Throughout history there has always been a connection of homosexuality and fashion. Being a homosexual in the beginning of the 20th century, it was illegal and disapproved of morally. But lesbians and gay men both found a way of expressing their identities from choices of dress. Lesbians adopted obvious masculine attire and gay men chose obvious feminine attire, to mark their identities. Gay men know their deficits, assets, and sexuality and dress to attract other men, wearing outfits, not just clothing. They dress up for any occasion; whether its anniversaries, parties, weddings or even just because it is Tuesday. Gay men are hopelessly romantic and feel the need to be prepared and dress for potential liaisons.
The color green was once signifiers of sexual orientation around the 1890’s; in Paris green ties were worn. By the time of World War II, New York gays wore red ties to signify identity. In the 1960′s a great signifier was suede shoes and anyone that was wearing suede shoes came under suspicion. A lot of obviously gay men adopted female dress and mannerisms; plucked eyebrows, make up on their eyes, peroxide hair, and blouses. Gay liberation came along and effeminate dressing started to wane. After demanding equality and recognition, gay men took on a more masculine dress style and took inspiration from; lumberjacks, construction workers, and cowboys. They chose to wear masculine attire of really tight Levi’s, work boots, short hair, moustaches, and bright plaid shirts.
Many top high fashion designers were either bisexual or gay and took over gentleman’s outfitters and tailors of men’s fashion. Gay men seemed willing to try out new ideas, fabrics, and styles in men’s clothing. Some even went out to discover ideas for their collections from the streets and gay clubs. Great names in 20th century fashion included Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Halston, Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, and Calvin Klein. In 1980′s straight men started getting interested in their clothes, appearance, and grooming, especially in their workplace. Soon men were portrayed in advertising as sex objects, and gay influence was not only in designers but also photographers, hairdressers, and stylists.