Two Men Walk NYC Streets in Dresses. Did Anyone Care Besides Candace Owens?

Tuesday November 24, 2020

Ever since Harry Styles posed on the cover of Vogue earlier this week in a high fashion gown, social media has been alive with comment. Conservative columnist Candace Owens seriously trolled the actor/singer with a tweet complaining that such visuals represents the "steady feminization of our men," while calling for a return of "manly" guys.

Comments came on both sides of the controversy. Supporting Styles was Olivia Wilde, who responded to Owens with two words: "You're pathetic." Another posted a pic of Owens braless and in a suit, calling her a "hypocrite."

While conservative pundit Ben Shapiro tweeted in support of Owens, calling it a "referendum on masculinity":

A pair of staff members of the Daily Mail decided to see if Shapiro's claim was true: DailyMailTV's AJ Cataldi and commercial strategy director Chaz Meabon, walked the New York streets in dresses and offer their commentaries.

Cataldi begins by saying he has no issues with men wearing dresses in public, noting that it is getting more and more prevalent, especially in New York City. His biggest concern wasn't going public in a dress, but whether it would be a good fit. It turned out that fit of the blue dress given him "wasn't bad," and his look was enhanced with a black tuxedo jacket.

He didn't think that he would get much attention once he hit the streets, "I wasn't worried about people staring, in fact I encouraged it. I wanted to see what people thought about my choice of outfit, and whether I really was going to cause the outrage and upset that we saw on social media in response to Harry's Vogue shoot.

"As it turned out, I got even less attention than I had been expecting. Other than the occasional double take from passersby, nobody really seemed concerned or even surprised by the dress, and most people walked straight past me without giving my outfit so much as a glance."

If he got stares he felt it "gave me the opportunity to prove that because I was in a dress, and I am a man, what I choose to wear doesn't define my gender in its entirety. I felt the more people that looked at me, the more people I could show that gender isn't based off what kind of clothes you have on your back.

"Candace Owens may have found some like-minded critics on social media, but here in New York, it seems like those people are very much in the minority."

Cataldi had never worn a dress before in public, save for a Halloween party dressed as Katy Perry; but his colleague Chaz Meabon had and said he never cared what people might think. "I hate to blend in and get lost in a crowd, especially in New York City, and I ensure I stand out in any way I can, whether it's with a dress, or with my larger than life personality," he wrote.

His dress — a voluminous full-length blend of orange gingham with blossoming tan sleeves — was more eye-catching than Cataldi's blue number, which he feels may be why he got more attention. "While AJ's dress was a bit more subtle, and didn't really elicit too many stares, the gown that I had on was very hard to miss, and that meant more people ended up staring. But not everyone was staring because they didn't like the look."

Some looked confused, he observed, "and there were some onlookers who couldn't hide how disgusted they were to see a man wearing such a flamboyant dress.

"But there were also some who told me, 'I love your dress,' and seemed genuinely excited to see a guy rocking such a bold look."

He concluded: "Harry wearing a dress on the cover of Vogue is just the beginning, and I will gladly support him by rocking my own versions on my Instagram grid in the future."