.

    • bettyrose says:

      IKR? I mean, there’s room for all kinds. There’s always gonna be dudes in wranglers and cowboy hats. In fact, I’m reminded of Brokeback Mountain.

  21. liz says:

    I’m in my 50s, Styles has not really been on my radar and is way, way too young and “cute” for my personal taste. But he does look good in a dress, as do many other cis men. Billy Porter in the Siriano tuxedo gown was simply iconic.

    I have a non-binary teenager – we spend a lot of time talking about clothes and gender. Remote schooling means the kid lives in sweats these days, but in the “before times” they had a lot of fun with their clothes – everything from dresses & heels to jacket & tie are in their closet. How they dressed on any given day was a function of what mood they woke up in that morning.

    We went to an exhibit last year at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts called Gender Bending Fashion that was just spectacular. And eye-opening. Particularly for a teenager who had no idea just how ground breaking it was for women like Katherine Hepburn and Marlene Deitrich to appear in public in pants suits. Somewhere they saw of photo of David Bowie & his first wife, Angie, where it was impossible to tell which one was which – photographed from behind, they were both in early 70s super wide bell bottom pants, frilly blouses and wide brimmed hats. It was stunning.

    • SomeChick says:

      Angie was a huge influence on his style when they were together.

      He also said that after a point, he would wear the most outrageous thing possible, because it was so much fun to go out on stage and see the audience dressing the same!

  22. Valerie says:

    He looks good, though, and as a Scot, I fully approve of the kilt.

  23. mellie says:

    I have hated Candace Owens since her criticism of George Floyd after he was brutally murdered….if anyone who was my FB ‘Friend’ posted her crap and it showed up on my feed, I immediately deleted them…complete deal breaker. She is a dumbass looking for her 15 minutes of fame.

  24. Lunasf17 says:

    Harry looks so hot! When I met my husband he was wearing a face full of makeup up and glitter because he was a glam rocker. I didn’t know I was into it until I was. Also the confidence to wear what you want and stand out is really sexy to me. I’ll take that over boring “masculine” men any day.

  25. CC says:

    I think Harry’s dressing is rather performative. I also am not attracted to such styles for men.
    BUT the whole argument that masculinity is under attack because of a skirt is sooooo dumb! It sounds like those people that freaked out over women in pants. After some time, women in pants are so normalised and can even be a classic form of fashion.

    It’s just a skirt. You can say it looks ugly or you prefer the current standard of masculinity. But acting like this is an attack on men is just extreme.

    • Eleonora says:

      Harry has been very vocal of his LGBTQ support. Think he’s showing solidarity and tries to help break the mold.

    • Market Street Minifig says:

      It’s not performative. He’s embracing the feminine within him more and more. But he was the teenager who wore purple trainers until they were wrecked. Even as a boy bander he showed a lot of interest in what female interviewers wore.

  26. Eleonora says:

    He also showed clearly what side he was on in American politics.

    Some of his Trump fans didn’t like, but most of his fans aren’t Trump fans anyway.

  27. SJ Knows says:

    Why does anybody care what anybody else wears?
    Clean is all that’s needed. Shower and wear whatever the heck you want, I’m not your Mom, I don’t care.

    Now, if I am your Mom and you come around whining that you don’t have any clean clothes and ya want me to do your laundry for ya….Hell no. My kids are over 21, here’s $20 get to a laundrymat.

  28. Case says:

    I didn’t realize the strength of men was determined by the clothes they wear. What a bunch of idiots these conservative commentators are.

    Some of the most TRULY “masculine” men I’ve ever encountered are also incredibly kind, respectful, soft-spoken, and confident. These people’s ideas of masculinity ain’t it.

  29. GuestwithCat says:

    Prince used to wear shirts that looked like my mom’s blouses. He was as masculine and sexy as you could find. lol and someone should tell Ben Shapiro to check out exactly what “our founding fathers” were wearing.: Lots of ruffles and frills and bare legs below the knee on display.

    I don’t have a problem with this photo shoot. And even if I did, I don’t think Harry Styles would care. So I’d just be wasting time and oxygen complaining about it.

    He needs to change his name to Harry Stylish.

  30. JaneEyreApparent says:

    I couldn’t name any of his songs and I have never bought a fashion magazine but I stop and look whenever I see a photo spread of his. His security within himself and his playfulness are so attractive. I’m old enough to be his mum, but if he even looked sideways at me, I so WOULD.

  31. emmy says:

    He is hot af. I love listening to his interviews, he seems like such a genuinely good guy and the fact that he doesn’t give a shit what these boring, small people think is so attractive and I hope inspires kids, especially boys, to not be afraid of femininity – or what is traditionally defined as such.

  32. Mrs. Peel says:

    Is it wrong that I’d rather see Johnny Weir on a Vogue cover, wearing his spectacular designs?!

  33. Hypocrasy says:

    Love how you have to call people names to write an article where you are mad at ppl calling ppl names. Your head is officially up your own ass. Circle of stupidity is complete.

  34. Natasha says:

    I think everything but the kilt is ugly. I don’t care who is modeling them, they’re ugly! And that’s what people should complain about.

  35. Jezebel's Lacefront says:

    What is so wrong with what he’s wearing? He looks good. Never mind the naysayers. They live in a tightening bubble that will toss them on their asses soon.

  36. Sharylmj says:

    He’s what we need to break through all the dark dark thinking and actions in the world right now. He’s a bright light and a great human being- deep thinking and layered – such an awesome roll model for all young (and old like me). He’s not scared and he’s super confident which comes off as SUPER sexy…
    Keep going Harry…. I’m excited to see what you do next.